The Gates Foundation – a facade for unsustainable goals?
The public perception of Bill Gates is that of a great philanthropist. Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he has donated, granted, and invested billions of dollars worldwide in health organizations (including as the major donor to the World Health Organization), medical schools, non-profits, media, and other industries, organizations, and companies. Gates reaches out to the neediest and poorest of peoples and countries to improve their lives, and is involved in world affairs, ostensibly, to try and make things better. He is most recently recognized as the “man at the helm” addressing the Covid-19 crisis.
While the public’s eyes are focused on Gates, as he represents himself, French journalist, Lionel Astruc, investigated the Gates Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, which funds the Foundation. In an interview (below) he explains that the Foundation practices something he terms philanthro-capitalism. The Gates Foundation has investments in companies that it donates money to.
… philanthro-capitalism puts at the centre of its operation large companies, multinationals and especially capitalistic and commercial methods. And so, if philanthropy is fueling the business that makes them rich.
He also found that Gates does not practice what he preaches. In February 2010, Bill Gates gave a TedTalk called Innovating to Zero. He said that we are using too much energy and are creating too much carbon dioxide. In his opinion, the world has to eliminate all production of carbon dioxide or the climate will get too hot, which would be worst for the poorer nations.
So you’ve got a thing on the left, CO2, that you want to get to zero, and that’s going to be based on the number of people, the services each person is using on average, the energy, on average, for each service, and the CO2 being put out per unit of energy.
Gates’s solution, aside from limiting population growth, is to find new sources of energy:
So let’s look at this fourth factor — this is going to be a key one — and this is the amount of CO2 put out per each unit of energy.So the question is:Can you actually get that to zero? If you burn coal, no. If you burn natural gas, no. Almost every way we make electricity today, except for the emerging renewables and nuclear, puts out CO2. And so, what we’re going to have to do at a global scale, is create a new system. So we need energy miracles. … The microprocessor is a miracle. The personal computer is a miracle. The Internet and its services are a miracle. … This is a case where we actually have to drive at full speed and get a miracle in a pretty tight timeline1.
The Trust also invests in pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical industry produces vaccines; Gates said early on during the pandemic that we won’t be able to go back to normal until there’s a vaccine given to basically everyone on the planet.
Other Trust investments, such as in GMOs, Monsanto, Coca Cola, and others, also do not enhance human existence and improve conditions for the poorest. Instead, they make wealthy companies, and Gates, wealthier. at the expense of those he claims to want to help.
Astruc has written a book “The Art of False Generosity” about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Listen as he reveals the truth about the world’s greatest philanthropist.
English subtitles. English YouTube transcript below.
What you’ve just seen is the trailer of a rather laudatory documentary about Bill Gates, presented as one of the greatest philanthropists of the world.
Lionel Astruc, Good Morning.
– Good morning.
– You’re a writer and journalist, you published “The Art of False Generosity”… on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, published by Actes Sud.
An investigative book that reveals a little bit of the world’s most powerful foundation’s hidden side and Bill Gates’ pseudo generosity. What’s your reaction seeing this excerpt from the documentary?
– To tell you the truth, it’s that kind of message that pushed me to write the book. They’re overdoing so much that… We will see the documentary when it comes out, it’s just a trailer, but you can already see that it’s going to be a very soft hagiography, very smooth, which is going to show us a man which is closer to god than to normal man, you can see it in this trailer.
Actually, I’ve read some articles, including in magazine supplements devoted to sponsorship with journalists who were specialized etc. who continued to present Bill Gates as if he was an example of generosity. He has become a kind of measurement standard of what great generosity is. Every time we talk about philanthropy, or patronage: “Oh, yeah, it’s like Bill Gates who gives so much” and so forth. I knew already, before starting the investigation,
a little bit of what was hidden behind the scene, at one point I found it unbearable and so I started this investigation.
– In the book you develop a term, philanthro-capitalism, can you explain to us what it is?
– Yes, philanthro-capitalism, it’s a mix of generosity and capitalism… and the idea of the proponents of this movement all of whom are all very, very wealthy, They’re going to be able to, through generosity, do business, and it’s also the idea that, ultimately, they think that current philanthropy is not effective enough and, in order for it to be more effective, it would need to use the methods of capitalism. What it implies is that philanthro-capitalism puts at the centre of its operation large companies, multinationals and especially capitalistic and commercial methods. And so, if philanthropy is fueling the business that makes them rich. They’re fine with it. So there’s no calls into question social justice, there’s no calls into question the system.
– What’s crazy is that the foundation’s money comes from investments from large companies that contribute to world poverty, can you explain it to us?
– The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s funding, it’s true that, what you see from the outside, it feels like there’s very large donations being made,
we, as journalists, we just have to analyze the facts and the facts are that between 2011 and 2019, Bill Gates’ fortune went from 56 billion to 96 billion euros. So it’s increased by 40 billion in 8 years. You can’t tell that he’s stripping himself for the poor. So, how does he increase his wealth to such an astronomical extent and, at the same time, make it look like that he is generous to the whole world… and that he’s the most generous man.
Actually, it’s an investment system, just like you said. These investments are made through what is called a “trust”, that is to say an investment fund.
The foundation is backed by an investment fund and this fund places money, and it’s only the dividends from these investments which will then fuel the foundation, you have to understand this. That, by the way, is not a problem if the investments are really beyond reproach. or if the investments themselves contribute to the social and solidarity economy. But where does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s trust invest? It invests in armaments and notably a jewel of British armaments called BAE system, a lot in fossil fuels, you should know that this fund invests in 35 of the 200 largest emitters of greenhouse gases companies, including pharmaceutical companies, GMOs, Monsanto of course, and junk food with Coca-Cola, Mc Donald’s etc. Is really investing in those companies, encourage them, give them the means to develop, I’m thinking of fossil fuels, for example, is this really an act of philanthropy? Are we really gonna get through this with that kind of behavior? I don’t think so.
– The Gates Foundation covers a wide range of areas such as health, education and agriculture, but then under the guise of philanthropy, that’s what you reveal in the book. in fact, his foundation helps mainly major groups to conquer markets, like Coca-Cola for example.
– Yeah, that’s what’s really…
The deeper we get into this, the further we go in the checks, observation, the analysis of this great structure… which has several floors, we understand that now, the more we realize that everything is, indeed, dedicated to large companies and multinationals. And that involves conflict of interest, on both a large and small scale, but let’s start by the small scale:
We find that companies that are in the trust’s investments of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, therefore, who receive investments from the foundation, are also among the beneficiaries of the donations. So there’s a real problem here. It means that they give money to a company that’s going to bring them some, that’s not what I call generosity.
We have several cases where we can really check it out without any problem. including Coca Cola, which in 2014, received 538 Million in trust investments from the Gates Foundation and which also benefited from programs to train 50,000 farmers so that they can cultivate passion fruit.
It was happening in Kenya. For Monsanto, it’s an even bigger conflict of interest… so much so that a former high-ranking official from Monsanto: Rob Horsch is part of the foundation team today.
So the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Africa, it’s truly the Trojan horse of GMOs and Monsanto. So effectively, giving to companies like Monsanto, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, I don’t think that this is a method that’s going to make us change paradigm and come up with a real solution.
– Yes, above all, the foundation helps mostly NGOs based in the United States, it does not help NGOs that headquarters are in Africa.
– That’s very interesting, it’s an observation that has been made by a British scientific journal “The Lancet” which realized two things, they’re more health-oriented, But they realized that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which showed a very close relationship with Africa, you often see Bill Gates and his wife with Africans etc. In fact, they don’t trust at all what takes place in Africa nor trust the Africans themselves nor the population they help generally. They’d rather that their money go through rich countries. And in reality, only 5% of the money that they’re giving reach destination.
The consequences of that are, those Africans he doesn’t trust at all, and to which he claims to bring solutions from the top without asking them their opinion cannot develop their infrastructure for research, care, etc.
They are obliged to accept missions that either come from major U.N. agencies or big NGOs. Which is even more pernicious, where it meets conflict of interest, is that we also realize that when, and that’s the Lancet again, this scientific journal that says so, when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation selects programs to be funded, it prefers to fund programs that will lead to the creation of markets rather than others who will empower people in trouble.
In this case, we see it every time that there are two solutions:
a locally made natural remedy
and a vaccine that’s going to be sold by a large foreign lab and a rich country at that, Well, the Gates Foundation chooses the diseases that call for the opening of markets and the creation of vaccines.
– Yeah, that, can we be more specific, can you explain, is it malaria vaccines?
– Yes, the case did arise with malaria specifically where actually there’s a method that has been proven to work which is artemisia, which is a plant that you can drink as herbal tea and can therefore be cultivated by local small farmers, if it’s administered properly, It works really well. We’ve got test subjects, we’ve got studies which validate this treatment,
and then we have a vaccine called Mosquirix, produced by GSK and it’s true that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has used its influence with the WHO, influence that is decisive, so that the vaccines are chosen over the tea, even to ban artemisia.
– Also, Bill Gates, has got an idea in his head:
“the salvation of the world will come through technology.”
– Little by little, dismantling this great structure I’ve come to care more and more… to the psychology of Bill Gates, because I think he’s sincere in his approach, which is perhaps the most serious finding because that means he’ll go all the way, he really believes in it, he’s not in a process to fool everyone, In fact, he’s fooled himself by his own obsession and indeed his obsession is technology. And when I say that I tried to put myself in his place and understand his psychology. You have to understand that it’s someone who managed to become “the world ruler”, so to speak, thanks to technology, that is to say, that moment when he monopolized computer science knowledge which in reality was a common heritage back then and he monopolized it he charged for something which was free back then And he also had this hunch and this pretty amazing ability to work that made him walk in front of everyone… and that he built monopolies around computers, that’s what made him what he is today. And so for him, technology is unbeatable. that’s why he likes vaccines, that’s why he likes phones, computer science, for him, that’s the solution.
Now, as Albert Einstein said:
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. And it’s exactly what Bill Gates is doing And that’s really dangerous, which means it’s with someone like that that is well-known by the population very well known as an example of generosity, a genius, It’s really with that kind of person that we can be pushed to the brink of collapse quicker than it should.
– As you said, most of the funding that are made by the foundation in Africa, are for commercial purposes, he decided to import the idea of a patent…
he’s trying to impose on the states the idea of patenting everything whatever the foundation.
– In fact, he has a double strategy in Africa whose purpose is to impose commercial seeds, patented seeds, GMOs and that technique consist in saying, in a very hypocritical way, that there’s no problem, free and peasant’seeds let’s them grow, let’s them continue, but us next door, we’re going to develop commercial seeds. He’s actually lobbying very hard with African governments. And the more these commercial seeds are accepted in Africa,
the tougher the regulation becomes, The more free seeds are marginalized, which means that the more you have commercial seeds, the more difficult it is for peasant’seeds to be accepted from a regulatory point of view, which means he’s trying to crush, with a legal weapon, free seed.
And the second strategy he employs in Africa and it’s been seen in Malawi, among other places, is that his foundation, claiming to help small seed distributor, is actually going to train them in the sale of commercial seeds and increase the proportion of seeds, especially from Monsanto, sold in these places…
And you can see that, with numbers to back it up, he increases Monsanto’s revenue in those countries.
– You also say that what gets him so much media acclaim, is the leverage he can get on them through money invested in the media.
– What really surprised me at the beginning of this investigation, is to see the lack of critical thinking against Bill Gates, the people who are going to read this book, if they watch the documentary trailer afterwards, keeping judgement after watching the actual documentary (but the trailer leaves little doubt) will see that there is such an abyss between this polished image that was sent to us all over the world, and reality, that’s what made me react. Indeed, I asked myself the question: “How did he… ”
There’s one very surprising moment, that is, in the late’90s, in 1998, he was taken to court by the U.S. government because he was abusing his dominant position to impose his Internet Explorer software and put Netscape aside. He has engaged in very violent practices against other companies, and this… I mean… when you’re taken to court by the U.S. government because you’re doing too much for capitalism, it means you went really really far in the savagery of capitalism. But it’s been a trial… here we kind of missed it, and that’s why there’s still this watered-down image of Bill Gates. And over there, it’s been broadcast everywhere. and people were tuned in, they were in front of their TVs and they’d see Bill Gates in front of the judges.
There have been great, eloquent silences from Bill Gates, because at some point, you can be a genius, a gifted one, but when you get caught hand in the cookie jar, you can’t answer anymore.
Where i’m getting is that… this was happening in 1998, Bill Gates had this image of an economic predator… that he was and that he still is. And in 2000, he became the most generous man in the world. He’s on the cover of major American magazines and so on. They say, “Wow, this is amazing, he’s going to give away his entire fortune”. We’ve seen that that’s not true at the beginning of this interview, and what really struck me was: how is it possible to do such an image flip so quickly?
Bill Gates used several things but I think the most interesting thing to analyze, is self-censorship. He’s giving so much money that when the problems are there, they keep them quiet. This is something really important, you should also know in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there is a communication budget which is downright colossal.
– Can it be said today that the foundation is as powerful as a country for example?
– It’s more powerful than a lot of countries actually. Bill Gates particularly, not to be confused with its foundation, Bill Gates is richer than 45 of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. That is to say that the continent is a playground for him. And in many areas, health, agriculture, the foundation’s budget is bigger than the aid budget of many countries. The effects of this can be seen, for example, at the WHO where, being one of the largest donor,
he controls important decisions…
– The World Health Organization.
–… on important decisions and on the strategic lines that are taken by the WHO. It’s a democratic problem, this practice of philanthro-capitalism allows a multi-billionaire to take control of matter such as environmental protection and health.
– Will we ever be able to stop him?
– I hope so, but I think that he’s taking advantage of some kind of legal vacuum. That is, when you have a foundation, there are many things that are possible and would not be if the budget was submitted to other institutions and/or more to the citizens, so it’s really up to us to protect ourselves from him.
– Thank you Lionel Astruc, let me remind you that your book “The Art of False Generosity” on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
– Thank you – Goodbye.
Watch on YouTube
|↑1||Innovating to Zero. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaF-fq2Zn7I|