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Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Fatwah / March 23, 2011
By [sic]


The following is an email sent to us by an anonymous eXiled reader:

George Mason University is nothing but a farm team for the Koch bros. Starting at George Mason, the Kochs groom their little recruits as foot-soldiers ready to enter the plutocratic circle-jerk that is the U.S. government and its corporate oligarchs. The financial oligarchy has the Ivies, and the Koch brothers have GMU. It’s that simple.

Here’s a step-by-step on how the Koch bros. use a rinky-dinky school like George Mason to build political power:

A girl from my high school went to George Mason for her master’s in public policy. Before that, she attended a mediocre-to-bad party school in Texas notorious for extremely high drop-out rates, binge-drinking rednecks, and near-epidemic rates of venereal disease. After George Mason, she went onto the heavily Koch-funded Heritage Foundation on an internship. And from there, she quickly joined the ranks of one of the many elite DC corporate law/lobbying firms that controls our government and saves our congressmen the trouble of writing all the legislation. I think her specialty at one point was “defense.” She is now a “public policy” expert over there, making big-time bucks, but her internship in Kochville is curiously absent from her LinkedIn profile.

After the Cato Institute, George Mason University is the largest recipient of funding from Koch Family Foundations. It’s pretty genius. After all, the Koch bros. can’t just pick people up off the street and send them into DC’s best lobbying firms to protect and fight for their interests. First they need, essentially, a somewhat respectable-looking institution to rubber stamp the degrees of these partisans after indoctrination. George Mason University–which wasn’t an independent university until 1972–is the perfect choice. It doesn’t have some near-ancient list of trustees and funders like the Ivy leagues. It’s young enough to snatch all for themselves and shape it as they please. And it’s extremely close to DC.


I hope the Exile(d) can help to squash GMU’s reputation quickly before it becomes a “respectable” and “legitimate” institution like the other “elite” universities that groom the plutocracy’s courtiers.


Matt D.


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Add your own

  • 1. gustave  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Hey, for all the weapons makers and lobbyist scum minted there, let’s not besmirch the marxists and socialists that have found safe haven in the humanities and social science departments there. You’ll find more crimes committed by Harvard’s KSG and UChicago’s econ department. GMU is strictly cogs at worst.

    And “extremely close” to DC? Have you made that commute? It’s a right bitch!

  • 2. DocAmazing  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I hope the students who visit the George Mason Liberty table pictured above realize that those warm soft brown things aren’t really brownies…

  • 3. gustave  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Think Koch money goes to a few think tanks and endowed chairs — Mercatus Center, Institute for Humane Studies, econ and law programs, which mostly feed right into the think tanks — not the uni as a whole… [SIC]’s girlfriend would have been lobbyist dongsucker without GMU.

  • 4. Senescent  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Yeah, it kind of works out so that the Institute for Humane Studies is like the Koch ROTC, and GMU is their West Point.

    Year after college, out in LA to be a screenwriter, I did a week in a free IHS summer seminar once down at Chapman*, this one for “creatives”. I remember a lot of foreign kids, especially eastern europeans. Maybe as a consequence, impressively attractive girls were an absolute majority in the 60-personish group, which was kind of a shock given my previous experiences with institutional libertarianism.

    Each day there were usually two imported lecturers** and then one creative-type thing paired with a discussion, maybe? With meals and light refreshments in between. The lectures were indoctrination, obvs, but they were usually pretty smooth and we were self-selected. This one woman*** representing economics was so aggressively abrasive about it a lot of us skipped out on her though. Disappointment, I hear the previous year they got Tyler Cowen. At least it wasn’t McArdle.

    And then we’d wander around the town for a while, one of the few places in the OC with character, and then there’d be an evening mixer and they’d leave us a few cases of beer.

    On the final day we all workshopped something, and then there was a table piled full of movement-appropriate books free for us to take, I guess from the stock the VRWC prints up and then buys back for itself.

    Afterwards I got all sorts of e-mails about institute-sponsored jobs and internships and fellowships and mixers. I went the yearly LA cocktail party, met some people who were trying to put together an Atlas Shrugged movie. Institute liaison e-mailed me a while later, said it was going forward and would I like a job with the production company? I was living in Echo Park and the job was in Santa Monica and that wasn’t my thing so I said no.




  • 5. ariot  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Can’t we just skip ahead to the “ending” of this most-recent guilded age? It’s getting mind-numbingly boring, and the attempts at distractions thrown at us almost daily are a little tired. Even the military news about what brown people we’re bombing is starting to look like a rerun.

  • 6. Senescent  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Though that said, gustave’s onto something – GMU isn’t 100% pure Koch, and this girl might just be involved in general DC cocksuckery more than specific Kochsuckery – the school’s convenient to Washington, not *too* selective, and friends with parents in the civil service say it’s pretty common for some pretty unKochy types to go there to credential up to climb the ladder.

  • 7. Reggie  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I want to praise you, from the old right, for pickling these effulgent aspies repeatedly, these cosmopolitan libertarians. It’s too easy to be considered sporting, but no less a necessary public service for that.

  • 8. Jack Reynolds  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I, too, have a less than intelligent friend who graduated from George Mason and is angling for power like some kind of nihilist. After GMU, he got into a prestigious graduate program in England, which shocked the hell out of me. I remember “editing” some of his papers senior year. They were written like stream of consciousness ransom notes. Someone’s definitely pulling strings for him.

  • 9. par4  |  March 24th, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Wow, marxist, socialist in the very first comment. Can Hitler be far behind?

  • 10. Jon Ezell  |  March 24th, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I found David Bernstein’s denial of any Koch relationship very strange, given that he was an adjunct prof. at the Cato Institute, and was published by them, in addition to the GMU relationship. Perhaps it is the inability of a libertarian to admit they didn’t achieve something solely by their own ingenuity and determination?

  • 11. Doug  |  March 24th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Yep Libertarians sure do got a lot of power. I’ll tell ya! You can see it everywhere. That’s why drugs and prostitution are legalized, government spending is at a record low percent of GDP, the FDA no longer exists, social security has been eliminated and the American military has been completely withdrawn from all foreign lands!

    Those bastards look how much they control things!

  • 12. floodingupeconomics  |  March 24th, 2011 at 10:56 am


    Doug, I think you miss the point completely regarding what Koch-funded Libertarianism is all about. Think less “free-markets” and more free-for-them oligopoly.

    Of course if you have ever taken even one liberal-arts course in college… you should know the word “free” is a such a loaded term it borders on meaninglessness anyways.

  • 13. gustave  |  March 24th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Libertardians don’t get much say over the exercise of police power. And, in spite of some hand-waving for the sake of ideological consistency, they don’t really care that much — the police are out to protect THEIR property, and these gawky white nerds never get busted for THEIR bong-rips. As long as they have an illusion of a private sphere (behind private gates protected by state power), they are usually happy to punt when it comes to police/military power, and continue popping pills and watching fetish porn in their mcmansions.

    Their real power comes from economic policy, where our Kochly corporate overlords let them loose to smear all sorts of free market excrement over any kind of rational state policy. That’s what they get rewarded for.

    How often do libertardians write about police brutality? How often do they write about corporate taxation?

  • 14. Doug  |  March 24th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    This is just begging the question. Anytime a libertarian-oriented policy gets put in place it shows how powerful the Kochs, Cato, et al. are. Anytime a libertarian-oriented policy fails to be enacted its because libertarians/Kochs, really don’t actually care about that policy.

    Cato produces a hell of a lot of content stumping against drug prohibition, military interventionism, open immigration and civil liberties erosion. So if the Kochs are so powerful answer my why is marijuana illegal, US troops involved in wars in three middle eastern countries, Arizona police stopping brown people and the government wiretapping its citizens?

    If your answer to that is that Kochs don’t actually care about those things, then why does their organization Cato spend so much time talking about them?

    If the failure of libertarian policies to achieve political success does not count as evidence of their lack of power, what possible evidence would persuade you? Either you’re A) going to be rational and have some criteria for the falsification of your hypothesis, or B) you’re basically holding a religious belief. Like my religious great aunt, you believe all bad things are caused by Satan (the Kochs), nothing, not science, not history, not basic common sense can shake her belief because its a tenet of faith.

    If this is a tenet of faith, specify what is your standard of evidence. What facts, if presented and demonstrated, would demonstrate to you that you have overestimated the power of the Kochs/libertarians?

  • 15. CensusLouie  |  March 24th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Oh man, I was worried there for a bit that Doug had gone away.

    But here he is back again with a libertarian whopper that never gets old: how eliminating the FDA would be a GOOD thing.

  • 16. cl  |  March 24th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    They have a prof. there named “Bryan Caplan,” who writes the Anarcho-Capitalist FAQ, hosts the “Museum of Communism,” and recently wrote a CATO approved book about how democracy leads to tyranny because the masses are too dumb to know what’s best for themselves.

    I was wondering if he was like an outlier there, apparently that’s par for the course for George Mason.

  • 17. Blue  |  March 24th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    “Libertarians” would not be able to recruit for conservatives if libertarian social policies were supported by the left. But the nature of politics in the US means that won’t happen.

    Honestly, libertarians should support left wing politician who espouse liberal social policies. Why? Well, they are not going to get their economic views heard by either party — the republicans assert belief in free market policies, but are bought by big money that they spend more than the dems do — just on subsidies to specific industries, rather then on social programmes.

    On the other hand, while they won’t get their economic views heard by the dems. They may be able to get some of them at least to hear them on their social views.

    You have a situation where the republicans assert (though do not practice) that they support the free market principles that libertarians support. Really republicans end up, because US politicians of both parties are for the most part corrupted by those who give them money, supporting plutocratic principles.

    Note that Democrats end up doing the same thing, they get much of their money from corporate America too, in their case it just buys enough votes to stop them from being united. The unions support the general economic program of the democratic party (as much as there can be said to be one), but there is always enough corporate money for local industries to cripple the party’s voting blocks.

    The Democrats (much like some republicans) support a more regulated market, to smooth out the boom bust cycle of a totally free market — less efficient perhaps, perhaps not, but more humane — and government redistribution of wealth to some degree, again because the real world is harsh and not fair.

    On the social side, neither party is really socially libertarian.

    Some Democrats are, but most Democrats are afraid of losing votes to economically left but socially conservative demographics.

    Republicans know that much of their base is just uneducated and hence conservative. They don’t want change, and they want things to be like they imagined them to be in the past. They are not intellectual traditional conservatives, or libertarians.

  • 18. GeorgeSalt  |  March 24th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I took an evening class there last semester.
    I signed up for what was supposed to be a graduate class in research methods in engineering, but one night I was sure that I had entered the wrong room and landed in a meeting of the John Birch society. It was close to the November elections and the wingnuts were feeling their oats. They were injecting their teabagger talking points at every opportunity — which was quite impressive as that night’s topic was statistical methods.

    I don’t think I’ll be wasting any more money on tuition at ole John Birch U.

  • 19. mikefromArlington  |  March 24th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I got an idiot that works next to me fresh outta GMU with an idiotic Don’t tread magnet on his desk. At first I thought it was a turd which would make sense but realized it was a snake.

    Either way, the guy is a putz.

  • 20. Smudge, Prince of Chicago  |  March 24th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    “If your answer to that is that Kochs don’t actually care about those things, then why does their organization Cato spend so much time talking about them?”

    To keep you hooked.

  • 21. Soj  |  March 24th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    On the other hand, doesn’t GMU host and maintain the national archives?

    And my memory fails me at the moment but I remember a rather hot contretemps there a few years back when some GMU law students laid into one of Bush’s judicial enablers, John Yoo or one of those guys.

  • 22. floodingupeconomics  |  March 25th, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Nice straw-man argument you’ve set up there Doug. I hope you debating with yourself.

  • 23. floodingupeconomics  |  March 25th, 2011 at 12:27 am

    *I hope you enjoy debating with yourself.

  • 24. Debs  |  March 28th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I’ve been affiliated with Mason for a decade now. I’ve been a student, TA, and full time employee there.

    The Econ department is nuts. Some professors don’t even try to be respectable and just outright assign Atlas Shrugged. It’s awful.

    My experience with the History, Government, Statistics, and Transportation Policy groups have been much more positive. I had a few Republican professors but they were all fair and uncontroversial. I’ve had some openly Marxist professors as well. I felt that in Government, at least, that I got a fair representation of different view points and had professors who were all fair.

    But, yeah, their Econ department is just the worst. It’s an open joke here. Only obnoxious true believers and rich white kids who want an easy major go into econ at Mason.

    And Doug, you’re a moron. A big part of the libertarian schtick is to appear reasonable and sensible in a way to appeal to well meaning liberals. One only needs to look at Cato At Liberty to see that while they do advocate for legalization of drugs and gay marriage that the vast majority of what they care about is economic in nature. As Hayek said in the Road to Serfdom, economic freedom is the most important freedom that all others derive from.

    These assholes posture as being reasonable or sensible while trying to do nothing but maximize profits for corporations while trampling on workers and destroying the environment.

  • 25. Answer to Soj  |  March 30th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Soj, you’re thinking GWU.

  • 26. Andy Mayo  |  April 22nd, 2011 at 8:50 am

    GuhMoo started to go wrong a long time ago with its Center for Public Choice, which of course was dedicated to giving ‘the public’ no choice at all. (I have the dubious distinction of being in the first graduating class to hold a GMU diploma–before that it was a branch of UVa.)

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Send us a goddamn note, this sounds interesting–write this up and we’ll post it!

  • 27. realname  |  September 10th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I had an interview with ICES (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science) which is supposed to be one of the more respectable organizations associated with Mason’s Economics Department.
    Right off the bat I was told that they were trying to get High School kids interested in Economics and free markets and was asked how I feel about free markets.
    Isn’t there some sort of law against asking that sort of question during an interview? Also the whole idea of indoctrinating high school kids with free market zeal seems a little

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