Revealed: Secret Koch Conspiracy Video

A recently unearthed 1997 video shows Koch-funded libertarians conspiring

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Nancy MacLean's atrocious book, Democracy in Chains, points to a speech given by libertarian billionaire Charles Koch at an Institute for Humane Studies conference in 1997 as revealing Koch's intellectual debt to James Buchnanan in Koch's purported efforts to destroy democracy. As Brian Doherty has demonstrated in Reason, MacLean completely misinterprets Koch's speech.

That leaves the question of what other nefarious goings-on might have happened at that conference. Thanks to a recently unearthed video, you too can be privy to the evil machinations that occurred at that infamous 1997 conference, indicative more generally of reactionary evils that occur at IHS conferences.

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  1. David Bernstein’t atrocious post, complaining about . . .

    Oh heck; I don’t have the energy to engage with DB’s usual whining. At least it’s not one of his usual screeds about Israel, so I guess that’s a bright spot.

    I take back my first sentence. Keep harping about . . . well, whatever this post was supposed to be about.

    1. I see. You can’t come up with an argument against the post, so you figure you’d just call it “whining” and a “screed” and hope that that did the trick, eh?

      1. He’s reducing himself to AK’s level. Very, very sad

  2. They are more devious than I thought. The Koch Brothers went to great lengths to find the least charismatic speakers to trick people into thinking that they are a bunch of harmless nerds. And even more, they got someone to talk about marriage equality. I’m not sure how that fits into their grand plan to undermine democracy, but that again shows their deviousness.

    1. How is courts declaring things based on feelings about how the people think, rather than changing laws via actual democratic, more democratic?

  3. If I were a GMU professor, especially in law or economics, I might stay out of discussions of the Koch brothers for a while.

    1. Does anyone who cares about the Scary Koch Brothers not know that GMU’s gotten Koch funding for things?

      (The linked post mentions it explicitly, after all.)

      Is this anything but a “shut up, because reasons”, or what?

      1. (Indeed, you might as well say “If I posted at Reason, I might stay out of discussions of the Koch brothers…”

        Which has exactly the same “shut up!!!!” vibe.)

        1. I think this is what bernard11’s alluding to.

          1. And it’s stupid and ignorant. The Koch’s are the only donors who can put forth applicants for discussion. The Koch’s had no final say on any hiring/firing event. This isn’t even an uncommon practice.

      2. No, but until recently it was not well-known that the Koch brothers were given influence over faculty hiring, which is a different matter entirely.

        1. Except… that’s not the case?
          In the 90s, the Kochs were allowed to select a seat on a committee to choose the professor for a position that was paid for, in full, but donations from those same Kochs.
          Later, a different agreement agreement allowed the Kochs to recommend names for a professorship in the economics school.

          These are called “endowed professorships” or “endowed chairs”, and there are several dozen at George Mason right now. They are funded by such organizations as the William A. Hazel Construction company…
          or the International Institute of Islamic Thought – a Qatari funded organization whose leaders have been arrested for associations with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Al Qaeda – terrorist groups all.

          1. Actually, it was two seats, out of five, which is two too many.

            Every university has endowed chairs. Few, if any, allow those who endow them to have a voice in the selection of the occupant. Those who do generally prefer to keep it secret, as GMU tried to do, because as its president pointed out, it’s a bad idea.

    2. God. You’re one of these idiots? Nothing nefarious happened at GMU. Donors are often on boards to discuss applicants. The Koch’s did not have final approval for any applicant.

  4. I’m never not amused when I see people who regularly invoke the names of Soros and Alinsky roll their eyes and “la-di-da” away criticism of the Kochs.

    1. Soros and Kochs both openly bankroll their political agendas. So your comparison is apt. Except, one of them is for libertarian ideas like the U.S. Constitution, and the other is for . . . one-world government, legalized drugs, radically racialized politics, abortion, suicide, whatever else. Soros stated that capitalism is a bigger problem than communism. Other differences: Soros’ network of global influence is far deeper and wider and not remotely comparable to Kochs, and Soros in some cases is not so open and tries to conceal his influence and actions. As for another similarity, it appears Kochs support some degree of Soros’ full-on open borders ideology. The two are probably more similar than most would think. Alinsky is a different category.

      1. On a less political level, Soros has a much more extensive criminal and otherwise controversial history. I would leave aside the question of which side is more opportunistic, self-serving and dishonest about the true objectives of their political aims, since everyone’s opinion of that will just depend on which politics they agree with.

        1. Re: the Kochs: http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/…..702mem.pdf

        2. You left out his “rootless cosmopolitanism.”

          You need to understand that Breitbart and other RWNJ sites really are not reliable sources.

          1. bernard11: Thanks for filling in one thing I forgot…

          2. Not sure what your point is, bernard.

      2. “Except, one of them is for libertarian ideas like the U.S. Constitution, and the other is for . . . one-world government, legalized drugs, radically racialized politics, abortion, suicide, whatever else.” Lesbian witchcraft? Rock-and-Roll flag-burners? I kinda thought that legalized drugs, abortion and suicide WERE “libertarian ideas”. …and at this point, exactly how big an international problem is communism?

        1. I kinda thought that legalized drugs, abortion and suicide WERE “libertarian ideas”.

          Defensive right-wing goobers claim that libertarians can and should favor micromanagement of health care clinics serving women, drug warriors, government surveillance, government gay-bashing, prayer in public schools, torture, preemptive invasions (of the wrong country), race-targeting voter suppression, government secrecy, massive military budgets, creationism in science classrooms, and most of the rest of the wingnut agenda.

          These deplorable authoritarians can generally be identified by the unconvincing nature of the libertarian drag in which masquerade.

        2. Sure, you can say a few of the less consequential and small picture things in that list are libertarian if you want; some of this is highly arguable but I don’t care how you want to use the label.

          He’s also pretty openly anti-American, writing in one of his books: “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.”

          The salient point is that the main difference lies in the particular political agendas being bankrolled — which you may or may not like — as well as how they go about it. Overall, there’s nothing libertarian about Soros’ very far left extremist agenda or his globalist new world order.

          1. Also hilarious.

          2. “Sure [it made no sense to contrast ‘libertarian ideas with (other libertarian ideas)]”

            Which is highly arguable re: a libertarian ‘idea’? Legal abortion, legal drugs or legal suicide? These are all clearly libertarian idea(l)s. Or are you into some judeochristanlibertarianism where it’s not libertarian if you interpret the Bible’s authors to oppose it?

            And to say that America (under recent and current governance) stands in the way of some greater good is not ‘anti America’.

            (None of your points seem very salient)

          3. “Sure [it made no sense to contrast ‘libertarian ideas with (other libertarian ideas)]”

            Which is highly arguable re: a libertarian ‘idea’? Legal abortion, legal drugs or legal suicide? These are all clearly libertarian idea(l)s. Or are you into some judeochristanlibertarianism where it’s not libertarian if you interpret the Bible’s authors to oppose it?

            And to say that America (under recent and current governance) stands in the way of some greater good is not ‘anti America’.

            (None of your points seem very salient)

            1. less:

              I agree that some of the Soros issues are “libertarian,” and I understand how my post seemed to imply otherwise.

              Regardless, the political agendas of Soros and the Kochs are vastly different, which is the primary reason some people on the left and right demonize one while dismissing the other. Is it your contention that there is no appreciable difference?

              I stand by my characterization of Soros’ statement as anti-American, particularly in the context of his view that national sovereignty should be abolished in favor of a new world order with some level of authority over nation states. Your restatement is wildly off the mark, for this reason: you can point to many foibles and severe blunders in America’s recent foreign policy, and still maintain that the United States is the main proponent of a stable and just world order, not the main obstacle to it.

              1/3

              1. I’m not particularly interested in quibbling about the libertarian label on these other narrow issues, but to answer your questions, it depends first of all on whether you are speaking descriptively about the usage of the word libertarian, or whether you are instead focused on the logic of something that might be called libertarian theory.

                In either case, I would agree that fully legalizing meth, bath salts, and worse things yet to be developed is a libertarian position. I disagree with that position, even while agreeing with the more general objections to the war on drugs. Sometimes, people argue on quasi-libertarian grounds that the most harmful drugs should not be legalized, because in practice the harm is absolutely not limited to the individual, but I don’t necessarily see this as libertarian logic.

                I would also agree that legal suicide is, in either case, a very libertarian position in principle; however, assisted suicide is fraught with liberty problems both in theory and in practice, although as a descriptive matter the libertarian label is generally associated with this as well.

                2/3

                1. 3/3

                  I disagree that pro-abortion is necessarily a libertarian ideal. As a matter of theory, this position merely begs the question whether abortion violates the non-aggression principle. A person’s answer to that question has nothing more to do with the Bible than your adoption in the first place of the non-aggression principle itself has to do with the Bible. If anything, the latter is more of a moral question, and the former becomes more of a scientific question.

                  Descriptively, there are numerous pro-life libertarians, and even among “pro-choice” many favor a compromise position that would retreat from current U.S. policy, which is among the most extreme pro-abortion in the world, toward the policy of most other developed nations which allows elective abortions during the first trimester only. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which recently languished in the Senate did not even go this far.

      3. Hilarious.

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