The Web: The Rightwing Network Taking Over The Planet
A populist wave has swept across the world. Trump,Brexit and Le Pen (to name a few) took the world's elite off guard but what has been characterised as a people's revolution is in reality anything but. Insead these events are part of a larger masterplan to create a new super class. An all powerful oligarchy that controls every pillar of society.
During the Yeltsin and early Putin years the country was in chaos. The collapse of the USSR and free market reforms had led to a power vacuum a modernday that was filled by organised crime a handful of billionaires (aka oligarchs) and a few senior members of the military and government. Eventually these groups became so intertwined it became impossible to tell one from the other. The Russian people went along with this as their living standards rose and some degree of order returned to society despite how undemocratic this was.
Elite's underworld links exposed – the guardian (1999)
In Yeltsin's new Russia, the worlds of politics, business and organised crime blur into one. Key players are those who control the country's rich natural resources or its utilities. Viktor Chernomyrdin, a former Prime Minister, Anatoly Chubais, a former Deputy Prime Minister, and other members of the elite have denied any wrongdoing. But The Observer can reveal that Russian intelligence has established links between Chubais's business empire and a former Channel Islands company at the centre of 'maffiya' money-laundering.
Gazprom – the world's biggest gas company, which Chernomyrdin now chairs – has also come under investigation for spiriting hundreds of millions of dollars offshore via a network of shell companies in Eastern Europe, Cyprus and Italy.
When the Bank of New York scandal broke last month, the story seemed shocking but simple enough. Two senior Russian-born executives in London and New York had allegedly connived with Semion Mogilevich – an underworld godfather dubbed 'the most dangerous man in the world' – to launder $10 billion through a web of companies run from north London.
Konstantin Kagalovsky – husband of Natasha Kagalovsky, the Bank of New York executive suspended in the US – is a senior establishment figure in the pro-Yeltsin camp, to which Chubais and Chernomyrdin belong. A former Russian envoy to the IMF, he was expected to head Chernomyrdin's campaign to succeed Yeltsin next year. His mentor is Chubais, who headed Russia's debt negotiations with the West until 1998's crash.
The mafia state
In 2008 Russian defector former KGB colonel Alexander Litvinenko was assassinated with polonium 210 the most toxic substance known to man.
Shortly before his death his due to speak to Mitrokhin Commission a parliamentary inquiry in Italy. It's focus was on alleged KGB ties to opposition figures in Italian politics, basing itself on the controversial 'Mitrokhin' KGB Archive, and various other sources including the consultant Mario Scaramella. The Mitrokhin Commission alleged, among other things, that Romano Prodi, former center-left Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, was the "KGB's man in Italy."
On his deathbed he death bed he death he detailed the relationship between organised crime and Putin himself.
Poisoned KGB Agent Said Putin Has A 'Good Relationship' With One Of The World's Top Mobsters – Business insider (2015)
Before his death by poisoning, ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, recorded a tape.
In it, he claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a "good relationship" with one of the most notorious mobsters in the world, a Ukrainian man named Semion Mogilevich.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that Mogilevich, one of the top 10 most wanted fugitives, has spent the last few decades trafficking drugs, trading nuclear material, and orchestrating contract murders and international prostitution.
Indicted in 2003 for countless fraud charges, Mogilevich now primarily lives in Moscow. His location allows him to maintain close ties to the Bratva, or 'The Brotherhood', aka the Russian mob.
Putin's world view
To understand Putin you must first understand Alexander Dugin Fracturing europe has long been a goal of Russia's (divide and conquer). One of Putin's longest and most senior advisers. Dugin laid out the blueprint of this in his book the 'Foundations of geopolitics'. A combination of fascism,nationalism and pan-eurasianism.
The book states that "the maximum task [of the future] is the 'Finlandization' of all of Europe".
In Europe: Germany should be offered the de facto political dominance over most Protestant and Catholic states located within Central and Eastern Europe. Kaliningrad oblast could be given back to Germany. The book uses the term "Moscow-Berlin axis".
France should be encouraged to form a "Franco-German bloc" with Germany. Both countries have a "firm anti-Atlanticist tradition".
The United Kingdom should be cut off from Europe.
Finland should be absorbed into Russia. Southern Finland will be combined with the Republic of Karelia and northern Finland will be "donated to Murmansk Oblast".
Estonia should be given to Germany's sphere of influence.
Latvia and Lithuania should be given a "special status" in the Eurasian-Russian sphere.
Poland should be granted a "special status" in the Eurasian sphere.
Romania, Macedonia, "Serbian Bosnia" and Greece – "orthodox collectivist East" – will unite with "Moscow the Third Rome" and reject the "rational-individualistic West".
Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because "Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning, no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness, its certain territorial ambitions represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics". Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is cordon sanitaire, which would be inadmissible.
In the Middle East and Central Asia: The book stresses the "continental Russian-Islamic alliance" which lies "at the foundation of anti-Atlanticist strategy". The alliance is based on the "traditional character of Russian and Islamic civilization". Iran is a key ally. The book uses the term "Moscow-Tehran axis".
Armenia has a special role: It will serve as a "strategic base," and it is necessary to create "the [subsidiary] axis Moscow-Erevan-Teheran". Armenians "are an Aryan people … [like] the Iranians and the Kurds".
Azerbaijan could be "split up" or given to Iran.
Georgia should be dismembered. Abkhazia and "United Ossetia" (which includes Georgia's South Ossetia) will be incorporated into Russia. Georgia's independent policies are unacceptable.
Russia needs to create "geopolitical shocks" within Turkey. These can be achieved by employing Kurds, Armenians and other minorities.
The book regards the Caucasus as a Russian territory, including "the eastern and northern shores of the Caspian (the territories of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan)" and Central Asia (mentioning Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan).
In Asia: China, which represents a danger to Russia, "must, to the maximum degree possible, be dismantled". Dugin suggests that Russia start by taking Tibet-Xinjiang-Mongolia-Manchuria as a security belt. Russia should offer China help "in a southern direction – Indochina (except Vietnam), the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia" as geopolitical compensation.
Russia should manipulate Japanese politics by offering the Kuril Islands to Japan and provoking anti-Americanism.
Mongolia should be absorbed into Eurasia-Russia.
The book emphasizes that Russia must spread Anti-Americanism everywhere: "the main 'scapegoat' will be precisely the U.S."
In the United States: Russia should use its special services within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism, for instance, provoke "Afro-American racists". "Russia should introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics." The Eurasian Project could be expanded to South and Central America
Now with all this in mind let's see how how current event line up with the book…
Major UKIP Donor Says "KGB Man" Took Him To Russian Embassy – Buzzfeed (2016)
The Russian embassy sent representatives to UKIP's annual conference who then invited leading Eurosceptic figures to meet privately with the Russian ambassador, according to a new book by major UKIP donor Arron Banks.
In his account of the EU referendum campaign, Banks describes meeting a "a shady character called Oleg" who was attending UKIP's annual conference at Doncaster racecourse in September 2015.
"He was introduced to us as the First Secretary of the embassy – in other words, the KGB's man in London," writes Banks, who has given over a million pounds to UKIP and co-founded the Leave.EU campaign group. "Oleg", according to Banks, then invited him to a private meeting with Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko.
How annexing Crimea allowed Putin to claim he had made Russia great again – the guardian (2016)
Much of the current tension between Russia and the west is a consequence of Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into Ukraine, three years ago this week. In truth, however, that deployment was a reaction to Putin’s own fears of growing western influence in eastern Europe.
In the winter of 2011-2012, Russia saw its largest protests since the 1990s. Provoked by the blatant fraud of the 2011 Russian legislative elections, and by Putin’s decision to run for president again after four years of using Dmitry Medvedev as a figurehead, the protesters formed an unlikely coalition: scruffy leftists, cosmopolitan liberals, strident nationalists and disgruntled workers. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in central Moscow in sub-zero temperatures, white ribbons on their lapels.
Russia had long feared the possibility of a pro-democracy “colour revolution” on its own territory, having watched in horror as mass protests overthrew regimes in the former Soviet states of Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004 and Kyrgyzstan in 2005. Putin and the state-controlled media depicted these movements as western conspiracies, CIA plots funded by George Soros. For Putin, they were threats to Russia’s regional authority and stability, which had already been ravaged by the fall of the Soviet Union, as well as threats to his personal power.
It was unsurprising, then, when Moscow moved swiftly to quash Russia’s nascent “snow revolution”, as it was being called by some English-language journalists. Repression came in the form of beatings and violent dispersals, arrests of opposition leaders and protesters on trumped-up charges, show trials of dissidents – most famously of Pussy Riot – and further curtailments of the already limited freedoms of the press, speech and assembly.
But Putin’s efforts to head off a potential colour revolution went beyond repression to a campaign that might have been called “Make Russia great again”, aimed at constructing a positive sense of Russian identity. Through a strategic combination of propaganda and geopolitical aggression, Putin’s government promoted a narrative meant to bolster patriotism, and Russian xenophobia and paranoia along with it.
By the end of 2013, the Russian opposition movement had fallen apart, but Putin had a new headache: the Maidan revolution in neighbouring Ukraine, a massive, mostly nonviolent protest movement that occupied central Kiev for months, and culminated in the flight of Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014.
This began as a response to Yanukovych’s refusal to sign an EU association agreement. Therefore, as far as Putin was concerned, it signified yet another western encroachment on his sphere of influence. The world seemed to be closing in on Russia.
In the shadow of Ukraine: seven years on from Russian-Georgian war – ECFR (2015)
Seven years ago, in the night of 7th to the 8th August 2008, skirmishes along the lines of separation in Georgia escalated to full war.
The war had its roots in long-standing Russia instrumentalisation of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as a bargaining chip to influence Georgia's domestic policy. Above all, it was used as a tool to prevent Georgia from further strengthening ties with the West. Yet Russia could not offer the Georgians any viable path for social, political, and economic modernisation. Frustration mounted leading to the 2003 Rose Revolution and the ousting of the regime of Eduard Shevardnadze. Saakashvili, who rose to power after the revolution, tried to achieve two key objectives simultaneously, reunification of South Ossetia and Abkhzia, and the westernization of Georgia.
Domestically, he tried to make the Georgian-controlled part of South Ossetia a showcase for economic and social modernisation (by entrusting Dimitri Sanakoev with the government of the region). He hoped that the successful Georgian modernisation process would lead for Ossetians in Tskhinvali to demand the same sooner or later, opening the path for re-unification. Internationally, he thought his reform course would enjoy Western support.. He was wrong on both fronts. South Ossetia was and is firmly within the iron grasp of the Communist Party of Ossetia, totally dependent on Russian financial aid and Russian security services. Regardless of what the Ossetians might have wanted, South Ossetia was, de-facto, a Russian colony, unable to make its own decisions.
Turkey’s Turn toward Russia – National Review (2017)
As Erdogan turns his back on the West, the danger is not that Turkey could leave NATO but that it might not. Independent observers have deemed Turkey’s referendum campaign to be neither free nor fair, but their objections may be moot. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed victory and declared debate over; he will not accept a recount or nullification. Symbolically closing the door on the secular, Western-leaning republic founded nearly 100 years ago by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Erdogan visited not his tomb after the election but rather that of the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II (r. 1444–46, 1451–81), who conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453.
The visit capped Erdogan’s more than decade-long embrace of neo-Ottomanism, the idea, promoted by former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, that Turkey should focus its foreign policy more on the former Ottoman domains in the Middle East and North Africa than in Europe or elsewhere in the West. The neo-Ottoman reorientation may have just been the beginning as Turkey seeks to pivot from its westward focus. It appears headed not only toward a break with the European Union, in which it once sought membership — in recent weeks, Erdogan has likened both the Dutch and the German governments to Nazis — but also toward a full-scale embrace of Russia.
NATO authorities have been in denial. “We are grateful for Turkey’s long-standing contribution to our alliance in so many ways,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after a visit to Istanbul and Ankara last year. He has lauded Turkey’s contributions to the international fight against terrorism, never mind that Erdogan has transformed Turkey into an underground railroad for Islamic State fighters and supplied and endorsed al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria and elsewhere.
You may be asking so how exactly do big businesses and the super rich fit into this?
Simple, their money and influence is banking rolling these goals (much like they do in domestic politics). Political donations, lobbying and public support. Except it also plays in Russia's wider agenda not just their own.
Another big part of having the wealthy on side know how to cloak the real source of this money of the money. This is commonly know as dark money.
Involving shell corporations, property deals,offshore accounts and most importantly a new front in this war profiling voter and targeting propaganda at them (fake news,disinformation etc) on an industrial scale.
These are things that Russia wouldn't be able to do by sorley itself or accomplish by blunter means (for example a conventional war with N.A.T.O) In other words this coup is an inside job.
Ultimately in an Oligarchy the only ones who benefit are those at the very top. The super rich and those who are very well connected. Everyone else sees their living standards and personal freedoms decline.
The million dollar question is did Cambridge Analytica and IN-Q-TEL/Palantir team up to create the most advanced voter targeting system in history?
If they did create this orwellian nightmare how can we stop it?
What does Donald Trump stand for? – The Anti-Democratic Worldview of Steve Bannon and Peter Thiel – Politico Magazine (2016)
It’s hard to tell. His inflammatory calls during the campaign to build a wall at the Mexican border and ban Muslims from entering the country were balanced by seemingly moderate positions on gay rights and health care. On trade and infrastructure, he can sound a little like a Democratic populist. Some of Trump’s voters see him as a pragmatist who would govern like a businessman (whatever that means).
Now that Trump is president-elect, pending the Electoral College vote on December 19, the question has taken on monumental importance. Trump’s Cabinet secretaries are emerging slowly. But we do know something about the people shaping the transition. Two of Trump’s close advisers have known views on some big-picture issues about the world, and if you read them, there’s a troubling commonality that goes far beyond any specific policy areas: They are our first clear view of Trumpism as an illiberal theory of politics with deep doubts about democracy.
The advisers are Steve Bannon, the right-wing media provocateur who ran Breitbart News, then Trump’s campaign, and has now been named to the influential post of “chief strategist,” a role in which he is expected to have the new president’s ear in the White House. The other is Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley libertarian who spoke at Trump’s convention, gave more than $1 million in support of his campaign and is now a member of Trump’s transition team. Although Thiel says he doesn’t intend to have a full-time position in Trump’s administration, he reportedly has been feeding the president-elect ideas from a Silicon Valley “brain trust,” and a principal at Thiel’s venture capital fund has been named to Trump’s defense transition team. The speeches and writings of these two political outsiders suggest that beyond policy, there’s something much deeper at work: an impulse to reshape the country, and the world, in a way that would change the meaning of democracy in unsettling ways—and, maybe, ultimately undermine it.
To understand Bannon’s outlook, the best source we have is a remote address he gave in 2014 to a conference of the Human Dignity Institute, a conservative political group with right-wing Catholic ties, which was being held at the Vatican. In the talk, recently published by BuzzFeed, Bannon laid out a strikingly coherent picture of his worldview, which has a few fundamental elements.
First, the United States and Europe are at the beginning of “a very brutal and bloody conflict” against “a new barbarity that’s starting, which will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years,” unless “we” defeat it. This is “jihadist Islamic fascism.” The “river of blood” that the Islamic State promises “is going to come to Western Europe, it’s going to come to the United Kingdom.” (Bannon seems to be just the leading edge of this clash-of-civilizations theme in the Trump administration. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has called radical Islam an “existential threat” and suggested that Islam itself is “a cancer” of an ideology rather than a genuine religion.)
Second, what “we” must defend against Islamic fascism is a very specific version of Western civilization. The lesson of World War II and the struggle against totalitarianism, Bannon explains, is that the great and singular achievement of the West is “an enlightened form of capitalism.” It is, he says, a specifically “Christian” or “Judeo-Christian” version of capitalism that produces wealth for the good of the community, in which “divine providence” empowers its favored people “to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth.” The thing to notice is what is left out. In a description of a coming battle for Western civilization and of the lessons of the 20th-century struggle against totalitarianism, Bannon does not mention democracy. He doesn’t mention constitutionalism. Capitalism is the thing at stake in a global clash of civilizations, the most precious part of a legacy of freedom.
Bannon believes that the political force rising to defend all these values today is “a global tea party” that links Trump, Brexit voters, the anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic National Front in France, and Narendra Modi’s nationalist government in India. These groups, Bannon says, may be incidentally racist or attract some racist elements, but those elements will “get washed out” and leave their pure and proper value, which is the nationalist defense of enlightened capitalism. They are the ground troops of the coming struggle, rebuilding a West that can defend itself and is worth defending.
HOW PETER THIEL’S PALANTIR HELPED THE NSA SPY ON THE WHOLE WORLD – The Intercept (2017)
DONALD TRUMP HAS inherited the most powerful machine for spying ever devised. How this petty, vengeful man might wield and expand the sprawling American spy apparatus, already vulnerable to abuse, is disturbing enough on its own. But the outlook is even worse considering Trump’s vast preference for private sector expertise and new strategic friendship with Silicon Valley billionaire investor Peter Thiel, whose controversial (and opaque) company Palantir has long sought to sell governments an unmatched power to sift and exploit information of any kind. Thiel represents a perfect nexus of government clout with the kind of corporate swagger Trump loves. The Intercept can now reveal that Palantir has worked for years to boost the global dragnet of the NSA and its international partners, and was in fact co-created with American spies.
Peter Thiel became one of the American political mainstream’s most notorious figures in 2016 (when it emerged he was bankrolling a lawsuit against Gawker Media, my former employer) even before he won a direct line to the White House. Now he brings to his role as presidential adviser decades of experience as kingly investor and token nonliberal on Facebook’s board of directors, a Rolodex of software luminaries, and a decidedly Trumpian devotion to controversy and contrarianism. But perhaps the most appealing asset Thiel can offer our bewildered new president will be Palantir Technologies, which Thiel founded with Alex Karp and Joe Lonsdale in 2004.
Palantir has never masked its ambitions, in particular the desire to sell its services to the U.S. government — the CIA itself was an early investor in the startup through In-Q-Tel, the agency’s venture capital branch. But Palantir refuses to discuss or even name its government clientele, despite landing “at least $1.2 billion” in federal contracts since 2009, according to an August 2016 report in Politico. The company was last valued at $20 billion and is expected to pursue an IPO in the near future. In a 2012 interview with TechCrunch, while boasting of ties to the intelligence community, Karp said nondisclosure contracts prevent him from speaking about Palantir’s government work.
Alexander "Alex" Karp, co-founder and chief executive officer of Palantir Technologies Inc., speaks during the WSJDLive Global Technology Conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. The conference brings together an unmatched group of top CEOs, founders, pioneers, investors and luminaries to explore tech opportunities emerging around the world. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images Alex Karp, co-founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, speaks during the WSJDLive Global Technology Conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Oct. 26, 2016.
“Palantir” is generally used interchangeably to refer to both Thiel and Karp’s company and the software that company creates. Its two main products are Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis, more geeky winks from a company whose Tolkien namesake is a type of magical sphere used by the evil lord Sauron to surveil, trick, and threaten his enemies across Middle Earth. While Palantir Metropolis is pegged to quantitative analysis for Wall Street banks and hedge funds, Gotham (formerly Palantir Government) is designed for the needs of intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security customers. Gotham works by importing large reams of “structured” data (like spreadsheets) and “unstructured” data (like images) into one centralized database, where all of the information can be visualized and analyzed in one workspace. For example, a 2010 demo showed how Palantir Government could be used to chart the flow of weapons throughout the Middle East by importing disparate data sources like equipment lot numbers, manufacturer data, and the locations of Hezbollah training camps. Palantir’s chief appeal is that it’s not designed to do any single thing in particular, but is flexible and powerful enough to accommodate the requirements of any organization that needs to process large amounts of both personal and abstract data.
What Is the Far Right’s Endgame? A Society That Suppresses the Majority. – Slate (2016)
When the Supreme Court decided, in the 1954 case of Brown vs. Board of Education, that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, Tennessee-born economist James McGill Buchanan was horrified. Over the course of the next few decades, the libertarian thinker found comfortable homes at a series of research universities and spent his time articulating a new grand vision of American society, a country in which government would be close to nonexistent, and would have no obligation to provide education—or health care, or old-age support, or food, or housing—to anyone.
This radical vision has become the playbook for a network of people looking to override democracy in order to shift more money to the wealthiest few, historian and professor at Duke University Nancy MacLean argues in her new book, an intellectual biography of James Buchanan called Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.* Buchanan’s life story, she writes, is “the true origin story of today’s well-heeled radical right.”
I spoke with MacLean about Buchanan’s intellectual evolution and its legacy today. We discussed whether it’s helpful or counterproductive to call the network of organizations funded by Charles Koch a “conspiracy,” the line of influence between Buchanan and what’s going on in MacLean’s home state of North Carolina, and that time Buchanan helped Chile’s dictator craft a profoundly undemocratic constitution. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Q:So why is James Buchanan so unknown? He had a Nobel Prize; how did he manage to fly under the radar?
He had a very different personality from somebody like Milton Friedman. I think of them as kind of a yin and yang. Friedman was very sunny, and Buchanan was kind of a darker figure. Friedman was always very anxious to be in the limelight, and Buchanan was not like that at all. He was very interested in making an impact over the long term and training other people, and he seemed to be content to talk to powerful people more than to talk to public audiences. His books were really written for other scholars, not so much the general public.
Q:Can you put him in relationship with other people, besides Friedman, who might be more familiar to us today?
People might be familiar with the Mont Pelerin Society, the international invitation-only group that began in 1947 launched by Friedrich Hayek. That society included Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Buchanan, ultimately Charles Koch (which I think not many people know!), and many others.
Friedman and Hayek put much more emphasis on making the case for free markets, whereas Buchanan’s distinctive mission was to make a case against government. … His basic idea is that people had been wrong to think of political actors as concerned with the common good or the public interest, when in fact, according to Buchanan’s way of looking at things, everyone should be understood as a self-interested actor seeking their own advantage. He said we should think of politicians, elected officials, as seeking their own self-interest in re-election. And that’s why they’ll make multiple costly promises to multiple constituencies, because they won’t have to pay for it. And he would say agency officials—say, an official at the EPA—would just keep trying to expand the agency, because that would expand their power and resources.
Now there were other people who actually tested that empirically and found out that it didn’t hold, so it’s really a caricature of the political process, but it’s a caricature that’s become very, very widespread right now.
Q:You mentioned a few times in the book that Buchanan didn’t really do empirical research. So what was he writing from?
He was also trained in game theory at the Rand Corporation, so he uses a lot of that. But basically he writes more like a social philosopher, someone studying the social contract.
Q:Did his ideas change over time?
The core ideas kind of stayed the same. What did change over time was his own outlook. It became much darker over the years. His first big book in his field, which is called public choice economics, was titled The Calculus of Consent, and it came out in 1962 and was co-authored with Gordon Tullock. It was the work for which Buchanan was most recognized in his Nobel citation. In that work, he seemed to believe that somehow people of good will could come to something close to unanimity on the basic rules of how to govern our society, on things like taxation and government spending and so forth.
And by the mid-1970s he concluded that that was impossible, and that there was no way that poor people would ever agree … there was no way that people who were not wealthy, who were not large property owners, would agree to the kind of rules he was proposing. So that was a very dark work. It was called The Limits of Liberty. He actually said in that work that the only hope might be despotism.
And he went from writing that to advising the Pinochet junta in Chile on how to craft their constitution. This document was later called a “constitution of locks and bolts,” [and was designed] to make it so that the majority couldn’t make its will felt in the political system, unless it was a huge supermajority.
So yeah, it’s pretty dark.
Q:Tell me more about the relationship between Koch and Buchanan.
I think too many people on the left have really underestimated Koch’s intelligence and his drive, and also misunderstood his motives. There’s been brilliant work by journalists, really good digging on the money trail and the Koch operations, but much of that writing seems to assume that he is doing this just because it’s going to lower his tax bill or because he wants to evade regulations, personally. I think that really misgauges the man. He is deeply ideological and has been reading almost fanatically for a very long time. I see him as someone who’s quite messianic. He’s compared himself to Martin Luther and his effort being like the Protestant Reformation. When he invested in Buchanan’s center at George Mason University, he said he wanted to “unleash the kind of force that propelled Columbus.”
This is not someone who’s just trying to lower his tax bill. He wants to bring in a totally new vision of society and government, that’s different from anything that exists anywhere in the world or has existed because he is so certain that he is right. I think it’s more chilling because it doesn’t correspond to the ideas we have about politics.
In the late 1990's some billionaires started questioning Putin which led to their demise killing,jailing and discrediting his opponents. Even seizing their assets. They had severed their purpose in Putin's view. Perhaps a sign of things to come.