fighting 50 years from now. And there’s a lot of ways to fight that battle. You know, in a lot of countries and in New York City, San Francisco, the upper Midwest, Minnesota, there have been strong socialist movements. That’s a whole different approach, compared to populism, which is rooted in free enterprise down here. But they [populists] mean free enterprise. They don’t mean Exxon. They mean small-scale capitalism. Microscopic competition. Nobody has much power, and that’s the idea. Bob Barton was telling me that he thinks that, because you address the economic aspects of populism, you are able to bring in the social reform of liberalism without alienating people who in the 1930s would have been reactionary socially because the economics are so much more important. At this point they are willing to be educated or to endure the rest of the program for the economics. The economics give you the starting point. Basically, I think in the long run our battle is really a class battle much more than a social or racial battle even. We’ve got plenty of social problems; we’ve got plenty of race problems. But, fundamentally, we’re talking class. And if you talk class, you unite those other interests. You’ve got a starting point with some guy who’s an Anglo farmer to identify with a Mexican American farmworker. The system’s ripping you off and it’s ripping off that farmworker, and you know that to be true. And they do know that to be true. You’ve got a common interest that you start with. It may not be just a hell of a foothold, but it’s something more than you had to start with. And then, you’ve got to proceed on the assumption that there’s goodness in people, and you try to draw from that. And you try to talk about tolerance, which we’re taught in our churches. You are no better than that person right across the row from you. And I’ve heard preachers in these conservative Anglo churches talking about no matter the color of your skin, etc., the richest banker is no better than the most humble servant and all that kind of stuff. So we have a cultural tradition that can be reinforced if you approach it from that viewpoint instead of saying, “You’re a bunch of jerks because you hate black people.” You have to try to find a common bond and pursue it from there. I don’t want to be Pollyanish about this. That’s not to say there’s not some real raw nerves out there and a very, very difficult and long-term battle to fight. And some pretty dark hearts 10 SEPTEMBER 30, 1983 among people. But it just seems to me, and my experience has been in politics, that you do better if you proceed on an assumption that there’s something there to share. Then try to build what you can from there. If you’ve got the economics working for you, then you can get them all in the same room on that economics. The theory of integration has always been that if we all get together and know each other a little bit and find that we’re not all that unusual then things will work out down the road. I don’t know if that’s going to work or not, but that’s the way I’m going to be doing my business. On Mattox Do you think any of the Mattox business has to do with class conflict? Do you mean his trouble or his politics generally? His politics generally certainly does. His politics generally is the root of his current trouble. Mobil Oil isn’t mad at Mattox just because he was nasty to a lawyer on the telephone. They’re mad at Mattox because they can’t go meet with the attorney general at the country club now. They’ve got to go deal with the attorney general up front, and they’ve got to go hat in hand just like every other citizen. They’ll have to march in there through the front office. So Mobil Oil you know I’m using them representationally of that whole economic power establishment is not terribly pleased with that. It doesn’t like to do business under those terms. And so, if they get a chance to take a lick at Mattox, they’re going to do so. They got a chance. And, you know, with Mattox, if ice cream’s on one side of the road and there’s a brawl on the other, he’s going to go get in the brawl. Mattox is inclined to get into those fights with them. That has precipitated this crunch. But, of course, his populism is at the heart of it. And those same guys that are beating on Mattox would certainly take a chance
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