MeanMesa's "Primer" Apologia
When MeanMesa offers up a post with a title including "primer," it heralds a collection of disparate bits of information which might otherwise not be presented together as a package with logical connections. The reason such a thing might appear on this little blog is that, considered together, all these "loose ends" might provide an insight not found elsewhere.
Think of it as "connecting the dots," or at least, "connecting a few dots."
It is MeanMesa's sincere hope that such a combination will provide a robust and satisfying addition to understanding to the important issues covered here.
In this theme Charles Koch's absolutely amazing op-ed, obediently published in the tattered news paper owned by his dear friend, Australian fascist, Rupert Murdoch, handed up an irresistible temptation for another one of these famous MeanMesa primers. Just think of it as the editorial equivalent of an absolutely free, no charge, "cheap sex and heroin sandwich" which comes with a coupon for a complete refund if you're not totally satisfied.
Complaints With A Foundation in the Bronze Age
The Book of Lamentations
Nestled quietly in the depths of the Old Testament between Jeremiah's screechy, deific castigation of Jerusalem's "backsliding Bronze Age Jewish sinners" and Ezekiel's personal observations of "flying saucers," we find the short Book of Lamentations. Obviously, both Jeremiah and Ezekiel were blessed by "times with lots of material."
The Babylonians had conquered Jerusalem, "deporting" most of the survivors to Babylon, and the contemporary "holy men" of all ilks and definitions naturally seized the opportunity to explain this misfortune in ways which, shall we say, reaffirmed their already centuries old patriarchal authority. Having positioned themselves as the only folks around to whom God spoke directly, their prophetic explanations conveniently "offered up" the "official version" concerning the calamitous "difficulties" with the Babylonians.
The biblical Book of Lamentations was a quite necessary description of "just how horrible" the fall of Jerusalem [586 BC] had been, an especially pungent account very effectively book marked between Jeremiah and Ezekiel. For a long time after the initial canonization of biblical content it was assumed that Lamentations had been written by Jeremiah, but more modern biblical "scholars" are now inclined to attribute the authorship of each of the five chapters found there to different first person observers.
MeanMesa offers this brief review of the biblical side of this post's title only as an introduction to the rather soiled 21st Century emulation discussed below. [For MeanMesa visitors who have never read The Book of Lamentations, this link provides an on-line copy. The Book of Lamentations It's fascinating.]
Now, we can move on to a few of the things provided by The GOOGLE concerning the topic of this post.
Senate Majority Leader Reid: The First Voice
Publicly Addressing the Koch brothers' scheme
Because this post is advertised as a "primer," MeanMesa has no hesitation in posting this excerpt from Huffington Post which detail Majority Leader Reid's "broad side attack" on the oligarchs and the nationwide political and PR machinations so eagerly funded by their invisible billions.
[Read the original article here.]
Breaking Down Harry Reid's Latest Koch Brothers Rant
MeanMesa's compliments to the Senate Majority Leader.
The Painful, Tragic Life of a Typical American Billionaire
Oh, the horror of it all...
Now, Charles was, of course, already "locked into" being a billionaire before he donned his very first satin diapers. Although little is known of the plutocrat's childhood, we can assume that his early education did not deprive the snot nosed "little darling" of the all important lessons about 1. "how permanently entitled he was," and 2. "how to be mean to the 'little people' in order to remain, well, entitled."
While there have been plenty of extremely well to do leaders in various roles in the United States, we have, quite recently, come to a far more robust understanding of just "what you get" when perpetually over privileged plutocratic progeny have clawed and scratched their way into positions of power. [i.e. -- George w.].
Poor, poor little Charles,
alone and afraid,
in a world he never made
or managed to buy -- yet.
It seems, at least -- it seems to MeanMesa, that Charles could just as easily have "selected" himself for a position such as President or, shudder, Vice President had he been so inclined. The time consuming burden of managing all the moving parts of his vast inherited wealth could have been allocated to responsible servants while he basked in the FOX studio lights, luxuriating in a string of carefully orchestrated "soft ball" questions from obediently scraping, corporate pundits.
Instead, rather than lurching into the political fray, breeding dancing horses [Mitt's favorite], mastering badminton or painting water colors of mountains and trees [Charles couldn't actually even see much of Earth's nature from the atmospheric elevation of the veranda there on the Ivory Tower...], Charles decided to dedicate his life to the very hard work of "philosophy."
Of course, there were hundreds or thousands of possible choices open to Charles, "philosophy-wise," so he bravely began "snooping around" until he could locate one which would be comfortably consistent with his nature. In no time at all Charles' search started "paying dividends."
He "discovered" Ayn Rand. Now, this is not simply added here as a snarky aside. MeanMesa understands this infatuation with Ms. Rand's famous "non-contradiction" liturgy. Yes, MeanMesa was similarly swept away with the romantic ideal fantasies of Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden. However, unlike Charles' experience, all that occurred in the seventh grade, and all of it had drifted slowly into an abiding disinterest by legal "beer drinking age."
This is added here as an introduction to the next section of this post. We will find the term "collectivism" abundantly sprinkled through Charles' now famous Lamentation. Rather than the old Persians who had tormented Jeremiah's Jews so brutally, Charles' "brutal tormentors" are given the name "collectivists."
Further, those wretched "collectivist" tormentors so bemoaned by the victim, Charles Koch, are not only not Persians, they are, in fact, everyone else who even so much as "slightly" disagrees with the proposition that Charles and his brother should, thanks again to their noble blood line and their great inherited wealth, be quite reasonably chosen to be in charge of everything.
Because Charles extracted the "collectivist" label from the bowels of Ms. Rand's Objectivism, it is only prudent that we take a look at just what Charles found so appealing "down in those bowels."
If John Galt had to paint a fence, he would chose this color.
[You can visit the "lexicon" of Ayn's sayings: Ayn Rand Lexicon]
Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called “the common good.”
“The Only Path to Tomorrow,”
Reader’s Digest, Jan, 1944, 8.
Collectivism holds that, in human affairs, the collective—society, the community, the nation, the proletariat, the race, etc.—is the unit of reality and the standard of value. On this view, the individual has reality only as part of the group, and value only insofar as he serves it.
The Ominous Parallels, 17
Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group . . . and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force—and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.
The Virtue of Selfishness, 128
Fascism and communism are not two opposites, but two rival gangs fighting over the same territory . . . both are variants of statism, based on the collectivist principle that man is the rightless slave of the state.
“‘Extremism,’ or the Art of Smearing,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 180
The philosophy of collectivism upholds the existence of a mystic (and unperceivable) social organism, while denying the reality of perceived individuals—a view which implies that man’s senses are not a valid instrument for perceiving reality. Collectivism maintains that an elite endowed with special mystic insight should rule men—which implies the existence of an elite source of knowledge, a fund of revelations inaccessible to logic and transcending the mind. Collectivism denies that men should deal with one another by voluntary means, settling their disputes by a process of rational persuasion; it declares that men should live under the reign of physical force (as wielded by the dictator of the omnipotent state)—a position which jettisons reason as the guide and arbiter of human relationships.
From every aspect, the theory of collectivism points to the same conclusion: collectivism and the advocacy of reason are philosophically antithetical; it is one or the other.
Leonard Peikoff, “Nazism vs. Reason,”
The Objectivist, Oct. 1969, 1
Ayn Rand had a terrible time with Communists during her childhood during the Russian Revolution. MeanMesa suspects that all those negative experiences "congealed" to expand her distaste from simple Communism to all sorts of things only tediously connected with Marxist ideology when she began using the term "collectivist" so frequently in her novels.
However, it's clear that Charles became quite taken with the "collectivist" idea during his indoctrination into Objectivist style, oligarchic Libertarianism. His awkward use of the term repeatedly in his Wall Street Journal "Lamentations" betrays its deep penetration into his thought process. Further, once the Cold War finally stumbled to a halt, the public was finished -- exhausted -- with the depersonalized "Communist ogres" of the McCarthy days propaganda, so "collectivism," a "more sophisticated," "more academic" term was adopted in the hope of being much less likely to "date" the speaker back into the 1940's and 50's.
A quick review of the publications dates of the material quoted above suggests that Charles, apparently, preferred the 1960's.
The Lamentations of Charles Koch
MeanMesa has "taken the liberty" of high lighting a few phrases in the body of Charles' Lamentations. In each case a "reference number" has been provided which will lead the reader to a few comments in the next section of this post.
Wall Street Journal
Charles Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society
CHARLES G. KOCH
April 2, 2014