The author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift, Linsey McGoey asks why do politicians and media on both sides of the aisle support the rise of the new plutocrats like the Gateses?
"How are "billionaire philanthropists" full participants in global governance?
"During the recent Paris climate summit, a widely circulated photo showed Gates on the main stage flanked on his left by [Canadian Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau and on his right by [US President] Barack Obama, [French President] François Hollande and [Indian Prime Minister] Narendra Modi. There's no doubt that Gates commands the prestige and status of a head of state. It's clear we're entering an age where great wealth is seen as an imprimatur of the right to lead, even if one has no democratic mandate to do so. What's perplexing is how many on the left salute the arrival of the new plutocratic era. Patience with flawed democracies might be ebbing, but the answer surely shouldn't be unchecked deference to the very rich, however heartwarming their acts of altruism may seem.
"This leads me back to a question running through the book: Why do people across the political spectrum largely view Gates' power as something unimpeachable?"--Mark Karlin, Truth-out.org