Foundationland and all the pandering and program altering bs that gets piled up there is only the tip of the funding iceberg. It’s a given that nothing approaching the truth ever happens in this territory.
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.
Frank C. Pierson, Jr.
Frank Pierson retired after forty years of work with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) as a professional organizer. He began his career in 1971 in Chicago, moved to Queens, New York City and migrated west to work in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado. He resides with his wife, Mary Ellen Kazda, in Oracle, Arizona. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org