“In our era that harm is the concentration of money and power among a small few, who reap from the concentration a near monopoly on the benefits of change. And do-gooding pursued by elites tends not only to leave this concentration untouched, but actually to shore it up. For when elites assume leadership of social change, they are able to reshape what social change is – above all, to present it as something that should never threaten winners. In an age defined by a chasm between those that have power and those that don’t, elites have spread the idea that people must be helped, but only in market- friendly ways that do not upset fundamental power equations. The society should be changed in ways that do not change the underlying economic system that has allowed the winners to win and fostered many of the problems they seek to solve.”
Doing the rounds. Intriguingly, as this book does have teeth with which it denunciates the guilty party, it has become a New York Times bestseller, causing ripples of disconcertion through the very community it skewers. It is not scathing enough, but certainly addresses exceptionally important flaws & folly related to the exclusivity of the decision making class, image off-setting & public relations whitewashing, profiteering through charitable enterprise and guilt extinguishment & market justification measures. Bill Gates, most probably the world’s most malign philanthro-capitalist croesus describes Winners Take All as – ‘Thought-provoking … his fresh perspective on solving complex societal problems is admirable’. The foulest of offenders engages the very crisis they instigated, masquerading as the concerned parent whilst stowing profits in offshore accounts & succoring the roots of the given affliction on the blood of the devastated demographic they parasite upon.
“Much of what appears as reform in our time is in fact the defense of stasis.”
I would go further than ‘defense of stasis’, … it is the ‘pretext of expansion’.
Deprivation expands, living standards lower, opportunities are neutered, rudimentaries are robbed, protective amenities are scoured, & they just keep getting richer & richer & richer. Legal & social criteria for addressing such injustice, vulnerability, scarcity & hardship is increasingly diminished. Meanwhile, protective swaddling for the affluent & their associates bloats & soars. The growing ascension of precarious & unfair adversity coincides with ever greater penetration & compulsory coercment from the tech-corporate-capitalist predator into hitherto off-limits macro-markets (ebay, band camp, amazon, paypal, libra, sesame credit, contactless, uber, deliveroo, air bnb etcetera) which also provides a secondary exploitation opportunity of surveillance/data mining & additional manipulation by undeclared actors & third part vultures. Less & less autonomy, more & more dependence, all themed under the lie of convenience, efficiency, liberation & time saving. Enticed enclosure.
“The almost religious faith in the win-win helped to explain choices like Rosenstein’s. ‘What’s amazing about tech – and there’s other industries like this, but I think it’s something that is particularly common in tech – is that there is so many opportunities to have your cake and eat it, too, right?’”
The idea that the rapist can reassure, resolve or rectify the ravaging needs to end now. Oh they owe us all right! They owe us biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig!!! – but in terms of the criminal class & benefactors having any decisive, narrative, institutional control or influence over this litany of catastrophe & how it is restituted– that is the most paradoxical, naked fallacious-lunacy that needs to be totally shut-down & rousingly refused.
“ ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ Entrepreneurs expand the pie. Smith tells the rich man to concentrate on running his business on the assumption that positive social consequences will occur automatically, as a happy by-product of his selfishness. Through the magic of the “free market” – an oxymoron ever since the first regulation was imposed on it – he unwittingly arranges for the common good. ”
Hey! This is a damn good book. A very important expedition into a ‘conversation’ we need to all be having & acting upon. An additional area of debate or study materializes in the “sell-out” phenomena. Abusers needing to purport or purchase cover, camo, circus that makes them appear to be clement, conscientious, benevolent or accountable is one thing. Then of course, there is those that challenge or startle the nefarious paradigm that then must be ‘adopted’, turned, subsumed or muted. This will often involve removing the critic or objector from the area of ailment & ensconcing them into the opposing ‘parasite’ ranks & making the previous affliction personally profitable to the newly recruited resident & tergiversator, probably without removing them from their original role as their cover conversion means they can continue to offer (now ineffectual & specious) false criticism/representation. An individual or element with an unannounced & ulterior-complicit-understanding is more valuable to the plutocrat/oligarch/rigged-economy/monopolist cancer than nothing at all, as Thatcher’s ‘greatest achievement’ so clearly emphasizes – “controlled opposition”.
“the Trying-to-Solve-the-Problem-with-the-Tools-That-Caused-It issue.”
Anand Giridharadas – 2019 – Allen Lane – 269 pages