Revealed: Koch brothers’ politics reflect their father’s anti-communism
More than 50 years ago Fred C. Koch, father of the controversial billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, warned in an alarmist pamphlet that he wrote and distributed to more than 2.5 million people that “socialism is the precursor to communism” and accused President Dwight D. Eisenhower of being a communist.
The 39-page document, among a trove of FBI files on Fred Koch obtained by Al Jazeera through a Freedom of Information Act request, prompted the FBI — then involved in an anti-communist initiative — to keep tabs on Koch, the founder of the oil company that bears his surname.
The partially redacted 176 pages of FBI documents show that Koch’s anti-communist pamphlet and his messaging campaign made an enormous impact on many corporate executives and American citizens, who believed they were under threat from subversives. His FBI files consist of dozens of letters sent to J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime FBI director and fervent anti-communist, concerning the pamphlet.
But the pamphlet — which, according to the files, Koch personally handed out, was distributed by some corporations and was even sold at a Boy Scout meeting — does not just capture a moment in time. The manifesto, “A Business Man Looks at Communism,” also sheds light on the Koch brothers’ political roots and their current high-profile campaigns on a plethora of conservative issues. Fred Koch’s manifesto makes many of the same arguments that Charles and David Koch have leveled in recent years about the direction the country is headed under a president the brothers have accused of being a socialist.
The Koch brothers’ disdain for Barack Obama’s policies are well documented. David Koch is on record calling Obama “a hardcore socialist” who is “marvelous at pretending to be something other than that, but that is what I believe he truly is … He’s scary to me.”