Posted by: Mr. Austin | February 22, 2013

Willful Subversion of Facts. Destruction of Knowledge. These People Are *Not* Your Friends.

David Koch, of Koch Industries.*

David Koch*

Never has the aphorism, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” been more apropos than when it was confirmed that über-rich, right-wingers like the Kochs and the DeVos have been systematically repressing science about anthropogenic Earth changes. Of course, now they’ve been found out, and the tips of their disappearing icebergs are showing. Dark puns noted. Since you’re reading this, *you* already know that corporate media have been kneeling at the altar of corporate advertising dollars for decades, and you won’t see them standing about this anytime soon.

It’s not an over-statement that the actions right-wingers or theocratic rightists have taken are systematically linked to drought, starvation, human deaths and social unrest. You do the thinking and follow the big money. Let the facts which underlay George Monbiot’s article in the UK’s Guardian, “The educational charities that do PR for the rightwing ultra-rich,” start the talking for you:

“Conspiracies against the public don’t get much uglier than this. As the Guardian revealed last week, two secretive organisations working for US billionaires have spent $118m to ensure that no action is taken to prevent manmade climate change. While inflicting untold suffering on the world’s people, their funders have used these opaque structures to ensure that their identities are never exposed.

The two organisations – the Donors’ Trust and the Donors’ Capital Fund – were set up as political funding channels for people handing over $1m or more. They have financed 102 organisations which either dismiss climate science or downplay the need to take action. The large number of recipients creates the impression of many independent voices challenging climate science. These groups, working through the media, mobilising gullible voters and lobbying politicians, helped to derail Obama’s cap and trade bill and the climate talks at Copenhagen. Now they’re seeking to prevent the US president from trying again.

This covers only part of the funding. In total, between 2002 and 2010 the two identity-laundering groups paid $311m to 480 organisations, most of which take positions of interest to the ultra-rich and the corporations they run: less tax, less regulation, a smaller public sector. Around a quarter of the money received by the rightwing opinion swarm comes from the two foundations. If this funding were not effective, it wouldn’t exist: the ultra-rich didn’t get that way by throwing their money around randomly. The organisations they support are those that advance their interests.

A small number of the funders have been exposed by researchers trawling through tax records. They include the billionaire Koch brothers (paying into the two groups through their Knowledge and Progress Fund) and the DeVos family (the billionaire owners of Amway). More significantly, we now know a little more about the recipients. Many describe themselves as free-market or conservative thinktanks.

Among them are the American Enterprise Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council, Hudson Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Reason Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Mont Pelerin Society and Discovery Institute. All pose as learned societies, earnestly trying to determine the best interests of the public. The exposure of this funding reinforces the claim by David Frum, formerly a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, that such groups ‘increasingly function as public relations agencies’.” Read the rest here.

*: “… of Koch Industries, pictured here in his role as chairman of Americans for Prosperity at the Defending the American Dream Summit in November 2011. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images”


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