Picking it apart

Letter by Slim Wolfe

July 1999 edition – August 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

Picking it apart


‘Twas a fine journalistic coup in your July edition, enlisting Ed Abbey as a Conoco promoter. ‘Twas a fine essay you wrote on the right of property subdivision as well, but I would pick it apart here and there, just for the heck of it, laddie.

First off, when you make a disclaimer to being a socialist, I think you’re mistaking the baby from the bathwater. Socialism has to do with stuff like communal farmland and evolved independently (kind of like religion) in far-flung corners of the globe thousands of years ago. Despotism is probably the devil you want to deny, invading individual rights and privacy.

There were a lot of despots who waved a socialist banner and thus gave common ownership a bad name, but socialism has here and there been able to flourish without tyranny. Check out the history of Amana appliances and Oneida silver. By consensus, hopefully, we hitch our wagons to the illusion of private or common ownership, but in the face of the laws of physics they remain convenient illusions.

Second, I do agree that some private rights ought to be abrogated (like slavery) in the common interest. But as long as citizens are allowed the rights of their privates — i.e., the right to reproduce — it’s gonna be mighty hard to deny the right of real-estate subdivision in the face of growing demand. Well, no one wants to be the next Indira Gandhi, forcibly sterilizing the ones who might vote for the opposition, but maybe if all those unemployed ad-writers for Marlboro and Winston were to start a campaign …

Meanwhile on the local front, there she was, the bitch from hell, leaning her head out of her yuppie vehicle to holler at a (maybe) poky vehicle ahead of her. The fruits of Salida’s economic recovery, no need to go to New York to observe the rude and crude, we got our own now, dear neighbor. Is Homo sapiens just a colonizing bacteria, as Frank Herbert wrote in the Dune novels?

Slim Wolfe Villa Grove