Progressive bloggers are starting to pick up on the little known fact that Fred Koch, the founder of Koch Industries, did business with communist leader Josef Stalin.
Writer Yasha Levine was among the first to expose Koch's communist connection in piece posted byÂ The Exiled last year. The article details Fred Koch's roughly thirty year relationship with the Soviet Union. In 1929, he signed a $5 million contract to build 15 oil refineries for a nation that Ronald Reagan would one day dub "The Evil Empire." Levine's story is now being cited by blogs like Planet Save.
Koch Industries has posted a response to the allegations on its website. The company says that Fred Koch's anti-communist beliefs were born out of his experiences in the Soviet Union from 1929-1932. He found the Soviet Union to be a "land of hunger, misery and terror." Fair enough.Â So why was he still making flights to the Soviet Union as late as 1956? Apparently, the money Stalin paid him was good enough for Koch to keep his mouth shut until the late 1950s, when he finally went public with his anti-communist incites.
Today, Fred's sons David and Charles Koch are perhaps best known for founding and funding Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party-esque group that prides itself on anti-socialist rhetoric. In reality, the Koch brothers are less about fighting socialism. Their real goal is to eliminate government oversight. In the year 2000 alone, Koch Industries had to pay a record $30 million in fines resulting from more than 300 oil spills.Â It would have been a lot cheaper and easier to just leave that oil lying around. That's what Josef Stalin would do!
Photo of Joseph Stalin from the Germany Federal Archive