Richard Branson on Capitalist Philanthropy

In this episode of Ted Talks, Richard Branson advances the term "capitalist philanthropy." (This piece is just over 30 minutes but his discussion of philanthropy starts at 22:53.) He says that capitalism is a system that works, but because extreme wealth ends up in the hand of a few, those few have extreme responsibility for that wealth. He states his belief that it is important that they don't use it simply to compete for bigger goodies.

Branson's term isn't one widely represented in a Google search except on extreme ends of the political spectrum:

says this and only this: "Capitalist philanthropy is like kneecapping someone, then paying for half of their medical bills."

Atlas Blogged uses the phrase "The Capitalist's Philanthropy" in a headline and then writes: "It has been clearly demonstrated many times over that a person can successfully pursue profit without an appreciation for the morality of capitalism itself. It is therefore refreshing whenever an outrageously successful entrepreneur is able to exercise that very human tendency toward altruism in a way that actually supports the capitalist system that allowed said entrepreneur to become outrageously successful - thereby helping others toward their dream of outrageous success."

Watch the video and decide for yourself whether what what he describes as "capitalist philanthropy" provides any insight Carnegie and Rockefeller didn't when they established their philanthropic efforts decades ago?

Susan Herr

Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 17, 2007 in High Net Worth Donors | Philanthropic Strategy | Streaming Media | Permalink | Comment