Campus Crusade for Koch


While some college students are being introduced to Nietzsche, Freud, and organic chemistry, Charles and David Koch want to introduce them to the Kochification Church, bless their hearts. The Koch Brothers (shouldn’t they just stick to cough drops?) are spending more than ever to “evangelize their gospel of economic freedom” on campuses, reports Al Jazeera.

“The [Koch] network is fully integrated,” Kevin Gentry told the annual Koch network meeting last summer. And not only with students, but also in “building state-based capabilities and election capabilities” into a “talent pipeline.” Sounds as if the cult of Ayn Rand has branched out into multi-level marketing. Oh, glory!

We knew their acolytes have been introducing students to the Randian gospel by bribing colleges endowing chairs in economic departments that will agree to teach “Atlas Shrugged” and instill a philosophy of “wealth maximization.” But as Charles ages, he seems to have redoubled his efforts, hoping to see the fruit of his evangelism in his lifetime.

Have you accepted Ayn Rand as your personal savior?

If ensnaring twenty-somethings with GenOpp beer busts was a bust, Koch might have recruited Tom Cruise as a spokesperson or tried renting a Texas stadium for an old-fashioned revival. But instead, Koch’s Prosperity Plan is to spend tens of millions “across 210 college campuses in 46 states and the District of Columbia” on a more discreet Campus Crusade for Koch:

At the College of Charleston in South Carolina, for example, documents show the foundation wanted more than just academic excellence for its money. It wanted information about students it could potentially use for its own benefit — and influence over information officials at the public university disseminated about the Charles Koch Foundation.

It sought, for one, the names and email addresses — “preferably not ending in .edu” — of any student who participated in a Koch-sponsored class, reading group, club or fellowship. The stated purpose: “to notify students of opportunities” through both the Charles Koch Foundation and the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.

Which is not remotely creepy.

The other day, I bought a new toilet online and was immediately bombarded by sidebar ads for toilets. Instead of stalking students, maybe that’s something Charles Koch might try that if he really wants to reach people with the libertarian gospel of market freedom before he shuffles off to that Howard Roark high-rise in the sky.

Have you tried selling prayer cloths?

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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