Clinton Pavlovic

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Winners take all


This is a link to a talk by Anand Giridharadas, stemming from his recent book. It focuses on wealthy people who are genuinely trying to make a difference in the world, but end up just upholding the system that is creating the problems.

He attacks the concept of looking for win-win solutions to tackle the problems that face modern society. A win-win solution means that everyone has to benefit, the people at the top of the system must benefit along with the people at the bottom. This means that people who are the worst off in society can't benefit or become better off unless there is also a benefit flowing to those on the top of the system.

To tackle truly big problems we need to start looking at solutions that are not win-win. We need to change our approach, and start looking at options that are outside the current flawed system. To fix a big problem in society, maybe someone at the top of the current system may have to come out at the end a little worse off.

... We make a difference in ways that protect the continued ability to make a killing. We seek to change the world in ways carefully chosen to not change our world. When you look at the ways in which the winners of our age give back, help out, or make a difference, they are often designed to protect the system, above all, that the winners stand on top of. ...

On any number of the most fundamental questions of what ails us in society, there is a real change option out there if we think hard and study hard. But often that real change option is expensive for the winners of our age one way or another. And then, miraculously, a fake change, a facsimile of a change materializes that is very inexpensive for the winners. And often what happens in our culture now, in a culture over run by win-win thinking point of view, we go for the fake change, we go for the facsimile of change, because that kind of change is free. ...

Explore the places and situations, and there may be more of them than what you think, where what is good for you and what is good for the world is different.

And what will you do when you come to those places? Those are the very important questions. And what will society do when we come to those places? ...

A lot of the winners of the world ask the following questions: What can I do? Where can I start? What can I create? ...

What a lot of the winners of this age refuse to ask is: What am I already doing? How am I already involved in these problems? How can I be complacent in an economy and society that is so unkind to so many people even as it builds and creates amazing things? ...

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