Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

Author: Jane Mayer
This Month Reddit 5


by nickpinkston   2019-12-26
The entire history of the libertarian movement [1] is essentially one of being astroturfed from the very beginning.

If you read the history, like the "Invisible Hands" book [2], you'll see that business people started out wanting to reduce their taxes and regulations on their businesses, and then found/funded/promoted libertarian thinkers like Hayek and Von Mises and later Friedman, etc. to create movements that used a libertarian narrative to sell their self-interested goals.

It's no coincidence that the names who funded this DuPonts, Scaifes, Kochs, etc. all got rich from building huge private businesses around fossil fuel and other polluting extractive industries. [3,4]

When I was libertarian, I was authentically so, and later saw the flaws in the arguments which led me to be liberal-democrat/neoliberal, and only recently did I discover this astroturfing history.

[1] Which I was involved in when I was in college.

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Hands-Businessmens-Crusade-...

[3] "Sons of Wichita" on the Kochs: https://www.amazon.com/Sons-Wichita-Brothers-Americas-Powerf...

[4] "Dark Money" https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radic...

by Slingshotsters   2019-11-17

I hope this doesn't get buried, but this is the most important book, to me, about how our system works.


by Mauricium_M26   2019-11-17



The book is basically a history on their business dealings with the far right and their efforts to influence the political system. So it has a lot more info than just their father's dealings with Nazi Germany

by ThatOneChiGuy   2019-11-17

Jane Mayer's Dark Money should be assigned reading for all Americans. Koch's are the architects but by no means are they alone!

by MrHoneycrisp   2019-11-17



also if you got the time

by ScienceBreather   2019-11-17

If anyone hasn't read/listened to Dark Money by Jane Mayer you definitely should!

It traces the history of influence by conservative billionaire donors, and it's disgusting and infuriating -- but also incredibly informative.

by 4br4c4d4br4   2019-11-17

There's a great book on the subject, "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer. Read it and weep.


by skeebidybop   2019-08-24

Speaking of the Koch Brothers, eeryone should read Jane Mayer's Dark Money.

It is absolutely essential reading for understanding what has happened to the Republican party and our greater political zeitgeist.

by veddy_interesting   2019-08-24

A few thoughts.

  1. It is time to begin the impeachment process.
  2. I believe those wheels are already quietly in motion. There are good reasons to do this carefully (read this by rusticgorilla to understand the issues), but I think it's happening.
  3. Team Trump has been deliberately blurring the lines between it being a political process and being a legal process. They are forcing the Dems to explain, and the Dems have naively been taking the bait.
  4. Ronald Reagan said, “If you're explaining, you're losing. Trump instinctively knows this: "NO COLLUSION! WITCH HUNT!" is easy to understand and makes no attempt to explain. This is a winning strategy. Explaining procedures etc is a losing strategy.
  5. The messaging by the Dems has to be clear, consistent, and it has to resonate emotionally. They should go hire Frank Luntz tomorow, and fix this. (Yes, he is the Devil. Yes, now is the time to fight fire with fire.)
  6. We should stop pretending this is not a partisan issue. It is a partisan issue because the GOP has made it one. Every hearing about Trump goes back to Hillary and Obama. IMO this should be a talking point.
  7. We need to remember Trump is a symptom, and not the disease.
  8. The GOP Senate is a major factor that enables all of this to continue. Partisan gerrymandering is a significant problem on the left and right. This can be a genuinely centrist issue to combat.
  9. The problem of Dark Money in politics is real, and can also be a centrist issue.
  10. Don't succumb to Oh Dearism. Remember there are things you can and should do. Don't just complain – take some action, however small, and encourage others to do the same.
by skeebidybop   2019-07-21

Obligatory plug for recommending everyone to read Jane Mayer's Dark Money book.

IMHO it is absolutely required reading on this topic.

by -humble-opinion-   2019-07-21

Great book on the matter (focused on Republicans)


It made me appreciate how fucked we are

by lemon_meringue   2019-07-21

Didn't want to spam the queue, but if anyone else wants to post parts 2 and 3 of this amazing, comprehensive piece of journalism, here are the other two parts to this story:

Part 2: Internal Divisions President Trump’s election made the Murdoch family more powerful than ever. But the bitter struggle between James and Lachlan threatened to tear the company apart.

Part 3: The New Fox Weapon The Disney deal left the Murdochs with a media empire stripped to its essence: a hardcore right-wing news machine — with Lachlan in charge.

It's a very long read, but worth it.

I also recommend Jane Mayer's seminal book from 2017 entitled Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right to get a full picture of how the oligarchy has slimed in and committed violence against our democracy for over a generation.

by 4br4c4d4br4   2019-07-21

This book explains very well where this money comes from and why! https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0307947904

by lemon_meringue   2019-07-21

You should educate yourself more about the Kochs.

Jane Mayer's seminal book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right is a meaty place to get started.

Here's a good recent article that includes information about them: What Is the Far Right’s Endgame? A Society That Suppresses the Majority.

But they are not good people, no matter how much they spend on smokescreen initiatives and "charity" to maintain their mask of civility.

by cornell256   2019-07-21

They epitomize libertarianism. They're largely (almost solely) responsible for the rise of right wing and libertarian think tanks and ideals in the United states over the last several decades. If you ever want to be disgusted by the efforts and successes of the Koch brothers and their oligarch friends, I suggest this book: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0307947904/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1550262479&sr=8-1&keywords=dark+money. It outlines how they've infiltrated the government, academic institutions, and general society with evil intentions and great success.

by lemon_meringue   2019-07-21

Just want to encourage anyone who hasn't yet read it to tuck into Jane Mayer's amazing book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. It's easily one of the most important books of investigative political reporting released in the past decade.

She's one of our very best. If our system survives this stress test, it will be in large part because of the fearless and comprehensive journalism done by her and others like her.

edit: needed more coffee to write rite

by zxlkho   2019-07-21


Highly recommend this book. Explains how billionairs like the Kochs and Mercers fund all sorts of right wing projects, universities, and lobbying groups.

by 4br4c4d4br4   2019-07-21

This is part of what Jane Mayer wrote about in her book; https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0307947904

Basically, the Kochs wanted business-friendly laws by eliminating all the worker protections and fairness laws, so they backed a libertarian party candidate.

They realized that Americans realized that Libertarianism was so against what's good for people in general that he got almost no votes at all.

So then they decided to start buying Republican politicians (because Democrats were pro-union and stuff). They couldn't be TOO overt in that, so they started funding schools, Ivy League too, and installed "their" teachers.

They started "grass-roots" groups and think-tanks and kept a good distance between themselves and these groups, but they all knew that the Kochs pulled the strings.

So ffwd to now and we have these Ivy League educated people that have been taught the Conservative Ideals (libertarianism, basically) and push it hard.

It looks better on TV to say "here's the Harvard-educated lawyer speaking up for us" and the "grass-roots" groups and think-tanks that are "completely independent" speak out for the same thing.

It's extremely clever, and it's a long game, AND it's working.

And this wasn't just the Kochs. This was the DeVos family, and the Prince family. And Coors. And several others that had plenty to gain by fucking over their employees, and cutting EPA protections of nature so their companies could pollute and save fortunes by not honoring people or nature.

by 2chainzzzz   2019-01-13



by manisnotabird   2019-01-13

Everyone should read New Yorker writer Jane Mayer's book about the Kochs and (to a lesser extent) other far-right billionaires, Dark Money .