Journalist Mark Ames has an important story -- about the roots of much of modern libertarianism in Holocaust denial -- adding a further disturbing dimension to the neo-confederate movement of our time.
His article appears on nsfwcorp, a magazine that sometimes temporarily drops its pay wall on selected stories to show us what we are all missing. (And if Ames's piece is any indication, those of us who don't subscribe are missing a lot. At this writing, the story is available for free for another 19 hours.)
Ames traces the ideology of Charles Koch and his "libertarian empire" (seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it?) to "the rise of the Holocaust denial industry." Using the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Holocaust Denial Timeline as a guide, Ames shows how Koch funded and led elements of this industry as a young man, in much the way he underwrote and created the government shutdown industry of today. Among the notable figures with roots in the Koch-funded Holocaust denial industry are economists Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman, as well as Christian theocratic theorist and Ron Paul business partner & political adviser, Gary North.
The Holocaust Museum timeline states:
1966-67: American historian Harry Elmer Barnes publishes articles in the Libertarian periodical Rampart Journal claiming that the Allies overstated the extent of Nazi atrocities in order to justify a war of aggression against the Axis powers.
The real story behind “the Libertarian periodical Rampart Journal” which published this notable work of Holocaust denial garbage is that the journal was funded and published with the active involvement of a younger Charles Koch. As my print article "Charles Koch's Brain" reveals, in 1964, Charles Koch joined the board of trustees and became a director of the nonprofit which funded Rampart Journal, along with Rampart College and Freedom School, the corporate-backed libertarian indoctrination programs run by Charles Koch’s first mentor, Robert LeFevre.
Koch was “converted” to libertarianism in LeFevre’s indoctrination camp, originally named “Freedom School,” in 1964. It was under LeFevre’s influence that Charles cut short his planned career in the nuclear energy sector, and returned to MIT to get a chemical engineering degree (supplanting his original degree in nuclear engineering) so that he could enter the oil business instead. As a 1965 New York Times profile on LeFevre’s whites-only Freedom School reported:
Charles de Ganahl Koch of Wichita returned to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a degree in chemical engineering after “realizing that staying in the nuclear field would require working for the government over an extended period”...
The 1966 Rampart College promotional booklet features a photo of young Charles Koch holding a shovel ceremonially breaking ground on a planned new Rampart extension building, as his white-haired guru Robert LeFevre stands beside him, smiling. Under Koch’s influence and funding, LeFevre started publishing reams of what libertarians call “historical revisionism”—a euphemism for Holocaust denial propaganda—which the Holocaust Museum notes on its timeline.
Ames reports that Gary North emerges as much more of a Holocaust doubter, if not outright denier than has been previously known outside of the far right of the libertarian world. In a special issue of Reason magazine
in 1976 (it too, a Koch funded, Holocaust industry promoting entity) North contributed an article titled “World War II Revisionism and Vietnam” in which he wrote.
the anonymous author of “The Myth of the Six Million” has presented a solid case against the Establishment's favorite horror story—the supposed moral justification of our entry into the War.
Ames adds that
North went on to cite other Holocaust denial books of the '60s and '70s, including “Did Six Million Really Die” by Richard Harwood, and notorious Holocaust denier Paul Rassinier.
That the new Ron Paul
home-school curriculum is co-authored by a Holocaust history revising theocratic theorist in Gary North and a neo-confederate
author and a co-founder of the League of the South, Thomas Woods, tells us much about the nature of the anti-government movement Ron Paul has been seeking to forge. Same with Charles Koch. All of which is, I believe, profoundly under-appreciated in our public life.
Crossposted from Talk to Action