Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 6 (8 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   5 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Is Charles Koch "Un-American"? Let Thomas Jefferson Decide

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 4/7/14

Source: Campaign For America's Future

From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhCDK1OCRlc: Billionaire Charles Koch is amazed that the nation's .collectivists. have unfairly characterized him as .un-American..
Billionaire Charles Koch is amazed that the nation's .collectivists. have unfairly characterized him as .un-American..
(image by YouTube)


In a surprisingly self-pitying Wall Street Journal  editorial , billionaire Charles Koch has put forward the proposition that the nation's "collectivists" have unfairly characterized him as "un-American."

What Koch calls "character assassination," however, others would describe as a simple recounting of the facts. Koch and his brother David are known for injecting massive amounts of their (partially inherited) wealth into the political process, academia, and propaganda in order to promote their right-wing (and self-serving) point of view.

But now that he's brought it up: Is Charles Koch really un-American?

I'm not comfortable answering that question myself. It promises to judge the person, rather than the deeds, and is all too reminiscent of the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee. (It's worth noting that, for a guy who resents being labeled, Koch is certainly quick to label his enemies "collectivists" -- a term which is strikingly reminiscent of McCarthyism.)

So let's turn the question over to an unimpeachable authority: Thomas Jefferson. He seems like an arbitrator all parties can agree upon. Koch even cites Jefferson in his own defense. Unfortunately, all that citation accomplishes is to make it painfully clear that Koch is no Jefferson scholar.

Koch cites the following line: "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." This out-of-context quote leaves the impression that Jefferson considered the growth of government antithetical to individual liberty. Not so. It comes from a letter Jefferson wrote to Edward Carrington on May 27, 1788. Jefferson wasn't saying that the government takes your liberty, but that liberty is lost when citizens become passive in the face of infringements on their rights.

The NSA, not the IRS, is the appropriate contemporary target for that line.

Jefferson was very clear in the Carrington letter about which type of "government" he found objectionable: hereditary rulership. In his day, hereditary rulers governed through monarchy. Today's unelected rulers, hereditary and otherwise, use their wealth to manipulate, corrupt, and control the political process.

Charles Koch may not understand Thomas Jefferson, but Thomas Jefferson would have understood Charles Koch very well. It was Jefferson, after all, who said the following:

"I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

While Jefferson rejected the aristocracy of money, the Koch brothers have taken the lead in organizing it. As a leaked confidential document revealed, they have aggressively courted other billionaires in order to create an organized network of right-wing political funders.

Now that's collectivism.

The Koch Collective has flooded the political system with cash at all levels. The Kochs themselves have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into extremist "think tanks" like the Ayn Rand Institute. Jefferson would have been repelled by Rand's vision of self-serving übermenschen  and her contempt for charitable activities.

Wrote Jefferson: "To ourselves, in strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation requiring also two parties. Self-love, therefore, is no part of morality. Indeed, it is exactly its counterpart." (Emphasis ours)

Jefferson was no friend of the business class to which Charles Koch belongs. "Merchants have no country," said Jefferson. "The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."

Why, it's almost as if he had predicted the Koch brothers' environmental record.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/the-dumbest-bipartisa

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

The Price of Evil at JPMorgan Chase

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
Perhaps what is really needed is a billionaires' ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 1:37:40 PM
Mr. Sanchez I have not seen one of your comments ... by Richard Girard on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 4:20:12 PM
Mr. Roberts as usual your knowledge of the facts,... by Richard Girard on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 4:16:30 PM
Sorry I meant Mr. Eskow. Brain damage. too many ho... by Richard Girard on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 4:24:10 PM
Actually, I don't see the Koch boys as "un-America... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014 at 5:49:15 AM