Gene Strandberg, Gilpin County. Fred Koch, father of Charles and David, was a founding member of the John Birch Society, a right-fringe group that spouted conspiracy theories about communist subversion plots in the U.S. These two sons would organize and lead the real subversion one generation later.
Fred helped Stalins engineers build 15 oil refineries, establishing Russias oil industry. The American businessman and Nazi sympathizer William Rhodes Davis hired Winkler-Koch Engineering to supply the plans and oversee construction of a huge oil refinery in Hitlers Germany, one of the few in Germany that could produce high octane fuel for fighter planes.
The John Birch Society tried to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren, after SCOTUS desegregated public schools. In 1968 Fred wanted a Birch Society member to run for President on a platform of segregation and the abolition of all income taxes.
In 1966 Charles was an executive and trustee of the Freedom School, founded in 1956 in Larkspur, Colorado by Robert LeFevre, who promoted the abolition of the state. The school opposed anti-poverty programs, Medicare, and forced integration. It taught that robber barons were heroes, taxes were theft, slavery was less evil than a military draft, and the Bill of Rights should consist of only one right, the right to own property.
According to a 1982 Bill Koch deposition, Charles led his brothers David and Bill in an attempt to blackmail his brother Fred out of his share of the family business by threatening to tell their father that Fred was gay, resulting in Freds disinheritance. The plot failed, because Fred wasnt gay, and he wouldnt give in. Exposing his character, Charles gave Fred so little notice of their mothers death that Fred could not get home in time for her funeral.
In 1974 Charles told a group of businessmen, The development of a well-financed cadre of sound proponents of the free enterprise philosophy is the most critical need facing us today. In 1976 the Center for Libertarian Studies was founded with $65,000 from Charles Koch. At a Center conference Charles suggested the movement attract young people because, that was the only group open to a radically different social philosophy. Charles was supported by Leonard Liggio, a libertarian historian with the Kochs Institute for Humane Studies from 1974-1998. He lauded the Nazis youth movement and said libertarians should organize university students to create group identity.
Former Birch Society member George Pearson presented a paper that was adopted for their higher education indoctrination grants. It proposed funding private institutions within universities, where they could influence who would be teaching and what would be taught. Pearson said it would be essential to use ambiguous and misleading names and hide the programs true agenda.
In a 1978 article for Libertarian Review, Charles wrote, Ideas do not spread by themselves; they spread only through people, which means we need a movement. Our movement must destroy the current statist paradigm.
In 1980 they tried through election, with David Koch as the Libertarian candidate for Vice-President. The platform called for the abolition of: the Federal Election Commission and all campaign finance laws; Medicare, Medicaid and all other government health care programs; Social Security; all income taxes and corporate taxes; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Central Intelligence Agency; the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; minimum wage laws; child labor laws; seat belt laws; public schools and all welfare programs for the poor. The parallel with ALEC and the current Republican goals is not coincidental.
Even arch-conservative William F. Buckley called their views anarcho-totalitarianism. They got only 1% of the vote, so they decided infiltrating universities, establishing think tanks, and co-opting the Republican Party was a better way to destroy the prevalent statist paradigm.
In the 1980s their disciple Richard Fink wrote The Structure of Social Change, which Fink described as a three-phase takeover of American politics. Phase 1 is an investment in academia, where the ideas to achieve their goals would be born.
Phase 2 is the establishment of think tanks to turn the ideas into palatable policies.
Phase 3 is forming front groups (promoted as grassroots), to influence officeholders to enact the policies.
If the Kochs were truly free market libertarians, they would have opposed the government bailout during the financial collapse, which the House of Representatives did reject. After the stock market dropped 777 points in one day, the Kochs and their think tank, Americans for Prosperity, scrapped ideology in favor of money. Two days later a list of conservative groups now supporting the bailout was shown to Republican legislators. The Senate soon passed TARP with overwhelming bipartisan support.
By 2009 Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas were speakers at the Koch donor summits, which are secretive to the point of paranoia. Attendees are told to destroy all document copies, not to post any related information online, and to keep notes and materials secure. Names of guests and agendas are kept secret, sign up is done through Koch staff, not resort staff, name tags are required, all electronic devices are confiscated before sessions, and white-noise emitting loudspeakers are placed facing outward to defeat any eavesdropping attempts. One would think they had something to hide. Sources include politico.com January 2016, the New Yorker August 30, 2010, and prwatch.org January, 2016
Next time: secret money
(Originally published in the December 5, 2019, print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)
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