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Democracy Now had an interesting little run-in with David Koch at the RNC that the corporate-laden media tried to sweep under the rug. With all the dittoheads in the audience chanting “USA! USA! USA!” as the Romneybot of the billionaires mouthed his platitudes, it was refreshing to see an actual journalist at work:

While oil and gas giant David Koch was protected from questioning by his ‘survivaball’ of humans that sprang upright around him, Amy Goodman was able to direct the same question to Edward Cox who answered in the following manner:

AMY GOODMAN: Are you concerned about, especially young people, looking at what’s happening in the country, where a handful of multi-millionaires and billionaires are so disproportionately determining the democratic process?

EDWARD COX: That’s a statement that isn’t true. This country is governed by the people. That’s what it’s always been based on.

RNC SECURITY 1: Will you keep this moving? One deep.

AMY GOODMAN: Yeah, I will. I will.

RNC SECURITY 1: OK, thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: OK, one deep, I got you. Mr. Cox answered a question. Why can’t—why can’t Mr. Koch answer a question? I only have one question.

KOCH HANDLER 2: He’s not going to answer. Get out of here.

If you really want to know how David Koch would have answered Amy’s question, a similar inquiry was put to him by Politicker “about the controversial level of influence major contributors have on American elections.” Here was his answer:

We have a free society and people are free to do what they want, you know, as long as they don’t hurt others and they obey the law,” Mr. Koch said. “So, I believe in free speech and if people want to spend money in politics or something else, it’s their right, nothing wrong with that. So, I endorse that.

So you see, as far as the elite are concerned, we live in a free society in which there should be no constraints on the corrupting influence that wealth has on government institutions and public policy. For them, freedom includes the ability to buy the instruments of government so that the interests of the elite may be best served rather than the common good of the citizenry who failed to rise to the ranks of the 0.001% in the game of capitalism. As Noam Chomsky explains in “Plutonomy and the Precariat: On the History of the U.S. Economy in Decline“:

For the general population, the 99% in the imagery of the Occupy movement, it’s been pretty harsh — and it could get worse. This could be a period of irreversible decline. For the 1% and even less — the .1% — it’s just fine. They are richer than ever, more powerful than ever, controlling the political system, disregarding the public. And if it can continue, as far as they’re concerned, sure, why not?

Going back to Chomsky’s article, the interests of the elite do not include facing up to the reality of climate change because it’s a direct threat to their power and the wealth they have hoarded. Capitalism must be defended at all costs, even if that means denying that this system is causing our own extinction:

…Practically every country in the world is taking at least halting steps towards trying to do something about it. The United States is also taking steps, mainly to accelerate the threat. It is the only major country that is not only not doing something constructive to protect the environment, it’s not even climbing on the train. In some ways, it’s pulling it backwards.

And this is connected to a huge propaganda system, proudly and openly declared by the business world, to try to convince people that climate change is just a liberal hoax. “Why pay attention to these scientists?”

We’re really regressing back to the dark ages. It’s not a joke. And if that’s happening in the most powerful, richest country in history, then this catastrophe isn’t going to be averted — and in a generation or two, everything else we’re talking about won’t matter…

In the minds of the elite, if they can’t keep a stranglehold on the world, then they’ll be damned if anyone else is going to be allowed to live on a habitable planet.