The most Orwellian op-ed of the year

Note:  No head vise known to humankind can protect you from this op-ed — but for any survivors, I end the post with the joke of the day.

Quick Quiz — Who said what:

  1. For many years, I, my family and our company have contributed to a variety of intellectual and political causes working to solve these problems. Because of our activism, we’ve been vilified by various groups.
  2. I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.
  3. Despite this criticism, we’re determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges seriously.
  4. You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.

Quotes 1 and 3 are Charles Koch in a head-exploding Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Why Koch Industries Is Speaking Out.”  Quotes 2 and 4 are Al Capone.

Let’s us have a moment of silence for the plight of the misunderstood businessmen.  Time’s up.

Koch’s agenda is to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few, especially himself, with no regard to the health and well-being of the many who will suffer along the way — and he will stop at nothing to achieve this.  He and his brother are the Al Capones of pollutocrats — or Bernie Madoffs, if you prefer the modern-day analogy.  They outspend Exxon Mobil on pro-pollution disinformation aimed at preventing action to preserving a livable climate.  They must make their billions as quickly as possible before the global Ponzi scheme they are pushing  collapses.

The policies of Gov. Walker, of course, would greatly harm the citizens of Wisconsin, again benefiting the super-rich pollutocrats at the expense of the middle class and poor.

The subhead for the WSJ opinion piece could only have been written by some editor at the paper recently hired away from the Ministry of Truth (aka Minitrue):

Crony capitalism and bloated government prevent entrepreneurs from producing the products and services that make people’s lives better.

Yes, that’s the goal of the Kochs — producing the products and services that make people’s lives better — if we lived in the Bizarro World.  Here’s another quote:

This American system of ours … call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.

Oh, wait, that’s not Koch in the WSJ, it’s Al Capone again.  Go figure!

The entire agenda of the Kochs is to ensure that businesses never are subject to science-based regulations aimed at preserving and improving the clean air, clean water, and a livable climate, thereby making people’s lives better.  For the Kochs, limited government means unlimited pollution.

UPDATE:  The Kochs want to continue all of the massive subsidies for dirty energy, while gutting them for the clean energy products and services that actually make people’s lives better.   For good discussions of this, see

REPORT: How Koch Industries Makes Billions By Demanding Bailouts And Taxpayer Subsidies (Part 1):

— The dirty secret of Koch Industries is its birth under the centrally-planned Soviet Union. Fred Koch, the founder of the company and father of David and Charles, helped construct fifteen oil refineries for Joseph Stalin before expanding the business in the United States.

– As Yasha Levine has reported, Koch exploits a number of government programs for profit. For instance, Georgia Pacific, a timber company subsidiary of Koch Industries, uses taxpayer money provided by the U.S. Forestry Service to provide their loggers with taxpayer-funded roads and access to virgin growth forests. “Logging companies such as Georgia-Pacific strip lands bare, destroy vast acreages and pay only a small fee to the federal government in proportion to what they take from the public,” according to the Institute for Public Accuracy….

Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration….

– SolveClimate recently reported that Koch Industries will reap huge profits from the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which runs from Koch-owned tar sands mining centers in Canada to Koch-owned refineries in Texas. To build the pipeline, politicians throughout the Midwest, many of whom have received large Koch campaign donations, have used eminant domain “” government seizures of private land. In Kansas, where Koch-funded officials advise Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and the Republican legislature, the Keystone XL Pipeline is likely to receive a property tax exemption of ten years, a special loophole that will cost Kansas taxpayers about $50 million.

The Kochs also fund and help oversee the extremist Tea Party movement (see New Yorker exposes Koch brothers and Video proof David Koch, the polluting billionaire, pulls the strings of the Tea Party extremists).  As Brad Johnson summarizes their agenda:

Top on the Koch agenda is the elimination of the estate tax for billionaires, the end to an open Internet, and the prevention of limits on their toxic pollution. Spending millions of dollars a year “” a tiny percent of their pollution-based wealth “” the Koch brothers and their ideological allies intend to manipulate American democracy to protect their private economic interests.

I feel obliged to end this most head-exploding of posts on an upbeat note.

First, DARPA is funding research and development into a containment field that could protect people’s crania from Minitrue op-eds like this one.  It’s too late for you, of course, but just imagine how that breakthrough might improve the lives of future generations!

Second, here’s a joke that’s circulating:

A public union employee, a Tea Party activist and Charles Koch are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle. Koch takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the Tea Partier and says, “watch out for that union guy he wants a piece of your cookie.”

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47 Responses to The most Orwellian op-ed of the year

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Koch is now adapting the why-me self pitying pose of Richard Nixon and Scott McClellan. I don’t know how even WSJ editors can stand him- most likely they just held their noses and let the old fart rant.

    I fully understand why he is opposed to the estate tax. Telling his wife and former “fashion assistant” Julia that she may only get $14 billion instead of $20b must have freaked her out. It might not be worth the lesser figure for her to have to stay with him.

    It shouldn’t be left to New Yorker and the blogs to call people like the Kochs out. They are endangering democracy and life on earth, and a state prosecutor must begin the task of putting together a criminal case against them. He can start with negligent homicide, bribery, and environmental destruction. Maybe the mainstream media will tell the Kochs’ story when the indictments are issued.

  2. And don’t forget their father, who was vilified just because he helped found the John Birch Society.

  3. Wit's End says:

    Oh good, this post gives me an excuse to complain about John Boehner’s latest Santorum, saying of the unions “We’ve given them a machine gun and put it right at the heads of the local officials and they really have their hands tied.”

    Now, I thought after the shootings in Arizona and the hoopla about Sarah Palin’s crosshairs the rabid right-wing political flacks of corporatists like the Kochs were going to stop with the violent imagery in discourse, but I guess not.

    And while on the topic of out-of-control predatory billionaires, I’d like to recommend this review of the Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job, which also has embedded an interview with the producer and trailer for the film:

  4. Anne van der Bom says:

    Some more positive news from Wisconsin. Some brave enterpreneurs still dare to row upstream in that pro-fossil state.

  5. John Stanley says:

    Orwellian is an apt description, though a more scientifically exact one would be “psychopathic”…as Joel Bakan’s group of expert psychologists found (in The Corporation) best fitted the behaviour of many a “corporate person”.

    Let’s not forget 2 members of the U.S. Supreme Court attended the Koch Industries conference before that body issued its judgement that the right of “corporate persons” to swing elections by bombing the airwaves with cash put 50 climate change deniers into the H. of Representatives in November.

    Maybe I’m missing something. Hasn’t the time come for a national and international boycott of Koch brands that are vulnerable to consumer pressure? Where are you, Greenpeace? Sierra Club? American Public Service Unions? Concerned Scientists? Move On? It’s time to burn Lycra, Coolmax, Thermolite, Stainmaster & the rest and apply some remedial education for poster-boy sociopaths.

  6. Ben Lieberman says:

    It looks as if the efforts to publicize the Koch record are starting to have an effect. Previously they would not have even felt the need to resort to a self pitying op-ed.

    @ John,

    I have been surprised by the apparent readiness of Climate Hakws to take boycotts off the table, but in this case there may be some action, though perhaps not sufficiently publicized to date.

  7. Sailesh Rao says:

    The Koch brothers are just channelling the Dupont brothers, Sloan, Kettering and other stalwarts of corporate America, but on a much vaster scale befitting the times. For a primer from the 1920s, please read the Secret History of Lead at

    Unfortunately for the Koch brothers, American citizens are not obediently goose-stepping in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, despite the Reichstag fire that their Gov. Walker started with his corporate tax cuts. In the words of a Wisconsin protestor, “It’s time to sober them up.”

  8. catman306 says:

    Kochhead Pea Tards may, according to the First Amendment, speak their minds. But where does it say that they get to change the government of our nation into a total plutocracy?

    Tea Party: the party of bait-and-switch

  9. It would be awesome to actually see all the groups you mention in your post Mr Stanley come together and hold a strategy session on how to return America to the 99.9% of people who are not narcissistic psychopathic Oil-fuelled billionaires. In dealing with the Kochs and the whole climate denial ‘movement’, we need a new set of tactics. the framing of Climate Hawkism is a start but I think we need to think of new ways of linking sustainability and a liveable climate to preserving freedom. I am so sick of hearing ‘cap and tax, EPA regulations, ‘(insert any reasonable action to combat climate change) is taking away my freedom and infringing on my rights.

    What about the freedom to not live in a poisoned, ruined world? what about the freedom to have clean air and water? the freedom to enjoy the outdoors? the freedom to not have an unaccountable corporation interfere with my rights as a citizen.The American passion for liberty,an entrepreneurial character and the many laudable qualities that exist in Americans must be linked tightly to sustainability and dealing with climate change. I believe that such an appeal could and should transcend ideology (as climate science does!).

    We need to attack and mitigate the influence of the Psychopathic Kochs and their ilk while offering a vision of a future where individuals and societies actually have a social-ecological system that is able to support human flourishing. I need to do some more thinking on specific tactics and communication strategies but we need to do something drastic. In the meantime, thank the lord we have climate progress.

  10. James Giese says:

    Some of the core responsibilities we have as a culture are to take care of sick and old people and help educate our children.

    It is shameful that Gov. Walker and his supporters, including the Koch brothers are trying to take away a decent living wage from teachers and health care workers.

    The joke about Tea Party and others fighting for the last crumb of a tiny cookie is spot-on.

    Why, we think we are richer if we take away from others is a lie that many are starting to realize is the true agenda of Koch and Walker and others of similar stripe.

    But, the greatest harm they may cause is with their denial of climate change.

  11. Rick Covert says:

    Is this the Kochs’ version of Nixon’s Checkers speach?

  12. Bob Lang says:

    #6 John S.

    I would love to boycott Koch Industries, but I renovate condo apartments in my spare time and have little choice but to put “Stainmaster” carpet (made by a subsidiary of Koch Inds) in them because they are the most durable and that’s what prospective buyers look for.

    I don’t use hardwood flooring for obvious reasons.

  13. Joan Savage says:

    When I got to Charles Koch’s, “For many years, I, my family and our company have contributed to…”, A question flashed across my mind, How much did they pay in taxes, as compared to their personal discretionary spending?”

    There are two points in his op-ed that have some utility. He sees the point in lowering military spending, and doesn’t like using ethanol fuel. However, those points fit in with his others that simplify to a position to protect him, his family and their company from taxation.

    The early patriots’ cry was, “No taxation without representation.”
    We also need to tell the privileged few, “Don’t buy representation instead of sharing in our common taxation.”

  14. Colorado Bob says:

    “We the corporations”

    On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

    We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

    * Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

    * Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.

    * Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

    The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. We Move to Amend.

  15. Norm says:

    Has anyone determined what labor Stalin supplied to Koch for the construction of those refineries. None from the free market, as the free market did not exist. Another source widely used at the time was coerced labor—even slave labor. It would be nice to know this.

  16. Colorado Bob says:

    Bob Lang @ 11
    You might want to check and see just what those Koch Karpets are out gassing.

  17. Solar Jim says:

    We have an economy with too much gas. In fact, it is based on gas. And too many gas bags.

    Things do not go better with Koch.

    The rot of American corporate fascism comes from within.

    Governance by money is Plutocracy. Pluto is the god of the underworld, the god of wealth. Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves, especially Jefferson. At least his spirit lives in Egypt.

    Thanks Bob for and all of your comments.

  18. paulm says:

    raging debate down under about pricing carbon….

  19. Wit's End says:

    A new fun cartoon video in support of amending the Constitution, from the makers of the Story of Stuff!

  20. Invite Bill McKibben, Richard Alley, James Hansen, Glenn Beck and the Koch brothers to participate in a televised debate

    Moderated by Anderson Cooper, Paul Krugman and Bill Clinton.

    Supply the audience with buckets of rotton tomatoes.

  21. Peter Bellin says:

    “This American system of ours … call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.”

    This meme suggests that any individual is given the opportunity to become ‘successful’ in this nation, with success defined as being ‘rich’. The logical extension of this is that we all can become millionaires. Of course, this is a fallacy since if everyone were a millionaire, the currency would have to be worthless.

    An alternative view would be that all citizens have a basic right for a decent life, defined as work that is rewarding on some level, income that is adequate to provide food and shelter, a functioning society, health care, secure retirement, etc.

    It is a canard that the ‘Americanism’ will provide this to all citizens without a government that sets standards.

  22. Bob Lang says:

    19. Wit’s End

    Thanks for that link. Quite an eye-opener.

    The USA limits the amount individuals and groups can contribute, whereas Canada limits the amount political parties and candidates can spend in a federal election.

    That’s why Canada has a democracy and the USA doesn’t.

  23. Lew Johns says:

    When I hear “Koch” I think of this story:

    A public employee, a member of the Tea Party and a CEO sit at a table with a dozen cookies on a plate. The CEO reaches across, takes 11 of the cookies, looks at the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that Union Guy: He wants a piece of your cookie.”

    It is especially poignant when one remembers that David Koch founded, funded and orchestrates “the tea party movement”.

  24. Colorado Bob says:

    I would add that everyone sign Mark Udall’s petition, and pass it around. This deals with the assault on the EPA.

    Sign our petition to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee urging them to vote no on anti-environment legislation that seeks to restrict the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority and allow big polluters and their lobbyists to write their own rules.

    We’ll be delivering the petition to committee Chair Barbara Boxer later this month, so sign now by entering your information in the form on the right!

  25. Colorado Bob says:

    Mark Udall’s petition

    Very simple to fill out.

  26. Richard Brenne says:

    I was surprised to learn of the express subway built to both Koch homes and those of all their most ardent and affluent cronies and supporters, but was unsurprised to learn the express line’s only destination was hell.

  27. Maya says:

    Bob, what about bamboo flooring?

  28. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    John Stanley #6 has it correct, in my opinion. There’s no problem really discerning what makes these people tick. They are psychopaths ie driven by egomania, incapable of human empathy, indifferent to the fate of others, utterly unscrupulous and have no qualms about using violence. The system that they have created over centuries to cement their dominance and which favours people of their type and punishes other human types, is called capitalism. The Kochtopus is not the disease, merely a florid symptom.

  29. Bob Lang says:

    #29 Maya

    Thanks for the tip, Maya. I’ll check it out next time I’m at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

  30. Colorado Bob says:

    Bob, what about bamboo flooring?, Anything but Koch Karpet.

  31. Adrian says:

    Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin, Walker wants ‘everyone’ to do their bit and abolishes Capital Gains Tax. Go figure.

  32. Mond from Oz says:

    To say – as one well might – that “something has gone terribly wrong, with America” suggests that there was a time before, when ‘things’ were right. When justice prevailed. Was there ever such a time? When was that?

    That phrase, “something has gone terribly wrong with America” also suggests that I think all is well here in Australia. It isn’t. We have our own plutocracy and the political party that serves its interests..

    Perhaps the difference, discernable in our responses to calamity, is that we are a little more committed to a concept of the common good. Just a little, and certainly not enough.

  33. Wit's End says:

    Mond from Oz, you raise a fascinating question.

    Have humans made progress? It is something I wonder about. I would like to think we have. For example we have gone – theoretically – from eras where slavery was taken for given to a global agreement that slavery is unacceptable. Yet, it would seem there are many slaves in the world, they have just been renamed, or hidden.

  34. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Wit’s End#35, one need only read a little history and literature to see that humanity has decayed, intellectually, morally and spiritually. This decay has been caused by capitalism, a system that treats all people as means to an end, but not their own ends, no, but to the capitalists’ ends. Capitalism recognises no value but money, so all the planet’s biospheres have been desecrated and destroyed, and humanity exploited as wage slaves, with undisguised hatred coming from the capitalists as can be seen in Wisconsin and the UK, amongst many countries. Capitalism reduces all creation to a crude profit and loss calculus. As the hideous Reagan, an epitome of what capitalism can do to its employees, said ‘You seen one redwood, you seen ’em all’, as he allowed the felling of thousands of these trees. Because capitalism has won, through mobilising force, violence, bribery, ‘divide and rule’ tactics and a brief era of buying-off the masses when it feared Communism, the world is dying, the biospheres poisoned by Homo capitalensis in its relentless pursuit of ‘More, More’.

  35. Edward says:

    34 Mond from Oz: In the US: In 1944, the individual income tax rate was 94% on the highest incomes.   The highest tax rate did not go below 80% until 1963. Just after WW2, the millionaires were paying 86.45%. There was full employment and rapid growth.

    Reason: When tax rates are high on millionaires and billionaires, they leave their money IN the companies they own to spite Uncle Sam. When their tax rates are low, they take their money out and play with it. The history is at:

    Individuals use form 1040 to file taxes.   Partnerships use form 1065.   Large corporations use form 1120.   The IRS web site doesn’t let me see form 1120.   I wonder why?

    Individuals pay taxes on gross income.   That is, on all of it.   Corporations pay taxes on NET income.   That means they get to deduct the equivalent of the full price of their house, food, car and everything else that they can call a “business expense” before they write down their income.   Don’t you wish you could do that?   

    Now, the highest tax rate is something like 34% and the Republicans keep saying that the tax rate for the wealthy needs to be lower so that they can create more jobs. As the tax rate has gone down, the unemployment rate has gone up.

  36. Tom Gibbons says:

    …then the union member looked at the tea partier and said “But he took 11 of them!”

    The other two looked at him and said, “Why do you always want to start a class war?”

  37. Merrelyn Emery says:

    #34-37. The ancient cultures, remnant of hich exist all over the planet, were built on cooperation which is produced by an organizational ‘design principle’, the second, called DP2 for short. It locates responsibility for coordination and control with the people who are doing the work, the planning or the learning, whatever the action is.

    At the beginning of the industrial revolution, the West gradually changed its design principle to the first, DP1, where responsibility for coordination and control is located at least one level up the hierarchy, essentially the master servant relationship. DP1 deprives people of the right to control their own affairs as they wish to do as purposeful systems.

    Representative democracy is DP1 because every 3 years we hand over responsibility for our affairs to the government. Over time it has the same effects as working in DP1 organizations. Our cultures are fragmenting with all the maladaptions we see around us. Participative democracy is possible at the level of government or governance more generally.

    DP1 automatically produces competition and with competition comes winning and losing and fighting for self interest. The poor compete to survive while the rich compete for the biggest prizes.

    In the ancient cultures, they used the same design principle in their relationship to the planet as they used for their social relationships. They learnt the laws of the planet and lived in cooperation with it. Once DP1 was established as the dominant design principle as the human level so it became the dominant design principle governing our relationship with the planet. That is why Earth has been so abused.

    Its been down hill all the way since the industrial revolution and now the chickens are really coming home to roost.

    It is perfectly possible for profit making enterprises to organize on DP2 as social science has shown now for over 60 years. The people who work in them behave cooperatively and show all the consequences of this including better mental and physical health. These organizations also care about their environments including the physical and produce transfer effects to their families and communities.

    People who work in DP1 structures go home grumpy, tired, stressed or worse, take it out on their spouses, kids or dogs, drink lots and their relaxation consists mainly of TV.

    As we have seen in the spate of recent disasters, people spontaneously organize themselves into cooperative groups to help. We are not going to get through this crisis, if we do, until we understand its genotypical origins and start to deliberately organize ourselves on the basis of cooperation. I am happy to send references if anybody is interested or you can start at, ME

  38. John Stanley says:

    It is the lethal combination of corporate psychopathology with the greatest profits in human economic history (ie. fossil fuels) that has given us the climate crisis. It might give us every variety of extinction, including our own.

    Koch Industries is a worthwhile target because it’s a privately held poster boy, & includes target brands for well-organized boycott or publicity on any scale…from the ‘UK Uncut’ main street style (WallMart stop stocking Lycra!) on upwards.

    Derrick Jensen said it well in ‘World Gone Mad’ (Orion magazine):

    “I don’t know about you, but whenever I attend some ‘green’ conference, I know I’m supposed to leave feeling inspired and energized, but instead I feel heartbroken, discouraged, defeated, and lied to. It’s not the inevitable talk about farmers (re)discovering organic farming; about plastic forks made from cornstarch; about solar photovoltaics; about relocalizing; about the joys of simple living; about grieving the murder of the planet; about “changing our stories”; and most especially about maintaining a positive attitude that gets me down. It’s that no one, and I mean no one, ever mentions psychopathology.”

  39. Wit's End says:

    Mulga, I have always despised Reagan, and capitalism stinks, and resource exploitation is unforgivable.

    But is it anything other than romanticizing the past to think that humans ever operated in a more ecologically responsible manner? Isn’t it just that there weren’t so many of us, that we didn’t have the overwhelming impact we have now achieved (except in isolated places, like Easter Island)? Haven’t people always been more in competition with each other than cooperation?

    It seems to me if there ever was a civilization where people were able to share on an equal basis, it didn’t last very long.

  40. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Wit’s End, cooperative cultures such as found in Australia and PNG lasted for many thousands of years until we started wiping them out. They are well documented, e.g. Tribes Without Rulers, The Garden of War, The Wisdom of the Elders.

    When people have known nothing but competition, they believe it is the way things must be but its not.

    Yes,John S, we are suffering from psychopathology as Ronnie Laing discussed many years ago but we can change the basis of it, ME

    , ME

  41. Chris Winter says:

    Edward wrote (#37): “Individuals use form 1040 to file taxes. Partnerships use form 1065. Large corporations use form 1120. The IRS web site doesn’t let me see form 1120. I wonder why?”

    That’s funny. I was able to call it up at once, here:

  42. Sailesh Rao says:

    Wit’s End #41: There have been cooperative cultures that lived sustainably for millennia until they came in contact with the competitive culture that is industrial civilization. All the forest cultures of India were overrun by the “scientific management” of forestry, espoused by the English East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the old growth forests that had been nurtured for millennia were razed down, they were replaced with more desirable “plantations”. Tropical forests in the Western ghats were cut down and replaced with teak plantations and cedar forests in the Himalayas were cut down and replaced with pine tree plantations. The elephants and other fauna had no use for these plantations and dwindled, which forced the forest cultures to switch to agriculture and animal husbandry to eke out a living. The cycle of destruction began.

    This competitive culture is much better at progressing in the development of tools and weapons and has a technological advantage over more laid-back cooperative cultures. But that technological advantage comes from the psychopathic drive of the culture, which also carries within it, the seeds of its own destruction. The question is whether we are able to change this culture from within, recognizing the psychopathology that is driving it over the brink. Are we able to use our inherent power as consumers to reverse this wanton destruction of the planet and all life on it?

    After all, no corporation can make profits unless we, the people, buy its products. We truly have the power, but only if we wake up.

  43. Wit's End says:

    Thanks for those titles, ME. Sailesh, I was reading somewhere recently that the best way to shut down the beast isn’t boycotts or marches, but a general strike. The government and the corporations can’t function if the worker bees refuse to work (and pay taxes on income). Of course who knows if we will ever get there.

  44. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Wit’s End,

    There are hundreds if not thousands of references on this subject – you may also like The Chalice and the Blade if you have not read it before. Eisler also independently discovered the genotypical design principles.

    I also meant to mention before that the ancient cultures had and still have in places an amazing knowledge of their flora and fauna and the carrying capacity of their lands. They ensured their populations did not rise above carrying capacity.

    Re the general strike, you have to have something that a large fraction of the population is prepared to strike for and at the moment you don’t have it in relation to CC. See a message from Mickey somewhere on one of today’s posts about creating a critical mass of belief. I think that is worth following up and certainly can’t hurt, ME

  45. Sailesh Rao says:

    Wit’s End, #46: A general strike can focus attention on the problem, but a boycott is a long-running, sustained campaign. In a general strike, a few people, especially the workers, take the most risks, while in a boycott, the risk is more spread out.

    In the Swadeshi movement, Gandhi inspired a blanket boycott against textiles manufactured in Manchester. It was tremendously successful in pressuring the British. The South African divestiture movement was also instrumental in toppling the Apartheid government.

    We don’t need to starve the whole beast to start the process of reversing course. For example, an effective boycott of Koch products would likely get the other industry leaders to pay attention to the destruction they are causing.