Charles Koch explains his love for country, people and why he’s fighting for a freer society

Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch has been vilified recently by Democrats eager to raise money for their midterm election.

That the libertarian billionaire has given generously to conservative and libertarian leaning organizations over the past decades is a huge thorn in the sides of liberals and Democrats.

As he sees it, however, “the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government,” the media-wary Koch wrote in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday night.

That is why he fights.

“I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives,” he explains. Based on his world view, it is with the principles of a free society that people’s lives improve.

“A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens,” he writes. “The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.”

Koch has been chastised as anti-American for his expenditures on political activities. This very condemnation from the left, he explains, if part of the problem that continues to make America less free and more dependent.

“Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.”

Koch is the leader of a company that employs 60,000 workers and rivals the largest or second largest private company in America, depending on the year.

“According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits,” Koch points out, arguing that his company has done great things to improve the lives of its employees and those around them.

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Koch Industries

On top of that, the company has received over 700 awards for environmental and safety excellence, from both the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, despite Charles and his brother David being vilified for being greedy oil titans who want to destroy the environment.

Wichita State’s basketball coach, earlier this year, described Koch as the person he most admires.

“He’s a Wichitan who owns the second-largest privately owned company, Koch Industries. He and his brother [David] are tied for the fourth-richest man in America, and he’s done it with great integrity and commitment to the community. He’s incredibly brilliant,” Gregg Marshall told ESPN.

“Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness,” Koch says, expressing his concern about the future. “This is what happens when elected officials believe that people’s lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.”

“If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off—not just today, but for generations to come. I’m dedicated to fighting for that vision. I’m convinced most Americans believe it’s worth fighting for, too.”


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