We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Who Is Corporate Philanthropy for? Arundhati Roy Says It’s Not Who You Think

Click here to access article by Rick Cohen from Nonprofit Quarterly. 

The author offers a brief synopsis of an excellent longer article entitled, "Capitalism: A Ghost Story", by Arundhati Roy in which, while focusing on India, she provides a critique of capitalism and a thorough look at how philanthropic organizations provide another means for capitalists to control societies (with the added benefit of tax exemptions). 

For example, she writes about the “rules of the Gush-Up Gospel" which means “the more you have, the more you can have.”
“As Gush-Up concentrates wealth on to the tip of a shining pin on which our billionaires pirouette, tidal waves of money crash through the institutions of democracy—the courts, Parliament as well as the media, seriously compromising their ability to function in the ways they are meant to. The noisier the carnival around elections, the less sure we are that democracy really exists.”