Table of Contents


A Thirst for Knowledge

as if the whole modern world had not been constructed on new knowledge and its unrestrainable spread, there arises the doctrine, laughably framed by police and spies and denounced by legists, that informing the enemy is different from educating them, even though industrial espionage is rampant, computers are blabber-mouths by nature and a shopping bag of compact disks can (and should) carry all knowledge to everywhere.

HARDLY had I arrived in Rome on the June dawn of its Liberation in 1944 when a couple of G.I.'s made a beeline for me, with several civilians buzzing behind, one of them reluctant and frightened. "Sir, these people say this guy is a dirty Fascist, what should we do with him?"

They couldn't have found a better person to ask -- theoretically -- but I had other pigs to poke and anyhow couldn't transport this man around with me, hands tied, in the back of my jeep. They all looked at me as if we might try him and shoot him right then and there.

"If you find a C.I.C.detachment turn him over to them. Else take him to the nearest Italian jail and say, hold him for the C.I.C. to arrive."

"You go with them," I said to a civilian, "a prigione, per il Comitato per la Eppurazione."

"Yes, Sir." A salute even. But I knew damn well that they were disgusted, they wanted to celebrate the Liberation, and the police -- how many of them were Fascist and were they taking boarders, and for how long?

Oh, well, shit, what can you do? Off I go.

A couple of weeks later, things are much more in order, an acquaintance of an acquaintance (this may be a euphemism for `agent' on occasion), who is working through me, comes: "Do you know Signor Snodgrass?" "Yes." ( He is OSS, a peacetime Harvard Professor, I think, geography would it be?, who had arrived several days ago). "Signor Tenente, he is mixed up with some bad Fascist types." "Grazie, arrivederci."

"Snodgrass, I heard that...do you know that..." He looks offended: "I know what I'm doing."

Two months later, in France, news from a guy from Italy, a mystery, agent named Snodgrass killed.

It's people like that that give espionage a bad name. They rig up situations where somebody has to get hurt.

I hope that Marx hasn't been playing any new roles. He is so deep into the Venusian and Holocaust Fireman roles that I doubt he needs any more, so he is safe, and maybe those connected with him as well.

Was he endangering anybody, passing secret lists around: that's serious, no indications of it, though.

Whom does it really harm, whatever he's been peddling? Excepting character assassination.

Commercial secrets?

Technology? Ask a Third World politician or professor, an Indian, a Mexican: probable answer, nobody, it's not really espionage.

The Third World types, in fact, are pleased when any technology is stolen from the West. Steal from the rich to give to the poor. They wished they could afford a million spies.

What is espionage, then? Atom bomb information. But war is already unthinkable, indefensible.

Klaus Fuchs was a nice chap. His co-workers in England and Germany agreed. He has just died, a hero of the Soviet Union and his own East Germany. He had spent 1944-5 as part of a British Mission to the USA, looking in as closely as possible on the American preparations for the atomic bomb; but he was a communist reporting to the USSR all that he learned, and he learned a lot, for he was a brilliant physicist, set up afterwards as co-director of Britain's major nuclear research laboratory.

He was there in 1950 when uncovered as a Russian spy, and the British tried him and sentenced him to 15 years, whence, less 6 for good behavior, he hightailed it back to a welcome in the Redlands. There he continued to share the results of science without regard to boundaries (although there is no record of his having sent back any secrets to the West).

An American investigating commission concluded that he had given the Soviet Union 18 months of time-shortening in the making of their atom bombs! He served 9 years.

Suppose you were to sell the Soviets a computer that can speed up testing of a new anti-tank missile, cutting back the weapon development time by three months; in addition you send information on alcoholism, a chemical compound particularly discouraging to vodka over-consumption, a health-giving measure that cuts back alcoholism by 0.5% in Russia.

I won't bother you with my calculations, except for the results. I get an almost totally arbitrary ratio of the contribution to the Redlands made by Fuchs to that made by you of 5,000,000 to 1. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Five million to one, because of the basic nature of the goods obtained and the scope of their application. Then, assuming Fuchs got a fair shake, your sentence would be for about twenty minutes.

Just time enough to take you from the courtroom and gun you down like the rat-spy you really are!

Thirty years ago a letter came to me from Moscow asking whether I should like to exchange a subscription to my new magazine, The American Behavioral Scientist, for any one of a list of Soviet magazines.

I published the letter with my letter in reply, saying that the Soviet periodicals were unfortunately censored and unscientific and not useful but if they would publish the ABS in the USSR they would be welcome to do so without charge.

Professor Herbert Alexander, a friend, wrote to me indignantly, offering to pay for the Russian subscription. I printed his letter, too, and fulfilled the subscription. But received no thanks for my generous offer.

This year I have been applauding the efforts of Party Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to loosen up the conditions of thought and activity in the Soviet Union. I refer to the Glasnost Policy.

If I continue to be so enthusiastic about it, I shall come under suspicion for favoring the Soviet Union and communism in the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. What avails me a record stretching back so far. It is today that counts.

In questions of security, it is as with proving your birth in France. If you have not gotten a certified copy in the past six months, you will have to contact your natal departmental prefecture to get a new one; the reason: you might have died in the past six months and someone is using your old identification, and your copy of the old certificate, for nefarious purposes. A crook is evidently a slow poke or a bureaucrat.

Or as the AIDS plague spreads, you will have to be tested today, then in six months, then unless you have been in solitary confinement -- no, even then -- you will have to undergo continuous testing so far as the public is concerned, and just as much domestically, if man or wife or lovers have philandering tendencies. What a fulsome setting for mass paranoia!

We might as well begin here. Should we share all information about Anti-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) contagion and therapy with the Soviets and the communist world generally and with the overpopulated hungry countries also (just to throw in another perspective)?

No doubt the answer will be a resounding Affirmative.

Should they share their information with us? Of course! Are they doing so? Are we? And if information, then why not food and drink; why not computers?

The problem extends itself; should French and American scientists share what they are discovering? There has been some acrimonious quarreling about this, but there has been some exchange, too; in any event, at what point in time should the information be exchanged -- when the diagnosis or treatment is ready to package, patent, and sell?

What of the competition among pharmaceutical companies? Should they reveal their AIDS research in a movie film, so to speak, continuously evolving? Or should they continue to try to hide everything until they can get onto the marketplace first?

I am trying, you see, to justify my conduct, and that of Christoph Marx. I am not against free communication. No, typically I go one step farther, saying, if it's exchange that you want, really, I'll give you all you want and more.

Like Gorbachev with Reagan: if it is disarmament that you want, I'll give you all you want and much more. Should this be treason, you can make the most of it.

And hasn't Reagan offered to share with the Soviets many kinds of secrets that we discover about "Star Wars" operations in outer space? Of course, no one, Soviet or American, believed him. He himself did not know what he was thinking, half the time.

And here is something that I bet you didn't know, and the Swiss police certainly don't know -- yet it is public information, released and uncovered from time to time: Some of the most delicate weapon and tactical information is systematically interchanged between the U.S. and Soviet military chiefs to prevent disastrous misunderstandings, according to the principle:

"No unpleasant surprises, please." For example, exactly what one country has got moving in space at any given time is made known to the other.

Recently, at Warsaw Pact maneuvers, NATO officers scrambled freely among Soviet tanks, took hundreds of photographs, even of battle maps, and talked with Red Army soldiers.

The NATO representatives watched war games rehearsing the very attack and defense scenarios they could really expect, such as the crossing of the Elbe River under fire (simulated). Literally tons of espionage secrets were outdated in the process. Much fuller mutual revelations are yet to come: on site nuclear weapons inspections, exposure of chemical warfare facilities all around the world, and so on.

I was in Vietnam twenty years ago figuring out ways of winning the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese and at the same time disposing of the Communist Foes at the best possible Costs-Benefits ratio. It was a far different world from the world of Glasnost.

Some were saying that the only way to stop the shipments of arms and equipment that were keeping the Viet Cong and Viet Minh going was to quarantine North Vietnam and sink all ships that tried to penetrate our blockade.

Our Allies and the Communist World, the Third World, and Half the Vocal Opinion of America were saying, do not touch the Russian and Chinese and other ships going in there; it will escalate the war. Very well, it was a war that soon was showing signs of being lost. That meant lose the war, which eventually we did.

I tried but could do little with a counter-recommendation: stop all ships going into North Vietnam; dump all contraband of war -- cannon, munitions, mines -- into the sea; replace all cargoes by gifts of medicine, clothing, timber, foodstuffs.

The slogan of the Pentagon, led by the "whiz kids" of McNamara's Band was "More bang for the buck." Considering the small effect of a bang in Vietnam, there could have been better slogans. "More bait for the buck!"

"More bliss for the buck!" Baksheesh, bacon, baggage, bananas, balm, bangles, bargains, baubles, beams, beer, beans, belief, binges, bytes, blessings, board, bonus, bonds, booty, bounty, bouquets, bowls, brass, brains, breaks, breath, bribe, brothers, bull, bully-beef, bunk, or burps. Or all of them. All big buck-earners.

This policy would (1) non-plus our enemies, (2) confuse and divide our friendly opposition, (3) help our friends, and (4) end the war with what would necessarily have been a better resolution than the actual finale.

If you want to read the original, look in the files of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. It is due for declassification.

This is the form of thinking that I prefer: "Show the enemy that you are really their friend." (Falcone's Maxim #4) Not that they will buy your mode of conduct, but that they will be baffled, split, educated, perhaps helped.

(I don't really hate anybody, not even my enemies, and am I not the better off for it? -- See my former enemies: Germany, Austria, Vichy France, Italy, and Japan, all buddies now.)

I believe that it is the only form of "warfare", this peacefare, that can win wars nowadays and in the future against the other forms: intolerable mega-strike-big-boom wars and terrorism-mass -demonstration strategies.

I should like to give the Soviets all the information that we have that would help Glasnost and Gorbachev (for I also think that he will have a tough job dealing with the Russian dinosaurs who are of the same type as the American, French and Swiss).

We should dump all the information possible onto the Soviet Union and everywhere else in the world. When we dump our vast farm produce upon them, we should wrap every pound of it nicely in the latest information on all subjects.

We cannot do as well when we dump our pollution and bombs upon them, for this will all come fluttering down upon us in fine radioactive dust, which we cannot handle even though now we are under agreement to exchange radiation coping techniques with the Soviet Union.

There is nothing about information that is spookily different from winter wheat. It is healthy and harmless. Give them free time on Radio Suisse, Bertelsmann, Dialog, Bitnet, and the rest of the networks, and hope that they will not be too proud to accept it.

Look to history, American history, for example. The colonies revolted against England and Spain because these empires wanted to monopolize manufactures, take our farm produce and raw materials, and profit enormously on the exchange without competition raising its ugly head.

Long before the revolutions and for a long time thereafter, Americans were in the business of stealing from the old Europe, and from Asia and Africa, wherever it mattered, all the devices, machinery, designs, work processes, materials, bookkeeping methods, sales pitches, trade techniques -- in other words, everything that could conceivably be used to make a profit in the most up-to-date manner.

This was horrendous in the eyes of old regimes and old economies everywhere.

Nevertheless the industrial and agricultural growth of America was steeply accelerated by our piracy of English, French, and German machines and designs.

Indeed we can make out a fair case arguing that, back of every ingenious Yankee trick and innovation, stood an industrial theft. We stole everything we could lay our hands on and imitate, including books, paintings, and designs.

Not until 1891 did Congress, here as always in cahoots with our businessmen, pass a copyright law that let foreign books be protected within the United States, and then only if manufactured here (a contradictory policy).

And, in fact, not until 1952 did the U.S.A. join the comity of nations in copyright reciprocity.

You cannot say that this was done for the sake of freedom of enterprise (for actually it was done for material gain and progress), but it certainly helped develop the country to allow literary theft as well as industrial theft generally.

Perhaps I shouldn't be saying these things; it will give more aid and comfort to the poor countries of the world, encourage them in their bad habits of wanting more of the good things of life even if they have to steal them.

One cannot stop the flow of information. One can only delay it.

If the Russians are bent upon getting bio-medical information, information of chemical poisons, industrial designs, machinery, locations of plants and military installations, economic and political and scientific information of all types, they can be delayed in the pursuit, but sooner or later they will at heavy cost manage to get most of it. Enough to make us pay the cost back many times over in hostile preparations to seize the sources of the information or destroy them.

And as we can see, they go about this job most awkwardly. For the people who must commit the thefts are also involved in the choice of what to steal. As high technology comes more and more to dominate the realm of valuable secrets, the gap between the two skills increases. Cops and computers don't mix. The Soviets might have been hoping beyond hope that Marx would offer them something.

In general, then, espionage increases and bungles all the more as time goes on, and often what all the spies are after is wrongly identified as valuable secrets, dangerous to handle.

So, of the three options: (1) to give them everything at market prices;

(2) to impose complicated restrictions defining what is most, less and least dangerous to our national interests to let them buy; and, (3) to hold back on everything and to close ourselves off, it has to be the first option that we choose.

We are already doing this in foodstuffs.

We might, therefore, take a less grave view of thieves of information and punish them no more than if they were caught purloining information from their companies or other companies or individuals. That means penalties of injunction (against repeating the act), fines for commission of the act, repayment of sums lost to the victim of the depredations when they can be calculated, but not jail terms, for as you will see and as I have explained in other books, jails are ordinarily useless or worse.

A prominent Swiss Professor of Constitutional Law, Günter Stratenwerth, applies similar views to Switzerland in his treatise, Schweizerisches Strafrecht. It appeared first in 1974; ten years later, in the 1984 edition, the Professor was even more exercised about the dyspionagical trends of recent years.

Both administrators and courts have come to follow a looser view of what constitutes political and economic espionage (perhaps in a misguided and futile attempt to stave off the ever-heavier volume of intelligence procurement taking place).

The law has become so slackly defined that one cannot tell the difference between punishable intelligence services and the normal behavior of journalists who collect information for transmission abroad.

The objective rules, (continues the Professor) that are usual in criminal proceedings, are put aside so long as the end can be achieved (the end being, in the last analysis, no matter how justified, the ambition of the Prosecution).

Furthermore says he, "In every regard, the practice of the courts has completely destroyed the requirement that the `forbidden espionage service' be proven to have occurred to the harm of Switzerland."

As administered, the laws of economic and political espionage (referring as in all the above to Articles 272-4 of the Code) conflict with the spirit of the Swiss Constitution.

So sharp and insistent is the Professor's point, that a) he has made the Supreme Court's position perfectly clear, b) therefore the law-in-actuality has been made quite clear -- that is, it is clearly vaguely all-encompassing, c) no Prosecutor in his right mind will argue before a Court that the law must be restricted, and d) no defense attorney has a chance to slip in an effective argument for judicial reorientation. Maybe the Professor should have praised the consistent paranoid patrimania of the Supreme Court.

The police go on their merry way, oblivious to constitutional niceties, whether one way or the other. Non-policeman Frank Huserer teaches informatics at the famed Eidgenössische Hochschule in Zurich. The mainframe there is open to all who can work with it and there is generally a full and free exchange of information.

Frank, acquainted with the predicament of Marx, suggested to Chief Inspector Viereck in Bern that a group of faculty and advanced students meet with the police to discuss what computer espionage consists of and how much of it is going on. Response: Negative.

The peculiar nature of secrets can make of them at the same moment waste paper to one person and terribly valuable to another -- unlike money, which is almost always handy to everyone.

Dr. Sylvia Bannerman, my prestigious protegé, who turned from my philosophy of Kalos -- alackaday! -- to expertise on weapons systems, was lunching and exchanging discreet charms and confidences with an Israeli General of Intelligence one day in Manhattan, while below their table, her bag chock-full of secrets was being removed and emptied of $ 80 in cash and replaced by a black lady whose financial responsibilities outweighed her thirst for knowledge, hence leaving behind a good year's wages for want of pre-counselling by a friendly pawnbroker of espionage.

Perhaps most spying occurs with things left laying around. I shudder to think who might be calling upon this poor lady the same evening if she had carried it all away, and also I wonder which of the handsome pair at table would have volunteered to take the responsibility for the loss. And whether the culprit would have metamorphosed into "that damned Russian spy."

We can distinguish in flagrant cases of attempts to steal and sell secrets, but usually we cannot be serious in our distinctions.

Setting up nosy commissions and sicking bureaucracies onto security measures do not help to distinguish between education and propaganda, between educating and informing the enemy.

As matters are progressing in informatics, rather soon practically every educated, honest, and logical person might be convicted a priori of what is a capital offense in many countries and often used as a definition of espionage and treason, "giving aid and comfort to the enemy."

I wonder what Dante Alighieri, writing in the Middle Ages his "Inferno," would have said about computer espionage. He put traitors in the nethermost circle of Hell up to their necks in ice, the Center of the Earth, for he describes himself as "at the point from which weightiness strains from all sides and he is "turning upon himself," and watching Lucifer gnawing upon the worst traitors."

Would Dante have placed the neo-traitors, along with book-sellers filling orders for the Bulgarian Embassy, into mere Limbo status, or even ignore the offense completely? Or would he consign a computer spy to eternally being gnawed by the man who opened the gates of Faenza to the enemy, while he had himself the necessity of gnawing at the other chap's head?

Such being the doubt, I had better pause, for I do not want to become a victim of raison d'état, and as Machiavelli said, "unarmed prophets perish," and as I have taught, and my teachers before me, and their teachers, "It is difficult to argue against authority, unless it has lost its authority." (Maxim #5)

"Do you hear me?" I exclaim at the back of Filly who is admiring the view from my studio of the Luberon in the twilight, "Marx is wrongly accused of a greed for money!"

"By whom? And don't shout at me!"

"Well, listen to me, then. You can look out of your own windows. I mean, by the police and the newspapers, and probably everybody who hears the story. Listen to this letter, it's from last March, a month before he was picked up. He's answering my proposition to put out The Encyclopedia of Quantavolution using his equipment and how I think we can profit from the project."

"Is it long?" She dislikes being read to.

I grunt and start reading. It is long, I know. She already has a pained look.

"I do not think much of getting involved with ownership of knowledge, or what you might think of as copyright problems, or with shares in particular fields of knowledge. Data and knowledge bases tend to make information anonymous, and quite properly, too, I believe. A research program delivering to me information derived from myriad data and rules, analyzed for relevance and reporting inconsistences, doesn't really care where the data comes from, and neither do I when I pay 3.17 francs for all of it of which 0.43125 centimes go to author X, other fractions to untold further writers (and when simply on request I can get into touch with any one of them whose idea really caught my imagination, through the same computer connection, by electronic mail). One of the awful methods of science is that results are not considered in terms of their merits, but of which person is supposed to have been responsible for them. Informatics as we can system-think of it presently will hopefully lead to rid science of such footnote careers and hero-making, leave thinking to dedicated people again, and vastly reduce the scientific populace."

"Hey, where are you going?." I have lost her.

"I see what you mean, all right, I don't have to hear it all!"

Anyhow that's it. He wants to reduce data to pure raw forms in every field and to let the writer, analyst, scientist, humanist, student, scholar, critic, researcher, savant, theorist, philosopher, generalist, pedant, pedagogue, polymath, encyclopedist, academician, technologist, Immortal, professor, schoolgirl, longhair, highbrow, specialist, boffin, brahmin, mastermind, brainworker, dabbler, quack, charlatan, seminarist, scholiast, smatterer, freshman, unemployed book-of-the-month-man, scholastic, schoolmarm, educator, research assistant, overachiever, late bloomer, autodidact, graduate student, Esperantist, dilettante, and average non-reader of the New Yorker magazine, build their own tower of knowledge from the ground up.

I am inclined to agree, within certain practical limitations. I should be delighted to put into the hands of the 217,144 types of occupational specialists (which I shall forego mentioning by title here) the absolute data base upon which each and all rest.

One way to do it would be by giving the Soviet people a free subscription to the whole of America's library collection. It is simple and cheap to do and is the most considerate and useful action against political and economic -- and to a large degree military -- espionage that we might take. It is counter-espionage on a grand scale.

We shall ask the American Congress to vote a billion dollars for the project. That is only 00.005% or 1/400ths of the Military Budget if it were to be done in one year, and only 1/1000th of US military spending if we did the job over a three-year period, which is more reasonable anyhow.

The Swiss government should contribute some equivalence to the project, say, the average of the sums of one-third the espionage and counter-espionage budget and of 1/400th of the Swiss military budget. (I estimate that espionage will drop by one-third.)

My favorite library, the University of Chicago's (for I studied there long and hard), is one of the world's largest and best; it trumpeted this very year that it had imbibed its five millionth volume, and holds an equal number of manuscripts, maps, microforms, sound recordings, and miscellany. This would come to about 300,000,000 pages, that is, 3 x 108 pages or 9 x 1011 million words, roughly one trillion words.

We would read these trillion words through our battery of optical scanners. The scanner is being improved greatly from year to year, so that only some small portion of the grand total of pages would have to be converted by word processors into machine-legible form or copied into computers directly operating in the graphics mode (where more memory is needed and random indexing is impossible).

Where memory requirements are too great -- for the best reproductions, that need presently uneconomical dot-density ratios -- video tape and direct microfiche may be used.

The memory of the trillion words would be contained on compact disks (CDR's) of a capacity each of 100 million words. Ten of these CDR's the size of Idaho potatoes would store the total material of the University of Chicago libraries.

All could be accessed randomly, that is, by word or number or title or name or phrase, meaning that the whole collection would be indexed automatically in a manner far superior to the best of present-day catalogues, and even of most of the computerized bibliographic search services today.

One thousand copies of each set of ten CDR's would be given to the Soviet Union for donation to the thousand most important Soviet libraries as the gift of the American people, with a blanket permission to translate all the material into Russian and other Soviet national languages, using the translating machines presently being developed and improved by the two nations.

Each set of disks can be carried to its destined library by an American computer librarian expert in a despatch case or a shopping bag, a modern messenger-god Mercury. This is not only nice and proper, but it would prevent my package from being mistaken for a bag of potatoes under a distribution system that would not yet be purged by glasnost and perestroika.

While they are at it, the Congress might as well appropriate funds for the Federal Departments and Agencies and for Trans-national Corporations and for all units of local government and all news services, allowing them to enter into the grand information exchange system.

All new materials entering the Library of Congress -- including seed catalogues and pornographic pictures -- will also be entered into the system. (I will admit that the proposed inclusion of porn will excite such indignation in both nations (cf. infra) that it would bring down my grand castle of cards.)

Thus the United States would go public. Anyone who wants to know what the institutions and production processes of America are like, how it is organized and functions, and what it is doing, can set himself easily to research the questions. Compare my policy with the F.B.I. policy today. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, having discovered what I said earlier, that espionage is mostly book-learning, has circularized American librarians, asking them to report suspicious-looking characters who appear to be overly interested in national defense matters, who photocopy scientific and military materials available on the library shelves. Since the librarians arose en masse against the idea, the F.B.I. has been hoping that library patrons will supply the volunteer sleuthing that is officially refused. "More bang for the buck." Or is it, "If you can't find espionage, incite it." The F.B.I. is also into massive people-tracking by computer. The 20,000,000 records of crimes and criminals now held by its National Crime Information Center, telecommunicating with 64,000 local law-enforcement agencies, would be supplemented by a Tracking Center that would follow criminal suspects wherever they went and inform concerned agencies about them. Inasmuch as "suspect" is an infinitely expansible notion (you and I for instance: come on, now, yes you are!), the STP would be limited only by the Agency's ability to obtain funding. (In the past, such funding has been relatively easy, if only because the Congressmen who vote it are often wondering what the F.B.I. has on Them that might just happen to leak out.)

Ultimately every crime would have a profile of its typical perpetrator, and every person who fitted every profile could be tracked. "The files pose a threat to the privacy and civil liberties of persons included in the files and to the civil liberties of the public in general." Thus reported the CPSR (Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility) last month. Yet, assuming that the USA goes public instead of police-state, there would necessarily follow an Invasion of the Byte-Snatchers, of which we speak more later on.

Inasmuch as the Soviet Union and other countries have a need for skilled personnel in informatics (for, after all is said and done, I expect that the USSR will make an equally generous offer in a few years regarding their own knowledge trove -- less the magnificent half million volumes of the Leningrad Library that are smoldering into ashes at the very moment when I am tapping out these words, a loss all the more terrible because for the price of a few useless army tanks, the Soviets could have microfiched or computerized the total collection and made the money back several times over by selling copies thereof to the West and Japan -- the world has not yet fully recovered from the burning of the Alexandrian Library 1700 years ago) the Soviets should be sending a corps of librarians to the States to pick up information technology and apply it to their end of Project Omniscience.)

As if this were not enough, all restraints and embargoes of the sale and shipment of computer software and hardware to the Soviet Union should be removed, regardless of their level of sophistication.

Granted that the Soviets and others will immediately turn some of the stuff into military applications (for a mutually annihilating war that everyone now concedes must never be fought).

But the whole Soviet intelligentsia will be deliriously happily bathing in information technology and industrial redesign, and, like me, impatient for the morning to dawn so that they can telex someone somewhere in the world to ask: "My 4400MJ is down because I can't get PRET to operate on the TERP system, please advise me how to respond to Error Message `Humbug'."

Present withholding practices are not only uneconomic and inhumane, but useless, arrogant, insulting, and provocative. We are not going to win the world by crushing it with our weight of welfare and technology. Silicon Valley should set up Silicon Valley II or III or IV in the Soviet Union.

And all of this should be extended to other nations as well. Switzerland will get its free set of CDR's for participating in the project.

We call for a Great Saturnalia of Information, a Grand Mardi Gras Procession of Knowledge in All of Its Forms!

Should this be treason, you are welcome to make the most of it.

And for openers I would bid the 11,311,046 employees of the espionage agencies of the world (not including the 14,873,210 privately employed spies, guards, and watchdogs of the self-same world) to sign up for in-service training as the data-entry clerks for the computer systems that are purchased also from the budgets otherwise going to these same agencies for absurd mutual surveillance.

Nikita Khrushchev once said to Allen Dulles (then C.I.A. Director) that their countries ought to go in more for double agents to save money. Instead of two spies with all their overhead costs and the cost of surveilling them, we get one spy, and if we can move the process of double-agentry into the upper supervisory positions we could tell a number of lower echelon spies to report to the same officer who will report to both C.I.A.-F.B.I. and KGB. Something like this may have been happening in an unplanned way at the top of British counter-intelligence, where the head for many years was suspected by his own subordinates of being a KGB agent!

According to Florentino Aspillaga Lombard, an example of such a higher-echelon officer, ex-Cuban, now defected to Washington, many Cubans recruited by the C.I.A. are actually double agents working for Cuba. With Soviet help, he had trained some of them. He had used them for technological espionage. He had also dealt with the Panamanian dictator and drug-trafficking mafioso, General Noriega, to receive technical intelligence that he then transmitted to the Soviet Union.

The prospect of Cuban hi-tech thieves, double at that, agitates me slightly more than the terrible bark of my village dog-friend, Larzac. I am also more concerned at the ineffectiveness and confusion and cost of taking them too seriously. Someone or maybe two ones should be keeping an eye on the general situation, proceeding by a Policy of Malign Neglect. Perhaps hire an unemployed youth to accompany each of them everywhere.

But here we have a sorry lesson to propagate: drug laws and their enforcement system are fast-breeders of the Police State and a universal state of espionage. "The ingenuity of traffickers is without limits," says the Paris Prefect of Police. Hundreds of tactics, techniques, and routes are used to reach the market. Drug control is harder than spy control, because of the simplicity of the banned article and the wide demand for it. Its cost is greater than the costs of espionage; the traffic is more destructive of society. As an odd instance, the dangers of nuclear espionage and accidents coming from drug abuse may be greater than from cold rational espionage. The spy as ideologue gave way to the spy as profiteer and he is making way for the spy as junkie.


"What do you think of it all, Chris, now that we have it down on paper?" We have come back from a walk below the walls of Saint-Martian. I am on to Project Omniscience.

The time is April, 1988, one year after Marx' arrest. Selena and Chris have come to Provence on their way back from this year's installment of the wierdo diet-and-higher-life conference in Cadaques,Spain, home of Salvador Dali, fittingly. Chris has lost his business and his "Shuttle." He is now driving a brand-new, bright green and pollution-free Citroen 2 CV, with a catalysator, made in Portugal, maximum speed 55 mph, the type called in Europe "deux-chevaux" and "ugly duckling." It belongs to Selena. On its back is a sticker: "I fly lead-free."

Selena and Filly have disappeared in pursuit of a far field of Narcissus, gleaming white from a mile off around an abandoned sheep-stall, guarded by centenary cypresses.

I am referring to Project Omniscience.

Unhesitatingly he approves. "It will work, of course it will."

I feel a glow of understanding and sympathy. Marx is really not a bad fellow.

But a kind of see-sawing between trust and mistrust, between mania and depression, surges in me every so often; I suppose that it must hit yourself as well. Ups and downs of mood.

Next day, I begin to wonder, isn't it usually the rich who have a touching faith in the efficacy of small sums of money? Isn't it the rich who go around telling others that money doesn't matter as much as they believe it does?

And if Marx is rich enough to travel large distances to say that the profits from publishing are inconsequential and royalties a negligible entity, where is he getting his money from?

At this thought, I chase upstairs after Filly to where she is sitting at her little writing table next to the thick white goatshair flokati we brought from Greece (whose erotic properties I can recommend) to say, "I take it back. I can't be sure."

"Of what?" she says, "Are you sure of anything? I'm beginning to worry about your own velvet skin. You should be asking yourself whether the Swiss police, any police, should be looking for you. You are not the Great Untouchable."

"Oh, yes, I am," I insisted, with some impatience. And I went downstairs to quiet my friend Larzac. He sticks his grizzly gross muzzle through the kitchen window bars and barks fiercely. He comes to call for food and affection, but shatters our ears and shakes the earth.


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