Philanthropists and the charities that they fund will deny it as much as possible but it is true: philanthropy is politics.
In fact, philanthropy is a direct means of paying for the implementation of your politics upon society, regardless of democratic process.
It doesn’t make it right or wrong and because there is a fear that any form of scrutiny will cause donors to stop giving no one ever speaks about it, but it is the case. Philanthropy is the Cold War of the democratic system, where liberalism and conservatism (and the rest) come to battle it out without voters getting in the way.
On almost all issues, clashes of ideology lead to drastically different philanthropic acts.
Let’s start with education: the conservative philanthropist believes that so long as we have equality of opportunity (free schooling for the masses), then we have a fair society and it just makes sense to fast-track the best and brightest. The liberal philanthropist believes that if people from poor and minority backgrounds are achieving less well in our free schools than those from wealthier backgrounds, we clearly don’t have a fair society.
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