(cross posted from Daily Kos)
I Am Not A Tea Partier. I am a liberal/progressive who thinks the strategy AGAINST the Tea Party is doomed to fail.
I stumbled upon this (admittedly biased) biography of the Koch Brothers’ father, Fred Koch.
Within two years, Koch had devised a more efficient procedure for cracking crude oil — the process by which crude oil is refined into gasoline and other products. Cracking was first invented by a Russian engineer, Vladimir Shukhov, in the late 19th century. By the 1920s, the petroleum industry was fully fledged, in no small measure in response to the needs of the burgeoning automobile industry. Then as now, the petroleum industry was dominated by a few mega-corporations that did not scruple to enlist the power of the state to enforce their near-monopolistic dominance of the industry at the expense of smaller would-be competitors. Koch’s new royalty-free thermal cracking process, by producing higher yields of refined gasoline from crude oil and reducing down time, helped smaller companies to better compete with their larger, more entrenched, and better-capitalized rivals. The latter lost no time in attacking Koch, filing no less than 44 lawsuits against Winkler-Koch and all its customers in a contemptible campaign to force the company out of business. That Winkler-Koch won every lawsuit but one (and that verdict was later overturned when it was discovered that the judge had been bribed) is evidence enough that the full-frontal legal assault on the upstart Koch was inspired by no higher motives than envy and greed. We must suppose that, as a result of the campaign to sue him out of the refining business, Fred Koch must have begun to understand that the modern American business sector was not nearly as free-market as it was cracked up to be.
Read the whole article, it’s not very long. It describes a man whose life experience branded hunger and murder under the name Communism, linking it to the feeling of being persecuted by larger adversaries, just because you’re better. And the government, the very legal system you believe in, betraying its obligation. This is an angry, frightened man.
… but would he recognize his empire as a new face of the TOTALITARIANISM that he railed against? This is the real tragedy in life. when we fail to address our fears and angers and burdens, and in an attempt to escape them, we become them. Victims become perpetrators.
So before I get branded as a Tea Party sympathizer and a troll, I’m going to tell you why I care. Why psychoanalyze dead evil people? Same reason you psychoanalyze evil living people. To reverse engineer their thinking, so you can revese engineer their mistakes.
Imagine yourself the ATF guy who has to enter The Unabomber’s cabin. He knows the guy is nut. But he’s not going to make the mistake of crashing into the house. He knows that BECAUSE Kaczynski is nuts, he has to take special precautions.
We also have to take extra precautions with the Corporate Funder Tea Party. We can’t merely dismiss them as idiots, insane, deluded, wrong, stupid. We have to understand their thinking. Diffuse their bomb. There are journalists and others who are good at finding the facts, but nobody here shows the least interest in the behavioral and mental patterns that these facts provide. If you dismiss the criminal, the enemy, the other team, as just a bunch of cranks who are WRONG about … whatever, you won’t look close enough to find the bomb, much less cut the correct wire.
No, I didn’t say red, I said correct. No, don’t cut the red wire. Don’t cut any wire yet. I’m not done figuring it out.
See what I mean?
SO. The point of this diary and the linked article is, the Koch Brothers probably see themSELVES as the victims. That’s important to know. When you’re dealing with crazy people, it’s helpful to know just what flavor of crazy they are.