Fighting for a Free Society?

kochI have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself. — Charles G. Koch

Watch what we do, not what we say. — Attorney General John Mitchell at the start of the Nixon Administration. 

Charles G. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, one of the richest men in America. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece dated April 2, 2014, he wrote:

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. 

From this one might conclude that our American Government is under attack by Charles Koch. In fact the Koch family has a long history of anti-government extremism.

The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

Collectivism? Koch’s father would have said communism, but times have changed. Are Social Security and Medicare collectivism? Is the Clean Water Act collectivism? Is President Obama a socialist, a communist, a collectivist, a threat so dire that tens of millions must be spent to discredit him? Koch thinks so.

The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle.

So to Koch, affordable health care is unjustifiable collectivism, a disaster, a debacle. Mr. Koch fails to note that he has lavishly spent millions promoting his view that Obamacare is a disaster.

Writing in the April 7 New Yorker about the recent West Virginia chemical spill, Evan Osnos explains:

The last remaining Democrat in the state’s (West Virginia) House delegation, the nineteen-term Representative Nick J. Rahall II, is facing his most difficult campaign yet; Americans for Prosperity has spent at least two hundred and forty thousand dollars on ads linking Rahall to health-care reform, including one featuring the line “Obamacare is hurting West Virginia families.”

Americans for Prosperity is a front-group for the Kochs.  Charles Koch continues:

Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.

Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination.

Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we’re “un-American” and trying to “rig the system,” that we’re against “environmental protection” or eager to “end workplace safety standards.” 

Rather than honestly discussing his views, Koch points the finger at collectivists.

Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our “commitment to a cleaner environment” and called us “a model for other companies.”

Yet according to Greenpeace, David and Charles Koch  gave $67 million since 1997 to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming. Jane Mayer, writing in the New Yorker, explains:

In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States.  … The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

Charles Koch continues:

Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, 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. 

While Koch insists that his motives are pure, one can’t help but note the attack on our government and on collectivists, which is a smear on his political opponents. Koch’s view is self-serving. People can’t necessarily help themselves to affordable health care, to clean air and water, to retirement income. To say we can’t collectively help each other with necessary government programs like Social Security is to leave many Americans without hope.

© William Hungerford – April 2014




About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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14 Responses to Fighting for a Free Society?

  1. whungerford says:

    Charles Koch claims “Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our ‘commitment to a cleaner environment’ and called us ‘a model for other companies.'”
    Here is what politifact found about that–mostly false:


  2. BOB McGILL says:

    Is this 1779 ? Koch sounds like the guys that founded this country and wrote the Constitution ! What whungerford doesn’t understand is that his ideology, if put into practice, would mean doing away with Capitalism entirely. What would you suggest Capitalism be replaced with ? whungerford’s retirement is invested with the very people he wants to destroy, but if he loses one penny he will just blame Republicans and Wall Street. pystew probably has a TIAA-CREF retirement account which is also tied directly to Wall Street. pystew’s account has made hundreds of thousands of dollars by being invested in the stock market. Wall Street supports both of these guys and they hate the very people who made it all possible.


  3. whungerford says:

    Bob, when was it that Washington, Adams, Jefferson, or Madison praised capitalism, hired lobbyists, paid bribes, were responsible for serious pollution, or blamed the nation’s troubles on collectivists?


  4. BOB McGILL says:

    pystew was the history teacher, ask him. Our founding fathers were just as crooked as anyone we have in government today. Remember, they stole the whole country from the British, then went on to start wars with every major power of that time. For the first hundred years we were at war or invaded somebody. Then we went to war with each other.


  5. BOB McGILL says: Cached

    See also|
    External links

    This is a list of wars and conflicts involving the United States of America during and since the American Revolutionary War, detailing all constituent military …


  6. BOB McGILL says:

    GEN Washington at Newburgh
    Following its victory at Yorktown in 1781, the Continental Army set up camp at Newburgh, New York, to wait for peace with Great Britain. The central government formed under the Articles of Confederation proved weak and unwilling to supply the Army properly or even pay the soldiers who had won the war for independence. After months of waiting many officers, angry and impatient, suggested that the Army march on the seat of government in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and force Congress to meet the Army’s demands. One colonel even suggested that GEN Washington become King George I.
    Upon hearing this, GEN Washington assembled his officers and publicly and emphatically rejected the suggestion. He believed that seizing power by force would have destroyed everything for which the Revolutionary War had been fought. By this action, GEN Washington firmly established an enduring precedent: America’s armed forces are subordinate to civilian authority and serve the democratic principles that are now enshrined in the Constitution. GEN Washington’s action demonstrated the loyalty to country that the Army must maintain in order to protect the freedom enjoyed by all Americans.


  7. Barbara Griffin says:

    “Collectivism”, a theory that the State should own all means of production, is an extremist’s view of government regulation. Government regulation is not anti-capitalism. Note all the government subsidies and tax loopholes granted to businesses large and small. Note government lands being leased to big business for the extraction of fossil fuels. Note all the free-trade agreements that support production abroad at the expense of American workers. Government regulation has been established to protect workers and the environment from irresponsible capitalists running amok. Simple as that.


  8. BOB McGILL says:

    YOU NEED A HISTORY LESSON !!! 🙂 When has business ever “RUN AMOK ” without the Government being involved in it, right up to their eyeballs ?


  9. BOB McGILL says:

    Why Are Democrats Pretending They’re Fighting Giant Insurance Companies?

    Democrats are fighting the greedy medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies to provide Americans health care, right? Surely anyone who listened to President Obama talk last week in Portsmouth, New Hampshire last Tuesday would think that. But while the Democrats are calling these companies evil for wanting to prevent the government takeover of health care, Democrats are working closely with these very same companies to support President Obama’s health care plan. In fact, in exchange for favorable treatment in the health care plan, these companies are financing a massive ad campaign to support it.…check-insurance-companies-support-obama


  10. BOB McGILL says:… Cached
    … the health insurance companies had … Why would the insurance industry support the very candidates … President Obama offered the insurance industry the

    This is rather long, but you should read it. hope the link works


  11. BOB McGILL says:…


  12. BOB McGILL says: Cached
    Obamacare Includes an Insurance Company Bailout provision called Section 1342.


  13. Barbara Griffin says:

    The article is about the Koch brothers, not about the Affordable Care Act. Since you brought it up, I would prefer a single-payer plan…like most of the other industrialized nations. The ACA is merely a start.


  14. solodm says:

    The Koch brothers wish to be kings of a Plutocracy. They are evil to the core. I say evil because they do not encourage serfdom under themselves out of ignorance or benevolence, but instead out of pure greed and lusting for power.


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