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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tea Party Funded by Stalin's Money

I can't make up this stuff. Koch Industries, with its ties to the John Birch Society, climate science denial, and the Tea Party, built its wealth in the Stalinist Soviet Union. Back in the 1920s, grandfather Fred Koch developed some new refining technology that didn't fly in the American market. Koch thus made money selling his technology to the Communists:

In 1929, after hosting a delegation of Soviet planners in Wichita, Kansas, Winkler and Koch signed a $5 million contract to build 15 refineries in the Soviet Union. According to Oil of Russia, a Russian oil industry trade magazine, the deal made Winkler-Koch into Comrade Stalin's number-one refinery builder....

At the time, the Soviet Union's oil industry was a total mess. Equipment built by Western engineering firms was always breaking down or didn't work at all. Western engineers were constantly being accused of espionage or sabotage, real or imagined, and booted out of the country. Soviet workers suspected of colluding with the foreigners were simply taken out back and shot. Winkler-Koch made sure it was running a tight, efficient operation. Unlike his Western competitors, Koch pleased his Soviet clients by ensuring top quality and helping the cause of socialism [Yasha Levine, "The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement," AlterNet.org, 2010.04.17].

As Levine writes, if Koch harbored anti-communist sentiment, he kept quiet about it for decades, until the late 1950s, after doing lots of business and making his fortune working with Stalin to help the Soviet Union become a great industrial nation.

That explains it: the Russians love tea.


  1. Wow. Looks like Beckian paranoia can be a two way street.

  2. Barry, I do like to play dress-up with Tea Party clothes every now and then. ;-) This connection between Koch and Stalin is at least as significant as the nutty stuff Beck airs to get his audience to buy Beck merchandise.

  3. Cory . No doubt. Becks genius isn't in the fact that the paranoid connections are difficult to acertain, I can come up with the connections needed to "prove" that my dog's constant barking is the result of a Spartakusbund conspiracy(She is a schnauzer).
    His genius comes from the knowledge of how to manipulate that segment of the population that either doesn't, or doesn't want to, understand that they are not.

  4. “The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement”! For Heaven’s sake, Cory, have you become unhinged? Is Glen Beck now your standard?

    Let’s follow this connection, shall we? The Koch family made a lot of money in Stalin’s Russia back in 1929. Today, Koch Industries contributes money to conservative and libertarian organizations, including some Tea Party organizers. Therefore, the Tea Party people who showed up in Aberdeen last week have a “dirty little secret”, they’re closet Stalinists.

    Well, Okay. Barack Obama worked closely with Bill Ayers, an unrepentant domestic terrorist. Therefore, Obama is a mad bomber. Yeah, I can see how that rhetoric is attractive. It is also guilt by association, and in the Yasha Levine it quite literally amounts to McCarthyism.

    I will be charitable and assume you posted this for its entertainment value and not for any serious point that it makes, for it surely makes no serious point. It might have helped to say so.

  5. Too bad the Soviet Union collapsed. They must have drunk too much tea.

  6. Ken, I took Cory's point as part tongue in cheek, part holding up hypocrisy mirror.

  7. What would you like Stalin's money to fund? Perhaps something more Stalinesque?

  8. I'm just saying: right-wingers would raise holy heck if I funded my blog and other members of the liberal SD blogosphere with money I made painting Bill Ayers's house or walking Ward Churchill's dogs. Heck, I have people indict my statements here simply by dint of the fact that I have made most of my money working for public education (stop suckling the government teat and get a real job!). Teabaggers should be at least as incensed that their buses and rallies and press are bought with converted rubles.


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