What if American Exceptionalism, properly understood, really boils down to associational liberty? This question seemed apt after my read of the current volume of the excellent journal for all things philanthropy, Conversations on Philanthropy. This volume is a series of timely and historical reflections on law and philanthropy. Of pertinent interest to me are two essays: Bill Dennis’ “A Radical Reform for Nonprofit Tax Exemption” and Steven Grosby’s “Philanthropy, Law, and Associational Liberty: A Few Remarks on Gierke’s Genossenschaftsrecht.” I want to discuss Grosby’s essay here, but before I do that, the epigraph from Dennis’ essay by Richard Cornuelle is worth repeating in part: The foundation is an instrument forged by citizens who transfer profit from the commercial sector and put it directly to work as risk capital for the general betterment of society. To say or imply that the foundation exists only on the sufferance of government is to reason from the premise that the government is the whole of society.