Anand Giridharadas with Steve Scher at Town Hall Seattle
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Anand Giridharadas with Steve Scher at Town Hall Seattle
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/SONYA HARRIS

'Woke' capitalism? Anand Giridharadas isn't buying it

When we think of the individuals who enact progressive social change, who do we envision?

Activists, protesters? Or billionaires Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates?

The trend of pairing the marketplace and social good has been labeled by some as a win-win happenstance.

But political analyst Anand Giridharadas is skeptical of this alliance of billionaire philanthropy and grass root social change movements and its benefits for society.

Giridharadas contests that our innovation and cultural progress is suffering from more than a few bad apple billionaires but rather a bad orchard.

In his latest book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Giridharadas calls into question the public apathy with regard to billionaires taking the front seat of leading and influencing social change and democracy.

In this talk, presented by Town Hall Seattle, Giridharadas challenges the audience to pay close attention to billionaires resistance towards relinquishing power; but actively desiring to be seen as ‘saviors’ in the social good realm. He labels this behavior as ‘woke capitalism’ and ‘trickledown economics with a cherry on top’.

Anand Giridharadas is an on-air political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He was joined in conversation with Seattle-based journalist and radio host Steve Scher.

This event took place at Town Hall Seattle on October 28.

Please note this talk does contain unedited language of an adult nature.