MANY AMERICANS LIVE IN AMERIKA

My wife and I probably are members of a very exclusive group. We are among the very few in the country who actually watched all 14 1/2 hours of "Amerika."

For those oblivious to television, "Amerika" appeared on ABC in seven installments a week ago. It was slow-moving and often boring. But it also was a scary and imaginative dramatization of a United States that had been conquered by the Soviet Union.Donald Wrye, the writer and director of the series, said his purpose in making the film was to underscore "what it takes to make a democracy function." Liberties could be lost, he said, if Americans are not prepared to make the necessary sacrifices today to keep them.

What struck me immediately about an "Amerika" under Soviet domination was how similar it was to the normal corporate environment of today's America. Corporations rarely are democracies. In fact, when you study the origin of today's modern corporation, most business scholars point back to the Jesuit order, also not noted for its democratic tradition.

Survival, not productivity or accomplishment, often is the overriding concern of the corporate person. "You're a surviver," I was shocked to discover, is one of the highest compliments you can pay someone in a corporation. In "Amerika" even the best people justified collaboration with the Soviets and their U.S.s toadies for reasons of survival.

Mikhail Gorbachev appears to have come to the same conclusion about totalitarianism. He is not only regaling his people to become more productive, but he is telling his fellow rulers that the nation needs to become more ''democratized" if the Soviet economy is going to compete in the world.

Also, as in "Amerika," corporations often encourage the corporate person to become a victimizer in order to avoid being a victim.

This is especially true as you move up the corporate ladder. At the lower end of the corporate hierarchy, survival often depends on passivity. You work at not calling attention to yourself. If you greet such people and you say, ''How ya doing," they more often than not will respond, "Hanging in there." But the higher you move up the corporation, it often becomes necessary to assure your survival by lining up with a certain some leader or clique in order to surplant or hold down some other leader or clique before they get you.

What I am getting at is that we should not be too harsh on the Soviets. ''Amerika" is already here in large part if you work for a major centralized corporation.

The main protagonist in "Amerika," played by Kris Kristofferson, correctly assessed the basis on which totalitarian governments function. "Fear," he says is what the collaborators and the Soviets use to control the citizens of ''Amerika." Fear also grips and controls the citizens of corporations in America today.

How do you overcome fear. "Amerika" only partly gave the answer. There are some things more important than simply survival, the character played by Mr. Kristofferson says. Recognizing that, you must overcome your fear of survival and strike out at the totalitarian system. "Amerika" ends with Mr. Kristofferson being shot to death by a collaborator. Not exactly an encouraging note.

I don't believe any person can overcome fear alone. I would suggest that the better role model for Americans is the real leader who helped establish freedom in this country.

When George Washington was 21 he wrote a little book entitled "Daily Sacrifice." The first entry was subtitled "Sunday Morning" and contained these words written in his own hand:

"Let my heart, therefore, gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of (Thine honor) that I may not do mine own works, but wait on Thee, and discharge those weightyduties which Thous requirest of me . . ."

When George Washington was a 23-year-old colonel, he fought with the British in the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755. His bravery in the battle made him a hero on this side of the ocean and in England. Two horses were shot out from under him and four musket balls passed through his coat. The British forces he served with were decimated.

Later on, the chief of the Indians who fought against him reportedly said the following about George Washington:

"I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior. He is not of the red-coat tribe - he hath an Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do - himself alone is exposed. Quiet let your aim be certain and he dies.

"Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss . . . 'Twas all in vain. A power mightier far than we shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle.

"I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something that bids me speak in the voice of prophecy: Listen. The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destiny - he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as founder of a mighty empire."

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