If the Rich Really Want To ‘Do Good,’ They Should Become Class Traitors Like FDR

Longreads

Will Meyer | Longreads | October 2018 | 11 minutes (2,846 words)

In July of 2015, writer and ex-McKinsey consultant Anand Giridharadas addressed a room full of elites and their good company in Aspen, Colorado. He was a fellow with The Aspen Institute, a centrist think-tank, which was hosting an “ideas festival.” Giridharadas’ talk took aim at what he dubbed the “Aspen Consensus,” an ideological paradigm in which elites “talk a lot about giving more” and not “about taking less.” He earnestly questioned the social change efforts and “win-win” do-goodery promulgated at the business-friendly get-together. In the speech, Giridharadas walked a thin line: both praising the Aspen community which “meant so much” to him and his wife while also laying into its culture and commandments. He dropped the mic: “We know that enlightened capital didn’t get rid of the slave trade,” and suggested that the “rich fought for policies that…

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