Constructive critiques are to be embraced

David Bonbright

I applaud the focus on Rob Reich’s structural critique of philanthropy in your last issue (Alliance, March 2019). Your editorial also mentions another high profile recent critique –Anand Giridharadas’s Winners Take All, which was reviewed in Alliance (December 2018) by Eva Rehse. Unfortunately, I am seeing a lot of defensive resistance from within our sector, associating it with words like ‘polemic’, or as ‘all critique and no solutions’. There is some poetic justice at work here, as Giridharadas has given us a book length argument about what system change might mean for our philanthropy system. Mark Twain comes to mind: ‘The writer’s job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.’ Giridharadas did his job. The ball is now in our court.

David Bonbright
Keystone Accountability


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