Foundation Friday: War Profiteers and their Beneficiaries

Just stumbled on the work of political scientist Joan Roelofs, whose book Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism documents the role foundations play in sustaining capitalism by softening the edges of its impact.  (An interesting subject on the day Bill Gates announces that maybe capitalism requires some help to be tolerable to people who aren’t Bill Gates.)  Here’s a particularly toothsome nugget, though: her 2006 account of the philanthropy of military contractors. 

Unlike Roelofs, the Nonprofiteer doubts that military-contractor philanthropy is what keeps people from acting on their antiwar sentiments; but she finds fascinating the account of where the money goes, and to whom. 

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3 Responses to “Foundation Friday: War Profiteers and their Beneficiaries”

  1. Joanne Fritz Says:

    This is very interesting reading as I am plowing through the recent Economist and its exploration of corporate social responsibility. Nothing is simple, is it?

    • Cuzierizkiey Says:

      I’ll start …. my vosiin for the future of philanthropy is radical. It entails a more equitable balance of resources. The ideal would be a world in which philanthropy would cease to exist. Philanthropy defined as the wealthy giving large amounts of money for “charitable purposes”. The have-not gap would no longer be so vast. Those who have never experienced poverty would no longer be able to dictate and strategize how poverty should be “solved”. But back to reality…the perspectives of those most impacted by oppression and have the most to lose should be involved. It’s the nuance of experiencing versus living. Authentically incorporating and validating those voices is imperative if you truly desire change because without analyzing how multiple systems of domination affect all levels of our culture we will remain stuck in the current recession of thought and (in)action.

      • Nonprofiteer Says:

        I don’t go so far as to advocate the end of philanthropy–there will always be a place for generous people to underwrite specialty activities, opening a museum of stamp collecting or a school of knitting. But I agree with you that the equitable distribution of resources requires a re-thinking of tax policy, and that the poor must indeed be at the table when this is done. The main obstacle?–the influence of big money in elections. We must either look for an opportunity for the Supreme Court to reconsider Citizens United (after Scalia has left the bench and been replaced by someone appointed by a Democratic president) or amend the Constitution to over-rule it, or the rich will literally own our government and democracy will be a complete and cruel joke.

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