The catalyst for a recent column by David Brooks was a speech delivered by his New York Times colleague Anand Giridharadas at the Aspen Action Forum. (Giridharadas writes the Letter from America column for the Global Edition of the Times) Giridharadas questioned the “Aspen Consensus” that the wealthy and powerful, the benefactors of the Aspen Institute, could be asked to “do more good” but not to “do less harm”. He challenged his well-to-do, well-intentioned audience not to settle for making “an unjust and unpalatable system a little more digestible” and confront the “underlying system” that has created massive inequality and injustice. In short, he bluntly urged his audience to be “traitors to our class.”
Giridharadas received a standing ovation.
Brooks was collegially horrified, particularly by what he saw as Giridharadas’ inevitable embrace of government being “more heavily involved.”