Yasha Levine has a compelling essay about the Koch brothers and their funding of the Tea Party in her article, "The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement." She states that the root of the money which has funded the Tea Party is from the Koch family whose money was originally made by business dealing with Stalin.
The Koch family, America's biggest financial backers of the Tea Party, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the godless empire of the USSR.
The Tea Party movement's dirty little secret is that its chief financial backers owe their family fortune to the granddaddy of all their hatred: Stalin's godless empire of the USSR. The secretive oil billionaires of the Koch family, the main supporters of the right-wing groups that orchestrated the Tea Party movement, would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure.
Here is a better historical fact, one that the Kochs don't like to repeat in public: the family's initial wealth was not created by the harsh, creative forces of unfettered capitalism, but by the grace of the centrally planned economy of the Soviet Union. The Koch family, America's biggest pushers of the free-market Tea Party revolution, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the whim of one of Stalin's comrades.Debunking the Tea Party movement's "grassroots" base while acknowledging its far-right foundation.
I first learned about the Kochs in February 2009, when my colleague Mark Ames and I were looking into the strange origins of the then-nascent Tea Party movement. Our investigation led us again and again to a handful of right-wing advocacy groups directly tied to the Kochs. We were the first to connect the dots and debunk the Tea Party movement's "grassroots" front, exposing it as billionaire-backed astroturf campaign run by free-market advocacy groups FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity, both of which are closely linked to the Koch brothers.
But the Tea Party movement -- and the Koch family's obscene wealth -- go back more than half a century, all the way to grandpa Fredrick C. Koch, one of the founding members of the far-right John Birch Society which was convinced that socialism was taking over America through unions, colored people, Jews, homosexuals, the Kennedys and even Dwight D. Eisenhower.
According to a 1956 AP article, Fred Koch was among 11 prominent residents of Wichita, Kansas who traveled to Moscow "in an effort to convince the Russian people that Soviet propaganda about capitalists is untrue." Sounds like the perfect cover for a business trip.
Fred Koch came back a pissed-off anti-communist and joined up with the right-wing Birchers. He bankrolled a John Birch Society chapter in Wichita and attempted to open a Bircher bookstore, which wasn't too popular and had to close. He warned of a massive communist conspiracy to take control of America, saying that the Reds were eroding American universities, churches, political parties, the media and every branch of government.
Fred Koch's paranoia continued to spiral out of control until his ticker quit in 1967. But by that time his son, Charles G. Koch, had already taken over control of the family business. He appropriated his father's communist paranoia and made it the basis of the family's free-market business philosophy.
The Tea Party has tried to promote a grass-roots image. But then again, reality has nothing to do with this movement.
Today, it operates thousands of miles of pipelines in the United States, refines 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily, buys and sells the most asphalt in the nation, is among the top 10 cattle producers, and is among the 50 largest landowners. Koch Industries also poured hundreds of millions of dollars into right-wing organizations like Institute for Humane Studies, the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Reason Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Federalist Society -- all of them promoting the usual billionaire-friendly ideas of the free market, deregulation and smaller government.
If that expansion looks too fast to be legit, that's because it was.
William Koch, the third brother who had a falling-out with Charles and David back in the '80s over Charles' sociopathic management style, appeared on "60 Minutes" in November 2000 to tell the world that Koch Industries was a criminal enterprise: "It was – was my family company. I was out of it," he says. "But that’s what appalled me so much... I did not want my family, my legacy, my father’s legacy to be based upon organized crime."
Charles Koch’s racket was very simple, explained William. With its extensive oil pipe network, Koch Industries' role as an oil middleman--it buys crude from someone’s well and sells it to a refinery--makes it easy to steal millions of dollars worth of oil by skimming just a little off the top of each transaction, or what they call “cheating measurements” in the oil trade. According to William, wells located on federal and Native American lands were the prime targets of the Koch scam.
"What Koch was doing was taking all these measurements and then falsifying them on the run sheets," said Bill Koch. "If the dipstick measured five feet 10 inches and one half inch, they would write down five feet nine and one half inches."
That may not sound like much, but Bill Koch said it added up. "Well, that was the beauty of the scheme. Because if they’re buying oil from 50,000 different people, and they’re stealing two barrels from each person. What does that add up to? One year, their data showed they stole a million and a half barrels of oil."
In 1999, William decided to take his brothers down. He sued Koch Industries in civil court under the False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to file suit on behalf of the federal government. William Koch accused the company of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in oil from federal lands.
At the trial, 50 former Koch gaugers testified against the company, some in video depositions. They said employees even had a term for cheating on the measurements. "We in the company referred to it as the Koch Method because it was a system for cheating the producer out of oil," said one of the gaugers, Mark Wilson.
Ah, finally! Have we stumbled onto the secret to the family’s success? At the bottom of it all, is the Koch Method that funds all the libertarians nothing but old-fashioned theft? Or, as Koch hero Ludwig von Mises might ask, "Is the Koch Method just an unceasing sequence of single thefts?"