One of the richest couples in the world, the Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, have pledged to give away 95 per cent of their fortune to aid projects. Do you welcome the support of philanthropists or should governments do more? - bbc
You could say that philanthropy is not unlike saying an 'our father' and '10 hail marys' as penance and then going out and doing what it takes to be given the same penance for absolution another day.
At the end of the day, viewing philanthropy as 'philanthropy' helps people move on from questioning after the justification for the existence of the filthy rich by way of getting us to thank them for giving back part of the loot. It's a movement from, 'Isn't his taking for himself the fruits of everyone's labour wrong'? to, 'thank you for giving us a portion of the fruits of another's labour. What a great bloke you are'.
So, is philanthropy still important?
Yes it is.
Philanthropy serves to maintain a system that requires philanthropy as a means by which society is periodically relieved of the consequences of said system. In that, philanthropy is an investment by the rich today in the continued enslavement of the peoples of tomorrow.