Anand Giridharadas Quotations

“A successful society is a progress machine. It takes in the raw material of innovations and produces broad human advancement. America’s machine is broken. When the fruits of change have fallen on the United States in recent decades, the very fortunate have basketed almost all of them.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Rich American men, who tend to live longer than the average citizens of any other country, now live fifteen years longer than poor American men, who endure only as long as men in Sudan and Pakistan.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“the top 10 percent of humanity have come to hold 90 percent of the planet’s wealth. It is no wonder that the American voting public—like other publics around the world—has turned more resentful and suspicious in recent years, embracing populist movements on the left and right, bringing socialism and nationalism into the center of political life in a way that once seemed unthinkable, and succumbing to all manner of conspiracy theory and fake news.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Elite networking forums like the Aspen Institute and the Clinton Global Initiative groom the rich to be self-appointed leaders of social change, taking on the problems people like them have been instrumental in creating or sustaining.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible…except by getting off his back. — LEO TOLSTOY, WRITINGS ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AND NONVIOLENCE”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“To question the doing-well-by-doing-good globalists is not to doubt their intentions or results, rather it is to say that even when all those things are factored in, something is not quite right.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Yet we are left with the inescapable fact that in the very era in which these elites have done so much to help, they have continued to hoard the overwhelming share of progress, the average American’s life has scarcely improved, and virtually all of the nation’s institutions, with the exception of the military, have lost the public’s trust.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“American scientists make the most important discoveries in medicine and genetics and publish more biomedical research than those of any other country—but the average American’s health remains worse and slower-improving than that of peers in other rich countries, and in certain years life expectancy actually declines.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Profitable companies built in questionable ways and employing reckless means engage in corporate social responsibility, and some rich people make a splash by “giving back”—regardless of the fact that they may have caused serious societal problems as they built their fortunes.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“in life sometimes you get burned for no sin of your own, simply because of where you’re standing.”
― Anand Giridharadas, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas

“In an age defined by a chasm between those who have power and those who 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. The broad fidelity to this law helps make sense of what we observe all around: the powerful fighting to “change the world” in ways that essentially keep it the same, and “giving back” in ways that sustain an indefensible distribution of influence, resources, and tools.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“To do a modest bit of good while doing nothing about the larger system is to keep the painting. You are chewing on the fruit of an injustice. You may be working on a prison education program, but you are choosing not to prioritize the pursuit of wage and labor laws that would make people’s lives more stable and perhaps keep some of them out of jail. You may be sponsoring a loan forgiveness initiative for law school students, but you are choosing not to prioritize seeking a tax code that would take more from you and cut their debts. Your management consulting firm may be writing reports about unlocking trillions of dollars’ worth of women’s potential, but it is choosing not to advise its clients to stop lobbying against the social programs that have been shown in other societies to help women achieve the equality fantasized about in consultants’ reports.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“As he surveyed the world being remade by Silicon Valley, and especially what was once called the sharing economy, he began to see through the fantasy-speak. Here were a handful of companies thriving by serving as middlemen between people who wanted rides and people who offered them, people who wanted their Ikea furniture assembled and people who came over to install it, people who defrayed their costs by renting out a room and people who stayed there. It was no accident, Scholz believed, that these services had taken off at the historical moment that they had. An epic meltdown of the world financial system had cost millions of people their homes, jobs, and health insurance. And as the fallout from the crash spread, many of those cut loose had been drafted into joining a new American servant class. The precariousness at the bottom, which had shown few signs of improving several years after the meltdown, had become the fodder for a bounty of services for the affluent—and, Scholz noted, for the “channeling of wealth in fewer and fewer hands.” Somehow, the technologies celebrated by the Valley as leveling playing fields and emancipating people had fostered a slick new digitally enabled upstairs-downstairs line in American social life.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“To question the doing-well-by-doing-good globalists is not to doubt their intentions or results, rather it is to say that even when all those things are factored in, something is not quite right in believing they are the ones best positioned to effect meaningful change.”
― Anand Giridharadas

“The young now approached love in the way they approached success and consumption and the future itself: with an underlying assumption of abundance. They expected more out of love than earlier generations did and were willing to fight to secure it, but when it failed they were equally at ease in walking away. It was one strike and you’re out. They rejected the moral vocabulary of an older generation: patience, tolerance, adjustment.”
― Anand Giridharadas, India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking

“When a society helps people through its shared democratic institutions, it does so on behalf of all, and in a context of equality. Those institutions, representing those free and equal citizens, are making a collective choice of whom to help and how. Those who receive help are not only objects of the transaction, but also subjects of it—citizens with agency. When help is moved into the private sphere, no matter how efficient we are told it is, the context of the helping is a relationship of inequality: the giver and the taker, the helper and the helped, the donor and the recipient.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“The thought leader, when he or she strips politics from the issue, makes it about actionable tweaks rather than structural change, removing the perpetrators from the story. It is no accident that thought leaders, whose speaking engagements are often paid for by MarketWorld, whose careers are made by MarketWorld, are encouraged to put things that way.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Leave us alone in the competitive marketplace, and we will tend to you after the winnings are won. The money will be spent more wisely on you than it would be by you. You will have your chance to enjoy our wealth, in the way we think you should enjoy it.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it. —UPTON SINCLAIR”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“MarketWorld finds certain ideas more acceptable and less threatening than others, he said, and it does its part to help them through its patronage of thought leaders. For example, Giussani observed, ideas framed as being about ‘poverty’ are more acceptable that ideas framed as being about inequality.’ The two ideas are related. But poverty is a material fact of deprivation that does not point fingers, and inequality is something more worrying: It speaks of what some have and others lack; it flirts with the idea of injustice and wrongdoing; it is relational.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“For a privileged person, it means to look into one’s own privilege. And, he said, “you cannot change it by yourself. You can change the system only together. With charity, essentially, if you have money, you can do a lot of things alone.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Just forgive her in the name of God,” Amma said of Abida. “Maybe it’s good for you and her that she moved on with her life. Think positively that God gave your life back not to destroy with someone who failed to keep her promise.”
― Anand Giridharadas, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas

“A true critic might call for an end to funding schools by local property taxes and the creation, as in many advanced countries, of a common national pool that funds schools more or less equally. What a thought leader might offer MarketWorld and its winners is a kind of intellectual counteroffer—the idea, say, of using Big Data to better compensate star teachers and weed out bad ones.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“And what these winners wanted was for the world to be changed in ways that had their buy-in—think charter schools over more equal public school funding, or poverty-reducing tech companies over antitrust regulation of tech companies. The entrepreneurs were willing to participate in making the world better if you pursued that goal in a way that exonerated and celebrated and depended on them.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“More often, though, these elites start initiatives of their own, taking on social change as though it were just another stock in their portfolio or corporation to restructure. Because they are in charge of these attempts at social change, the attempts naturally reflect their biases.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World