Tipping Point Fund
Singing Nun Takes on Wall Street

Philanthropcapitalism: Point Counterpoint

A revealing debate at Stanford Social Enterprise Review.  Kavita Ramdas devastates the triumphalist philanthrocapitalist mindset. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green, in the best Oxbridge style attacks the way Kavita expresses her critique rather than the critique itself. I learned that at Oxford too, as did Bill Clinton. ("It all depends on what the meaning of is is.") What is striking is that the point counterpoint gives equal time to social change philanthropy. Bravo to Stanford Social Enterprise Review for that. That saving capitalism by means of philanthropy is not an unmixed good seems to stagger the imagination of Mathew and Michael, rendering them not speechless but contentless. Next time SSR needs a spirited defense of Wealth Bondage, I do hope they call me. I can come up with countless arguments acceptable to my boss, our stockholders, and her board. I have been doing it for years. I even won a prize for it back in the day. Hack of the month, in January of 2007, nosing out some very well known think tank thinkers, some of whom appear on all the best talk shows. Have Mathew and Michael won any comparable honors? I find it ungrateful to bite the hand that feeds me scraps. I have always done better to fawn. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If social change and a real meritocracy means I can no longer be the editor of Gifthub I am no more likely to support it than would Mathew if change deprived him of his gilded cage at the Economist. (Truth: In linking to Mathew's Philanthrocapitalism's website, I found it blocked by Norton as a "known malicious site." Probably some phishing scam. I don't blame Mathew for that, though I do think the "philanthropy saving capitalism" meme is pernicious. It implies, falsely! that Wealth Bondage is less than perfect and needs saving. That is like saying that markets are not God! Hegemonic, all encompassing, and indestructible. What needs saving? Appearances. Hence philanthropy? It all depends on what the meaning of justice is, I guess.