Friday, June 3, 2016

Koch Brothers' Social Engineering of young capitalists....a propaganda machine on steroids*


I was a little miffed when I learned that the University of Western Ontario football stadium took on the name “TD Stadium” under the auspices and cash support of the TD Bank. The Johnny Metras Stadium, funded by private donations, always seemed a more appropriate name. (No doubt the redoubtable coaching legend has his name on smaller edifices on the Western campus.) And then there were the growing, and also growing more apparent contributions from corporations like the pharmaceutical industry, to the biology and chemistry departments of universities across North America, the private funding, and also naming of teaching and research centres like the one at Waterloo, in honor of former Blackberry founder and executive, Jim Basillie, where one can only hope that the bent and preferred trajectory of thinking and research is in no way influenced by the donor(s).

And then there was the candidacy of The Trump, a renegade, loose canon, flailing away at any and all irritant mosquitoes of resistance, championing the free market, as if the free market were in need of his megaphone.

It is the kind of strategic planning and substantive funding that accompanies the many tentacles of the Koch Brothers’ social engineering manifesto, apparently thought out and written as early as the 1970’s, to warp the minds of innocent young children, all the way from kindergarten to graduate school, brain-washing them in the exclusive virtues of libertarian Ayn Randism. According to recent reports, this behemoth has succeeded in funding the economics department of Florida State University, albeit scrupulously avoiding significant public outcries, by sabotaging their cash pipeline under the names of benign think tanks and assorted registered charitable organizations. Of course, dangling from the contract with the university, are clauses that permit, even encourage, the Koch-vetted appointments of preferred professors, (and the obvious corollary the refusal to appoint others), the Koch-vetted curriculum, (as well as the rejection of ‘deviant’ opinions in graduate theses, for example).

The Koch’s have undertaken a massive social engineering project of which the Kremlin would be proud; so would Hitler. And presumbably, they have not fired a single weapon, in the military sense. Across the country, curriculum, especially in economics (of course that means free market economics, complete with the appendix that human lives are expendable by profit-centred corporations, in pursuit of those profits).

And, accompanying the Koch prescription for the future of their homeland, is complete control of the education system, along with the abolishing of the federal education department (it is a lot easier and also cheaper to buy off state officials than federal ones, the media scrutiny is so much more lax and irresponsible). So churning out on-line curricula, research papers in various formats, undergraduate and doctoral graduates all of whom comply with the gospel according to Koch....these are the real dangers of this propaganda war, while the Koch contributions to politicians seeking electoral office continues unabated.

Of course, given the adherence to the corporate model of for-profit business, corporations like the New York Times which might be able to shine a laser on such nefarious and even cancerous manipulation of the conventional thinking of the Koch cult, will turn a blind eye, dedicated a few lines of copy, on a back page, fearing, as all other corporations do, the withdrawal of Koch advertising dollars. When Bernie Sanders tells a Time reporter that the media ‘in this country do not cover a campaign’ he is telling a dangerous truth, while at the same time making an important political point. The deck is clearly stacked in favour of the deepest pockets, and the political culture that despises government, despises regulations impeding their access to more profit regardless of the destruction of the environment, that despises any form of gun control regardless of how many children and innocents are murdered, that permits the steroid-infused marketing of opioids to quack pharmacies while 80 people die every day from overdoses on them, that insists on locating head offices offshore to avoid paying federal corporate income tax, in spite of the serious burden of debt and deficit, that champions military conflict as part of the corporate need to manufacture weapons and sell them to the highest bidder, that wants an increase in fracking although the evidence mounts daily that underground water is polluted by the chemicals, and the earth’s propensity for earthquakes grows with every new well.

And, when one thinks about the purchase and dissemination of curricula in support of this corporate ideology, one is reminded of the dangers of a theocracy, the kind of thing propagated by ISIS, Al Shabbab, AlNusra, and others, only in the United States, the ‘God’ on the altar is no deity, only a mere face of the Greek God of Wealth, Plutus, an inordinately toxic surrogate for the diety many American allegedly worship each Sunday.

And, as with all corporate ecclesial bodies, there is inevitably a big cheque-writer, counting on the tax write-offs that accompany that beneficience, only in this case, the same agency writing the cheques is also the earthly representative of Plutus, providing more worshipping of his own narcissistic brand....and all of it for profit.

Little wonder the Republican party is sycophantly bowing down to join the line of Trump supporters.

Little wonder, too, that leaders of the major powers are ‘rattled’ (using Obama’s word) at the pronouncements from Trump, and the cabal he wold bring to Washington.

The United States of for and by Koch would be a more honest rendition of the kind of ‘democracy’ developing in America today.

*Read more in Charles Koch’s Disturbing High School Economics Project Teaches ‘Sacrificing Lives for Profits’ by Alex Kotch, in Truthdig.com, June 2, 2016 first published in Alternet

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