In a recent interview with the New York Times, Bono, the world-famous rocker and lead singer of the band U2, spoke about some of his activism and politics. But instead of voicing his more usual left-leaning views, Bono actually noted that capitalism has its benefits and that he has been trying to work with both the left and right sides of the political spectrum to get aid work done.
The 62-year-old Irish rock star, born Paul David Hewson, has a legacy of activism and charity work, particularly focused on Third-World countries struggling with poverty and medical crises like AIDS, Look to the Stars reported.
Bono has created multiple foundations to help impoverished countries, such as the ONE Campaign, which leads campaigns against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
The U2 leader also co-founded (RED) to fight AIDS and deliver medicine to poverty-stricken regions, and DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), which is a group that raises awareness and solutions to combat poverty and health problems throughout Africa.
But despite Bono’s passion for fighting poverty, he has not always been an advocate of capitalism as a solution to economic problems and poverty.
In 2019, Bono told CNBC News at the World Economic Forum that capitalism is “a wild beast, and if not tamed, can and has chewed up a lot of lives,” and that even if it does help people, “We need to re-imagine it, repurpose it, remake it, in our own image and the image of this new generation coming through that really, really want their world back.”
But in his most recent interview with the Times, which he did to promote his upcoming memoir, “Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story,” Bono made even more starkly positive comments about capitalism, portraying that his thinking has changed over the decades.
In the interview, which was published Monday, Bono said that when he first got involved in charity, he had a more socialistic view that has since changed.
“I ended up as an activist in a very different place from where I started. I thought that if we just redistributed resources, then we could solve every problem. I now know that’s not true,” he told the Times.
“There’s a funny moment when you realize that as an activist: The off-ramp out of extreme poverty is, ugh, commerce, it’s entrepreneurial capitalism. I spend a lot of time in countries all over Africa, and they’re like, Eh, we wouldn’t mind a little more globalization actually. I would point out that there has been a lot of progress over the years,” Bono said.
Bono still admitted that capitalism can be a wild force, but that there is a need for any ideology that will bring jobs and prosperity to those who need it.
“Capitalism is a wild beast. We need to tame it. But globalization has brought more people out of poverty than any other -ism. If somebody comes to me with a better idea, I’ll sign up. I didn’t grow up to like the idea that we’ve made heroes out of businesspeople, but if you’re bringing jobs to a community and treating people well, then you are a hero. That’s where I’ve ended up,” the rockstar said.
Bono also spoke about the role of “activism” versus “actualism” and how he has seen the importance of dropping political biases in order to work toward a bigger goal.
“I thought it was important for me to show that, and also how it works to be an activist. I often instead use the word ‘actualist,’ because activists sometimes like to stay on the outside and criticize, whereas the ‘actualist’ wants to get [expletive] done. I found that if I was ready to drop some biases, coming from the left to work with the right, we could get stuff done,” Bono told the Times.
He said he is ready to drop political stances, even if it loses him popularity.
“I know it will lose some music fans, but it was important for me to have that in there,” Bono added.
In light of Bono’s comments, many have taken to Twitter to support his new view on capitalism and argue that socialistic ideology is not what will lift up impoverished people.
“Every single ‘redistribution socialist’ needs to read this. From a man who has been banding behind the redistribution message for close on two decades,” VT, an author and African investor, tweeted.
Every single “redistribution socialist” needs to read this. From a man who has been banding behind the redistribution message for close on two decades.
Entrepreneurial Capitalism is the answer.
Bono Is Still Trying to Figure Out U2 and Himself https://t.co/H6hPPsJOwg
— VT (@VusiThembekwayo) October 24, 2022
“Congratulations to Bono for discovering capitalism,” another user tweeted.
Congratulations to Bono for discovering capitalism https://t.co/HIflyhk2YB
— Ari Hoffman (@thehoffather) October 25, 2022
It remains to be seen whether Bono revealed more of his new thinking on capitalism in his memoir.
The rock star’s book will be released on Nov. 1, the Times reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.