Non veni pacem mittere sed gladium. (Mt 10,34)
Get Adobe Flash player

Rezension

Wer die Strukturen des globalistischen Regimes beschreiben will, tut gut daran, sich nicht nur mit solchen Autoren auseinanderzusetzen, die von seinem eigenen ideologischen Standpunkt ausgehen, in meinem Fall also von einem konservativen. Zu groß ist die Gefahr, wichtige Sachverhalte schon deshalb zu übersehen, weil die eigene ideologische Brille sie ausblendet.

Gerade dort, wo es um die Analyse vor Herrschaftsstrukturen geht, leisten linke Ideologien sowohl liberaler wie marxistischer Provenienz immer noch gute Dienste. Das globale System etwa von einem radikalliberalen bzw. libertären Standpunkt zu betrachten, schärft den Blick für die permanente und systematische Enteignung der Mittelschichten zugunsten großer Finanzoligopole durch ein inflationstreibendes Geldsystem, kombiniert mit ausufernder Staatsverschuldung. Dies war, trotz aller Kritik, eine Stärke von Oliver Janichs „Kapitalismus-Komplott“, das ich neulich rezensiert habe.

Ähnliches gilt für das Werk „Hirten & Wölfe. Wie Geld- und Machteliten sich die Welt aneignen“ des marxistischen Soziologen Hans-Jürgen Krysmanski, auf das ich schon vor einiger Zeit aufmerksam gemacht und das ich jetzt gelesen habe. Krysmanski kritisiert die Neigung der meisten linken Analytiker, Herrschaftsstrukturen rein abstrakt zu beschreiben und dabei die Tätigkeit konkreter Akteure auszublenden. (Ein Vorwurf übrigens, den auch ich mir gefallen lassen muss: Auch ich neige dazu, lediglich abstrakt zu analysieren, wie Herrschaft funktioniert und die Frage, wer herrscht, eher auszublenden.)

Von einem marxistischen Standpunkt ist es freilich ganz besonders inkonsequent, sich um die Frage zu drücken, wer eigentlich die herrschende Klasse ist. Krysmanskis Verdienst ist es, herauszuarbeiten, dass im Zentrum jenes verwirrenden Systems von politischen Eliten, Wissenschafts- und Medieneliten, Konzernen, Stiftungen, Think Tanks, Geheimdiensten und supranationalen Organisationen nicht einfach nichts ist. Dass es sich um ein Machtkartell handelt, ist – wenigstens im Prinzip – noch leicht zu durchschauen, aber nicht ohne weiteres, wem es dient. Krysmanski benennt als Zentrum dieses Systems die wenigen Tausend Superreichen (Menschen mit mehr als 1 Milliarde US-Dollar liquiden Vermögens) dieses Planeten. Deren Reichtum bedeutet nicht nur theoretisch enorme Macht, er wird auch genau in diesem Sinne eingesetzt.

Der Autor steht in der Tradition der amerikanischen Power Structure Research und beruft sich vor allem auf die Pionierarbeit von C.W. Mills und dessen 1956 erschienenes Werk „The Power Elite“ und auf William Domhoffs „Who Rules America“, das immer wieder aktualisiert wird. Im Zentrum politischer Entscheidungsprozesse in den Vereinigten Staaten stehen demnach der private Reichtum in Verbindung mit dem von ihm abhängigen Konzernen, die ihre Wirklichkeitsbeschreibung über die von ihnen dotierten Universitäten, Stiftungen und Think Tanks dem eigentlichen Entscheidungsprozess als Prämissen vorgeben, über Planungsgruppen wie den Council of Foreign Relations zu Strategien verdichten und über Lobbyisten und personelle Verflechtungen direkt in Washington in die gewünschte Politik umsetzen. Mit der offiziellen Beschreibung der Funktionsweise eines demokratischen Systems hat dies nichts zu tun. Formal funktioniert die Entscheidungsfindung im Rahmen der Verfassung, effektiv kann keine Entscheidung getroffen werden, die nicht wenigstens eine Fraktion der Plutokratie hinter sich hat.

Dass es innerhalb dieser Geldmachteliten verschiedene Fraktionen, ideologische Differenzen und auch handfeste Interessenkonflikte gibt, versteht sich; man darf sie sich also nicht einfach als geschlossenen Block vorstellen. Sie verfügen aber sehr wohl über die Macht, bestimmte Optionen auszuschließen (zum Beispiel den Isolationismus). Europäische Superreiche sind in dieser Hinsicht deutlich weniger organisiert, daher reicht die Macht des amerikanischen Establishments, seine Fähigkeit, die eigene Wirklichkeitsdefinition durchzusetzen, bis weit nach Europa. Zumal die amerikanischen Eliten es verstehen, Europäer zu kooptieren.

Krysmanski beschreibt die Struktur dieser Herrschaft, die er den Geldmachtkomplex nennt, als ein System konzentrischer Kreise:

  • Im Inneren die Klasse der Superreichen,
  • darum herum die von ihnen kontrollierten Konzerne mitsamt deren Funktionseliten, deren Aufgabe es ist, den Reichtum der Superreichen noch zu mehren und die dabei gerne auch selber reich werden dürfen (wenn auch nicht superreich: Der Aufstieg in die Milliardärssphäre gelingt nur in wenigen Ausnahmefällen),
  • darum herum die politischen Eliten, die durch Einflussnahmen aller Art bis hin zur direkten Korruption auf Linie gehalten werden und deren Aufgabe darin besteht, Massenloyalität zu besorgen und die Verantwortung für Missstände zu übernehmen, an denen sie in Wahrheit nichts ändern können, weil sie strukturell bedingt sind.
  • Den äußersten Ring bilden die Ideologieproduzenten – Medien, Unterhaltungsindustrie, Wissenschaft usw. -, die zum Teil ganz offiziell unter der Kontrolle der inneren Kreise arbeiten, zum Teil dadurch auf Linie gehalten werden, dass man die maßgeblichen Funktionsträger kauft, in der Wissenschaft zum Beispiel durch Drittmittelvergabe oder indem man Professoren einträgliche Nebentätigkeiten, Beraterverträge etc. zuschanzt.

Übrigens kommt es weder in der Politik noch in den Medien noch in der Wissenschaft darauf an, alle Akteure zu kaufen; lediglich auf einige strategisch plazierte Figuren kommt es an, der Rest ist Fußvolk.

Was ich als den „Neuen Adel“ beschrieben habe, ist unter diesem Gesichtspunkt ein Dienstadel – Krysmanski nennt sie „dienstbare Geister“, bis hinauf zu den Vorstandsvorsitzenden von Großkonzernen -, der dem wirklichen Souverän, den Superreichen, dient.

Mir leuchtet dieses Modell ein. Vor allem erklärt es, und zwar ohne auf die Denkfigur gigantischer Massenverschwörungen zurückzugreifen, warum ganze gesellschaftliche Teilsysteme offenkundig völlig anders funktionieren als die soziologischen und politikwissenschaftlichen Standardtheorien unterstellen.

Der Geldmachtkomplex rekrutiert sein Personal durch Kooptation, d.h. es ist praktisch unmöglich, an die Hebel der politischen Entscheidungsmacht oder der medialen und wissenschaftlichen Definitionsmacht zu gelangen, wenn man dem Komplex nicht genehm ist. Mit Leistung hat dies wenig zu tun, mit Loyalität, schützender Borniertheit oder Käuflichkeit umso mehr.

Zwei Schwächen sehe ich an dem Buch:

Zum einen handelt es sich um ein Kompilat aus verschiedenen Texten. Auch wenn Krysmanski sein Thema auf diese Weise unter verschiedenen Blickwinkeln analysiert, wiederholt sich doch Vieles (und zwar gerade das Grundlegende), der innere Zusammenhang der einzelnen Theoreme ist nicht immer klar, und eine Vertiefung einzelner Themen bleibt oft dort aus, wo man sie sich wünschen würde. Im Grunde fängt der Autor in jedem Kapitel wieder bei Null an.

Zum anderen machen sich die blinden Flecken der marxistischen Theorie störend bemerkbar: wenn er zum Beispiel zutreffend schreibt, dass die exzessive Staatsverschuldung praktisch sämtliche Steuerzahler in ein Verhältnis der Schuldknechtschaft zum Finanzkapital bringt, ohne aber die Frage zu stellen, ob die Funktion des Sozialstaats aus der Sicht des Geldmachtkomplexes nicht gerade darin bestehen könnte, diese Verschuldung zu provozieren; der Sozialstaat ist sakrosankt. Oder wenn er feststellt, dass die CIA während des Kalten Krieges linksliberale Künstler gefördert hat, während zugleich große Stiftungen die schwarze Bürgerrechtsbewegung unterstützten. Der Autor sieht darin vor allem einen PR-Trick, der den Westen im Kalten Krieg besser aussehen lassen sollte. Nun, das war es wahrscheinlich auch.

Nur sind solche liberalen Initiativen auch heute noch Teil der Politik des Geldmachtkomplexes. Gerade vom Standpunkt einer marxistischen Gesellschaftsauffassung müsste sich die Frage aufdrängen, ob die Zerstörung traditioneller Werte und Strukturen, die schon immer mit der kapitalistischen Produktionsweise verbunden war, womöglich gezielt als Herrschaftsinstrument eingesetzt wird.

Der Marxist Krysmanski und der Radikalliberale Janich haben zumindest dies gemeinsam, dass sie die jeweils konkurrierende Ideologie für die Schattenseiten dieses globalen Herrschaftssystems verantwortlich machen: Während bei Janich letztlich alles auf „Kommunismus“ zurückzuführen ist, macht Krysmanski den Neoliberalismus verantwortlich. Damit hat er zwar immer noch eher Recht als Janich, verfehlt aber wie er ein entscheidendes Merkmal dieses Systems.

Das Prinzip der Kooptation gilt ja nicht nur für Einzelpersonen, sondern für ganze politische Bewegungen. So kommt es, dass die drei klassischen Richtungen modernen politischen Denkens – also der Marxismus, der Liberalismus und der Konservatismus – in dieses System integriert werden konnten; der Letztere freilich nur in einer so entstellten Form, dass seine systeminternen (europäischen) Vertreter ohne Weiteres als Verräter erkennbar sind, während dies bei den beiden linken Ideologien nicht unbedingt auf den ersten Blick auffällt.

Wie auch immer, jede der drei Richtungen existiert sowohl in einer affirmativen und systemkonformen als auch in einer kritischen und systemoppositionellen Variante. Die Kooptation von Liberalen, Konservativen und Sozialisten in das System hinein bedeutet, dass auch schwerwiegende politische Differenzen zwischen diesen Fraktionen niemals zur Infragestellung des Herrschaftssystems als solchem führen können. So weit würde Krysmanski sicherlich noch mitgehen.

Ich behaupte nun aber, dass die merkwürdige Teilblindheit von Liberalen wie Marxisten damit zu tun hat, dass dieses Herrschaftssystem sich von früheren Formen autoritärer und totalitärer Herrschaft dadurch unterscheidet, das es nicht versucht, die Gesellschaft zu stabilisieren. Dass die bewusste Strukturzersetzung Teil des Herrschaftssystems ist, dass deswegen liberale und linke Ideologie aus dem Geldmachtkomplex heraus propagiert wird, ist eine Peinlichkeit, die systemkritische Vertreter beider Richtungen herunterzuspielen versuchen.

Das qualitativ Neue an diesem heraufziehenden System totaler Herrschaft besteht gerade darin, dass es sich Entwicklungen zunutze macht und sie aktiv vorantreibt, die von Liberalen wie von Sozialisten als „progressiv“ verstanden werden: Die Auflösung der Familie, die Entwertung der Religion, die Entgrenzung der Völker, die Entmachtung der Nationalstaaten. Was hier zersetzt wird, sind die Strukturen, die menschliche Solidarität ermöglichen. Im Grunde wird die ganze Idee zerstört, dass die Gesellschaft mehr sei als die Summe von Einzelnen, und dass der Einzelne sich daher mit einem gedachten Ganzen solidarisieren sollte. Die Idee wird dadurch zerstört, dass sie als Wirklichkeit nicht mehr erfahrbar ist.

Bezeichnenderweise werden Krysmanskis Gedanken dort besonders schwammig, wo er sich auf die Suche nach dem revolutionären Subjekt macht, dass die Herrschaft überwinden soll. Seine dialektische Prämisse, dass jede Gesellschaftsformation die sie überwindende revolutionäre Klasse hervorbringt, lässt ihm gar keine andere Wahl, als nach einer solchen Klasse Ausschau zu halten. Wie verzweifelt diese Suche sein muss, lässt sich daran ermessen, dass er Hardt/Negris „Empire“ zustimmend mit den Worten zitiert:

[Der] Wille, dagegen zu sein, bedarf in Wahrheit eines Körpers, der vollkommen unfähig ist, sich an ein familiäres Leben anzupassen, an Fabrikdisziplin, an die Regulierungen des traditionellen Sexuallebens.

Was da beschrieben wird, ist ein asozialer, solidaritätsunfähiger Mensch. Wer sich nicht einmal mit den eigenen Kindern solidarisiert, wird sich mit überhaupt niemandem solidarisieren, und nichts ist den Herrschenden bequemer als eine atomisierte Gesellschaft von Hedonisten. Genau dieser Typ Mensch ist aus genau diesem Grund das Leitbild des Systems, und eine Dialektik, die ihn zum Agenten der revolutionären Umwälzung umdeuten will, kann nur auf unseriösem Wunschdenken beruhen. Dieses globalistische System wird überhaupt nichts hervorbringen, schon gar kein revolutionäres Subjekt; es wird einfach die Zivilisation zerstören. Wenn Krysmanski dies anerkennen würde, müsste er freilich Schlüsse ziehen, die nach seinem Verständnis hochgradig „reaktionär“ wären.

Im Ganzen ist Krysmanskis Buch ungeachtet dieser Kritik ein hochinteressantes Werk. Es bietet einen theoretischen Rahmen, der als solcher überzeugt und nicht nur für Marxisten ausbaufähig ist; der Autor fordert seine Leser ausdrücklich dazu auf, die konkreten empirischen Forschungen in einem weltnetzbasierten gemeinsamen Erkenntnisprozess selber anzustellen und weist auf einer Reihe von Netzseiten hin, die hierbei gute Dienste leisten können (die meisten finden sich auch auf seiner Netzseite http://www.hjkrysmanski.de/, weswegen ich mir hier die Tipparbeit spare).

Die interessanteste Erkenntnis für mich war allerdings, dass sich zwischen den Kritikern des Globalsystems ein lagerübergreifender Konsens darüber abzuzeichnen beginnt, wie dieses System funktioniert.

18 Antworten auf Hans Jürgen Krysmanski: "Hirten & Wölfe"

  • Alles was Du zu den Mechanismen, wie dieses globale System funktioniert, schreibst, erscheint mir plausibel, aber an einem Punkt kommen mir regelmäßig Zweifel:
     
    Die Geldmachteliten setzen ja ganz überwiegend aus Leuten zusammen, die das Geld und damit den Status geerbt haben. Was die Ziele im Leben eines Menschen sind, hängt in einem erheblichen Maße von der Kultur ab, in der er aufwächst. In unserer extrem individualisierten westlichen Kultur kommt ein starkes individuelles Element dazu: will ich mein Leben genießen, mich selbst verwirklichen, will ich mir Ansehen durch Wohltätigkeit und Mäzenatentum erwerben, will ich Macht in meinen Händen akkumulieren oder etwas anderes.
     
    Die Angehörigen der Geldmachteliten sind Angehörige vor allem der westlichen Kultur mit ihrem Individualismus. Wie bekommt es diese Machtelite hin ihre Kinder so zu erziehen, dass diese alle auf die Option Machterhalt und Machtvermehrung setzen und nicht auf andere Ideen kommen.
     
    Dass Machterhalt und Machtvermehrung  zum Hauptlebensziel der Angehörigen dieser Schicht werden, würde meines Erachtens ein entsprechendes Ethos voraussetzen.
     
    Solch ein Ethos entwickelt sich aber nicht von allein und vor allem müsste es stabil weitergegeben werden. Ich sehe solches nur, wenn solch ein Ethos religiös untermauert ist.
     
    Wie verletzlich und zerstörbar ein Ethos ohne Religion ist, sehen wir ja im Moment an unserer eigenen Kultur.
     
    Man sollte beispielsweise annehmen das die dauerhafte Selbsterhaltung der eigenen Wir-Gruppe ein unerschütterliche Selbstverständlichkeit in Menschengruppen ist, aber leider ist das nicht so, jedenfalls nicht was die Nation angeht.
     
    Meine Frage wäre also, wie vermittelt diese Geldmachtelite ihr Ethos der Weltmachterringung an ihren Nachwuchs und wie stabilisiert sie das über Generationen?

  • @Martin.
     
    Naja, im allgemeinen kann man schon so argumentieren, aber wenn es um die 1000 reichsten Menschen der Welt geht…
     
    FAFNERS STIMME
    Ich lieg‘ und besitz‘,
    gähnend
    lasst mich schlafen!

  • Oder vielleicht ist auch diese Stelle passender…
     
    ALBERICH
    Die in linder Lüfte Weh’n da oben ihr lebt,
    lacht und liebt: mit goldner Faust
    euch Göttliche fang‘ ich mir alle!
    Wie ich der Liebe abgesagt,
    alles, was lebt, soll ihr entsagen!
    Mit Golde gekirrt,
    nach Gold nur sollt ihr noch gieren!
    Auf wonnigen Höhn,
    in seligem Weben wiegt ihr euch;
    den Schwarzalben
    verachtet ihr ewigen Schwelger!
    Habt acht! Habt acht!
    Denn dient ihr Männer erst meiner Macht,
    eure schmucken Frau’n, die mein Frei’n verschmäht,
    sie zwingt zur Lust sich der Zwerg,
    lacht Liebe ihm nicht!

  • @ Martin
    Es gibt ja verschiedene Auswahlsysteme innerhalb der Eliten:
    1. Gezielte Verpaarungen/Verheiratungen [„Rothschild“-Parties ;-)]
    2. Stufensystem innerhalb der Freimauererei, wobei man in die Hochgradgrade nur aufgenommen wird, wenn von oben gezielt ausgewählt wurde
    3. Okkulte Systeme (zB Bohemian Grove, Illuminismus) scheint es ja auch zu geben
     
    Die meisten Angehörigen der Oberschicht werden ihr Leben ganz so zubringen, wie du es geschildert hast, aber für die, die es nicht wollen und sich dadurch für höhere Weihen geeignet erweisen, stehen andere Angebote bereit. Ich vermute es läuft über Initiationsriten, wie prinzipiell überall.

  • Was ich dabei nicht so ganz verstehen: Wenn diese ‚Elite‘ also alles unterstützt, was beispielsweise Familie, oder ganz allgemein ‚alle Strukturen, die menschliche Solidarität erfahrbar machen‘, zerstört … woher wollen sie dann noch das Personal nehmen, das letztlich doch notwendig ist, um die ‚Hardware der Welt‘ (Industrie, Informationswirtschaft, Wissenschaft) intakt zu halten bzw. weiter zu entwickeln?

    Daß ‚Mohammed Kültür & Friends‘ dazu nicht in der Lage sein werden … das müssen diese Leute doch wissen. Oder? Wenn die ‚gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse‘ so sind, das sie nur noch zur Produktion von Bodensatz in der Lage sind … das kann doch irgendwie nicht ganz in deren Sinne sein…?

    Zweiter Punkt: Haben diese Eliten sich auch schon mit den Eliten Chinas und Indiens zusammengeschlossen, um eine gemeinsame Politik zu betreiben – oder ist da beispielsweise noch die KPC (in diesem Fall als Repräsentant eines altmodischen Nationalismus) davor, die ihnen den Zugriff auch auf diese ‚Mächte der nächsten Stufe‘ verwehrt?

  • # Manfred

    Was mich doch etwas verwundert: Du schreibst unter eigenem Namen und deine Texte weisen dich nicht wirklich als Anhänger des Islam oder der ‚Antifa‘ aus – andere Personen haben für geringere ‚Vergehen‘ schon ganz andere Reakionen zu spüren bekommen … hast du noch nie irgendwelche einschlägigen Reaktionen von Protagonisten dieser Lager bekommen? Oder werden die automatisch ‚abgefischt‘??

  • Ich glaube nicht, daß Indien und China an Bord sind. Wahrscheinlich spekulieren diese Leute auf Krieg zwischen Rußland und China, China und Indien oder irgendsowas in der Art. Anschließend hätten sie einen leichteren Zugriff.
     
    Im Übrigen glaube ich nicht, daß sie alle dieselben Interessen haben, sondern daß sie vielmehr einander notgedrungen machen lassen, was sie nicht ohne Probleme verhindern können, so wie wir alle auch uns auf dieselbe Weise gewähren lassen. Und also steuern sie auch nicht sehenden Auges auf ein Ziel zu, sondern nehmen die Dinge, wie sie kommen. Wer so mächtig ist, kann das für gewöhnlich auch so halten. Ähnlich wie ein kapitaler Platzhirsch, sozusagen.
     
    Und nochmals zum Geld und der Macht. Wer gibt das schon freiwillig weg? Dazu muß man doch niemanden erziehen. Geld ist, ab einer bestimmten Menge, auch so etwas wie eine Religion.

  • Da wir uns alle nicht in diesen Sphären bewegen, in der die kleinste relevante Zahl die Milliarde ist, und diese Leute auch äußerst diskret sind, kann man vielfach nur spekulieren; ein paar Punkte halte ich aber für plausibel:

    Was immer jemand persönlich will, Voraussetzung ist immer, dass sein Reichtum erhalten bleibt. Dies vorausgesetzt, sollte es nicht schwierig sein, aus dem eigenen Nachwuchs jemanden zu rekrutieren, der sich ums Geschäft kümmert, und weniger fähige Abkömmlinge ihren Hobbys nachgehen zu lassen (Schmetterlinge sammeln oder was auch immer). So haben es traditionelle adelige und bürgerliche Dynastien gehalten, und ich vermute, dass es bei den heutigen nicht viel anders ist.

    Die passende Ideologie wird nicht von den Geldmachteliten selbst entwickelt (sie entscheiden höchstens darüber, was unter mehreren Möglichkeiten „passend“ ist); diese Leute denken nicht, sie lassen denken: Für Ideologie, Strategie usw. haben sie ihren Dienstadel, zu dem auch die Ideologen gehören. Ob die sich bewusst sind, dass sie die Gesellschaft zerstören, weiß ich nicht. Die Ideologieproduzenten richten sich nach den mutmaßlichen Interessen ihrer Auftraggeber an mehr Reichtum und der Absicherung ihrer Macht. Sie sehen dabei, dass die Verflüssigung von gesellschaftlichen Strukturen gut für beides ist. Man sollte auch nicht vergessen, dass wir es bei den Superreichen, auch wenn es wenige sind, immer noch mit mehreren tausend Personen zu tun haben. Es gibt sicherlich Meinungsverschiedenheiten und Interessenkonflikte zwischen ihnen, aber selbst wenn Einzelne völlig andere Ziele verfolgen sollten, ändert das nichts an den Dispositionen der Mehrheit.

  • es scheint schwere entartungen in der geldmachtelite zu geben.
     
    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/0,1518,710192,00.html

  • Genau, Rem! Ansehen und Prestige sind vielen genauso wichtig oder gar wichtiger als Macht. Die Geldmachtelite lebt ja nicht in einem sozialen Vakuum oder auf einer einsamen Insel.

  • Gates und Buffett sind beide auf ihre Weise Nerds, die aus eigener Kraft aufgestiegen sind.
     
    Repräsentativ sind sie nicht, und genau deswegen sind sie wohl auch beliebte Aushängeschilder.
     
    Es ist leicht sich auf diese Weise in ein gutes Licht zu setzen, das hat Rockefeller auch schon getan, nur ändert das nichts daran, wer Rockefeller war.

  • Nun gut, vielleicht bin ich zu zynisch, immerhin geht es hier um mehr als 50% des Vermögens. Allerdings sind jene Stiftungen natürlich selbst auch wieder Machtinstrumente, wenn ich es so ekelhaft sagen darf, wobei, und das finde ich schon recht interessant, Gates‘ Stiftung bereits 22 Milliarden mehr oder weniger ergebnislos für die Suche nach Heilmitteln verpulvert hat, von 28 Milliarden, die Gates reingesteckt hat. Sonderlich sinnvoll scheint die ganze Idee also eh nicht zu sein.
     
    Aber lassen wir die Gefühle beiseite und zählen. Das ist die Liste, von welcher wir sprechen.
    1. Paul G. Allen

    For 20 years the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has focused its philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest, where I live and work. I’m proud to have helped fund great work done by non-profit groups throughout the region. But there’s always more to do. There are many challenges, both here in the northwest and around the world that I know will keep us broadening our reach and looking for ways to help. My philanthropic efforts will continue after my lifetime. I’ve planned for many years now that…

    For 20 years the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has focused its philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest, where I live and work. I’m proud to have helped fund great work done by non-profit groups throughout the region. But there’s always more to do.  There are many challenges, both here in the northwest and around the world that I know will keep us broadening our reach and looking for ways to help.
    My philanthropic efforts will continue after my lifetime. I’ve planned for many years now that the majority of my estate will be left to philanthropy to continue the work of the Foundation and to fund non-profit scientific research, like the ground breaking work being done at the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
    Bill and Melinda have done so many great things around the world and I’m happy we were able to be partners in projects to increase teacher effectiveness, fund science and technology high schools and produce the documentary, Rx for Survival, a Global Health Challenge. Bill, Melinda and Warren have issued a worthy challenge to make our giving plans public, and I’m happy to add my name to the effort.
    As our philanthropy continues in the years ahead, we will look for new opportunities to make a difference in the lives of future generations.



    2. Laura and John Arnold

    We look upon our financial position with a mix of disbelief and humility, never having dreamed that we would be in this situation. Our backgrounds are similar to that of many Americans. We each had a solid middle-class upbringing with an emphasis on values, work ethic and social responsibility. We each attended public secondary school and worked our way through private universities. And, of course, we dreamed of one day being “rich,” in the way that all young people fantasize…

    We look upon our financial position with a mix of disbelief and humility, never having dreamed that we would be in this situation. Our backgrounds are similar to that of many Americans. We each had a solid middle-class upbringing with an emphasis on values, work ethic and social responsibility. We each attended public secondary school and worked our way through private universities. And, of course, we dreamed of one day being “rich,” in the way that all young people fantasize about having everything they want. To our great surprise, we now fit that very elementary label. We have more than ample resources to be good providers for our family and mentors to our children, and we have a lifestyle that is comfortable and then some.
    We are deeply indebted to our community and our country for the many opportunities granted to us, and for a social and economic environment in which we could make the most of those opportunities. We consider it our responsibility to ensure the same opportunities for others. We view our wealth in this light – not as an end in itself, but as an instrument to effect positive and transformative change. To this end, we have contributed a significant portion of our wealth to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and will continue to do so during our lifetime. Upon our death, the vast majority of our assets will be left to the Foundation.
    At the Foundation, we focus on areas where (1) philanthropic investments can lead to solutions that are self-sustaining in the long-term, (2) we can leverage a relatively small investment to create a large impact on total societal benefit and (3) the market does not presently yield optimal results, due to inefficiencies, lack of adequate information or other reasons. These guiding principles have led us to invest in a number of areas including education reform, health care, social services and social justice.
    We are blessed to embark on this critical endeavor at a relatively early stage in our lives and with a great sense of urgency. We will devote the majority of our wealth, time and resources to philanthropy in the coming years, and we fully intend to achieve transformative results during our lifetime. There is no more worthwhile work and no greater mission. And there is no reason for delay in making a difference.



    3. Michael R. Bloomberg

    One of the senior managers at my company, Bloomberg LP, recently told me that part of his new hires recruiting pitch is to ask, “What other company can you work for where the owner gives nearly all the profits to charity?“ Nothing has ever made me prouder of my company than that one story. In the 1990s, a generous individual planned to leave Johns Hopkins University, my alma mater, $50 million upon his death. But I asked him: Why wait? Why deny financial aid to this generation…

    One of the senior managers at my company, Bloomberg LP, recently told me that part of his new hires recruiting pitch is to ask, “What other company can you work for where the owner gives nearly all the profits to charity?“ Nothing has ever made me prouder of my company than that one story.
    In the 1990s, a generous individual planned to leave Johns Hopkins University, my alma mater, $50 million upon his death. But I asked him: Why wait? Why deny financial aid to this generation? Why deny a possible cure for a disease to this generation? That convinced him – and he gave the money right then and there.
    As I wrote in my autobiography around that same time, the reality of great wealth is that you can’t spend it and you can’t take it with you. For decades, I’ve been committed to giving away the vast majority of my wealth to causes that I’m passionate about – and that my children are passionate about. And so I am enthusiastically taking the Giving Pledge, and nearly all of my net worth will be given away in the years ahead or left to my foundation.
    Making a difference in people’s lives – and seeing it with your own eyes – is perhaps the most satisfying thing you’ll ever do. If you want to fully enjoy life – give. And if you want to do something for your children and show how much you love them, the single best thing – by far – is to support organizations that will create a better world for them and their children. Long term, they will benefit more from your philanthropy than from your will. I believe the philanthropic contributions I’m now making are as much gifts to my children as they are to the recipient organizations.
    Giving also allows you to leave a legacy that many others will remember. Rockefeller, Carnegie, Frick, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Duke – we remember them more for the long-term effects of their philanthropy than for the companies they founded, or for their descendents. And by giving, we inspire others to give of themselves, whether their money or their time.
    In my third career, as Mayor of New York, I’ve seen just how needed – and how powerful – private donations are. Public-private partnerships are at the heart of our efforts to improve public health and safety, fight poverty, fix a once-broken school system, expand economic opportunity, promote the arts, protect our environment, and so much more.
    As a philanthropist, I’ve also had the opportunity to see the impact private donations can have in other countries – and just how far each dollar can go. For instance, with private funding, we can prevent tens of millions of premature deaths caused by tobacco-related diseases and traffic accidents -just two areas where my foundation has been active.
    In my public and private lives, I have seen how small groups can make a very big difference – in cleaning up a park, starting a school, or helping others in need, whether in their own community or halfway around the world. I am thrilled that my friends Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are bringing together this group, which could have an unprecedented impact on what philanthropy can achieve. And the larger this group grows, the more people will share in the pleasure of giving, as well as the benefits that it will bring to the world.



    4. Eli and Edythe Broad

    We wholeheartedly endorse the Giving Pledge and hope that others will share in the inherent and immensely rewarding benefits of philanthropy. Those who have been blessed with extraordinary wealth have an opportunity, some would say a responsibility – we consider it a privilege – to give back to their communities, be they local, national or global. Though neither of us was raised in an affluent family, our parents taught both of us the importance of giving back and helping others less…

    We wholeheartedly endorse the Giving Pledge and hope that others will share in the inherent and immensely rewarding benefits of philanthropy.
    Those who have been blessed with extraordinary wealth have an opportunity, some would say a responsibility – we consider it a privilege – to give back to their communities, be they local, national or global.  Though neither of us was raised in an affluent family, our parents taught both of us the importance of giving back and helping others less fortunate.
    When the company we founded, SunAmerica, merged into AIG in 1999, our shareholders and employees made a lot of money, and so did we.  After providing for our family and our two sons, we knew we wanted to use the rest to make a difference.  The Giving Pledge allows us to formalize our longtime intention of giving away 75 percent of our wealth during or after our lifetimes.
    About 10 years ago, we decided to focus full-time on philanthropy.  We asked ourselves what was the greatest problem facing America.  We both attended public schools and credit education as the foundation of our success.  But we were dismayed by the state of America’s K-12 public education system, and we wanted to work to restore it to greatness.  We are convinced the future of the middle class, our standard of living, our economy and our very democracy rests on the strength of our public schools.  And we have a long way to go.
    While we spend the most time on education reform, we invest the greatest resources in scientific and medical research, primarily in the areas of human genomics, stem cell research and inflammatory bowel disease.  It is our hope that through our investments in these areas and our creation of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the scientific and medical research we are funding will ultimately improve the human condition.
    The third area of our philanthropy is the arts.  We have both been enriched not only by the visual and performing arts but also by the artists we have met, whose view of the world has broadened our perspectives and enlightened our conversations.  Our support of the arts is driven by the desire to make art accessible to the broadest public.
    We view charity and philanthropy as two very different endeavors.  For many years, we practiced charity, simply writing checks to worthy causes and organizations.  Since leaving the world of commerce, we have engaged in what we term “venture philanthropy.”  We approach our grant-making activity with much the same vigor, energy and expectation as we did in business.  We view our grants as investments, and we expect a return – in the form of improved student achievement for our education reform work, treatments or cures for disease in our scientific and medical research, and increased access to the arts.
    Before we invest in something, we ask ourselves three questions that guide our decision:

    Will this happen without us?  If so, we don’t invest.
    Will it make a difference 20 or 30 years from now?
    Is the leadership in place to make it happen?

    Philanthropy is hard work.  Many people think it’s easy to give money away.  But we are not giving money away.  We want our wealth to make a measurable impact.  And after running two Fortune 500 companies, we’re having more fun now – and working harder – than ever.
    Philanthropy is intensely personal.  No two people have identical views on what causes to champion and what approaches will fix social ills.  There is no monopoly on philanthropy, and the needs will always far outpace resources – which is why the Giving Pledge unlocks the door to a world of new opportunities.  There is no doubt that when the wealthy few open their pocketbooks, the impact will be extraordinary.



    5. Warren Buffett

    In 2006, I made a commitment to gradually give all of my Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. I couldn’t be happier with that decision. Now, Bill and Melinda Gates and I are asking hundreds of rich Americans to pledge at least 50% of their wealth to charity. So I think it is fitting that I reiterate my intentions and explain the thinking that lies behind them. First, my pledge: More than 99% of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at death. Measured by…

    In 2006, I made a commitment to gradually give all of my Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. I couldn’t be happier with that decision.
    Now, Bill and Melinda Gates and I are asking hundreds of rich Americans to pledge at least 50% of their wealth to charity. So I think it is fitting that I reiterate my intentions and explain the thinking that lies behind them.
    First, my pledge: More than 99% of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at death. Measured by dollars, this commitment is large. In a comparative sense, though, many individuals give more to others every day.
    Millions of people who regularly contribute to churches, schools, and other organizations thereby relinquish the use of funds that would otherwise benefit their own families. The dollars these people drop into a collection plate or give to United Way mean forgone movies, dinners out, or other personal pleasures. In contrast, my family and I will give up nothing we need or want by fulfilling this 99% pledge.
    Moreover, this pledge does not leave me contributing the most precious asset, which is time. Many people, including — I’m proud to say — my three children, give extensively of their own time and talents to help others. Gifts of this kind often prove far more valuable than money. A struggling child, befriended and nurtured by a caring mentor, receives a gift whose value far exceeds what can be bestowed by a check. My sister, Doris, extends significant person-to-person help daily. I’ve done little of this.
    What I can do, however, is to take a pile of Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates — „claim checks“ that when converted to cash can command far-ranging resources — and commit them to benefit others who, through the luck of the draw, have received the short straws in life. To date about 20% of my shares have been distributed (including shares given by my late wife, Susan Buffett). I will continue to annually distribute about 4% of the shares I retain. At the latest, the proceeds from all of my Berkshire shares will be expended for philanthropic purposes by 10 years after my estate is settled. Nothing will go to endowments; I want the money spent on current needs.
    This pledge will leave my lifestyle untouched and that of my children as well. They have already received significant sums for their personal use and will receive more in the future. They live comfortable and productive lives. And I will continue to live in a manner that gives me everything that I could possibly want in life.
    Some material things make my life more enjoyable; many, however, would not. I like having an expensive private plane, but owning a half-dozen homes would be a burden. Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends.
    My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery. (For starters, the odds against my 1930 birth taking place in the U.S. were at least 30 to 1. My being male and white also removed huge obstacles that a majority of Americans then faced.) My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well. I’ve worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fate’s distribution of long straws is wildly capricious.
    The reaction of my family and me to our extraordinary good fortune is not guilt, but rather gratitude. Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99% can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others. That reality sets an obvious course for me and my family: Keep all we can conceivably need and distribute the rest to society, for its needs. My pledge starts us down that course.



    6. Michele Chan and Patrick Soon-Shiong

    Our passion, our mission is to transform health and health care, in America and beyond. Our family foundation was established for that purpose. Growing up in South Africa during the time of apartheid, we had direct experience of inequality, including great disparities in health and access to good care. After thirty years living in the United States, we see similar disparities in health care on our doorstep in Los Angeles, and across the nation. What was unconscionable to us in South Africa …

    Our passion, our mission is to transform health and health care, in America and beyond. Our family foundation was established for that purpose.
    Growing up in South Africa during the time of apartheid, we had direct experience of inequality, including great disparities in health and access to good care. After thirty years living in the United States, we see similar disparities in health care on our doorstep in Los Angeles, and across the nation. What was unconscionable to us in South Africa in the twentieth century is just as unconscionable in the United States in the twenty-first.
    America has been a land of opportunity for us, as it has for so many immigrants. We are proud to be Americans and we want to see our country strong and healthy. We are blessed to have resources and expertise to contribute.
    Our pledge is that, through our family foundation, we will work to erode and eliminate disparities in health care, and to help bring about a system of health care which aims first to keep people healthy, and secondly to ensure that everyone has access to the best quality health care when they need it. We and our children are dedicating our time and our resources to that end.



    7. Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg

    Full profile coming soon.


    8. Ann and John Doerr

    Full profile coming soon.


    9. Larry Ellison

    Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95% of my wealth to charitable causes. I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. Until now, I have done this giving quietly – because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter. So why am I going public now…

    To whom it may concern,
    Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95% of my wealth to charitable causes.  I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time.  Until now, I have done this giving quietly – because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter.  So why am I going public now?  Warren Buffett personally asked me to write this letter because he said I would be “setting an example” and “influencing others” to give.  I hope he’s right.
    Larry Ellison



    10. Bill and Melinda Gates

    Parents all over the world do their best to give their children great opportunities. They work to give their children every chance to pursue their own dreams. However for too many parents, their dreams of giving their families better lives are dashed. In the United States, their children don’t get the education they need to succeed in life. In the developing world, their children succumb to diseases…

    Parents all over the world do their best to give their children great opportunities.  They work to give their children every chance to pursue their own dreams.
    However for too many parents, their dreams of giving their families better lives are dashed.  In the United States, their children don’t get the education they need to succeed in life. In the developing world, their children succumb to diseases that have long since been eradicated in rich countries.
    Years ago, when we began to learn about global health, we were especially shocked to read that one highly preventable disease – rotavirus – was killing half a million children every year. Airplane crashes are always front-page news, yet here was a killer of half a million children every year, and most people couldn’t put a name to it, much less put a stop to it.
    We have committed the vast majority of our assets to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help stop preventable deaths such as these, and to tear down other barriers to health and education that prevent people from making the very most of their lives. Our animating principle is that all lives have equal value. Put another way, it means that we believe every child deserves the chance to grow up, to dream and do big things.
    We have been blessed with good fortune beyond our wildest expectations, and we are profoundly grateful. But just as these gifts are great, so we feel a great responsibility to use them well. That is why we are so pleased to join in making an explicit commitment to the Giving Pledge.
    The idea of the pledge came out of discussions we had with other givers about what they were doing, about what had worked in philanthropy and what had not worked. Everyone shared how giving had made their lives richer.  Everyone who attended was inspired by listening to the others’ passion and encouraged to do even more.
    For the two of us, because we see amazing progress every day, but also, how much more work remains, we’re honored to be a part of this pledge effort.
    For example, to us, vaccines are miracles, tiny vessels of hope and promise. And the world has made progress in vaccinating millions of children. But there are still millions more who die of preventable diseases.
    So we want to make sure lifesaving vaccines reach everyone who needs them, and that the world develops new vaccines.
    We’ve seen similar progress in America’s education system. We have visited schools that are breaking down old barriers and preparing every child for college and life. These are great schools—but there are not nearly enough of them. Now the task is to make sure that every student gets the same opportunity to succeed in college and in life.
    Both of us were fortunate to grow up with parents who taught us some tremendously important values. Work hard. Show respect. Have a sense of humor. And if life happens to bless you with talent or treasure, you have a responsibility to use those gifts as well and as wisely as you possibly can. Now we hope to pass this example on to our own children.
    We feel very lucky to have the chance to work together in giving back the resources we are stewards of.  By joining the Giving Pledge effort, we’re certain our giving will be more effective because of the time we will spend with this group.  We look forward to sharing what a wonderful experience this has been for us and learning from the experience of others.
    Best Wishes,
    Bill and Melinda Gates



    11. Barron Hilton

    I am happy to reiterate the pledge I made in 2007 to donate the vast majority of my personal wealth to the humanitarian work of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. For me, the decision was easy — not just for how the money will be spent, but for how the money was earned. My father, Conrad Hilton, was one of America’s business giants. He was the first to link hotels together in a coast-to-coast chain, and to turn his name into a world-famous brand. During his career, “Hilton” literally became…

    I am happy to reiterate the pledge I made in 2007 to donate the vast majority of my personal wealth to the humanitarian work of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.  For me, the decision was easy — not just for how the money will be spent, but for how the money was earned.
    My father, Conrad Hilton, was one of America’s business giants.  He was the first to link hotels together in a coast-to-coast chain, and to turn his name into a world-famous brand.  During his career, “Hilton” literally became synonymous with the word “hotel.”  He personified his personal creed, “Think big, act big, dream big.”
    While he reached amazing heights in business, he also suffered through the kind of economic downturns that are all too familiar to people coping with today’s recession.  In fact, the milestones of my father’s career often followed a long, determined climb from the worst economic periods in modern history.
    In 1919, during the post World War I recession, my father bought his first hotel, the Mobley in Cisco, Texas.  He built up a collection of eight hotels in Texas, only to lose all but one during the Great Depression.  By refusing to declare bankruptcy, he was among the first hoteliers to emerge from the Depression, only to endure the dramatic business slowdown during World War II.  Eventually he was able to grow by acquiring several hotels for cents on the dollar, including the then-largest hotel in the world, the Stevens in Chicago.  In 1946, Hilton Hotels Corporation became the first hotel company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.  When the post-war recession slowed U.S. expansion, my father began to expand overseas, but not before he fulfilled his longtime goal of acquiring the lease for the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
    After my service in the Navy in World War II, I spent 20 years as an entrepreneur, investing in Vita-Pakt citrus products and founding such diverse companies as Air Finance Corporation, Carte Blanche Credit Card and, 50 years ago, the Chargers of the American Football League.  In 1966, the board of Hilton Hotels Corporation invited me to become President of Hilton Hotels, provided I drop my football responsibilities.  That’s when I took the reins of the company.
    Just after the recession that followed the Vietnam War, and just before the Arab oil embargo, I managed to enter the Las Vegas gaming market by acquiring the Flamingo and the International (renamed the Las Vegas Hilton) from financier Kirk Kerkorian.  That added a valuable revenue stream for our company that, when combined with franchising, greatly increased the value of Hilton stock.
    Not every deal worked out well in the short term, however, such as our sale of Hilton International to TWA in 1967.  It took us another 30 years to reunite the companies.  With more hotels of over 1,000 rooms than the rest of the industry combined, our strength in the convention market made us the envy of the lodging business.
    In the midst of our domestic expansion, my father passed away in 1979 at age 91.  Throughout his life, he embraced the power of prayer, and felt it was our God-given responsibility to alleviate the suffering of the most disadvantaged among us. He generously supported Catholic sisters and other worthy causes, writing personal notes to accompany his checks.  But his $160 million estate created a new opportunity.
    Under the leadership of Don Hubbs, and now my son, Steven, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has become a real agent for change.  We focus on a need, find the right people or organization to fill that need, and then provide enough funding to create real systemic change.  My brother, Eric, is among the family members and outside directors that are following my father’s philanthropic vision as board members.  In his will, my father directed us to make our grants without regard for race, religion or geography.  The reason was as simple as it was genius — the customers that built our wealth hailed from all parts of the world.
    In 1996, I retired after 30 years as CEO of Hilton Hotels Corporation, and convinced Stephen Bollenbach to succeed me while I continued to chair the board.  He ushered in a new era of consolidation for both Hilton and for the industry, while utilizing technology to improve efficiency and customer service.  We continued to expand our gaming and hotel networks, adding brands like Bally’s, Caesars, Embassy Suites, Doubletree and Hampton Inn.
    In 2006 and 2007, our gaming company and then our hotel company were both acquired by private equity firms at a considerable premium over the trading price of the stock.   Despite my tremendous family pride, I knew Hilton Hotels Corporation had grown to the point where it could thrive, even without a Hilton family member at the helm.  I had been a member of the Hilton Foundation board since 1954.  It was only after the sale of our companies that I proudly became Chairman of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
    As one of Hilton’s principal shareholders, I decided to immediately pledge my proceeds of the sales — $1.2 billion — to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.  In making the gift, I also pledged to follow my father’s example and donate 97 percent of my wealth to the Hilton Foundation.  That gift, together with other personal assets, should bring the Foundation’s corpus to more than $4 billion.
    Today we concentrate on a few strategic initiatives: Safe water development, homelessness, children, substance abuse and Catholic sisters.  Other major programs include blindness prevention, hotel and restaurant management education, multiple sclerosis, disaster relief and recovery, and Catholic schools.  We are constantly reviewing our practices while remaining faithful to the values and principles that guide us.
    I recite our saga to consolidate information that was already a matter of public record over the past 90 years.  I am gratified that our Foundation will live on forever, aiding the most vulnerable populations in the world.  It will operate in perpetuity as a tribute to the customers, executives and hotel employees who created our wealth in the first place.
    I salute Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and other philanthropic leaders who have subscribed to the Philanthropic Pledge.  It is my hope that others are inspired by my father’s story, and by our family’s steadfast adherence to his charitable philosophy.



    12. Jon and Karen Huntsman

    It has been clear to me since my earliest childhood memories that my reason for being was to help others. The desire to give back was the impetus for pursuing an education in business, for applying that education to founding what became a successful container company, and for using that experience to grow our differentiated chemicals corporation into the global enterprise it has become. The journey which began in poverty somehow led to my name’s inclusion on the Richest Americans…

    It has been clear to me since my earliest childhood memories that my reason for being was to help others. The desire to give back was the impetus for pursuing an education in business, for applying that education to founding what became a successful container company, and for using that experience to grow our differentiated chemicals corporation into the global enterprise it has become.
    The journey which began in poverty somehow led to my name’s inclusion on the Richest Americans list for several years running. We progressed from being leveraged to the eyeballs to realizing a degree of wealth of which we had never dared to dream, always with the understanding that it was not ours to keep. Through hard work, luck at the right times, and a determination to succeed, we built a company which filled our coffers with money intended for others.
    My pledge to give my entire fortune to curing cancer and assisting related other charities was formalized decades ago. As my sweet mother took her last breath in my arms and succumbed to the cancer she could no longer fight, I realized that our humanitarian focus must center on cancer. I saw with clarity the vision that the Huntsman fortune is a means to cure cancer and that my purpose on earth is to facilitate the research which will illuminate its mysteries.
    Most of my shares of our company’s stock have already been donated to our family charitable foundation and are not at our family’s disposal. Moreover, most of our other assets are already pledged to charitable causes. The Chronicle of Philanthropy listed our family as donating $1.2 billion to past charitable causes or foundations.
    Cancer terrifies us and often takes our lives, irrespective of age, gender, or walk of life. As I have publicly stated countless times, my duty is to make sure cancer is vanquished. Virtually all of my financial resources are already pledged to this lofty goal.



    13. Joan and Irwin Jacobs

    Full profile coming soon.


    14. George B. Kaiser

    I suppose I arrived at my charitable commitment largely through guilt. I recognized early on, that my good fortune was not due to superior personal character or initiative so much as it was to dumb luck. I was blessed to be born in an advanced society with caring parents. So, I had the advantage of both genetics (winning the „ovarian lottery“) and upbringing. As I looked around at those who did not have these advantages, it became clear to me that I had a moral obligation to direct my…

    I suppose I arrived at my charitable commitment largely through guilt. I recognized early on, that my good fortune was not due to superior personal character or initiative so much as it was to dumb luck. I was blessed to be born in an advanced society with caring parents. So, I had the advantage of both genetics (winning the „ovarian lottery“) and upbringing. As I looked around at those who did not have these advantages, it became clear to me that I had a moral obligation to direct my resources to help right that balance.
    America’s „social contract“ is equal opportunity. It is the most fundamental principle in our founding documents and it is what originally distinguished us from the old Europe. Yet, we have failed in achieving that seminal goal; in fact, we have lost ground in recent years. Another distinctly American principle is a shared partnership between the public and private sectors to foster the public good. So, if the democratically-directed public sector is shirking, to some degree, its responsibility to level the playing field, more of that role must shift to the private sector.
    As I addressed my charitable purposes, all of this seemed pretty clear: I was only peripherally responsible for my own good fortune; I was morally duty bound to help those left behind by the accident of birth; America’s root principle was equal opportunity but we were far from achieving it. Then I had to drill down to identify the charitable purposes most likely to right that wrong.
    The discoveries of stem cell research and brain development in recent years provided some guidance for me. Though almost all of us grew up believing in the concept of equal opportunity, most of us simultaneously carried the unspoken and inconsistent „dirty little secret“ that genetics drove much of accomplishment so that equality was not achievable. What the new research seemed to suggest, however, was that brain cells were functionally unformed at birth and that only through the communication among them – driven by trial and error interpretation of sensory stimulation shortly after birth – did our cognitive and social/emotional skills develop. As I sometimes joke, I remember vividly that place before birth as being warm, wet, dark…and boring. Then, suddenly, as I emerged, I was bombarded with sensory overload and had to interpret all of that strange stimulus. Most of that interpretation takes place by age three; after that, we can modify our destiny but it is a lot harder.
    No child is responsible for the circumstances of her birth and should not be punished for it in this life. (I will leave the question of second chances to other pulpits.) I have therefore developed my charitable focus around the concept of providing the greatest opportunity for self fulfillment for each child, focusing on those who arrive in the least advantaged circumstances. (A purer focus would be in areas of much greater disadvantage in the world where fewer dollars accomplish more. I honor the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s commitment to the principle that „every life has equal value“ but will leave my justification for a primarily American focus to another dissertation.) That governing concept has led us to those initiatives which attempt to reverse the  generational cycle of poverty, especially for very young children and their families: prenatal healthcare; early learning and development for at-risk kids, birth to three; family healthcare; parenting training; job and income assistance for families with young children; operating a robust program to provide alternatives to incarceration for mothers who have committed non-violent crimes, et cetera.
    These efforts focus most heavily on the causes of poverty but we also dedicate resources to the symptoms, especially in these difficult times and in our relatively poor part of the country – food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and civic projects that promote inclusiveness and vibrancy. We generate a mix of projects, some of which are leading edge and more that import best practices from the greater creativity and experience of others. We attempt to leverage other resources, public and private, by our example. We try not to let a budget drive our expenditures but rather pursue those efforts through which we can make a true difference at an appropriate cost, whether less than or more than our targeted allocation. We remain lean in our central organization and partner with the leading practitioners in our fields of endeavor. We tend to direct our purposes and carefully monitor targeted results on a contemporaneous basis rather than scattering gifts and trusting to retrospective general narratives of success from the beneficiaries. All in all, it is an intoxicating and yet frustrating journey, led by an extraordinarily committed and talented cadre of leaders.
    Now that I have told you far more than you wanted to know about how I arrived at my charitable commitment and direction, it is time to make the pledge: I am entranced by Warren’s and Bill’s visionary appeal to those who have accumulated unconscionable resources, to dedicate at least half of them back to purposes more useful than dynastic perpetuation. My family is very well provided for and they join me in my intention to devote virtually all of my financial resources to the same general charitable purposes I have pursued in life, better informed in specifics by our experience and the experience of others. If enough acolytes follow Bill’s and Warren’s example, then maybe we will more closely approach the ideal of equal opportunity throughout the United States and the world.



    15. Elaine and Ken Langone

    Elaine and I were honored to receive your graceful letter. It conveys a spiritual purpose that has long been close to our hearts and, yes, we will gladly join you in making our own pledge. Much praise to you for making this a national calling. It is inspiring how such a simple idea puts faith into action for the community as a whole. Our family is thankful for the many blessings we have enjoyed. It is because we live in a special country, where freedom of opportunity is a cherished virtue…

    Dear Warren,
    Elaine and I were honored to receive your graceful letter. It conveys a spiritual purpose that has long been close to our hearts and, yes, we will gladly join you in making our own pledge. Much praise to you for making this a national calling. It is inspiring how such a simple idea puts faith into action for the community as a whole.
    Our family is thankful for the many blessings we have enjoyed. It is because we live in a special country, where freedom of opportunity is a cherished virtue that we can reach so high in the first place. But nothing makes our society better than when we live up to its most caring ideals of service and selflessness. So it is also with a deep sense of gratitude that we are pleased to be included in this wonderful undertaking.
    Sincerely,
    Ken Langone



    16. Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest

    I have been asked why Marguerite and I made the Giving Pledge. The first and compelling is the joy we experience in giving to worthwhile causes. Marguerite and I have given the bulk of our fortune away. Over the last ten years, we have created a scholarship fund to send needy young scholars from rural areas to the better colleges, have sponsored research used by others to introduce legislation protecting our oceans, have started the center for sustainable energy at Columbia University, have…

    Dear Melinda,
    I have been asked why Marguerite and I made the Giving Pledge.
    The first and compelling is the joy we experience in giving to worthwhile causes. Marguerite and I have given the bulk of our fortune away. Over the last ten years, we have created a scholarship fund to send needy young scholars from rural areas to the better colleges, have sponsored research used by others to introduce legislation protecting our oceans, have started the center for sustainable energy at Columbia University, have been the principal supporter of Teach For America in Philadelphia and have given to over a hundred other cases during that period.
    The second reason is that we do not want to give excessive wealth to our progeny. Giving wealth to young and future unborn children, in our opinion, reduces or eliminates the character building challenges ahead of them in life that they would otherwise face.
    Perhaps a third reason is that one is not measured by how many homes, yachts or airplanes you have. The ultimate achievement in life is how you feel about yourself. And giving your wealth away to have an impact for good does help with that feeling.
    Sincerely,
    H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest



    17. Lorry I. Lokey

    Born in 1927 I remember vividly the worst of the depression years in terms of how they affected my family—1933 and 1937 especially. The depression taught me the value of money, and my mother gave me a lesson around 1937 I never forgot. She asked me to run down to the store and get a loaf of bread. I did and charged it as usual. When I got home and gave it to her, she started at me in disbelief. “Dummy!” she said. “You bought the small nine-cent size. Don’t you know you get half again…

    Born in 1927 I remember vividly the worst of the depression years in terms of how they affected my family—1933 and 1937 especially.  The depression taught me the value of money, and my mother gave me a lesson around 1937 I never forgot.
    She asked me to run down to the store and get a loaf of bread.  I did and charged it as usual.  When I got home and gave it to her, she started at me in disbelief.  “Dummy!” she said. “You bought the small nine-cent size.  Don’t you know you get half again more for 11 cents?”  From that I learned the lesson of percentages.
    But a bigger lesson grew from that experience.  I began to realize the importance of money consists of buying what is worth the price.  As I grew into adult years, I passed over things most people might grab because I didn’t think the price justified the value.  For decades I have applied that to hotels, plane fares, restaurants, clothes, hard goods.  I drive a hybrid and fly coach, upgrading only with points, not money.  I have only three luxuries: My Atherton, CA., home, a San Francisco luxury apartment 600 feet above sea level and a luxurious home on Pineapple Hill in Kapalua, Maui.  All will end up in my foundation where three other homes are right now awaiting sale.
    During even the Depression’s worst years my parents gave money—about 8% of their annual income of $2200.  I remember saying to my mother that we can’t afford that.  But she said we have to share with others.  I learned from that to share.
    Except for the first few years out of Stanford, I have given near the 10% mark for some 20 years.  For the last 40 years the giving amounts to more than 90% of all monies earned.  You might then ask, “What are your favorite recipients?”
    Going back 40 years I began thinking where I should concentrate my grants.  Back then all of it was going to Stanford University and a few other institutions like Leo Baeck high school in Haifa.  Twenty years ago I locked into this conclusion:
    What single factor most affected my being so successful in business?  In a nanosecond the answer came up: Education.
    Throughout the world without an exception, education is the determinant of a person’s intelligence level and possible success.  And success is not making a million a month or a year. It’s earning enough to live comfortably and being able to finance children’s education.
    As my thoughts wandered from Alameda grammar school and Grant high school in Portland to Stanford, I soon came to the conclusion that the most critical part of my education was Alameda with Stanford taking on the role of pointing a direction for my future—journalism later to be public relations and still later to be founding a very profitable business—Business Wire, now a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
    Each year I ask Alameda’s principal what they need.  This year it’s a fully equipped rolling computer wagon to move among the classrooms as needed.  In earlier years I equipped all classrooms with computers and built a new library there.
    By the latter 1960s, I was concentrating on Stanford with endowed chairs and student scholarships.  It climaxed in 2008 with a $75 million pledge for what might be the world’s largest stem cell laboratory as well as the new Stanford Daily building.  The Daily is paid for, and the stem cell lab money is in the Stanford Donor Advised Fund.
    Around 1990 I realized I needed to broaden the base of giving to educational institutions.  I wanted to concentrate on education because by putting all the money into a single subject effort, it might make a difference.  I never have slipped into giving $500 here and $1000 there to 100 or 200 entities.
    This brought into focus the major recipients, such as Santa Clara University, University of Oregon, Mills College, Portland State University, Oregon Health and Science University, two Oregon libraries, three San Francisco area Jewish day and grammar schools, two Hispanic schools in San Jose, several Israeli colleges (Technion, Weizmann, Ben Guerion) along with Hadassah Medical Center.
    At several of the colleges, the grants have been so large that recipients use the word “transformational” to describe their effect.  This has been especially true for University of Oregon ($134 million), Mills College ($35 million), Santa Clara University ($37 million) and Technion Institute in Haifa ($33 million). What a good feeling this gives me.  I would have it this way any day before wanting a jet plane or yacht.
    As we went into the 21st century, I began quipping that I want to die broke.  It won’t be quite that bad, but I will have set up machinery that my uncommitted assets today will be granted via such things as donor advised funds, charitable remained trusts and my foundation.  The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have been taken care of and will not be in the estate.  Nor will my companion of 19 years, Joanne Harrington, who got her bequest many years ago and has been so helpful to me in the sharing process.
    There’s an old saying about farmers putting back in to the ground via fertilizer what they take out.  So it is with money.  The larger the estate, the more important it is to revitalize the soil.



    18. George Lucas

    Storytellers are teachers and communicators who speak a universal language. That was Homer’s primary role, and both Plato and Aristotle used narratives and dialogues as a means of educating. Good storytelling is based on truths and insights, and a good storyteller is ultimately a teacher – using the arts as a means of making education emotionally meaningful. These are all tools at our educational system’s disposal, but too often we aren’t making use of them…

    Storytellers are teachers and communicators who speak a universal language.  That was Homer’s primary role, and both Plato and Aristotle used narratives and dialogues as a means of educating.  Good storytelling is based on truths and insights, and a good storyteller is ultimately a teacher – using the arts as a means of making education emotionally meaningful.  These are all tools at our educational system’s disposal, but too often we aren’t making use of them.
    When I was in high school, I felt like I was in a vacuum, biding time.  I was curious, but bored.  It was not an atmosphere conducive to learning.  I was fortunate that I found my path and my language.
    It’s scary to think of our education system as little better than an assembly line with producing diplomas as its only goal.  Once I had the means to effect change in this arena, it became my passion to do so – to promote active, life-long learning.  I believe in the artisan school of learning, through apprenticeships and Aristotelian questions and discussion.  This level of engagement dates back to the beginning of human life, but it’s still the best way of doing things.  There have to be universal standards – particularly in education – and while it seems unwieldy, there is a willingness among educators to share their best practices.
    Ultimately, that is why I created Edutopia and the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
    The focus of GLEF has been to share educational innovations – cooperative and project learning, mentorship, parental involvement, and technological advances.  This all comes straight from those on the front lines, from teachers who are putting these methods into practice.  We are the facilitators.  Our goal has been to showcase bold successes and inspire others to further increase the appetite for education.  Our hope is that administrators, teachers, and parents will see the power of these collective efforts and join the fight for wider reforms.
    But reform is just the beginning.  We need to build new foundations, fostering independent thought and a desire to keep learning.  Our students need to come away with more than just survival skills, and more than just what is required to complete the program.  We need to promote critical thinking and emotional intelligence.  We need to focus on building an education system that promotes different types of learning, different types of development, and different types of assessment.  We have an opportunity and an obligation to prepare our children for the real world, for dealing with others in practical, project-based environments.  It’s about working together and building character – being compassionate, empathetic, and civil as a means to a greater end.
    As technology changes, so do students.  So should classrooms, and so should our methods of teaching.  In a few short years, connectivity has gone from a technological novelty to a daily necessity.  It’s how our culture communicates, and our children are at the forefront of its use.  Understanding those tools – and how to integrate them into learning – is an integral step in defining our future.
    My pledge is to the process; as long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages.
    I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education.  It is the key to the survival of the human race.  We have to plan for our collective future – and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children.  As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt – as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.
    George Lucas



    19. Alfred E. Mann

    I have been very fortunate in having been born to exceptional parents in this great country. I came from humble beginnings and grew to become a young scientist pioneering in a field of electro-optical physics. The US Army needed my help and actually set me up in business in 1956. Two years later the Air Force came to me for help with our country’s first spacecraft. The success of my first company (Spectrolab, now a subsidiary of the Boeing Co.) has enabled me to leapfrog from one success to…

    I have been very fortunate in having been born to exceptional parents in this great country. I came from humble beginnings and grew to become a young scientist pioneering in a field of electro-optical physics. The US Army needed my help and actually set me up in business in 1956. Two years later the Air Force came to me for help with our country’s first spacecraft. The success of my first company (Spectrolab, now a subsidiary of the Boeing Co.) has enabled me to leapfrog from one success to another, enabling me to amass a substantial fortune. I want to use those resources to make this a better world — and to do as much as I can during my lifetime. I am therefore committing most of my estate to philanthropy, primarily focusing on development of medical products to improve and extend lives.
    I began my extensive philanthropic program in 1985 with the founding of the Alfred Mann Foundation (AMF). AMF is an operating public medical research organization that has focused mostly on applications of neuromodulation. It employs about 100 people; all but a few are scientists and engineers. The contributions of AMF are numerous, including developments to enable the deaf to hear and soon for the lame to walk. AMF also developed a long-term implantable glucose sensor (lasting ~1½ years) for diabetes and a number of other devices.
    The success of AMF has led me to try to use a similar approach to harness the intellectual property at elite research universities. Rarely does that work end up in successful products or successful ventures. To address this I am creating biomedical institutes at a number of elite research universities. Each university receives an endowment of at least $100 million. Ideas born within the academic faculty are developed into products within separate industrial institutes owned by the universities. When developed the products are then licensed out to existing or start-up businesses for commercialization. So far institutes have been founded at the University of Southern California, Purdue and the Technion in Israel.
    I have also created several other medical research foundations and two holding entities to distribute assets to fund my philanthropic activities. Additionally I have given to a variety of other charities especially related to music and education.
    Early I was able to provide modest support for my family so that I intend for at least 90% of my estate to be devoted to philanthropy — almost all directed to advancing medical technology.
    This is my commitment.



    20. Bernie and Billi Marcus

    Thank you for calling to discuss my participation with you and Bill Gates regarding your philanthropy philosophy. It brought back memories of our conversation 15 years ago when I tried to convince you to do the very same thing. As you might remember, it has always been my belief that leaving enormous wealth for our children does nothing to stimulate their ability to make it on their own. I too believe that all our efforts in creating the wealth that we have would give us a great deal more joy…

    Dear Warren,
    Thank you for calling to discuss my participation with you and Bill Gates regarding your philanthropy philosophy. It brought back memories of our conversation 15 years ago when I tried to convince you to do the very same thing. As you might remember, it has always been my belief that leaving enormous wealth for our children does nothing to stimulate their ability to make it on their own. I too believe that all our efforts in creating the wealth that we have would give us a great deal more joy if we were to disperse as much of it during our lifetimes.
    We’ve been focused on this work at The Marcus Foundation since our conversation many years ago. For example,The Georgia Aquarium, which is the largest in the world, has given over 12 million visitors the joy of seeing fish and mammals that the overwhelming majority would have never had the opportunity to see in their lifetime. It also helped stimulate our downtown economy offering jobs and new opportunities. The work we do with hospitals, education, and children through the Marcus Autism Center (MAC), has enabled us to take care of well over 36,000 children since its inception and approximately 4,000 children annually. If it weren’t for the MAC in Georgia there would be nowhere for many of these families to go.
    I share this with you because of happiness one can conceive by watching the joys of their work. I remember very vividly a child that I had seen about a year ago that was severely autistic in my walk through MAC. Someone pointed this child out to me and when he looked at me he went into total hysteria, e.g. screaming, butting his head against the wall, etc. These actions happen with children of these disabilities. Approximately one year later we were doing a documentary with NBC and I walked into a classroom where the producer asked me to appear with one of the children. There was this same young man and I was horrified he would have another episode as he had in the past. Instead he came over, sat in my lap and talked! By the way, he had not spoken for the six years of his life before going to MAC. I cried, the teachers cried, the cameraman cried, and the parents cried. What a blessing this was to have changed one life and to have had such an impact on a life. I encourage you to always try to see the faces of the recipients you help.
    This has happened to me many times over the last 15 years and it’s made my life fuller. To make quarterly profits is one thing but changing just one life is so much better. However, I must say that just because we were involved with charity we didn’t lose our fundamental business acumen. Our staff insists on outcomes for every grant we make. If outcomes are not achieved, we don’t hesitate to withdraw funding. Our money has a value and it took lots of hard work to accumulate. I don’t just write checks – we try to make the organizations we fund better. The results have been rather outstanding.
    So Warren, I want to thank you and Bill for doing what you’re doing. I hope you convince many others to enhance their own lives by sharing with others in a smart and business like way. It truly is the secret to longevity of their health and state of mind.

  • Nun gut, vielleicht bin ich zu zynisch, immerhin geht es hier um mehr als 50% des Vermögens. Allerdings sind jene Stiftungen natürlich selbst auch wieder Machtinstrumente, wenn ich es so ekelhaft sagen darf, wobei, und das finde ich schon recht interessant, Gates‘ Stiftung bereits 22 Milliarden mehr oder weniger ergebnislos für die Suche nach Heilmitteln verpulvert hat, von 28 Milliarden, die Gates reingesteckt hat. Sonderlich sinnvoll scheint die ganze Idee also eh nicht zu sein.
     
    Aber lassen wir die Gefühle beiseite und zählen. Das ist die Liste, von welcher wir sprechen.
    1. Paul G. Allen

    2. Laura and John Arnold

    3. Michael R. Bloomberg

    4. Eli and Edythe Broad

    5. Warren Buffett

    6. Michele Chan and Patrick Soon-Shiong

    . Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg

    8. Ann and John Doerr

    9. Larry Ellison

    10. Bill and Melinda Gates

    11. Barron Hilton

    12. Jon and Karen Huntsman

    13. Joan and Irwin Jacobs

    14. George B. Kaiser

    15. Elaine and Ken Langone

    16. Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest

    17. Lorry I. Lokey

    18. George Lucas

    19. Alfred E. Mann

    20. Bernie and Billi Marcus

    21. Thomas S. Monaghan

    22. Tashia and John Morgridge

    23. Pierre and Pam Omidyar

    24. Bernard and Barbro Osher

    25. Ronald O. Perelman

    26. Peter G. Peterson

    27. T. Boone Pickens

    28. Julian H. Robertson, Jr.

    29. David Rockefeller

    30. David M. Rubenstein

    31. Herb and Marion Sandler

    32. Vicki and Roger Sant

    33. Walter Scott, Jr.

    34. Jim and Marilyn Simons

    35. Jeff Skoll

    36. Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor

    37. Jim and Virginia Stowers

    38. Ted Turner

    39. Sanford and Joan Weill
    40. Shelby White

    We are delighted to lend our support to Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s novel idea of a “Giving Pledge.” We applaud their leadership and encourage others to join this effort at a very important time in our history given the severe economic impact virtually everyone and every institution has experienced over the last couple of years. Our Pledge is this: We will continue to give away all of the wealth we have been so fortunate to make except for a small percentage…

    We are delighted to lend our support to Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s novel idea of a “Giving Pledge.”  We applaud their leadership and encourage others to join this effort at a very important time in our history given the severe economic impact virtually everyone and every institution has experienced over the last couple of years.
    Our Pledge is this: We will continue to give away all of the wealth we have been so fortunate to make except for a small percentage allocated to our children and grandchildren between now and the time we pass because we are firm believers that shrouds don’t have pockets.  Furthermore, we pledge to continue to work tirelessly each and every day, donating our time, energy, experience, passion and intellect to the causes and organizations we have been involved with for many years because, for us, philanthropy is much more than just writing a check.
    Philanthropy has been a large part of our lives over the last three decades and is something we are deeply passionate about and enjoy doing together.  In the early days, we used to say that Joan took care of the streets and Sandy took care of culture.  In any case, we look at a non-profit the same way we look at a company – investing in a nonprofit is like buying stock in that organization.
    Education and partnership are at the heart of everything we do philanthropically and we make long term commitments to the organizations we lead: Sandy is currently the Chairman of the National Academy Foundation (since 1980); Carnegie Hall (since 1991); and Weill Cornell Medical College (since 1996), while Joan is Chair of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation (since 2000); Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks (since 2005); and Co-Chair of the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center Women’s Health Symposium (since 2000).
    Each day we are touched by the incredible work people from the organizations we are associated with, as well as countless others are doing.  They are changing the world and helping bridge cultural divides thru education, healthcare and the arts.  Among some of our proudest moments in philanthropy to date include: opening up the first American medical school overseas in Qatar in 2001 following the tragic events of 9/11 and at a time when many questioned doing something in the Middle East, as well as aiding in the development of a medical school in Tanzania and an HIV/AIDS clinic in Haiti; seeing Alvin Ailey be recognized as one of the most acclaimed international ambassadors of American culture and having a home which is the nation’s largest facility dedicated to dance; raising $60 million in one evening at Carnegie Hall to establish broad reaching music education programs; and working with nearly 50,000 students in over 500 academies of finance, hospitality and tourism, information technology and engineering each year and seeing 90% of them graduate, often the first in their family to do so.
    Our journey together through life over the last 55 years has been nothing short of amazing.  We have learned a lot and been blessed beyond our wildest imaginations.  From our experiences in philanthropy, we have found the following lessons very useful: Keep it focused, you can’t do everything; the busiest people can always do more; you can run a better private business if you help run philanthropic enterprises; don’t be afraid to hire people smarter than you; don’t be afraid to make mistakes; and whatever you do, be passionate about it.
    In the years we have left, we want to continue to try and do whatever small part we can to leave the world a little better than we found it.  That return on investment would be unquantifiable and something we would cherish the most.
    Sincerely,
    Sanford and Joan Weill


    40 von den Oberen 10000, das macht 0,4 Prozent. Die Entartung hält sich also in engen Grezen.

  • Nun gut, vielleicht bin ich zu zynisch, immerhin geht es hier um mehr als 50% des Vermögens. Allerdings sind jene Stiftungen natürlich selbst auch wieder Machtinstrumente, wenn ich es so ekelhaft sagen darf, wobei, und das finde ich schon recht interessant, Gates‘ Stiftung bereits 22 Milliarden mehr oder weniger ergebnislos für die Suche nach Heilmitteln verpulvert hat, von 28 Milliarden, die Gates reingesteckt hat. Sonderlich sinnvoll scheint die ganze Idee also eh nicht zu sein.
     
    Aber lassen wir die Gefühle beiseite und zählen. Das ist die Liste, von welcher wir sprechen.
    1. Paul G. Allen

    2. Laura and John Arnold

    3. Michael R. Bloomberg

    4. Eli and Edythe Broad

    5. Warren Buffett

    6. Michele Chan and Patrick Soon-Shiong

    7. Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg

    8. Ann and John Doerr

    9. Larry Ellison

    10. Bill and Melinda Gates

    11. Barron Hilton

    12. Jon and Karen Huntsman

    13. Joan and Irwin Jacobs

    14. George B. Kaiser

    15. Elaine and Ken Langone

    16. Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest

    17. Lorry I. Lokey

    18. George Lucas

    19. Alfred E. Mann

    20. Bernie and Billi Marcus

    21. Thomas S. Monaghan

    22. Tashia and John Morgridge

    23. Pierre and Pam Omidyar

    24. Bernard and Barbro Osher

    25. Ronald O. Perelman

    26. Peter G. Peterson

    27. T. Boone Pickens

    28. Julian H. Robertson, Jr.

    29. David Rockefeller

    30. David M. Rubenstein

    31. Herb and Marion Sandler

    32. Vicki and Roger Sant

    33. Walter Scott, Jr.

    34. Jim and Marilyn Simons

    35. Jeff Skoll

    36. Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor

    37. Jim and Virginia Stowers

    38. Ted Turner

    39. Sanford and Joan Weill
    40. Shelby White

    40 von den Oberen 10000, das macht 0,4 Prozent. Die Entartung hält sich also in engen Grenzen.

  • Ich vermisse auf dieser Liste eigentlich noch den Namen ‚Rothschild‘. Wenn die Angaben bei lupo cattivo (der letztlich auch nur spekulieren kann – die Familie wird ihm wohl keine konkreten Zahlen nennen) auch nur halbwegs zutreffen, dann müßte die Familie (l.c. baut seine Spekulation auf das, was der Familie Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts an Vermögenswerten gehörte, und das wahlweise einmal mit 4% und einmal mit 8% verzinst) zwischen 1 und 499 Billionen Dollar an Vermögenswerten besitzen.

    Verweisen wir die zweite Zahl einfach ins Reich der Fiktion und nehmen ’nur‘ 1 Billion plus X an, dann definiert ‚die Familie‘ gegenüber allen anderen ‚Superreichen‘ schon mal eine eigene Liga, in der sie das einzige Mitglied ist. Zweitens galt der Aufruf von Gates und Buffett nur den ‚Milliardären‘ – die ‚Billionäre‘ brachen sich also nicht zu beteiligen. Edel & gut! Welche politische und gesellschaftliche Macht eine solche Kapitalakkumulation – sinnvoll angewendet – bedeutet, kann sich jeder selber ausmalen.

    Lassen wir die bei diesem Namen naheliegende Assoziation zum Judentum (egal ob ‚echt‘ oder ‚angenommen‘ oder sonstwie) einfach beiseite, dann bleibt der Punkt, das eine derartige Machtakkumulation (und von der Art der Macht ebenfalls abgesehen – also (Zentral-)Bankenmacht, Medienmacht, Universitäten etc.) in privaten Händen zwar für den, der sie besitzt duraus erfreulich sein mag … aber für alle anderen auf demselben Erdball kann es nicht gesund sein. Bei einem solchen Kapital, auch wenn es vor hundert Jahren entsprechend geringer war – relativ gesehen, war es auch damals schon überwältigend – kann der Gedanke, bei einem großen Krieg einfach alle Seiten zu finanzieren, weil man ohnehin nicht verlieren kann (denn wer immer der Sieger sein mag, preßt dem Verlierer den eigenen Anteil dann eben mit Gewalt ab) schon ausgesprochen nahe liegen.

    Und danach investiert man strategisch zunächst in die Entstehung von Ungleichgewicht (Russische Revolution), dann in ein Gegengewicht (NSDAP), wissend, daß aber beide Pole früher oder später in Konflikt mit dem dritten Pol (Frankreich, England) kommen müssen (und wer Geld hat, hat eben auch Zeit. Also wer ‚genügend Geld‘ hat natürlich). Und dann unterstützt man aus dem Heimatrevier (USA) die Partei, die einem am nächsten steht und die über die Siegesbeute dann ein zweites Mal die Tantiemen für die Unterstützung bezahlen kann (was waren eigentlich die deutschen Patente wert, die nach dem II. WK an die westl. Alliierten gingen?). Und da heißt es immer ‚Geld macht nicht glücklich’…

  • Sehr gut beschrieben meiner Ansicht nach – aber wer aus dem „Volk“ erfährt hierüber etwas und wen interessiert es auch tatsächlich ?
    Ich darf als Beispiel die Klimapolitik benennen. Obwohl es eindeutige Beweise für ganz drastische Lügenkomplexe z.B. beim IPCC gibt (man spricht von der größten Lüge aller Zeiten) kümmert sich das Volk hierum nicht und der sog. Mainstream gehorcht der Regierung und den anderen im Berliner Reichstagsparlament aufs Wort.
    Ganz klare Fakten welche gegen diese Klimahype und auch gegen die Energiepolitik sprechen bleiben total unbeachtet, weil das Wort Umweltschutz für diese Klimageschichte missbraucht wird.
    Erich Richter

  • Das Konzeption der Kräfte, die jene globale Transformierung in eine weltumspannende Ökodiktatur antreiben, stellt sich also nach dem hier
    Geäußerten so dar :
    Superreiche – Oligarchen – lassen sich von einer Klasse aus erwählten Managern, von einem professionellen Dienstadel, von beauftragten Kultur- und Ideologieformern –
    also nach dem Prinzip Teile und Herrsche – eine fertige Welt bestehend aus einer amorphen, weitgehend entkollektivierten, dekulturierten, entseelten Dienstmenschheit erschaffen, die ihnen dann eine Wahrscheinlichkeit auf gesicherte Reichtumserhaltung und Vermehrung bietet.
    Das wäre die Realisierung von Metropolis, die Matrix, die Orwell – Endphantasie – und es wäre auch irgendwie die Quersumme  aller Phantasien der James – Bond – Schurken.
    Ich gebe ja zu, daß sich Teilkomponenten der Entwicklung oberflächlich so darstellen.
    Aber ich banalisiere diese Vorstellung auch absichtlich, um sie kritisch zur Diskussion zu stellen – können Superreiche und ihre Think Tanks denn wirklich so dämlich sein ?
    Eine Rückkehr zu einer technotronisch – stalinistisch zentral dirigierten und über alle Ränder kontrolliert ausbalancierten Welt – ist ein intellektueller, aber auch kybernetisch total reaktionärer, dysfunktionaler Ansatz.
    Es gibt jenseits von einem Krysmanski Denker, Forscher, Soziologen, Wirtschaftswissenschaftler – die herausgearbeitet haben, wie unendlich überlegen ein System ist, daß die EINZELTRIEBE der EINZELINDIVIDUEN weitestmöglichst entfaltet und in die gesamtgesellschaftliche Wertschöpfung einbindet.
    So ein System haben wir  – noch – und daraus ist der – überwiegend westliche Reichtum entstanden.
    Und – das wissen die Reichen und das wissen ihre angestellten Ideologen.
    Es legt doch niemand so einfach Hand an die funktionierende, fundamentale Struktur
    aus der er sich selbst so prächtig ernährt und zerbricht sich den Kopf, wie er sie
    möglichst flächendeckend zerstören kann.
    „Die Verflüssigung der Gesellschaft ist gut für die Oligarchen“ – „die Kultur schlachten ist gut für den Kapitalismus“ – irgendwo ist es o, und irgendwo auch wieder nicht !!
    aber so durchgeknallt, daß als operativen Ansatz zu verfolgen können vielleicht ein paar Kokain durchstaubte Hedgefondsteams sein – aber doch nicht eine ganze Elite
    im geistigen Normalzustand. Oder ?
    Das gegenwärtige System – die gegenwärtige Welt bietet den Normalmenschen immer noch das Bestmögliche – und den Superreichen die Superprofite.
    Zu Erzeugung von Superprofiten braucht man möglichst fleißige Milliarden, die ihre Gehälter zurück in die Wirtschaft investieren und wie besessen kaufen.
    Auch die hohe Kunst des Derivatismus schafft diese Grundlage doch nicht ab –
    oder soll man annehmen, daß auf Oligarchen Ebene der Gedanke herrscht, Geld würde sich selbst bezahlen und vermehren – und der Rest sei Sklavenarbeit?
    Soll man  das annehmen ? Kokain ? Wahnsinn ? Hybris ? Dekadenz ? Spätrom ?
    Ich halte diese Erklärungen für zu romantisch – und gefährlich irreführend.

    Das zu den bisherigen Hegemonialmächten nun zwei bis vier neue stoßen – die BRIC`s – das treibt das System nur noch mehr an – und müßte die Welt nicht zwingend in Kriege stürzen – und auch nicht zwingend in eine denationalisierte Hyperstruktur.
    Das heißt, es gibt für die „Oligarchen“ eigentlich überhaupt keinen Grund, mit irgendeiner Wahnsinns  Umformung anzufangen, einer Hyper – Überwachung, mit
    Öko- und Planeten Paranoia.

    Ich möchte werben für die Sichtweise, daß es letztlich nicht genügend vernünftige Gründe gibt für das alles, was sich da in Richtung NWO bewegt.

    Mir erscheint die Theorie von den Oligarchen zu platt.

    Die Erklärung des laufenden Geschehens funktioniert nicht, ohne das Wirken jener Kräfte zu unterstellen, die gemeinhin Gegenstand der sogenannten Verschwörungstheorien sind.

    ES MUSS JEMAND ODER ETWAS ANDERES DAHINTERSTECKEN – ein Interesse, das weit
    über das gewöhnliche Bereicherungsinteresse hinausgeht.

  • „Das heißt, es gibt für die “Oligarchen” eigentlich überhaupt keinen Grund, mit irgendeiner Wahnsinns  Umformung anzufangen, einer Hyper – Überwachung, mit
    Öko- und Planeten Paranoia.“

    „Ich möchte werben für die Sichtweise, daß es letztlich nicht genügend vernünftige Gründe gibt für das alles, was sich da in Richtung NWO bewegt.“

    Wer spricht von Vernunft? Nur weil bestimmte Menschen besonders fähig auf bestimmten Gebieten sind – z.B. Ökonomie bzw. die ökonomische Verwertung ihrer Umwelt für eigene Interessen – müssen sie deshalb nicht das sein, was ‚man‘ sich landläufig unter ‚Vernunft‘ vorstellen mag. Nur ein (weiterer) Ansatz zur Erklärung scheinbar unerklärbaren Verhaltens…

    http://lupocattivoblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/pathokratie-wir-leben-in-einem-von-psychopathen-geschaffenen-system/

Schreib einen Kommentar

Buchladen
 Meine Bücher können in meinem Netzladen bestellt werden, auch mit persönlicher Widmung:
NEU: Die Besichtigung des Schlachtfelds
manfred-kleine-hartlage_besichtigung-des-schlachtfelds_720x600
Die Sprache der BRD. 131 Unwörter und ihre politische Bedeutung
Die Sprache der BRD
Die liberale Gesellschaft und ihr Ende. Über den Selbstmord eines Systems
Die liberale Gesellschaft
Dschihadsystem kleine-hartlage 30_neue-weltordnung_285x255
 Außerdem verfügbar
kurtagic warum konservative immer verlieren Kurtagic: Warum Konservative immer verlieren
Neueste Kommentare
Kommentatorenregistrierung
Wer sich registrieren möchte, um kommentieren zu können, schicke mir bitte unter Kontakt eine kurze Mitteilung mit dem gewünschten Benutzernamen. Das Benutzerkonto wird dann so schnell wie möglich eingerichtet. Dieses Verfahren ist aus Sicherheitsgründen erforderlich.