There's a certain cliche by which I do not abide, the very idea of not speaking ill of the dead. By speaking only platitudes about deceased persons, we elide their transgressions, their crimes, the damage that they have done to others. David Koch, who did croak, did incalculable damage to US society, to workers' rights, to the world's environment. He, along with his brother Chuck, bankrolled such fever swamps of bad ideas as the American Enterprise Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council to push oligarchy masquerading as libertarianism. Wherever bad legislation undermining workplace safety regulations or proper disposal of toxic waste popped up, there was the hand of David Koch. Wage stagnation and environmental degradation... Dave was there, pushing for it, and buying the politicians who implemented the policies which resulted in it.
Sure, David Koch has been described as a 'philanthropist' by a media reluctant to tell the truth about the man's legacy... sure, he donated money to performance venues and museums. A few years ago, I mentioned that the Koch name being attached to the dinosaur halls at AMNH used to chap my ass, until I realized that there could be no better tribute to the fossil fuel magnates than rooms full of extinct animals. It doesn't mean that I have warmed to the Kochs, though... the willful destruction of the Amazon rainforests (which provide 20% of the Earth's atmospheric oxygen) and the meltdown of Greenland bear the fingerprints of Koch's greedy, grasping hand. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing good to say about this particular carcass, and I sure as hell am not going to keep quiet about this evil man who wreaked such havoc through his 'giving'.