newed legislative assault, following therninstallation of George II, is intended notrnas a challenge to the new administrationrnbut a facilitator of its agenda regardingrnthe disposition of the public lands in thernWest, and elsewhere. It makes sense,rndoesn’t it? The columnists suspect thatrn”priatization” is a code word for a sell-offrnwhich would be disastrous for the veryrn”agricultural interests” who are loudest inrntheir demands for priati7,ation.rnThe first thing |that would happen]rnis that the bottom would fall out ofrnland prices, destroying the capitalrnvalue of most existing properties,rnespecially large properties likernranches. And it is unlikely that currentrnranchers would be able to affordrnto buv it. . . E.vxon, Shell, andrndozens of other energ}’ and mineralrncompanies. .. would have realrnmoney to spend for that land. Sornnot only would such a sale destroyrnthe value of existing private land,rnbut the lands they sic] now leasernwould be owned by others whornwould demand market rates forrngrazing leases.rnBut the private-propcrtv’ movement isrnnot just about ownership; it concerns thernrelationship between citizens and theirrngovernment, individuals and the mass,rnman and nature. It has, in other words, torndo with human freedom (or Western politicalrnphilosophy) and man’s relationshiprnwith the natural world (which is tornsay, religion). Land set-asides by Washington,rnD.C., are not ultimately aboutrnprcservahon—saing unspoiled lands forrnposterit)’, as statist politicians and bureaucratsrnassert—but control: managing humanrnresources (people and businesses)rnthe way the Bureau of Land Managementrnand the National Forest Servicernmanage (or mismanage) natural ones. Asrnfor the environmental movement, nearhrnall environmentalists are effectively DeeprnEcologists now, whether or not thev ownrnup publicly to the fact. (Deep Ecologistsrnbelieve that the human species ought tornbe regarded as simply one of many inhabitingrnthe planet, not ordained byrnGod, human consciousness, or intellectrnto its “privileged” position on earth.) Environmentalistsrnand statists have functionedrnas an effective dirigiste coalitionrnfor several generations now, more thanrnlong enough to make their ultimate destinationrnplain.rnParanoids (like me), who suspect thatrnthe cnisioned goal is to remove the existingrnrural population from the land, penrnit up in megalopoli and give it somern”meaningful” (meaning harmless and,rnprobably, useless) occupation to pursuernin an urban setting, strictly limit citizens’rnaccess to “protected land” (that is, all of it,rnexcept what hasn’t been paved over witiirnasphalt by then), and devote what isn’t requiredrnfor food production by the state tornthe recover) of “pristine” wilderness andrnthe welfare of endangered species, probablyrnaren’t far off the mark. In fact, the)’rernlikcK’ dead on it. The scenario is a perfectrnfit: By the time it could be realized,rnthe popidation of the United Statesrnmight easil)’ have reached, sa, a billionrnand a half, thanks to Washington’s Romanesquerninnnigration policies. “Lhcrnpopulation explosion would encouragernmore extensive (and intensive) regulationrnof people and resources, with resultsrngratifying to Greens and bureaucratsrnalike —if the human population could bernforcibly removed from rapine contactrnwith nature, tamed (no more guns, nornmore pioneer hardiness, no more ruggedrnself-sufficiency), and reeducated to joinrnthe ranks of the mall-rat proletariat thatrnan advanced but increasingly fearfulrntechnocommercial hranny desires andrndemands.rnBack to that USA Today election maprnagain: Blue America (nihilistic, abstracted,rnsocialistic, urban, decadent and dependent,rnfeminized and effeminized,rnhelpless, clueless, soft, and defenseless)rndecpl)’ fears Red America (religious, realistic,rncapitalist, rural and small town,rndecadent to some extent but conscious tornsome degree of that fact, independent,rnmanly and womanly still, self-reliant, relativelvrnaware, w ith some muscle left, andrnARMED). As well it should. The reddestrnof Red America —the Rockv MountainrnWest — has miderstood for somerntime that Blue America not only threatensrnits propertv’ and lielihood but challengesrnits social realit)’ and its metaphysicalrnconcept of the world.rnI recall a conversation I had some yearsrnago in a sports bar in Douglas, Arizona,rnacross tiie street from Hie old GadsdenrnHotel where Pancho ‘illa once ate, withrna horse trainer working at the Douglasrntrack. Armando was a slightiv built butrnwiry man of about m age, sharpK’rndressed in a red silk shirt, cowboy boots,rntight blue jeans cinched in with a belt ofrnsilver conchos, and a stiff, new hat circledrnbv a snakeskin band. He looked Mexican;rnactuallv, he’d been bom down therernbut as a young man crossed to tiie St;rnwhere he was drafted into ffie U.S. Airnand packed off to Vietnam. In the Anrnwhat impressed him most was the sirngcring naivete of the upper-middle-clrnAmerican draftees taken straight frcrncollege or graduate school and tiirust urnceremoniously into an en’ironniernwhere survival depended upon physicrnskills and experience. “They didn’t knornnot to grab hold of a running rope,” .Arnmando said, wonderingly. “The)’ ne crnfired a gun in their lives before. I herndidn’t know von don’t back a guy w ithrnknife into a corner.” He shook his hea(rnpityingly, and drank his beer. “Thernwere always the ones to be killed first,” lurnfinished. “I saw it happen time after timernafter time.”rnEnvironmentalists and their bureaucraticrnallies in Washington are engagecrnin the dangerous work of backing peoplernwith guns into corners, unaware of therndanger thev put themselves in thereb)-. lirnthe)’re as smart as they think thev arernthe won’t go through with it. Ratheirnthan lock up more land in national monumentsrnand parks, shutdown mining, obstructrndrilling, halt timber sales, bankruptrnranchers, and create “wildernesses” that,rnin the circumstances of modern-da-rnAmerica, can onlv be expensive artificesrn— natmal Disneylands where vourncan’t buy cotton candv or shoot waterpistolsrn— riiey will . . . shut off immigrationrnand shut it off but good—/or good. Nornmore talk from the Sierra Glub aboutrnhow we can enjoy continued high leelsrnof immigration and zero popidationrngrowth if the natives start ha’ing fewerrnbabies. If the ruling isn’t willing torndo that much, then forget it! Pave oerrnYellowstone, fill the Grand Gan)on uprnwith L.A.’s garbage, kill off eer)’ endangeredrnspecies before it mulfiplies and becomesrnan even bigger polifical headachernthan it was before. Without a stop to immigration,rnecrything enironmentalistsrnvalue is finito, dead, caput. V’h- shouldrnanyone be willing to make the other sacrificesrnnecessary to preserve it?rnIf these people are smart, the’ won’trnpush the West to the point where wernhae to make a choice behveen freedomrnand preservation, or even conservation.rnAs human beings, we cannot allow ourseKesrnto become slaes to nahire, muchrnless enslaved to otiier human beings forrnnature’s sake, or in the name of nature.rnWe just can’t do it, and we won’t.rn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn