Good Lines

From Curtis White’s article on philanthropy in the current issue of Jacobin:

In the United States, everyone may enjoy freedom of speech so long as it doesn’t matter. For those who would like what they say to matter, freedom of speech is very expensive.

It goes on:

It is for this reason that organizations with a strong sense of public mission but not much money are dependent on the “blonde child of capitalism,” private philanthropy. This dependence is true for both conservative and progressive causes, but there is an important difference in the philanthropic culture that they appeal to. The conservative foundations happily fund “big picture” work. … On the other hand, progressive foundations may understand that the organizations they fund have visions, but it’s not the vision that they will give money to. … If there is need for a vision, the foundation itself will provide this. Unfortunately, according to one source, the foundation’s vision too often amounts to this: “If we had enough money, and access to enough markets, and enough technological expertise, we could solve all the problems.”

Have I mentioned recently how happily superannuated Jacobin magazine makes me feel? You should all be subscribing.

[Cross-posted at Crooked Timber]

Henry Farrell

Henry Farrell is an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.