The HBG Book Club met for the first time yesterday to discuss our latest book, Winners Take All; the elite charade of changing the world by Anand Giridharadas. So far, it’s been a pretty wild ride, and we’re only up through chapter two.
In discussing how the ultra-high net worth individuals view the world and the ways they’ve decided to change it for the better (via philanthropy, their business, or social enterprises), Giridharadas says,
There are many ways to make sense of all this elite concern and predation.
One is that the elites are doing the best they can. The world is what it is; the system is what it is; the forces of the age are bigger than anyone can resist; the most fortunate are helping. This view may allow that this helpfulness is just a drop in the bucket, but it is something.
The slightly more critical view is that this elite-led change is well-meaning but inadequate. It treats symptoms, not root causes; it does not change the fundamentals of what ails us. According to this view, elites are shirking the duty of more meaningful reform.
But there is still another, darker way of judging what goes on when elites put themselves in the vanguard of social change: that it not only fails to make things better, but also serves to keep things as they are.”