|Another white guy wants to sell nonprofits better.|
Earlier this week I watched a video of Dan Pollota‘s recent talk at the 2013 TED conference. Hoping it was another version of INCITE‘s absolutely powerfully essential book, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded, I was sorely disappointed when it turned out otherwise.
From the beginning of the talk, Pollota actually said, “Philanthropy is the market for love”. Cole Porter was talking about prostitution when he wrote “Love For Sale”, and I guess, sadly, that Pollota doesn’t seem far from this in his video. Rather than saying that nonprofits need to be turbo-charged engines run on the fuel of love in order to build democracy, Pollota actually says that running as businesses with marketplace accountability, the nonprofit sector should pimp poverty, sell missionary perspectives, and monetize humanity.
Nonprofits are not in business, they’re not selling products and services, and they do not belong tied to the neoliberal measures Mr. Pollota is advocating in his video.
There are counter-narratives on transforming the work of nonprofits. A constant advocate is the powerhouse Arundhati Roy. Accompanying what she’s written about the deeply neoliberalism roots of charity work, this spectacular speech has her discussing the purpose behind much philanthropy today. She also writes about the genuine motivations of philanthropists that support Pollota and others like him. Its a clear analysis that deftly distinguishes the real work from the purpose of what Pollota is talking about. Needless to say, alongside neoliberal drumbeaters like Pollota and Melinda Gates, Roy will never be invited to TED.
- Neoliberalism in Youth Programs – A blog entry by Adam Fletcher.
- Youth, Neoliberalism, and Ethics: Some Questions – A blog entry by Joe Austin.
- Neoliberalism and the Demise of Democracy – An article by Henry Giroux.
- Neoliberalism, Politics, and Youth – A blog by Meg Pirie.
- Neoliberal Politics as Failed Sociality: Youth and the Crisis of Higher Education – An article by Henry Giroux.
- Can Democratic Education Survive in a Neoliberal Society? – An article by Henry Giroux.