The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will spur public conversations for years, but the question of the threat to democratic institutions needs to be weighed against doing significant good.
"Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have provided only the barest, most platitudinous hints about where they will direct $45 billion worth of Facebook stocks that they pledged last week to use for “advancing human potential and promoting equality.” Yet they’ve already given me quite a holiday gift.
"As a historian of philanthropy, I have done considerable research on the suspicion that has long surrounded various forms of charitable giving in the United States. I’ve written elsewhere that an “aggressive — even at times antagonistic — engagement between the public and their benefactors ... should be considered a democratic imperative.” And the amount of skepticism, unease, and even contempt directed at the charitable gesture by Mr. Zuckerberg and Dr. Chan has been striking."
"So this last week has been for me, you might say, a festival of slights."--Benjamin Soskis, The Chronicle of Philanthropy