Sunday, August 25, 2019

“David Koch walked the walk” says Reason editor

“David Koch walked the walk” - Vox - Jane Coaston:

August 23, 2019 - "David Koch, the billionaire industrialist who, together with his brother Charles, ran one of the most influential (and controversial) political giving operations, died Friday at the age of 79. A libertarian, Koch was nevertheless one of the most powerful forces in conservative politics, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to back conservative candidates in elections on every level and pouring millions more into think tanks....

"At their core, the Koch brothers were 'fundamentally, philosophically libertarian,' says Nick Gillespie, editor at large of Reason Magazine , a monthly libertarian publication ... published by the Reason Foundation.... Koch served as a trustee of the foundation for 36 years and was a major donor....  I spoke with Gillespie, who was also formerly Reason’s editor-in-chief, about David Koch’s impact on libertarian politics and politics at large"....

Nick Gillespie; "David and Charles Koch, ... more than any two people, are responsible for the postwar, post-’60s libertarian movement. They’re fundamentally, philosophically libertarian — they believe that individuals should be given as much freedom to innovate and to create the wealth that they want to, based on mutual respect for people’s rights and things like that. If you look back toward the end of the ’80s, in an MIT alumni survey, they asked, 'Graduates, what are you most proud of?' And Koch said he was most proud of running for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980....

"They’re fundamentally libertarian. They think that individuals have rights that should be respected always and everywhere. And that also meant that they’re not religious, they’re not pushing a narrow morality. They were anti-intervention, ... they were against corporate welfare, they were against special rules for connected people. David Koch walked the walk. He believed in free minds and free markets, and believed in making the world better through good business practice and good philanthropic practice...."

"It’s impossible to underestimate or to understate the impact that he had in growing a variety of institutions that created an intellectual architecture of framework for libertarian ideas. So whether it’s through his board membership and contributions to Reason or to other groups, including philanthropic groups, he helped fund a ton of people who learned how to think about ideas in a pre-political way. And I think this is part of what neither the right or the left nor journalists get about the Kochs ... that ultimately they’re more interested in what happens before politics.

"It’s about a worldview, and it’s a worldview that, again, is classically liberal in that it celebrates local cultures and local traditions, but then it also blends that with the kind of cosmopolitanism that comes out of a kind of appreciation for universal human rights and the idea that we’re all equal and we should try and discover how best to live our lives. And I think that’s his main legacy to the libertarian movement: helping to bolster and create and fund the institutions that allow libertarian ideas and thought to flourish."

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