To the editor:
Tuesday’s K.C. Star reported that Koch Industries was one of the biggest contributors to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign. “Even before the governor was sworn in, executives from the Koch-backed group (Americans For Prosperity) had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown, Phillips (AFP president) said in an interview Monday.”
Now we know why the union’s offer to concede all of Gov. Walker’s financial demands but to keep their bargaining rights was rejected. Walker’s union-phobic patrons won’t allow it.
Koch’s groups were effective in Kansas with massive and expensive campaigns supporting conservatives in November. These patrons want a payback. Will their attempts to severely restrict or eliminate funding for public education, social programs and especially for the arts while using fear of immigrants as a stimulus result in public resistance as in Wisconsin?
Suspicion of the arts seems to be a pillar of conservative thinking. Rightly so. Significant artists have for centuries rejected the values of the dominant predatory elites. That includes the cash ethic of business that has dropped like a heavy net over humane culture, strangling all values but profit. Painters, poets, novelists, musicians and philosophers have systematically examined societies that are morally inert at best. So defund them. And in the process spiritually eviscerate the inner core of society’s being, enucleating one’s moral possibilities as certainly as if the lens was cut from one’s eye.