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"Marx Inverted," Book Review, The New Republic, February 24, 1932

Part of Herndon J. Evans Collection

_,, *AA gl-. .A. 5 _ . q` * t;;;; ;;i ii 5;; itsgiI;piiif;.;-..;tn;;_;;;;;-.;.1;;;T:;2i;:;;;I;g ;`ag . g-.,;,a:::;,, g _,_ . 33_3 _ T H E N E W R E PU B LIC L Fcbruary. 24, 1932 Technical knowledge establishes the vital relation administration of theiiational parks and the na-*` _, __ e`t ` between plant cover and -the rate of run-off of rain- tional forests. In any event, no commission could i ` > i i water. Secretary of the Interior Wilbur himself, wholly ignore the wishes of its creators; andearnest ` who is responsible for the appointment of the Gar- students of government by commission" may well l field Commission, fully recognized, in theory at ponder the necessity of creating commissions which,` F least, the importance or the major problem of ero- far from being impartially expert, merely, register V ix sion and water and, in fact, emphasized it as the an already formed design. I e e Q eentral feature of the public-domain question. Besides being unduly guided, -Mr. Hoov,ers , V V Moreover, it was the duty of the Commission, as Commission on the Public Domain was unduly C dehned in its own words, to recommend "a definite political. It was a political rather than an expert ` _ program of conservation of grazing resources, commission in spite of the fact that a goodly pro- either through ownership or control by the states portion of its members are indubitably experts in F _ or by federal administrati0n. public-land matters. For Mr. ~Hoover invited the I . For a quarter-century there has been an increas- Governors of the eleven VVestern states containing - ei _ - ing support for the proposal to establish national public-domain lands to nominate abouthalf the gra;ing ranges,,modeled somewhat after the Na- members of the Commission. These Western mem- e tional Forests, from the lands of the public do- bers, representing the VVestern acquisitive instinct main. ln recommendations to the Commission, forenatural resources and with the cohesion that- the Forest Service formulated this proposal in its such an instinct can give, dominated the good sense I A . I most specific and definitive form, after an eX- of the Commission. It is difficult to understand; s haustive investigation on the ground and with a how A/lr. ]amesiR. Garfield, the chairman, brought A { quarter-century of successful grazing administra- himself to sign the report when it is recalled that i tion back of it. Among officials and experts who he was one of Roosevelts radical conservation. . know most about the public domain, it is generally leaders; though it is a compensatory satisfaction to , agreed that the problem is a` national one, and note that Nlr. \Villiam B. Greeley, one of the coun- P capable of solution by the federal government trys greatest authorities on public-land adminis- i alone.; Only federal administration can undertake tration, refused to sign it_ i / _ the vast task of rehabilitating the range lands and \Vhen Congress comes to consider the Commis- . . of solving the continental engineering problem of sion`5 proposals, its duty is elem-_ It should ghglvg i , , interstate watershed protection. And only 3 unihed the report. Then, taking as its starting point the i federal policy of administration, modeled on the Forest Service plan for the creation of national principles of grazing administration worked out ranges, it should create a competent committee to ' by the Forest Service, can protect thousands of examine this plan, to check it on the ground, to , ,` innocent homesteaders who have been allowed to sound out popular and expert opinion and to pro- T graze the public domainfor years and who will be pose legislation authorizing_the President to estab- C , p ousted by any system of sale at auction. The Gar- lish such ranges,on joint recommendation of the if field Commission rejeeted the Forest Serviee plan Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior, only ii of l'lZl.tlO1lZ'tl I'3.l`lgCS Wltll SCZIHY CIIHOl'ly 3.11Cl l'lO CXe after detailed Survey and Wa proviso for the planation, in favor of a scheme that not only .annual return of a fair proportion of the gross rea ignores the great conservation problem the Com- ceipts to the states in which the ranges are situated. mission set out to solve, but paves the way for ln all likelihood the Western states would gladly K gigantic land monopolies and a return of the cor- seeept such o plan, tho livostook intorosts Wgtild g- rupt land speculation of early days. agree to it (in fact they have urged it in the past) ln its brief report, the Commission makes no and it would bg gvgywhglmingly snpoortotl l,v,in. 2 . case against national ranges or for private owner- telligcnt opinion throughout the country. A l ship; it merely sets forth its dicta in almost the _ sublime nakedness of the Ten Commandments. j WVhy is it that, rejecting the obvious solution and T H E N E W R E P U B EI C T-} ~. , the admitted federal experience, the Commission _ _ , . . . . vunrisnso wEIz1.LYlAND eorYRIear, 1932, m me u. s., BY rm; . falls back OH the good Old timeworni umnslmfcd NEW REPUBLIC, INC., 421 VVEST 21sr STREET, NEW Yoxzx ctw. t . and UHCOIlViHCif1g eXpCliHt of Wl1ClCS21lC land mince BLIVEN, PRESIDENT. DANIEL MEBANE, TREASURER. grants and private land monopolies? Both Presi- I i ~ dent Hoover and Mr. VVilbur have all along been V _ EDITORS . . . map CE BLIVEN 1vIALcoLM COWLEY R. M. Lovisrr antrfederal and pro-state in the matter and, In GEORGE SOULE STARKYOUNG . ~ s getting the Commission under way, both roundly _ ` i i denounced the general incompetence of federal bu- CONIRIBUTING EDITORS _' i i . . . . JOHN DEWEY WALD0 FRANK ALv1N JOHNSON i reaucracy in matters of land administration. In E_C_L,NDEMAN LEWIS MUM,,ORD GILBERT SELDES - , VlCWV of these CllTlO1'1St1'3.l)ily ll'lH.CCU1'3.CC SlZ3.lZl'lll'liZS, R_G_TUGWELL LEO WOLAi[AN A i - i, which unwarrantably reflect on some of our most _ I _ ` C V " _; . . . , . , Russ. sworn coms, rxrnzsx cams; YEARLY SUBSCRKPTIONL ~ l cfhclcnt and PubhC$Pmtd federal bulicausv It cfm rrvz DOLLARS; CANADIAN, FIVE DOLLARS AND FlliTYiCENTS; if only be 21SStlmCl that HOO\'1 and l\/ll'. \VillJLll FOREIGN, six DOLLARS; Times MONTHs TRIAL, 0Nz DOLQARQ ~ are not closely familiar with the admirable federal Q L L .i,, i , i L if . , . 1 ~ { , .4 ,_ _. _ ;" ~ __ ' .i;, * l