As anybody who has ever used Wikipedia knows, the site is constantly begging for donations, frequently with obtrusive banners.
These appeals have worked: The Wikimedia Foundation has pulled in millions of dollars, even as the cost of web hosting (about $2.5 million/year) has remained constant. As it turns out, less than half of the Wikimedia budget has anything to do with running Wikipedia.
With the rest of the money, the Foundation have vastly expanded their staff; the organisation now employs 400 people and by the end of 2021 they had accumulated over $230 million in assets. Because they now have vastly more money and more people than they need to run a crowd-sourced encyclopedia, they have become a grant-making institution. Many of their staff run things like the Wikimedia Alliances Fund, which “supports organisations that can contribute toward the strategic direction of the Wikimedia Movement, especially those that promote knowledge equity.”
Many Wikimedia grant recipients are absolutely atrocious. … They have a YouTube channel sporting 5 videos and 177 subscribers, and an equally deserted blog that has been mostly dormant since 2022. Somewhat more serious is Borealis Philanthropy, a leftoid culture war operation that has partnered with Black Lives Matter and in 2021 had total revenue of $83.9 million. Their “Racial Equity in Journalism Fund” received $250,000 from the Wikimedia Foundation in 2021 “to support US-based journalism organizations led by and for people of color.”
Again, it helps to concentrate on what the Wikimedia Foundation have not done with the vast money Wikipedia users have given them. They have not taken the high road and poured the excessive donations into Wikipedia itself, which is surely what the their donors expected them to do. Nor have Wikimedia management simply lined their pockets with the funds, though I have no doubt they’re all compensated well in excess of their talents. Instead, we see again the ominous middle path: The institution itself has absorbed the money and expanded its managerial staff beyond all necessity.
While the Wikimedia Foundation surely hope to further their political goals with their dumb grant-making, the bewildering variety of funds, projects and initiatives they run has a much more immediate purpose, in that it gives the bloated organisation something to do. In fact a great many of these philanthropic organisations, viewed with a more cynical eye, seem to exist primarily as make-work projects for staff who pass money around among themselves.
(By the way, did you know that Elon Musk offered Wikipedia $1 billion to change their name to “Dickipedia” for a year? Musk was feuding with them over their ridiculously slanted pro-Palestinian take.
Musk wrote: “Please fix Wokipedia” …
“Have you ever wondered why the Wikimedia Foundation wants so much money? It certainly isn’t needed to operate Wikipedia. You can literally fit a copy of the entire text on your phone! So, what’s the money for? Inquiring minds want to know…”
Posting a photo of Wikipedia’s donation plea, Musk wrote: “I will give them a billion dollars if they change their name to Dickipedia,” going on to call it “a stiff & firm offer”. )
After more examples, Eugyppius concludes:
Managerialism is an ever-advancing process of decay masquerading as an administrative system, and it has become a defining pathology of Western civilisation. Our lives are run by massive institutions in thrall to complex forces beyond all human understanding, which every day become more convoluted, unpredictable and self-serving. This parasitic, tumorous growth now commands the resources of a great part of the economy, and it uses these resources to grow itself still further. Worst of all, nobody has any idea about how to stop it, let alone reverse its terrible progress. …
There is a Principle of Managerial Self-Multiplication at work here. Increased funding is used first and foremost to expand those sectors of the bureaucracy which have initial control over these funds, and secondarily to give the expanded bureaucracy something to do. …
As money enters a sufficiently elaborate institutional apparatus, there are endless opportunities for bureaucrats to direct the funds towards their own, internal purposes. Complexity plays a central role here; where no single person can comprehend how the institution as a whole functions, spending decisions become impossible to direct towards any rational purpose. Over time, the resources are commandeered in service of the separate, institutionally mediated goals of the managers, who strive above all to expand their own ranks.
Hence the woke world of midwits and big government. They benefited from the great expansion of universities and lowered entry standards, got cheap credentials whose value they overestimate, then bully and overwhelm society with their numbers and their rudeness — not their talent or correctness. Hence their need to overturn western civilization, censor anyone who knows better, and always support the “oppressed” against any the brighter or more talented group (or as they called them, the “oppressors”). Talk about overproduction of “elites” (indeed, legends in their own lunchtimes).