Book Summary: Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

The Elite Charade Of Changing the World


certain powerful myths—the myths that have fostered an age of extraordinary power concentration; that have

allowed the elite’s private, partial, and self-preservational deeds to

pass for real change; that have let many decent winners convince

themselves, and much of the world, that their plan to “do well by

doing good” is an adequate answer to an age of exclusion; that put a

gloss of selflessness on the protection of one’s privileges; and that

cast more meaningful change as wide-eyed, radical, and vague.

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Chapter 1: But How Is the World Changed?

many decent, thinking people nowadays.

Many of them are trapped in what they cannot fully see. Many of

them believe that they are changing the world when they may

instead—or also—be protecting a system that is at the root of the problems they wish to solve.

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Chapter 2: Win-Win

Want to change the world? Start a business. —Jonathan Clark, Entrepreneur

If you were a person of education, privilege, and access to resources, as everyone at Even

was, you might conclude that you should do something to repair the

systems that are working to keep Jacobs poor. But if those problems

were solved, you wouldn’t have much of a win-win business to grow.

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Chapter 3: Rebel-Kings in Worrisome Berets

sixtytwo billionaires possessed as much wealth as the bottom half of

humanity (3.6 billion people), down from three hundred billionaires

a few years ago. In fact, it was nine billionaires, not sixty-two, as

Oxfam would later say when better data came in. And the following

year, the number of billionaires it took to account for half the

world’s resources dropped from nine to eight.

Six of those eight made their money in the supposedly equalizing

field of technology: Gates, Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Larry

Ellison of Oracle, Carlos Slim of Telmex and other Mexican

businesses, and Michael Bloomberg, the purveyor of computer

terminals. Another, Amancio Ortega, who built the retailer Zara,

was famous for applying advanced technology to manufacturing and

for automating his factories. The final member of the gang of eight,

Warren Buffett, was a major shareholder in Apple and IBM.

Chapter 4: The Critic and the Thought Leader

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it. —UPTON SINCLAIR

MarketWorld elites spun an intellectual cocoon for themselves, and kept repeating the stories that

insured against deep change. Meanwhile, Giussani said, millions

around the world were “feeling that a big chunk of their reality was being ignored at best, censored, or ridiculed even.”

Eventually, they would do something about it.

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Chapter 5: Arsonists Make the Best Firefighters

No one knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. —DONALD J. TRUMP

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. —AUDRE LORDE

Soros was one of the richest men on earth. He was also one of the most generous and influential,

having set up a philanthropic empire that planned to give away

$931 million in 2016. Until lately, his giving had been guided by

assumptions that somewhat clashed with those of MarketWorld.

The businessperson tended to see work in utilitarian

terms, as something people do to feed themselves and acquire

things. But there is a spiritual dimension, too: “That work might be

the expression of the inner desire to be productive and to be of

service to one’s community—and that the idea of denying someone

the opportunity to fulfill that is like not letting a tree produce fruit.”

Many bearers of the business mind had, like him, a religious or

spiritual life on the side, he said, “but I think that somehow that

thinking never overlaps with that mind.” He added, “People don’t

have permission to think about those things in their working life.

We’ve decided that those are separate domains, and it’s kind of not

really okay in my circles to talk about religious faith.”

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Chapter 6: Generosity and Justice

Wealth is like an orchard. You have to share the fruit, not the orchard. —CARLOS SLIM

one had to wonder if Walker had the stamina and the ability to

make the Sacklers and Coles and Tisches and KKRs of the world think more like him. Almost a year after his new gospel came out, it

was announced that he had joined the board of PepsiCo. The move

attracted some criticism, in part because this warrior against

inequality would now be earning more than a million dollars a year

from the Ford presidency and this new, very occasional role, and in

part because he now bore formal responsibility for what Pepsi did,

including the company’s continuing choice to sell its harmful sugary drinks.

His only compromise so far had been to switch his habit from Diet Coke to Diet Pepsi.

Winners Take All Summary Anand Giridharadas

Chapter 7: All That Works in the Modern World

Through it all, Clinton saw truths in the anger bubbling up around him. He saw how MarketWorld-style change crowded out

the habit of democracy. He genuinely worried about young people seeing social problems and, unlike in his activist-prone generation,

confining their questioning to what socially minded business they could start up. He accepted that the comfortable had oversold their

definition of progress in our globalizing, digitizing age. He had regrets that the winners from change had not invested enough in the losers.

Clinton could see and admit all these things. But he would not call out elites for their sins; or call for power’s redistribution and

fundamental, systemic change; or suggest that plutocrats might

have to surrender precious things for others to have a mere shot of transcending indecency. Someone will have to.

Epilogue: “Other People Are Not Your Children”

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.

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