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Eugenics after Trump, per William Schambra

William (Bill) Schambra (Dr. Schambra, in fact) is one of the most vital and stimulating thinkers on philanthropy, public policy, and political theory and practice. Although he may not spend much quality time with the hicks, lubbers, life insurance agents, money managers, petite bourgeois clients, religious zealots, patriots,  and white trash to which I have devoted my own meteoric career in Wealth Bondage, and while he is no longer a speech writer for Republicans energizing this disreputable base, he does channel some of that anger, and resentment of the elites to which Bill (presumably in self-loathing) belongs, as an honored thinker, in his own right, a denizen of a reputable (as these things go) think tank and a familiar speaker wherever policy and philanthropy elites meet (such as Council on Foundations and Philanthropy Round Table) to settle each other's hash.

Bill (Dr. William) Schambra, says now, in an essay at Nonprofit Quarterly, "About what Happened," that it is the liberal approach to fixing things, an approach that Bill likens to Eugenics, that account for Trump's rise. It is true - I agree with Bill -- that my progressive friends do feel they are "more highly evolved," a phrase some actually use, than the knuckle draggers in the flyover states. One of my progressive friends, a Harvard educated PhD, from a family that fled the Holocaust, even has a statistically valid test he administers to people to determine how highly evolved they are in ethics, with the Authoritarian, Faithful, Mercantile, Ignoramus as the lowest of the low, and with the open minded promiscuous, cosmopolitan intellectual as the The Finest Fruit of Civilization So Far. It is also true that a large number of voters, behind the curtain, chose to approve an explicit agenda that involves visceral hatred, scapegoating, gloating cruelty, mob-mania, deportation gangs, vilification of minorities, defense of boundaries and borders, unless female, and assertions of racial identity and superiority.

Those who, like Bill have, since at least Nixon, whistled to the dogs had better feed them. When those Bill sides with, the lubbers, come for elites, he had better have some symbol he can paint on his door to indicate that race-baiting, misogyny,  and xenophobia are good with him, appearances to the contrary. Bill is a personal friend, and a role model; he is a good man with a record of inciting deep thought, passionate thought, about philanthropy in a free market in a just society. He is ungodly gifted and can channel the great God Pan, or Dionysus drunk on blood, a gift he shares with Euripides and with Trump. In this case, though, he had better update his Theory of Eugenics with input from the Alt-right if he wants to get traction and be in line with God-In-History, as we make Progress towards Cultural Purity.

Euripides? The Bacchae is what I had in mind, as in the prior post. Tragedy follows satire at the Festival of Dionysus. In These Great Times, it is Farce first, or Punchinello, then Tragedy. Sacred Violence, for that we need a scapegoat. Eugenics is cold science. Dionysus prefers havoc, a mob run amok, a lynch tree, human sacrifice, a god bleeding into a chalice, at least a lamb slain on an altar, if not a son of the priest, or the priest himself.

I am reminded, speaking of the great liberal project, of Isaiah Berlin, whose favorite quotation was from Kant, "From the crooked timber of humanity, nothing straight was ever made." At heart, liberalism is the view that in each of us -- all of us - high and low, educated and uneducated, is a spark of the divine, largely obscured by sin. I believe that, too, but the pre-Christian god whose spark I channel, as does Bill, as do some of the Higher-ups in Wealth Bondage, and their minions, is elated by suffering, the suffering of the one expelled, the one fired, the one subordinated, the one molested or broken to submission, the one whose humiliation fuels the rituals of The Apprentice, to which role - The Boss  - I aspire. The difference, I am sorry to say, is that after decades in Wealth Bondage, in service to my generous patron, she who rules us all, I have never risen from prostitute to pimp, let alone owner of the Bordello. In a Master/Slave hierarchy (please Bill, credit me here with Hegel) from the dregs on up to the Gold Encrusted Palace of Good Taste, I never made it above the slave of slaves, the butt of all jokes, even my own. If, unlike Bill, I identify with the losers and feel their rage, it is because I am one. I want to hurt others now, as I have been hurt. If I cannot live in the Big House, with Bill, or serve as Doctorate Inside the Belt Way, in a Think Tank, I want to burn it all down.

When my blood is up, as once in awhile it still is, I exult in the shrieks of those burning, in the fear in the eyes of those who will be sacrificed, in the flinching and groans of the satiric victim I flay for her own good, to heal her, set an example, and cure our sick society. Nothing would please me more, as beaten down as I now am, than to make myself feel great again by restoring the moral order, by burning my enemies alive, as human torches, while I sip a cool drink, or eat lemon sherbet, as a Distinguished Guest, in the Rose Garden, and have my pick of the defeated females, who cannot resist me (for I am, grotesque appearance to the contrary, irresistible!, since all women love the man with power to harm on a world historic scale).

At last I have a party, indeed a country, to which I can pledge allegiance with my heart, soul, and body, once we have purged ourselves of the toxins, exterminated the vermin, and Restored the Righteous like me. A job for which I feel well suited, if I can be awarded a badge, a uniform, a billy-club, or other sufficient sign of my superiority, and license to use it. All I need is a sign! A hint as to whom I should beat, or threaten with deportation, or death. Or, if there is to be a Think Tank of the Unthinking - Who better than I? I believe Bill disqualified himself from the Future of Policy by coming across once again as a reasonable man with a conscience. I say to my Fellow Unreasoning Americans, let us spare Dr. William Schambra's life, when we come for the Elites. He has done little good for our cause, but little harm, too. Well, of course there are two sides to every story. Let justice be done. I would spare his wife, if it were my decision. I owe him that much.


King Lear and The King's Men - Lessons on the Slippery Art of Family Governance

King Lear: The History Revealed by Fintan O'Toole, reviewed in The New York Review of Books.

Family Governance for Governing Families. The role of the artist, under a patron. The role of the King's Man. Support, absorb, refactor, and subvert, for the greater good. More power than a Wise Counselor in the traditional Courtier mode. More power than Parliament. Only an all licensed Fool could do more. Were I a wise man I would join Wise Counsel, giving sage advice to families as powerful as our former Monarchs, before we broke from English rule. 

The Wise make good use of literature, as of everything else. If they were wiser yet, they would be Fools. And perhaps The Happy Tutor could show them how. He is a Secular Priest, or actually a real priest, educated at Oxford as a cleric, since under Primogeniture (how our august predecessors beat the proverb, ashes to ashes, and rags to rags), he had to go into the army, become a judge, or be a priest and scholar, with a parish, or a school, or if lazy, as Tutor is, and a drunkard, and carouser, he could set up as a Morals Tutor to his noble neighbor's brats. Mentoring the Heirs, as we now say. The Happy Tutor is also the Lord of Misrule. So are our Wise Counsel, today, if by Misrule we mean the rule of the richest forever. Fool is one thing, Coxcomb, or Villain is another.

In Lear, do we pity the pauper at the base of Fortune's wheel as it turns, or the King at the top who must inevitably fall? When the highest and lowest trade places, 'handy dandy' who goes in ermine, and who in rags? Change places, and who is the thief, and who is the justice? Who is the sighted one? Who is blind?  Who is sane and who mad? Riddle me that, Wise Counsel. But more importantly, can we like Shakespeare, speak truth in riddles to power, and still be awarded our four yards of red cloth to wear the King's livery at court? So far Tutor, buck naked in a Dumpster, must await future delivery. Advantage Wise Counsel.

If I were to write my own Book on Wealth and the Will of God, I would add the epigraph: "Wiser are the Children of Darkness." And believe me, I have learned that to my own cost. Let it be a lesson to us all.


Change.org Is Much Improved

Congrats to Ben Rattray on the relaunch of Change.org. The new site features the hum of conversation about causes, driven by blogger/editors hired for the purpose.  The currency of giving is relationships, community, passion, and identity. In that matrix money moves as the collection plate moves in a covenanted congregation, or as gifts move among family and friends. The model of the atomized donor "investing" in results by pulling out a credit card, reviewing a pitch, and hitting send is pretty sterile.  Ben, I think, has an editorial formula now that will build conversation, community, consciousness, commitment, gifts, and social change.

By the way, Change.org is hiring editors in additional issue areas.


The New Paradigm of Philanthropy

"The Coming Paradigm Shift in Philanthropy: It is not About the Money," by Dr. Susan Raymond.  The most perceptive, balanced, and thoughtful piece I have seen on the engaged philanthropy, aka "social investing. " Snip:

...the loyalty in the new paradigm is not between the giver and the receiver (let us use these terms for now; they are amended below), the loyalty is to the problem.  The philanthropist focuses not on the nonprofit receiving resources, but on the problem being solved.  If nonprofit A cannot demonstrate that it can solve the problem, nonprofit B is just as likely to be supported.  The question then is not “do you do good work?” but “can you demonstrate that you can fix the problem?”

...the new paradigm does not think of resource transfer as a matter of gifts.  The new paradigm uses an investment model, either in fact or by analogy.  In its most innovative forms, the new paradigm seeks to flow resources to problems in ways that create sustained institutional capability and force accountability to the funder.

Government failed, God died, traditional giving failed; fortunately, we have business minded social investors. We may not be accountable to much of anything, but at least we can be accountable to them. I myself am thinking of chastening my tone, and getting on board the new gravy train. Why mock it and when you consult to it? The problem, say, is social injustice. The solution is to be accountable to the rich, not that I am complaining, boss.


Asian Philanthropy Forum

Our goal is to enhance the knowledge of donors and funders and improve our collective understanding of Asia and its needs.  We believe this can be achieved by calling attention to innovative, local, small scale programs and organizations working in the region.  In addition, we hope to grow a network of experts that donors can turn to for credible information; a place where leaders can share successes and best practices.

Why, though, am I always identified as, "Phil Cubeta, self-described Morals Tutor to America's wealthiest families"?  I have always said my work is nonconsensual and pro bono. On that basis my track record speaks for itself.


Inspired Legacy Men's Auxiliary

Ilhats1Here we are in Houston last weekend. Transforming philanthropy, civil society, ourselves and the world, while wearing reasonably funny hats. I am in the back row in the blue shirt, one of two token males in the Emergent Matriarchy that will dominate our collective future. You know it could be that unregenerate white males are often too busy running the world we have to take time out to create the world we want. It does raise the question, though, as to whether philanthropy is gendered female. Maybe that would explain why so many tough guy entrepreneurs talk instead about "venture philanthropy" and "social investing." They don't want to join the Men's Philanthropic Auxiliary? A key topic at the meeting was leadership. How can we engineer a shift not only in money but in power, so that the historically subordinate get their voices heard? Oddly enough, the historically subordinate groups include wealthy philanthropic women who have wealth by marriage (or divorce) or though inheritance.  (I speak subject to correction.)


Civic Mind

Wendy Lewis blogs here. She has also put up CivicMind, a dictionary and resource for "civic-minded, service-oriented, socially-responsible, and philanthropically-inclined people." These include, along with philanthropists:

  • Nonprofit leaders and volunteers
  • Social entrepreneurs
  • National service participants
  • Service-learning educators and college students
  • Corporate responsibility directors
  • Foundation officers and philanthropists
  • Everyday citizens improving their communities

Here is her definition of "Social Justice," under S in her dictionary:

an individual's concern for the needs of society as a whole and not simply those of oneself or one's family; recognition that caring about, and being responsive to, the needs of others is a moral obligation and an integral part of the practice of citizenship.

What a fine writer she is. What a fine public spirited person shines through work. I only wish every teenager in America, let alone every adult, were schooled in her "dictionary" and committed to service as a citizen, in whatever way complements and completes their lives as consumer, voter, and employee.