Life Affirming Leadership

Speaking of Philanthropy at Hudson Institute: My Notes as a Morals Tutor

Kristol Do you know this man? Irving Kristol, considered the founder of American neoconservatism. He sat smiling genially, in attendance at our panel at Hudson. If you read the piece I wrote for that (download 4 page.pdf), you will see it is a very dry satire of the neconservative vision of strategic philanthropy. It was with great pleasure that I heard Bill Schambra read the case study aloud, as Irving Kristol himself caught my eye and smiled. I thought I head Bill's voice crack just a tad as he read the part about the wealthy neocon philanthropist funding a think tank to reduce income taxes, eliminate estate taxes, and roll back taxes on his oil and gas businesses, and so do good for society by creating jobs. On the wall of the Green Room where we had lunch prior to the talk, there was Dick Cheney, seen from below, in a hero pose, against the Hudson banner.  After our recent controversies here about Holden, I felt very safe at Hudson.

Being with Dr. Amy Kass, author of Giving Well Doing Good was a great pleasure. She loves the humanities so deeply and teaches them so well, that political differences seem just an excuse for a good conversation among civic friends. I also had a chance to meet her distinguished husband, Leon Kass. A certain Mad Monk introduced himself to me, in a conspiratorial whisper. And several people came up to confide that they read Gifthub. I got to shake hands with William DennisTim Walter, Katherine Jankowski, and Martin Wooster. After the panel, I had a drink with Albert Ruesga in the Mayflower Hotel (where Monica used to stay). Actually, Albert got so animated talking about grassroots social change that he spilled his martini all over my moth-eaten business suit. I had Thunderbird on the rocks with a twist. Then back home to the Dumpster. There may be no outside of Wealth Bondage, but I would love to go back sometime to our Command & Control Center.  Here  in Dallas, on the  margins  of  empire, it's pretty dull by comparison. They just tell us what they want us to know, and we are supposed to act like we believe it.