Koch brothers’ top political strategist: The minimum wage leads to fascism!

In newly released audio, a top Koch adviser, Richard Fink, lets loose a greatest hits of libertarian crankery VIDEO

Topics: Video, Richard Fink, Koch Brothers, Charles Koch, David Koch, Americans for Prosperity, collectivism, Libertarianism, The Huffington Post, The Undercurrent, YouTube, ,

Koch brothers' top political strategist: The minimum wage leads to fascism!David Koch (Credit: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

In what will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with their father’s Birchite beliefs, a newly released audio recording of a mid-June speech delivered by top political strategist Richard Fink indicates that the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers still surround themselves with members of some of the fringiest corners of the libertarian right.

Released to the Huffington Post by the YouTube channel the Undercurrent, the recording features Richard Fink, a trained economist whom HuffPo describes as the Koch brothers’ “top political strategist,” explaining to a small, private audience how the Koch brothers plan to turn the American electorate away from “collectivization” and toward “liberty” by persuading a critical mass of voters to repeal most of the economic regulations of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Fink’s speech was lengthy, but amid the references to North Korea, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and radical Islam, the Kochs’ political guru shared an insight that is perhaps most revealing of his and their general worldview. The insight in question? The straightforward connection between raising — or even having — a minimum wage and how a liberal democracy can disintegrate into a fascistic dictatorship.

“Psychology shows that is the main recruiting ground for totalitarianism, for fascism, for conformism — when people feel like they’re victims,” the non-psychologist Fink can be heard to explain. “So the big danger of minimum wage isn’t the fact that some people are being paid more than their value-added; that’s not great. It’s not that it’s hard to stay in business —that’s not great, either. But it’s the 500,000 people that will not have a job because of minimum wage.”

Building off this initial, extremely tenuous connection, Fink continued, “We’re taking these 500,000 people that would’ve had a job, and putting them unemployed, making dependence part of government programs, and destroying their opportunity for earned success. And so we see this is a very big part of recruitment in Germany in the ’20s.”

Perhaps worried that his audience would fail to grasp how raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 was just like the creators of the Weimar Republic’s attempt to build a liberal democracy on the still-smoldering ruins of a military dictatorship defeated in an apocalyptic world war, Fink added: “If you look at … the rise and fall of the Third Reich, you can see that. And what happens is a fascist comes in and offers [people] an opportunity, finds the victim — Jews or the West —and offers them meaning for their life, OK?”

Yet despite the specifically American context that inspired his talk, Fink warned listeners that turning into a genocidal totalitarian hellscape as a consequence of raising the minimum wage is a risk that traverses borders. “This is not just in Germany. It’s in Russia — in Lenin and Stalin Russia — and then Mao,” he said. “This is the recruitment ground for fascism, and it’s not just historical. It’s what goes on today … in the suicide bomber recruitment.” Evidently, the disguises of the worldwide collectivist menace are large in number.

You can listen to the ravings of a man who will help decide how to spend as much as $300 million to influence the 2014 elections below, via HuffPo and the Undercurrent:

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...