Oligarchy is any control structure in which power effectively rests with a very small number of people typically distinguished by incalculable wealth that allows them to exert tyrannical or religious control over a population. Aristotle pioneered the term oligarchy as a synonym for “rule by the rich” for which a more modern common term is plutocracy like America. Although America was founded as a representative democracy, there have always been a cabal of wealthy industrialists who exerted inordinate power over government, but that power was briefly curtailed with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal 80 years ago. It is why Republicans and their Koch masters have been on a heightened crusade to abolish New Deal provisions with religious fervor over the past six years.
Most Americans are unaware, tragically, that America is dangerously close to becoming a fully-fledged plutocracy and although corporations, religion, and the financial sector exert a fair amount of influence over government, the true oligarchs running two-thirds of government are the Koch brothers. Now, one thought they would never hear it directly from one of the brothers, but last weekend Charles Koch claimed that he did not yet have enough, or completely, control over the government because, “if I had all this power, why aren’t the many things I want changed getting changed?” In fact, Koch said it was “ludicrous” that he had too much power because there is no such thing in his mind, and to achieve his goal the Kochs are willing to spend nearly a billion dollars to achieve the level of power he demands.
Koch’s remark is as clear an indication as possible that he still does not possess, and is ardently seeking, the ultimate power of an oligarchical tyrant. He actually had the temerity to say in public that, “wow, believe me if I had too much power a lot of things would change.” If any American is unsure of what will change when the Kochs eventually control the entire government, they should stop and consider that all the government agencies and programs Republicans are attempting to slash funding for at the state and federal level are a drop in the bucket compared to what the Kochs want; complete elimination of the entire government.
For a refresher on exactly what the Kochs want changed when they do have “all this power,” they devised a list (partial here) about the time Republican demigod Ronald Reagan came into power that leaves no part of government in existence. For example, the Kochs consider the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs “fraudulent and oppressive” and they want them abolished in their entirety; not privatized, abolished in their entirety. To prevent “we the people” from having a voice in keeping their Social Security pensions and Medicare in place, the Kochs demand the repeal of all campaign finance laws and “immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission;” no campaign finance or election laws is crucial to hasten their takeover of government and abolish democracy.
Every one of the regulatory agencies will cease to exist in the United States of Koch, and it contradicts Charles Koch’s contention that he is an advocate and champion for the American people; particularly the poor. A partial list of the government agencies, departments, and programs the Kochs want abolished include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), Consumer Product Safety Commission and the repeal of any law requiring individuals to use “so-called” self-protection equipment such as seat belts, air bags, crash helmets or “civil liability” property insurance.
On social safety nets and aid to the disabled, the poor, and families and children the Kochs demand an immediate end to child-bearing health programs (Title X), welfare plans and supported services for children, emergency relief programs like food stamps, housing assistance, and every other ‘aid to the poor’ programs because they claim they demean Americans living in poverty due to low wage jobs, old age, disability, or infancy. According to the Koch’s libertarian ideology, any and all government programs to aid the poor, disabled, and elderly are privacy-invading, paternalistic, and fraudulent; they claim the proper source of paternalistic, privacy-invading, and fraudulent assistance is the purview of churches.
There is no aspect of government the Kochs do not want privatized including all American waterways. That includes awarding corporations authority “to control the water-treatment and distribution systems that bring water to industry, agriculture and households.” The Kochs also want all federal land, including national parks, monuments, buildings, the entire American highway system, the Postal Service, bridges, and rail lines handed over to corporations for privatization.
Of course the Kochs want the Department of Education abolished and all education privatized for those who can afford to pay for it. To accomplish that feat they demand the immediate abolition of compulsory education and the sale to corporations of all state, county, and local school properties. The Kochs, like their religious conservative cohorts in the evangelical right, claim that the only reason government is involved in or funds education is “to indoctrinate children and to interfere with choices of the individual.” Although Republicans in states have made headway achieving the Koch’s education reform demands, it is taking too long and the billionaire brothers want to buy the government to “immediately terminate any government ownership, operation, regulation and standards in all schools and colleges.
If any American seriously believes that the Kochs do not want, or are unwilling to spend nearly a billion dollars in one election, to rule America, they should consider that Charles Koch’s own words were, “believe me if I had too much power a lot of things would change.” Now remember what then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to Charles and David Koch at a billionaire’s fund-raising conference prior to the 2014 midterm elections. McConnell made a telling promise to the Kochs that he thanked profusely and pledged, “I assure you, we’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board. All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it.”
Republicans have, thus far, followed through on their part of the bargain and duly went after healthcare, Medicare, financial services, the E.P.A., worker protections, women’s reproductive rights, childbearing health programs like Title X and the federal judiciary to name but a few. It was not that long ago that Republicans supported most of those programs, but that was before Charles Koch determined that he did not “have all this power” and discovered that the best way to “get the many things I want changed changed,” was to spend what will eventually be a billion dollars for one election.
Charles or David Koch are not spending more in 2016 than the RNC (about $404 million) and DNC (about $319 million) combined in the 2014 midterms out of altruism or brotherly love of McConnell, Boehner, or any Republican; they want total control of the government to dismantle it. It is a sad commentary, but instead of paying heed to what the Kochs are accomplishing in every state in America to prepare for their eventual takeover, Americans are mesmerized by a ridiculously long Republican presidential primary; all part of the Koch-Republican strategy.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.