A tweet prompted me to look for sources.

The Koch organization (only one of the two brothers is still present-tense) is notorious for funding all kinds of reactionary causes, though it also funds items like the PBS series Nova, but I don’t know specifics about an attack on US universities. So, here’s a Trotskyist site with details!

Joking aside, I think I have seen the details before, without properly filing them in the memory system.

Last month, the George Mason University protest group “UnKoch My Campus” released documents to the public through a Freedom of Information Act request detailing how the Charles Koch Foundation and the Federalist Society, groups dedicated to the promotion of ultra-conservative “free market” public policy and ideas, maintain control over the appointment of law school and economics professors at the college, a public university in northern Virginia, as part of a nationwide campaign to promote ultra-right politics.

The ideological activities of Charles and David Koch, with a combined net worth of $96.6 billion, extend to universities, colleges and even high schools. Taking advantage of the deficits caused by the decades-long bipartisan assault on public funding for both K-12 and university education, groups like the Koch brothers, the Walton Family Foundation and the Gates Foundation use their grotesque wealth, squeezed from the working class, in an attempt to inculcate young people with libertarian and other right-wing, pro-capitalist ideologies.

I like “squeezed from the working class” so that we’ll remember they’re genuine Trots (which is not to say I disagree).

In 2016, George Mason University (GMU) received the largest donation in its history, a $30 million gift to its law school. $10 million came from the Koch Foundation and $20 million from the BH Fund, whose president is Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society. The BH Fund’s secretary and treasurer is Jonathan Bunch, vice president and director of external relations at the Federalist Society, a right-wing organization that lobbies for the appointment of ultra-right judges.

Leo played an instrumental role in getting Federalist Society member and far-right Justice Neil Gorsuch a seat on the US Supreme Court in early 2017, suggesting nominees to the Trump administration and meeting personally with the president. Top donors to the society include Koch Industries, David Koch, and the Charles Koch Foundation. Through the BH Fund, the Federalist Society is intimately involved in faculty hiring, gaining admittance for prospective right-wing law students, and suggesting law graduates to clerk for right-wing judges.

That’s all familiar. I don’t exactly see how it’s an attack on US universities in general, at least not a meaningful one, but it doesn’t need to be if it can shape the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary. You got your libertarian capitalist greedies and your whirly-eyed racists and your Republican gerrymandering and hey presto that’s all it takes. The US probably has only another year before everything goes to hell for the final time.

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