These days more important is the newly minted money elites coupled with rich heirs whose wealth has been compounding for years into a gigantic bolus. Whether from gaming, technology, pornography, extraction, entertainment, finance, health care – it doesn’t matter. Here lies the ground of the new philanthropy that is an iteration of the old philanthropy in a new key.
Relative to his times, lucky smart ruthless Bill Gates parallels lucky smart ruthless John D Rockefeller. Rockefeller rode the engine of oil to the financial stratosphere. Gates rode the engine of software engineering to the same place. Both believed their ventures were gifts to humanity and both believed business practices they embraced if duly replicated in philanthropic enterprise would make the world a still better place. Both fought hard to create monopolies, or failing that, cartels in their commercial activities. Both fought hard to advance monopolistic dynamics in their philanthropic activities. Both succeeded by purloining the best work of others. Both self-presented as self made and were acclaimed as such by an adoring media. Both dismissed the importance of fostering democratic practices in their philanthropic offspring. Both held unions in contempt. Both did everything in their power to kill off any worker sentiment flowing in the direction of organized political power.