One of the big debates in the United States today is the uncomfortable role of money in politics, and the concern that it undermines democracy. It’s a question that echoes in many countries around the world.
One hundred years ago, that same question was debated heatedly when John D. Rockefeller proposed devoting a large portion of his wealth to enabling social change and progress. In 1913, when The Rockefeller Foundation was founded, many argued that Rockefeller wealth seemed poised to undermine the democratic character of American institutions. Under the shadow of public concern, the trustees of The Rockefeller Foundation launched programs to strengthen American political institutions, promote equal opportunity in a plural society, and reinforce a shared sense of national identity. Read more here…Democracy & Philanthropy: The American Experiment : The Rockefeller Foundation.