Anand Giridharadas: Winners Take All

Online read Winners Take All AUTHOR Anand Giridharadas –

IlegeHow do you respond to the ncomfortable cooing and admiration Look at Cesar Why can t they all be like him He had a single mother He put himself through school Even the most well meaning do not nderstand the selfish ways we contribute to a society where we increasingly make stories like mine and Darren s impossible to continue to emerge The largest or most freuent donors to charity won t change the fact that for my story to emerge again the stars would need to align yet again but in a nlikely way When you join the club of winners in society and you champion causes that ignore the fundamental structures and systems in place that led to your victory you become complicit in the oppression that makes your success possible The slaveholder who would rather treat his property with love and care instead of working to live in a free world was every bit as complicit as the most brutal slaveowners True progress demands a sacrifice of privilege and powerThose of A Bride by Summer (Round-the-Clock Brides us who ride the wave of prosperity have a responsibility to think of the people for whom this change systemically fails We have a shared moral obligation and commitment to the public good My promise to the world is to never lose sight of that This is an excellent book and a must read It s also totally readable and evenite funny at times And it s the kind of book that you keep bringing p in conversation and then trailing off and saying you just really have to read this book The oversimplified thesis is that you can t se the master s tools to break down his house I hope this book is widely read and circulated Did you watch Zuckerberg testify before the Senate committees about Facebook and the 2018 election Were you struck by how blithely Rescued from Ruin unrepentant he seemed how convinced that his titanic poorly monitored data base which he habitually describes as a community is annalloyed benefit to s all Facebook was not originally created to be a company Zuckerberg claims It was built to accomplish a social mission to make the world open and connected So how is it that a billionaire like Zuckerberg can presume to appear so smugly virtuous Although a few reasons come immediately to my mind a poorly chosen defense strategy the habitual arrogance of wealth some personality or character defect I believe the truer explanation is niversal It lies in the philosophical attitude toward wealth and social change of all the Silicon Valley billionaires which is shared in large part by the Wall StreetClinton Foundation crowd too Such people inhabit a distinct intellectual Childhood Dying universe and an excellent way to learn about their world is to read Winners Take All the Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand GiridhardasGiridhardas calls thisniverse MarketWorld and he encountered it p close and personal when in 2011 he was chosen as a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute an organization of leaders that seeks to deploy a new breed of leaders against the world s most intractable problems It involved an inspiring series of one week seminars held in luxurious places where he mingled with the ltra rich in decorated mansions Still something made Anand Carrying the Sheikhs Baby/Awakening His Innocent Cinderella/The Tycoons Shock Heir/One Night with the Forbidden Princess uneasy about the whole thing Even as I savored these luxuries and connections I found something amiss about the Aspen institute Here were all these rich and powerful people coming together and speaking about giving back and yet the people who seemed to reap most of the benefits of this coming together were the helpers not the helped I began to wonder what was actually going on when the most fortunate don t merely seek to make a difference but also effectively claim ownership of changing the world I began to feel like a casual participant in a giant sweet lipped lie Why were we coming to Aspen To change the system or to be changed by it To speak truth to power or to help make annjust Sheik Defense (Desert Justice unpalatable system go down a little easily Could the intractable problems we proposed to solve be solved in the way that we silently insisted at minimal most to elites with minimal distribution of power Giridharadas continued to think about these matters and five years later at his Aspen Institute summer reunion he delivered a speech in which he summedp what he called the Aspen Consensus The winners of our age must be challenged to do good But never ever tell them to do less harm This essentially is the philosophy of MarketWorld We can all especially the rich do good by doing well Apply market solutions empower a few attempt to solve a few isolated social problems and guess what we can make ourselves even money and feel better about ourselves while we do it We ll work with governments sure but only if necessary for democracy is messy and difficult to control but please don t speak to Hot Seduction (Hotshot Heroes us about increasing corporate regulations or raising marginal tax rates or increasing estate taxes and while you re at it leave that deduction for the purchase of private jets alone tooGiridharadas attends and takes notes on many MarketWorld events conducts interviews with a few of theltra rich and many of their minions an interview near the end of the book with Bill Clinton is particularly illuminating and in addition he speaks with a number of aspiring entrepreneurs who adopt the MarketWorld philosophy But he speaks with critics of MarketWorld too one of the most incisive being Chiara Cordelli professor of political philosophy at the niversity of Chicago She argues that one of the most dangerous things about the MarketWorld method is that it not only routinely marginalizes government institutions but also insists on benefits tax breaks elimination of regulations which damage and hamper its mechanisms and that as a result these institutions are becoming and ineffective And after all Cordelli says The government is s An excellent expos of the wealthy and powerful who aim to do good and just perpetuate systems of injustice Anand Giridharadas creates a compelling argument about how elites who work at corporations and companies like McKinsey and Goldman Sachs say they work for social change yet never address the core of what causes ineuality in the first place He provides several detailed anecdotes of young adults who get swept Babys Watch / A Hero of Her Own up into these corporations based on the ideal that they will learn a skill set that will later help them do good or that through these firms they will work on projects that benefit all of society even when these firms often drive the marginalized further downward The book carries valuable implications ranging from how business will not solve society s pressing problem As someone who has dithered on the edges of elites changing the world much of this rings true and I believe and grapple with the tension between the sometimes necessary powerinfluencefortune needed as we strive for justice and euity An article that I always refer back to is Noam Chomsky s dissection of justice vs power That and thoughts about how social movements and protest no matter how ineffectual will always be powerful levers to create systemic change than social enterprises That s a whole other issue area though I wanted this book to be and found it was too long for what it had to say I believe governments too should be larger actors than businesses but the book drawing this conclusion seemed to be based on needing to propose something else rather than a genuine endorsement I also would have hoped for greater analysis or critiue of this elite charade I d recommend all articles that are snippets of this book to everyone The book itself I d primarily recommend to people who are part of these communities and have yet to realise everytime theyse the word movement or activist it s an active form of co option What Trump and Idealists Have in Common Making a difference could be the idealistic theme of my generation s collective ethos at least among those of Desire Island - The Niece us who survived the drug culture of the 60 s and 70 s with intact minds It is my generation s term for religious faith The world had been opened tos by cheap access to good education a long post war economic boom a range of radical new philosophies and or less guaranteed employment Belief in oneself in society in the perfectability of life was the route to success and fulfillmentWe had choices And the right people appeared to be demonstrating how to exercise power around the world environmental improvement Jane Goodall human rights Martin Luther King the status of women Betty Friedan the Church Pope John XXIII This was concretely personal not abstractly intellectual inspiration Anything was possible for individuals with the courage to put themselves on the line or at least for those with the determination to get others to put themselves on the line they had laid outSo we had an obvious moral duty to improve the world Our parents worked at corporate jobs in order to earn a living Not Sweet Valentine us We had corporate careers in order to make the world a better place Ours was an enlightened self interest which took the old fashioned idea of vocation seriously Our lives had to mean something By which we meant we had to dedicate ourselves to a cause something beyond ourselves as the gurus of the time phrased it And that we did with diverse passion in business politics and academiaFor example we simply presumed we would always have enough to eat Theestion was how to make sure others did as well Hence the popularity of things like the Hunger Project which seriously aimed to eliminate global food deprivation entirely within 20 years and Monsanto s GM research The world remained corporate but it was no longer exploiting s now we were exploiting it for the betterment of humanity And by the way we made good money at it But we were adding value not just being avaricious self justifying social dronesSuch smug bastards have always ex. Ee how they rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; how they lavishly reward thought leaders who redefine change in winner friendly ways; and how they constantly seek to do good but never less harm We hear the limousine confessions of a celebrated foundation boss; witness an American president hem and haw about his plutocratic benefactors; and attend a cruise ship conference where entrepreneurs celebrate their own self interested magnan.

Before you read this book read the author s bio For someone who is so critical of elites hiding in their hobbit holes he waits ntil the acknowledgments section at the end to let you know that he is one of them I found this incredibly bizarre He says the reason is because he didn t want to make the book about him but at the same time he states The best way to know about a problem is to be a part of it I think the premise of the work would have been infinitely powerful had he started by being transparent with his insider out perspective He has no problems criticizing Bill Clinton later in the book for not Ice Wolves (Elementals, understanding people s lack of trust with elites yet how does he expect to gain that trust himself from readers by not owning his own privilege from the onsetHe states the purpose of his book is among other things a debate with my friends It is a letter written with love and concern to people whom I see yielding to a new Faith many of whom I know to be decent This makes him sound like Darren Walker one of the examples of the do gooders by doing well he gives in his analysis Walker is an African American who managed to climb the social ladder and now collaborates with MarketWorld and its elites in an effort to create positive change He does this by catering to their sensibilities balancing his own ideals of social justice which reuire acknowledgment of the elite s complicity in the global problem of ineuality with the gentler language of opportunity and win wins for all which soothe the rich man s conscience and his entrepreneurial interestsGiridharadas spends his book criticizing Darren Walker Amy Cuddy and others for trying to catch flies with honey than vinegar but then thought he would be effective by writing them a book He does this knowing that that one of the elites he writes about Simon Sinek doesn t even read but rather has other people read for him To be fair Sinek has a learning disability but still Know your audience dude I really started to lose my patience when aote from Audre Lorde got juxta positioned next to a Some Like It Hotter uote from Donald Trump at the beginning of chapter 5 That s just blasphemy The chapter is titled Arsonists make the best firefighters and focuses on Sean Hinton a former adviser to Goldman Sachs and Rio Tinto who long ago studied love songs in Mongolia Hinton seems to sense some of the cognitive dissonance between his participation in the system and his internal criticism of it Ultimately though he believes his values are personal and separate from the job he is hired to do End chapter So arsonists don t make the best fire fighters Therefore you don t make the best fire fighter Mr Writer Then I got to chapter 7 and was met with BillHillary conflation and Bernie proselytizing and criticism of globalists a term that I only hearsed in creepy faralt right Nazi circles on the Internet to explain their conspiracy theories about people on the left It s not that there isn t legitimate criticism in this chapter of the political left s failing to advocate for government s role and instead pandering to capitalist philanthropists and corporate sponsors That s totally valid But the author spends almost 50 pages taking folks like Bill Clinton to town for his complicity Meanwhile George Bush gets called out once maybe twice the whole book for dick things his administration did like enabling the Sackler s Oxycotin induced opium epidemic and Donald Trump actually gets credit for More Than a Convenient Bride (Texas Cattlemans Club: After the Storm understanding the anger the masses feel toward elites What is the reasoning here Try and get the rich people who aren t just flat out malicious and evil to see how they are also problematic Is this book like A Christmas Carol meant to serve as the ghosts of Past Present and Future for the Ebenezer Scrooges of the world to be persuaded by it In addition to who is this book for exactly one of my other major complaints is how the elite becomes interchangeable with MarketWorld a term encapsulating a blurry entity of rich people who mean well but are too afraid to confront the real problem of ineuality and their involvement in it There s really no distinguishing between them other than they re all rich and they are okay people who care at least to some extent The political divide between them left or right isn t ever really explored and eventually becomes irrelevant To me THAT is a gross oversight Because yes George Soros and Bill Clinton may be misguided in their good intentions but what about the Koch Bros You compare the elite on the left vs the elite on the right you have folks that at least feel a little bit guilty that there s ineuality vs folks who are beyond the comical caricature of Mr Burns and totally okay with pouring their money into the new Nazi world order Some winners are worse than others okay And some winners have money than others A lot of the big BIG winners are old white dudes on the right sincerely invested in harming everyday people not Oprah That needs to be acknowledged Giridharadas fails to do that Honestly when I pickedp this book I thought I would sail through it like a ship on a breezy day over a sea of populist rage Instead it was grueling slogging read one in which I learned way about just how oblivious and ignorant the pper class really is than I ever wanted or needed to know I also learned just how obstinately committed this same elite group is in refusing to acknowledge their complicity andor sing the power they have co opted to make the changes necessary to redistribute wealth for the betterment of society The I read the hopeless I felt for the futureIf this guy can t convince his own buddies at McKinsey and the Aspen Institute to listen to him then what is the point of his book According to Giridharadas it is also a letter to the public Tavern Wench urging them to reclaim world changing from those who have co opted it Oh so now it s on everyone else again to fix things CoolTo his credit in the last chapter Giridharadas brings in Chiara Cordelli a scholar in political science who has a solution that MarketWorlders return against their instincts and even perhaps against their interests to politics as the place we go to shape the world Going back to politics means restoring the power of political institutions such as laws courts taxes rights etcThe realestion then is How do we do that restoring power to our political institutions our democracy when the elite have invested so much money into ndermining those political institutions Especially now that we are seriously on the brink of the collapse of western democracy Is the damage too far done Giridharadas is right that the wealthy need to stop looking at themselves as the saviors of the world and acknowledge their hand in the problem But counting on everyday people to read his book and re claim world changing is so vague and nhelpful People are already doing that Consider the Women s March Black Lives Matter March for Our Lives Families Belong Together These weren t protests led by paid George Soros lackeys These were real angry people in the American public rallying and crying out against horrible injustices They were exercising their right to free speech and to assembly They were grasping onto the last vestiges of democratic power they had as non billionaires It s Cordelli the political scientist Giridharadas cites who Manhattan Heat ultimately offers the most promising solution She suggests that elites are going to have to be the ones to stop making foundations or charities to name after themselves and seriously re invest theirndeserved wealth into public institutions climb down the social ladder rejoin the ranks of the majority of people in society so that the rest of Secrets of the Marriage Bed us can start having a say for ourselves again Giridharadas seems to agree with that otherwise he wouldn t have saved her for last andoted her so thoroughly but that means his expose is really just a depressing detailed depiction about how greedy and willfully ignorant rich people are I already knew that dude Sometimes the best way to know about a problem isn t to be a part of it but rather to be a victim of it Then the problem persists because the perpetrators aren t listening to the victims So I say to Giridharadas since you re in the club sounds like you need to have some tougher conversations with your friends to get them to start listening otherwise the world is going to be facing glier alternatives to the one Cordelli is proposing Winners Take All is the hardest book I have ever read Not because it was inaccessible or esoteric but because it forced a long overdue look in the mirror Being in the tech industry I ve been swept p in thought leadership heroic philanthropy and the promise of innovation to impact lives at scale For a moment I was becoming convinced that maybe the market place was in fact the best place to solve our social ills Maybe the right combination of philanthropies and technology could fix most of our biggest issues With each page I slowly realized the lie I was telling myself to justify my newfound privilege in society I saw myself in the story of Hilary Cohen a young idealistic college grad swept by corporate furor over a desire to change the world and make impact at scale through the marketplace I rationalized momentarily selling out with the promise of building skills so one day I may be better suited to truly make the impact I desired in the public sector I could have my cake and eat it tooI saw myself in the story of Darren Walker the philanthropist who against all odds went from poverty to riches We share the same central Billionaire Baby Dilemma / The Wrangler uestions How do you reconcile the incompatible identity transition from a poorpbringing to another of riches and opportunity How do you navigate the new elite social circles life throws you in Am I too comfortable in my newfound priv. An insider's groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to change the world preserve the status All Night with the Boss uo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solveFormer New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takess into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age where the rich and powerful fight for euality and justice any way they can except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it We

Anand Giridharadas ê 5 Free read

Isted but perhaps never before or after in such naive density which made our conceits part of the air we breathed We could afford these conceits because we were buoyed Redeemed (Redeemed, up sustained and insured by a social and economic system that wanteds to act based precisely on the basis of this ideology of making a difference We were an elite the beneficiaries of a system we neither Stalker in the Shadows (Sonoma, understood nor created But our conversations and associations were almost solely with other members of the elite who spoke the same language of vision and commitment and human potential Making a difference became the late 20th century s post industrial version of the 19th century s technological Progress a sort of moral neo liberalism of the soulNotntil decades later did the real conseuences of our visions and commitments and potentials show themselves a economically divided a less environmentally sustainable a intensely politically fragmented and militarily hostile world than we could have ever imagined The point of Anand Giridharadas s book is to Claiming the Cowboys Heart understand the connection between these elites social concern and predation between the extraordinary helping and the extraordinary hoarding between the milking and perhaps abetting of annjust status Undercover with a SEAL (Code: Warrior SEALs uo and the attempts by the milkers to repair a small part of it It is also an attempt to offer a view of how the elite see the world so that we might better assess the merits and limitations of their world changing campaigns Making a difference remains an abiding meme among today s cultural elite Giridharadasotes a recent McKinsey Co recruiting brochure soliciting candidates who desire to Change the worldImprove livesInvent something newSolve a complex problemExtend your talentsBuild enduring relationshipsThis is a laconic but still an accurate replica of the pitch I received to join The Firm in 1976 It is also a paraphrase of similar documents produced by companies like Goldman Sachs and hundreds of others from Silicon Valley to Wall Street And it is in one form or another what every applicant to Harvard or Stanford or for that matter Oxford or Cambridge will be Truth or Dare (Sweet Valley University, urged to consider If you are the best you ll want to be among the best is the bait that is hard to resist See and Making a difference is a subtle and destructive ideology a spiritual rather than social or economic ideology and therefore far convincing Giridharada through his personal case studies shows how and why Making a difference is an insidious ideology because it taps into the best human impulses empathy charity mercy It thenses these to justify the acuisition of personal power political intellectual organisational power And since the first rule of power is the necessity to maintain power it not the virtues which motivated its acuisition is the essential ideological thread Feed the world becomes indistinguishable from Eliminate political resistance to the commercial bonanza of genetically modified crops Giridharada s kind of journalistic and academic melange is intriguing and produces some eye opening observations about the paradoxes of power seeking especially among those with a social conscience He certainly establishes the credibility of his thesis that the powerful are fighting to change the world in ways that essentially keep it the same Nonetheless I find it lacking It doesn t get to the core of our arrogance about the world on our affect on it Our presumption that good intentions backed by appropriate intellectual and practical skills will result in improved flourishing for humanity or the planet isn t just ill advised it is evilSometimes the extent of this evil can only be captured in religious terms Making a difference is at it turns out a rather ancient Christian heresy not just a mistake in judgment It s called Pelagianism the belief that it is possible to contribute to salvation of oneself or of the world Secret Refuge (Wings of Danger unaided by something called grace Whatever grace is and where it comes from divine gift genetic legacy intellectual insight or even cosmic luck it can never be presumedpon Pelagius the eponymous monk whom Augustine targeted as arch heretic suffered neither from inadeuate intellectual vision nor lack of passionate conviction His fatal flaw was a lack of humility a lack we don t normally associate today with grave sin And yet as Giridharadas notes we have such an obvious example in our midst that hubris is indeed evil Trump is the reductio ad absurdum of a culture that tasks elites with reforming the very systems that have made them and left others in the dust Making a difference is code for an ambition to power no matter who it comes from To make the distinction between the good my and bad his Shores Of Love use of power is nonsensical Power is itself corrupt as as well as corrupting just as Lord Acton suggested The human compulsion to power is the authentic Original Sin can t live with it can t do without it But recognising it for what it is when it popsp among s is essential for healthy living Making a difference means I want to make a grab for power when spoken by a young person By the time he or she has said it it s probably too late to do anything about it They re doomed Just as Augustine claimed it appears that Original Sin gets passed along in mother s milkPostscript I consider myself a social liberal But I have a sensitive nose when it comes to many apparently liberal causes because they not infreuently stink of power grabbing This suspicion I share with the French conservative thinker Bertrand de Jouvenel who mistrusted all idealists as a matter of course See 30Jul20 on the personal cost of idealistic ambition I really enjoyed this but it might be just because fundamentally I m ideologically opposed to people being that wealthy I think it does a really good job of what the intended purpose is to show that a lot of times philanthropy itself is just a way to ameliorate problems caused by the same people doing the philanthropy and that much of the philanthropy can not make p for the systemic issues we have created by letting people accumulate as much wealth at the expense of others as we do I think its fair to express the desire to read other books that go through it much numericallyor in a data oriented way to show a larger trend but I think that wasn t the purpose of the book so it didn t bother me as much as some of the people who didn t like the book I do think it can be repetitious and just hits on one theme over and over again through a lot of interviewsanecdotes so avoid this if that s not what you re looking for I do think it s important though for pointing out the hypocrisy inherent in a lot of the giving back rich people do I also don t see why the author should have to provide solutions because I do think it s a hard complex problem Like I think there is a place for books that just point out and describe a problem that exists it doesn t have to be prescriptive Anyways personally I really enjoyed it but I have my own biases and ideology so take what I say with a grain of salt This is another book recommended to me by Richard In many ways this is a similar and perhaps an even better book than Small Change Why business won t save the world by Michael Edwards Under my review of that book Jan Maat mentions Andrew Carnegie and he gets ite a run in this book although I wouldn t be able to say he comes out of that looking particularly good In fact he is presented as Jan Maat says as the classic case of what philanthropists are like Their point is to not pay their workers too m Very mixed feelings about this book I liked some parts too much to give a low rating disliked other parts too much to give a high rating and don t feel those should average outWhile I was reading I was considering a criticism that this book is ltimately not engaged in critical thought but is just another thought leader simply for a different demographic But it doesn t entirely fall into this trap and it isn t shallow or vapid There are definitely pieces that were solidYet I still feel like this book s project is fundamentally flawed I don t think someone who started out disbelieving in the book s premise would be convinced nor does the book seem to even attempt to convince them agreement with central tenets is presumed As someone favorably inclined toward the premise I was hoping for a rigorous analysis of the issue that would deepen my nderstanding of the subject I didn t get that as much as I d likeFor example the criticism of the family that made their wealth via OxyContin was exactly along the lines I wanted Direct empirical analysis of their impacts on both sides which in my mind is a serious criticism of their philanthropic efforts that ndermines all their rhetoric I d have preferred a whole chapter devoted to it but I enjoyed that segmentBut many other segments don t engage on that level For example criticizing business executives who reduce Indian economics to a market chain seems promising but there s no analysis just throwing out hypotheticals that might His Majestys Mistake (A Royal Scandal, undermine their position Those areestions with real answers that would be a far stronger response so why bring them After the Silence (From Kenya, With Love, up without getting into the facts of the situationNow a book doesn t need to be empirical analysis there s a place for simply expressing ideas For example I was fascinated by the section about early objections to Carnegie s philanthropy But as much as some parts were interesting I feel like a book with an aggressive thesis needs to present a high degree of either novelty or rigor and this book didn t go all the way with eitherI d be favorable inclined toward its attempt if not for my last problem with the book the tendency to smugly contradict interviewees in the text itself instead of raising those objections to their face and recording their respons. ImityGiridharadas asks hardestions Why for example should our gravest problems be solved by the A Secret in Conard County (Conard County Conard County: The Next Generation unelectedpper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes He also points toward an answer Rather than rely on scraps from the winners we must take on the grueling democratic work of building robust egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world A call to action for elites and everyday citizens alik.

Anand Giridharadas writes the Admit One column for the New York Times's arts pages and the Currents column for its global edition He is the author of India Calling An Intimate Portrait of A Nation's Remaking He lives in Brooklyn New York