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

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    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.
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030205652
    ISBN (Print)9783030205645
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Publication series

    SeriesPalgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements


    • Adult education
    • Capitalism
    • Corporate philanthropy
    • Democracy
    • Management education
    • Re-education


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