Change the world has long been the cry of the oppressed. But in recent years, world-changing has been co-opted by the rich and powerful.
Change the world. Improve lives. Invent something new, McKinsey & Company’s recruiting materials say. Sit back, relax, and change the world, tweets the World Economic Forum, host of the annual Davos conference. Let’s raise the capital that builds the things that change the world says a Morgan Stanley ad…. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame says, The best thing to do now, if you want to change the world, is to start a company.
At first you may think: Rich people making a difference—so generous! Until you consider that America might not be in the fix it’s in had we not fallen for the kind of change these winners have been selling: fake change.
Fake change … is change the powerful can tolerate…. It’s that one awesome charter school—not the equally funded public schools for all…. It is impact investing—not the closing of the carried-interest loophole.
Of course, world-changing initiatives funded by the winners of market capitalism do heal the sick, enrich the poor and save lives. But even as they give back, American elites generally seek to maintain the system that causes many of the problems they try to fix—and their helpfulness is part of how they pull it off.…
What their “change” leaves undisturbed is our winners-take-all economy, which siphons the gains from progress upward.
—Anand Giridharadas, The New York Times Week in Review, August 26, 2018.
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