Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Vicious Attack By the Left on David Koch

David Koch
The six-foot-five billionaire David Koch (1940-2019) was no anarcho-capitalist, indeed, I would not even label him a libertarian. At best, he was a beltarian, and that is not a kind thing to say about anyone.

His blather about being "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" did nothing but distort the meaning of libertarianism.

And his role, if nothing more than tagging along with his brother Charles in his attacks on Murray Rothbard, was stupid. To say nothing about the incompetent tactics and strategies launched by David and Charles to advance a freer America.

I look at the America around me today and it is not a better place than the America that existed before Charles and David pushed Rothbard to the curb and spent their money on political projects that have gotten us nowhere in terms of liberty.

It may be argued that they spent their political funds largely to protect their vast wealth from the grasp of the state and for that I can not blame them but skilled marketers of liberty they have not been.

That said, David was no Mao, Lenin or Stalin, who in total were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions.

He will not be laid, in a couple of days, six feet under with blood on his hands.

Of course, the Left has another maniacal view.

In the socialist democratic quarterly Jacobin, Branco Marcetic wrote while David's body was still warm (I'm sure he will blame it on climate change, not intense immediate desire to condemn David to the lower rungs of Hell.):
David Koch, the billionaire industrialist who died today, was one of history’s greatest monsters. No, he didn’t try to kill off an entire race of people, eat his enemies, or launch a merciless campaign of rape and pillage that spanned continents. And yet even such horrors as these will pale in comparison to Koch’s handiwork — unless we succeed in stopping it...
Koch and his legacy are as anti-life as you can possibly get, something no amount of selfishly motivated cancer research funding can cover up...
[D]ue to the limitations of language, this is the only word that comes close to describing the ghastly Koch and his vile brother: evil. David Koch was an evil man who dedicated his life to evil.
What could David Koch have done that draws the intense ire of Marcetic beyond what could be justifiably aimed at the central planning killers of hundreds of millions? Apparently, it was that to a limited degree David funded those who argued against central planning that in the past has brought so much death.

Marcetic wrote Koch spent "fortunes to deprive people of health care." Well, I guess that is a democratic socialist way to look at it but another way is to look at universal healthcare as just another central planning program that suffocates incentive and creativity in the healthcare sector in addition to distorting price signals and setting up crony opportunities for those close to power. This does nothing but, in the end, lower the standard of medical care for all of us.

Marcetic also told us that "we now also know they [Charles and David] were on the ground floor of the fight to ensure human extinction, spreading climate denial and working against political action on the subject as early as 1991, when the world still could have embarked on a gradual transition away from fossil fuels."

Actually, Charles and David ensured there was something of a full debate on the topic of climate change that has seemed to put on one side all democratic socialists, actors, college students, television anchors, elitist partygoers, tattooed baristas, zookeepers, and pretty much everyone else, all of whom have no understanding of the basics of climate or the atmosphere. Hell, these people can't even explain to me the very basic reason behind why fog forms over San Francisco. I know, I have asked them, while standing in the San Francisco fog as it was smashing us in the face.

So I have welcomed these billionaire brothers who added some balance to the climate debate that appears to border on nothing more, on the other side, than a mass crowd of millions who don't have a clue as to what their position is based on.

The Koch climate defense was weak and could have been much more powerful, but, hey, they are just not savvy marketers.

Certainly not as savvy as the writers at Jacobin who don't have facts but do have Leninist tactics down cold.

And then there is this guy:
Here is AccuWeather on the recent Lefty viral panic over Amazon fires:
The Earth is burning, but it always has been.
Thousands of fires are continually burning across the Earth every day of every year, and they always have. They have an animation of the last 20 years of this data. You won't see much of a change, except that fires are worse in some areas and better in others from year to year...
I had to correct a major media distribution platform on Friday after its journalists were looking at thunderstorms overnight on a satellite image, and mistook the storms for wildfire smoke -- a mistake that was disseminated to countless other media outlets. 
These people have no idea what they are talking about whether it comes to thunderstorms versus wildfire smoke or David Koch versus the socialist killer three, Mao, Lenin and Stalin.

Rest in peace, David. I doubt you will be in purgatory very long.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.comand Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bankand most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.


  1. "I look at the America around me today and it is not a better place than the America that existed before Charles and David pushed Rothbard to the curb and spent their money on political projects that have gotten us nowhere in terms of liberty."

    A more balanced evaluation would be that before Rothbard was pushed to the curb (and even after, somewhat), the Koch's funded and subsidized dozens of pro-Austrian events and young scholars and their research agenda. The Austrian revival in the early 1970's started with the Royalton Conference (with Rothbard, Kirzner, and dozens of young Austrians in attendance) and the follow up conference at the University of Hartford (with F.A. Hayek in attendance). None of that would have been possible without Koch money and Koch principles. And this only scratches the surface of their involvement with young scholars who, but for the Koch's, might have abandoned their academic and intellectual plans and given up. Later on, perhaps, they made very different entrepreneurial decisions on how to advance liberty, a debatable strategy at best. But strategy I will assert is always debatable and no libertarian or Austrian that I know or have known (and I have known some of the most important and prominent in both categories) can claim perfect insight with respect to strategies to advance liberty.

    Finally, Maher's ugly comments must never be forgotten.

    1. Having worked for Koch I suppose Bill Maher would say the same for me. One thing about Koch industries, everyone is exposed to the name Ludwig von Mises because of their Market Based Management system. I already have a side interest in economics, but for others it meant being exposed to ideas they never would have before. As the Kochs get older and newer generations take over MBM is now evolving into a generic corporate culture and losing the libertarian heart it used to have. If nothing else he did help spread free market ideas.

  2. If purgatory is anything like C.S. Lewis describes in "The Great Divorce", I bet Rothbard is the one sent to be his guide.