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'Politics of Resentment'

January 20, 1988

What Wonderland has Michael Novak fallen into ("Politics of Resentment Is Sign of Desperate Left," Op-Ed Page, Jan. 13)? Novak regrets that the Democrats "reduce the motives of conservatives to greed." Setting aside, for the moment, the Democrats and their confused strategies, what does Novak see that I don't see? Is not greed truly the central motive of the capitalist system now run amok in the U.S.?

I certainly do not see "invention and innovation" nor "creation of new goods and services" as the conservatives' motive. When I consider Wall Street, I see greed; when I consider the tax system . . . greed; when I see closing auto-plants . . . greed.

What do conservatives conserve except their dividends and money-bought power? I do not see them conserving the American system, nor opportunity for all, nor health and safety, nor the environment, nor justice, nor world peace. Behind their anti-Communist diatribe I see willful blindness to the greed-induced conditions that make communism a credible option. I see them uncritically laud an Administration which has an almost unprecedented record of officials indicted for criminal greed. I hear them champion a Pentagon and arms merchandising that are self-engorging. I don't disagree with Novak's thesis: that Democrats should not delight in the exposure of greed. But I do boggle at his conclusion that greed is not our galloping national disease.

ROBERT J. BROPHY

Los Alamitos

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