From his insulated perch as the Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries which is situated in our nation’s heartland, Charles Koch has waged a half-century campaign to eviscerate American democracy.
Utilizing a structure of interlocking institutions and organizations he has expended enormous energy and infused massive sums to accomplish throughout all elements of our federalist system, a governmental reality which in a posture of emaciated servility is responsive to the dictates of the miniscule coterie of billionaires who are members of the contemporary domestic oligarchy.
At the epicenter of the ideological doctrines he embraces with a ferocious and monomaniacal fervor is the crucial object of ensuring that those who reside at the apogee of our economy may continue to enjoy the prerogatives they have formulated and imposed since the hegemony of Ronald Reagan, in which their capabilities to unceasingly accumulate wealth remains unrestricted.
So too do they seek with equal intensity that the neoliberal ethos they so revere remains the dominant cultural dynamic in its continuing quest to restrict the popular sovereignty of the majority of our citizens to impact those decisions which are implemented at all levels of government, and to continue to reduce all aspects of our republic’s life and consciousness to economic calculations and values and by so doing elevate the market and its insatiable appetite for growth and profitability to a position of supremacy in our national proscenium and demand that all societal components among us serve its operational imperatives.
To thwart and impede the will of the majority and thus preserve their privileges and obscene affluence Charles Koch mounted unceasing assaults on every pillar in this society that sought to augment and perpetuate such historical normative principles as distributive justice, the various concepts of government’s historical collective obligations to its citizens, equality and opportunity and the institutional configurations that would serve those interests optimally, as well as those constitutional initiatives which would remediate enduring injustices embedded within the fabric of our polity.
In the course of his five-decade endeavor he funneled billions of dollars into center and institutes and political organizations that disseminated ultra-conservative principles and extreme libertarian precepts, none more fervid that the Federalist Society, that ultimately resulted in the appointment of jurists within the federal judiciary, and most notably as members of the Supreme Court, and within state court systems of those whose decisions further expanded the realm of corporate dominion and enrichment and circumscribed the rights of citizens both individually and collectively.
His activities extended to state houses and legislatures as well. Those governors and legislators who were the recipients of his campaign contributions instituted the required protocols to gerrymander congressional districts and engaged in practices designed to succeed in voter suppression to restrict the ballots that their minority constituents might cast to install those officials who would be responsive to agendas that were hostile to the interests of the oligarchs.
Within the halls of Congress majorities comprised of principally Republican representatives ensured the continuous diminution of the tax obligations to which both corporations and the 1% were subject, resulting in the transfer to our nation’s middle class of a significant expansion of their required contributions to our federal treasury and to the coffers of state governments as well.
To exacerbate the enmities and acrimony that existed among elements of our populace he allocated significant financial resources to the Tea Party and other groups that aggravated the magnitude and intensity of those quarrels by contributing to those entities that opposed immigration reform, the retention of Roe v Wade, as well as those who maintained their implacable opposition to such rights to legally marry and be protected from discrimination in the workplace which the LQBTQ community so avidly sought to be formally enshrined as established precedents in our legal system.
On various university campuses he provided the funds to establish institutes and programs which advocated positions in defense of extreme liberty and a curriculum that endorsed the normative frame of reference within “public choice” economic theory in which individuals are defined as capital and the obligations to the nation’s collective welfare which the federal government assumed during the tenure of FDR and was extensively augment by subsequent administrations were dissolved and the responsibilities for their welfare and viability were devolved to the individual. Thus was the amoral content of a Neo-Darwinian ethic resurrected.
In some extraordinarily tragic regard the cumulative result of this fifty year multi-faceted undertaking has succeeded in the grievous diminishment of a republican polity, its substantial deficiencies and extensive imperfections notwithstanding into a subservient federalist system that retains but the frailest resemblance to a vibrant and salubrious democracy.
At this moment all that remains of the most ancient and revered global experiment in democratic practices is the fraudulent imagery of a society in which the decisions and determinations of our political institutions and procedures reflect not the majoritarian preferences of our citizens but the dictates of a domestic ruling clique.
With the exception of the intermittent exercise of our individual franchise all macro-political and economic realities in which we currently exist reflect an environment and atmosphere that has been created and sustained by Charles Koch and his accomplices.
Thus was I astounded to discover in a recent pronouncement that was published in the Wall Street Journal that as he gazes from his rarefied precipice at the contemporary cultural landscape of imminent fratricide and ferocious mutual recrimination that he beyond all others is responsible for orchestrating , did Charles Koch utter the words, “What a mess.”
Moreover, he further stated that from this moment forward he wishes to become involved in constructive efforts to alleviate poverty and homelessness and other social pathologies that currently afflict us which he has done so much to enlarge and intensify until this day.
What one wonders is the precipitating dynamic that prompted these pronouncements? Could it be that at the age of eighty-five he is sensing the looming proximity of his life’s conclusion? Might it be that he has finally been unnerved and profoundly disturbed by the enmities and rancor that are extant among so many of our citizens toward one another, as well as the pervasive despondency and pessimism which the hegemony of Donald Trump has provoked and augmented? Or could it be that he is stunned by the magnitude of misery and suffering his exertions have produced in the lives of millions of our fellow Americans?
Perhaps the victory of Joe Biden which a Herculean national effort required has persuaded him that now is the moment to join with the progressive force in our nation and commence the virtually impossible task of rehabilitating his reputation and humanity , given the incalculable he has inflicted on our country and its democratic institutions which those who have observed his behavior since the inception of his endeavor decades ago have speculated was his ultimate objective; to extinguish our democracy, certainly there were those in his orbit who publicly proclaimed that might be required in the service of liberty’s retention.
In the months and year which remain in this the final chapter of his life, we will discover whether his sentiments of regret and contrition are sincere and whether in a posture of activist remorse he initiates the reparative overtures required to accomplish a status of redemption in which it may legitimately contented that he is worthy of redemption and that the empirical record he has compiled in the pursuit of that objective warrants that designation.
However, in order for that to eventuate he must commit to a trinity of non-negotiable obligations; the first is to cease all contributions to the organizations he has historically supported that maintained their agendas of nefarious and malignant activities.
Secondly, he must allocate the identical magnitude of financial resources he previously apportioned to the force of social decomposition, to those entities who currently seek the reinvigoration of our democracy as well as those groups that are dedicated to both the dramatic decline in the massive financial inequities that exist within this nation, and the ultimate eradication of the destitute material circumstances which imprison more than fifty million of our fellow Americans.
Finally, he must ensure that these efforts will continue when he has spun off the mortal coil by including instructions to those who shall benefit from his largesse that the duration of their commitment must mirror the length of time which he devoted to his unstinting and implacable involvements to emasculate our polity, and in addition that he will devote his energies from this moment forward to acting as an emissary to those who comprise his fellow oligarchs and urge them to discontinue the provision of their exertions and their monetary support to those prospectively lethal and inimical causes that have so eroded our constitutional foundations.
To assert that we as a nation have escaped d possible draconian future in which Donald Trump might have secured an extension of his presidential tenure which might very well have sounded the death knell of our republic cannot be dismissed. It is most assuredly within the realm of probability that we would have witnessed the literal demise of our federalist system and the inception of a robust autocratic protocol or the imposition of a blatantly fascist government during his reign.
Though he is not exclusively culpable for the preceding possibility we have mercifully avoided he is as responsible as any single individual for those unrelenting and multi-decade assaults and depredations upon the normative predicates of this nations that have so effectively undermined both the expression and impact of popular sovereignty and the undeniable fact of our government’s current status which is one of indentured servitude to the will and whims of our class of putocrats.
I shall observe with a considerable interest and an undivided attention those unfolding events that are reflected in his personal schedule of activities as to whether the recent pronouncements of Charles Koch were enunciated in posture of sincere repentance or whether this is a hollow opportunistic exercise to convert the sincere and richly deserved opprobrium that so many justifiably harbor toward him for a lifetime of despicable conduct and reprehensible behavior, into a rehabilitated public image that contains no authentic moral content.