Philanthropies have emerged as a new power in national and international development. Perceived by many as “doing good”, they fail to meet what they promise. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is a role model of how private interests camouflaged as philanthropies help individuals getting wealthier and ever more powerful, undermining the most fundamental principle of modern societies, democracy.
Isn’t it nice to learn that Bill Gates who has made billions of dollars with Microsoft is distributing money to the poor, caring for them as he were mother Teresa? I bet you feel like so many others very touched reading that in developing countries the The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.” Other than often claimed, life is just and all the money Bill Gates earned is now being spent for a good purpose. No need to worry about the billions Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest made from mining (and by not paying enough taxes) neither, like Gates he only wants the best. Jesus is not dead; he is here among us in the form of multimillionaires sharing and caring for the poorest on this planet. Or so it seems. Unfortunately, that is only one side of the story.
The Gates Foundation supports the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is supposed to work in the interest of the poorest. At the same time, the foundation is closely linked to multinationals such as Monsanto, DuPont and its branch CropLife International, all heavily involved in genetically modified (GM) crops and biotechnology. Owning shares in companies such as ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical and Monsanto, the Gates Foundation also formed a partnership with Cargill and helped them to introduce GM soy in Africa. Together with their partners The Coca-Cola Company, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Nestlé-Nespresso, Olam International, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Unilever they set up a project that aims at introducing so-called “modern” technology. Together with the Rockefeller Foundation the Gates Foundation further founded the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), supported by IFAD.
Knowing his background and learning that Gates believes in “a generation of new technologies to create the possibility of sustainable intensification of agriculture”, it’s easy to guess that AGRA will likely work in the interest of Gates’ GM partners and the stakes of companies he owns.
With his Microsoft monopoly Bill Gates has long proven to be a very smart magnate controlling crowds all over the planet. Instead of providing programs that they improved over time, Microsoft have published ever new faulty versions every year or so, burdening millions of companies and households with expenses for unnecessary updates that create more problems than the newer versions solve. It’s this money he took from us in an unethical way that he uses for a so called “good purpose”, according to the formula put forward by Andrew Forrest: ”invest in their businesses, and then take that extra challenging step and invest in their communities”.
Everyone understanding and believing in democracy will agree that this is not the right way to go. Businesses should work with the community, not stealing their money and then giving back part of it according to self-made rules and conditions. This is a form of modern tyranny. In a true democracy, businesses and particularly natural resources that belong to the peoples should be taxed correctly in order to distribute wealth according to the rules set up by the community. In today’s democracies it’s exactly the other way round: companies blackmail governments to steal whatever they can and then use it according to their pleasures.
The UN has been introduced as the voice for the global community who started to lose out in a world ruled by pure interests of the business world which in turn is being controlled by a few individuals. If people like Bill Gates start to infiltrate their agribusiness partners into UN programs with the aim of controlling the food of millions of people, then that is simply unacceptable.