Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, has offered a public defense of using his massive wealth to influence the political process in his favor. Koch claims he is “fighting to restore a free society.” Koch even went on to claim he is a victim because instead of focusing on his ideas people are noting the hundreds of millions of dollars he and his brother David have contributed and raised for Neoliberal policies, especially policies that would limit regulation of Koch Industries.
The op-ed fortuitously came as the Supreme Court lifted even more restrictions on Koch’s political donations with the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
In the piece Koch blames “collectivists” for trying to “intimidate” him claiming that his critics are trying to discredit him because they can not adequately address his/Ayn Rand’s brilliant political philosophy.
Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.
The obsession with Saul Alinsky continues, no one has promoted Alinsky more than Koch-backed media organizations and political groups. Though I genuinely wonder how many people on the left (or whoever else is included as being in the “collectivists”) have studied Rules for Radicals. Not many from what I see given how ineffective they are.
Alinsky has served as the right’s left-wing boogeyman now that the Cold War has ended. He is apparently orchestrating everything from beyond the grave. An Emmanuel Goldstein of sorts.
Koch continues by essentially setting up modern America as the beginning of Atlas Shrugged:
America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people’s lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves.
You see, poverty is never a result of the “free market”, ever. It is always the result of government interference in the “free market.” And you can’t trust those elected officials (that Koch gives millions to) because they don’t believe in freedom.
Also if you aren’t rich like Charles Koch you are relegated to “hopelessness” because accumulating wealth is everyone’s dream apparently. Nothing more to life, nothing to see here.
The only thing we may have learned here is that at least one of the Koch Brothers may believe his own bullshit. I’m not sure if that makes things better or worse.
Photo from Koch Industries under fair use.