Ed Berger, a retired teacher who lives in Arizona and is active in the struggle to save public schools, has written a powerful post about the billionaire-funded movement to destroy our democracy.

It begins like this. I urge you to read it all:

“Within the core of our freedoms, lie the avenues powerful individuals use to take away the rights of citizens and the controls of government designed and evolved to serve all. Americans are now aware of the reality that subversive forces have made excessive headway in destroying our rights.

“What has been allowed is the incursion of an Oligarchy: The few exploiting the many. We are witnessing the theft of human rights through the infiltration of what were meant to be representative systems within a constitutionally defined government.

“My first introduction to those who want absolute power was through studies of The Robber Barons in America in the 19th Century, and then in the 20th Century, the way Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin took total control of their countries. I learned of an American, Fred Koch, who became wealthy via Russian and German contracts and worked with Stalin and then Hitler as WWII began. He was convinced that absolute dictators were necessary to create strong nations. He came home to change the U.S government into a mechanism which would allow him to acquire power and wealth by any means. His tenets were: Destroy public education. Destroy any kind of worker representation. Control the prison system. Destroy the democratic process by distancing or removing undesirable citizen involvement in decision-making. End government interference in the rights of individuals like himself to create his own empire.

“Koch’s ideology was embedded in the goals of the John Birch Society, founded in the late 50s by Fred and ten others. It was one of many organizations spawned or infiltrated by Koch. Be aware of subversive groups founded by Koch and his sons and other powerful billionaires. Groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which writes legislation supporting Koch’s political and economic agendas. Know the goals of think tank groups established and funded to carry out Fred’s vision, these include: The Freedom School, the CATO Institute, and Americans For Prosperity among others. Be aware of how Foundations and not-for-profit tax avoidance mechanisms allowed the billionaires to finance their think thanks and other subversive organizations.

“The Koch machine gained the support of other libertarian arch conservatives. Richard Mellon Scaife, Harry and Lynda Bradley, John M. Olin, the Coors brewing family, and the DeVos family, to name some of the big supporters recruited by the Fred Koch and his sons David and Charles. All had acquired vast fortunes from activities that exploited citizens and nature. All were against any type of government that limited their rip, rape, and run business philosophies.

“In the last few years, add the names Bezos, Broad, Cohen, Singer, Schwarzman, Adelson, Hendricks, Mercer, and perhaps the worst of the lot, the Waltons. The Koch ideology also appeals to radical splinter groups of the Christian conservative right which is obsessed with the takeover of the US Government and the dismantling of the government. Understanding this unholy marriage explains why so many Tea Party extremists support Koch and the coup.”