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Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

Anand Giridharadas · 2 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
The New York Times bestselling, groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to "change the world" preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. An essential read for understanding some of the egregious abuses of power that dominate today’s news.Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can--except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. We see how they rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; how they lavishly reward "thought leaders" who redefine "change" in winner-friendly ways; and how they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm. We hear the limousine confessions of a celebrated foundation boss; witness an American president hem and haw about his plutocratic benefactors; and attend a cruise-ship conference where entrepreneurs celebrate their own self-interested magnanimity. Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? He also points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world. A call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
They've effectively poisoned the terms "effective", "altruism", "longterm", "rational", and "utilitarian".

Because it was all a hustle to continue doing exactly whatever they wanted to do. Here is a good book that talks about the mindset:

https://www.amazon.com/Winners-Take-All-Charade-Changing/dp/...

It's easy to say you're doing things "longterm" for "future generations". The non-existent are the easiest people to advocate for. They demand absolutely nothing of you. And if your projected "altruism" will only really be felt well after you're dead, you aren't on the hook to show results now. They claim this is utilitarian, but it's not. It never was.

What is known is that small real changes now can affect large changes later. Doing things to improve today will improve tomorrow, next year, next decade, etc. If you are looking to be effective with your altruism, the most rational, utilitarian thing you can do is solve the problems of today. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to separate you from your money.

concordDance
This is very wrong.

Most effective altruists are working on relatively near term things, like education in India or parasitic worms in Nigeria, those just aren't controversial and so get discussed less.

But long term projects like switching away from CO2 and to renewables can still be worth doing.

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas.

"An insider's groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to 'change the world' preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve."

https://www.amazon.com/Winners-Take-All-Charade-Changing/dp/...

https://twitter.com/AnandWrites

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