The wealth inequality and environmental exploitation we have today did not happen by accident. They are the result of a patient libertarian/free-market activist campaign that began decades ago, stealthily funded and directed by wealthy capitalists. Jane Mayer outlines the entire endeavor in her 2016-2017 book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.

I’m presently listening to the Dark Money audio version. I already knew about the Powell Memo, and am only too aware of the infamous Koch Brothers, but Mayer fleshes out the details of this horrible takeover of American democracy in remarkable detail. The full report is nearly overwhelming, and I feel furious.

…What were all these organizations and donors promoting, other than the election of Republican candidates to office? Free-market orthodoxy, to start with. “Market principles have changed my life,” Charles Koch declared in the 1990s, “and guide everything I do.” That seems as true in 2016 as it was when he said it. Closely related to free-market faith is the hatred of regulation, federal, state or local…

This ideology helps to explain one of the most important Koch crusades of recent years: the fight to prevent action against climate change. The Koch-sponsored advocacy group Americans for Prosperity has been at the forefront of climate-change opposition over the past decade…

As ferocious as they have been in defense of free-market ideas, the Koch brothers are also acting out of tangible self-interest, Mayer argues…

Alan Ehrenhalt

READ MORE: ‘Dark Money,’ by Jane Mayer | The New York Times

By the way, the Koch Brothers aren’t the only players in this dark saga.

I dare you to read Dark Money — and feel the fury. Do let me know what you think. Meanwhile, here is Thom Hartmann reading an excerpt from Chapter Eleven:


Seeing the Big Picture

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