A Koch and Bell story

This week has been a good week for ridding this mortal coil of filth.  First, the lesser of the two Koch brothers departed followed by eponymous co-founder of Bell Pottinger.  Good riddance to two opponents of humanity.

David Koch, alongside his (still living) brother Charles, followed a similar career path to Donald Trump: Inherited money and businesses without intelligence or work ethic to justify ownership and relied on others for work and relied on volume of wealth for success.  Nothing the Koch’s did businesswise was down to acumen or skill.

The Kochs’ greatest contributions to the fight against humanity were the huge payments they made to (mostly US) politicians to demand the right paths were taken on a variety of political issues, each (right) path designed to enhance the wealth of the wealthiest at the expense of the vast majority.  Well-paid instructions from Kochs to politicians included destruction of public healthcare, removal of workers’ rights, removal of health and safety regulations, removal of pollution regulations, removal of tenants’ rights, removal of access to justice, removal of tax obligations for the wealthiest and, increasingly over recent years, relentless attacks on any attempts to tackle man-made climate change.

There are very few people or businesses in the world who paid as much money as the Kochs did to politicians to ensure extreme exploitation remained the norm.  The only skill the Kochs displayed was their realisation that the structure and processes of US politics encouraged obsequious venality and they focussed their energies on feeding on that venality.

Tim Bell was co-founder of ‘reputation management’ firm Bell Pottinger.  For wealthy people, for business and for disreputable governments reputation management means lying, deflecting and conning and that was Bell Pottinger’s methodology.

In the cheque was large enough, Bell Pottinger worked for anyone, for any purpose and utilised any tactic regardless of the morality of client or task or of the legality of the tactics. 

It wrote speeches for mass state murderers to deflect attention from the crimes they committed, it produced fake videos for political propaganda including fake terrorism videos, it manipulated internet searches to ensure friendly articles for its clients were near the top of search results and it attacked any media outlet that dared to question its practices.

A video clip, recorded by uncover journalists, revealed Bell Pottinger’s practices, arrogance and immorality: Dark Arts

Eventually, Bell Pottinger collapsed in on itself when it took several steps too far in political manipulation in South Africa and it consequently went bankrupt.

Good riddance
Koch and Bell operated in different branches of exploitation, one used money for political influence and the other was paid to advise and assist political manipulation, but both shared many attributes: Utter indifference to humanity, to society, to community and to the planet; limitless venality; limitless desire for more money; self-nurtured arrogance and fake justification for their behaviour.

Their deaths led to a variety of comments, some supportive, some critical and some analytically cold.  It is worth noting who produced the rose-tinted analyses and who expressed feigndignation at displays of celebration of their departures.  

Celebration and associated polemics should accompany the deaths of two intrinsically vile opponents of humanity.  Neither deserved an iota of human response to his demise.  Their deaths are an opportunity to rip apart their philosophies and the mechanisms that they invented, used and abused.  Two are dead but the structure remains and their deaths can focus attention on what they did and how they were able to do it.

Koch and Bell, in happier times

feigndignation n. Fake indignation, used to alter the direction of an argument (c. David Whittam)

A Koch and Bell story

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