Originally a socialist, rock singer Bono now says that over the years he has come to realize that capitalism is the only way to get people out of poverty, and not left-wing wealth redistribution schemes.
The lead singer for chart-topping Irish rock band U2 made the comments that is angering the left during a new interview with the New York Times on Monday where he talked of how he started his political activism as a hard, left-winger. But now he realizes that his early ideas were woefully mistaken.
“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,” Bono explained.
“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,” he added. “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.”
Angering the left even more, Bono even called businessmen heroes for bringing useful jobs to people.
“Capitalism is a wild beast. We need to tame it,” Bono said. “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.”
Then he committed the next sin as far as the left is concerned: he dissed Che Guevara.
“I still don’t like Che Guevara T-shirts. F*ck Che Guevara,” he said.
In a video posted back in 2017, Bono noted that businesses get an unfair rap from leftists.
“[We have a] snobby attitude about business and big business, we sort of demonize it,” he said. “And actually, you know, you go to the developing world and jobs are the most dignifying thing that you could offer somebody. Because people have work, they can sort out their own problems.”