Ron Arnold's reply

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sat Apr 20 06:38:02 MDT 1996


On Fri, 19 Apr 1996, Doug Henwood wrote:

> I forwarded Lou Proyect's remarks about Wise Use to Ron Arnold, who coined
> the term and is a leader of the movement. His comments follow Lou's
> bracketed originals.
>
> Doug Henwood
>

Ron Arnold:
>
> Where are the Marxists now that we need them?  I don't hear you talking
> profound analysis, only generalized politics, which isn't very Marxian.
> Your class oriented approach would benefit from some Marxian analysis: put
> a pencil to the federal land ranch economy.  Go look at the records in
> county recorder offices, appraisals in bank records, OMB input-output
> charts.  Calculate the values in dollars of the various fractions of
(clip)

Louis: I don't think there will be many differences between Ron Arnold
and I over the empirical evidence of the desperate situation of the small
rancher. What is specifically Marxist about my approach to the problem is
that I think that unremitting class struggle against big business is what
is needed since capitalism and ecology are in basic conflict.

I will get into much more detail about this later on, but it is in the
very nature of capitalism to despoliate nature. Capital regards nature as
a source of raw materials for commodities and nothing else. It will seek
to extract the maximum amount of resources for the least cost and to
devil with the planet and the human race. There are no solutions to this
within capitalism since capitalism is based on competition. Firms which
can not compete by maximizing profits, fall by the wayside.

This is the way the system operates and the question of how Wise Use gets
funded is entirely secondary. Socialism is the answer to these sorts of
problems, not a Wise Use movement that would destroy the envirnomental
movement no matter how compromised it is.


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