Humanizing Capitalism: The Educational Mission of the Ford Foundation in West Germany and the United States (1945–1960)

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Abstract

Corporate philanthropy operates within the tension of criticizing a capitalist system it simultaneously promulgates. The clash of moral values takes place within philanthropies and in response to their activities, which are key in the diffusion of moralities of capitalism. In the Cold war period, the Ford Foundation was a key player in globally spreading the idea of free enterprise as fundamental to democracy. In the Cold war, the Foundation criticized authoritarian versions of capitalism that exalted individual instead of collective responsibility. Three arenas of the Ford Foundation’s attempts at humanizing capitalism are examined: in post-war Germany, through the American strategy of emphasizing ‘modern’ industrial relations, subsequently domestically through its big idealistic liberal adult education project, which presumed free enterprise, while striving for transcendence of the shortcomings of consumerist society; finally, by reforming business and management education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoralizing Capitalism
Subtitle of host publicationAgents, Discourses and Practices of Capitalism and Anti-Capitalism in the Modern Age
EditorsStefan Berger, Alexandra Przyrembel
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Chapter5
Pages135-158
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030205652
ISBN (Print)9783030205645
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

SeriesPalgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements

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de Jong, W. (2019). Humanizing Capitalism: The Educational Mission of the Ford Foundation in West Germany and the United States (1945–1960). In S. Berger, & A. Przyrembel (Eds.), Moralizing Capitalism : Agents, Discourses and Practices of Capitalism and Anti-Capitalism in the Modern Age (pp. 135-158). Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.. Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-20565-2_6