"Winners Take All" is written by a former columnist of The New York Times, Anand Giridharadas, highlighting the attempt by the elites to rebrand themeselves as the saviours of the unpriveledged. The author explains how the claimed role of the world’s elite in bringing about societal change is actually only meant to sustain their own privileged place in the system. The book is a criticism of the plutocratic class of philanthropic tech billionaires and bankers that get together at Davos and Aspen in a supposed attempt to challenge inequality and cause societal change.
The book presents the most prevalent ways in which people think of the idea of philanthropy. Firstly, there is an impression that with such widespread issues in the world, one should be happy if the rich are extending help to resolve those problems. Secondly, the notion that elite philanthropy is well-intended but falls short in bringing any real change. Their efforts are directed toward the symptoms of the problem rather than dealing with the problem itself. Lastly, the book presents a dark outlook of philanthropy where the elite are not only unsuccessful in improving the situation rather they contribute in keeping the situation the way it is. “Those at greatest risk of being resented in an age of inequality are thereby recast as our saviours from an age of inequality.”
Giridharadas argues that for such elite philanthropists the only real concern is to sustain a world system that has brought them wealth as the majority population on the planet is on the lookout for help. Lucrative firms built with debatable means and using irresponsible methods take part in corporate social responsibility. Such rich people make headlines by “giving back”—irrespective of the fact that they may have initiated grave social problems as they made their wealth.
Giridharadas, Anand. Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.
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