Bono, the Irish songwriter and lead singer of the rock band U2, said he was wrong about how Socialism could solve every problem. Bono’s newfound outlook toward Capitalism caused quite a reaction from social media users.
Bono, the lead singer of U2, has been notably a left-leaning activist for most of his career. That’s why it was somewhat shocking to many of his fans when he did a complete reversal about Socialism. In an interview with The New York Times, the iconic musician and humanitarian talked about starting out as a left-wing activist but eventually realizing that capitalism is the best answer to crushing poverty, The Blaze reported.
“I ended up as an activist in a very different place from where I started,” Bono explained. “I thought that if we just redistributed resources, then we could solve every problem. I now know that’s not true. 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.”
The Grammy winner, who was born Paul David Hewson, also slammed those who reflexively bash business leaders, ignoring how important they are for the greater good. “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.”
Bono also said he doesn’t like seeing people wear shirts with the visage of Che Guevara, the communist fighter who helped a dictatorship seize control of Cuba. “I still don’t like Che Guevara T-shirts. [Expletive] Che Guevara,” he said. According to Hollywood reporter Christian Toto, Bono rejecting Che Guevara is “a no-no in far-Left circles.”
“Bono also spoke of reaching across the aisle, praising anew President George W. Bush’s efforts to fight HIV in Africa. He admits doing so may lose the group some fans, but so be it,” Toto added. “The conversation found Bono, whose politics had leaned to the Left, admitting a hard truth for Times readers to hear. Socialism isn’t the global panacea we need. Capitalism, warts and all, is the better option.”
In a video he published about his charity work, Bono expressed similar sympathy for business and commerce. “[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.”
Social media users sounded off in support of Bono’s realization about Socialism and Capitalism.
“Bet that was a tough pill to swallow,” posted one Twitter user. “It’s never easy to admit the ideology you believed in for so long was ill-considered if not flat-out wrong.”
Another user said: “If Bono were a US citizen and registered to vote, he would, of course, be registered as a Republican – now that he understands.”
Some on social media claimed “it’s about time” in response to Bono’s sudden about-face.
“Most of us that work, do not want our hard-earned money redistributed. Glad U2 has finally come to the same conclusion,” posted one fan.
“Considering it made him filthy rich, that’s a remarkable revelation,” wrote Twitter user Phil McGuire. “How many rock stars are there in China and Russia? Why are (were in Bono’s case?) some of the most strident socialists among the most successful capitalists, none of whom have repudiated their wealth or power?”
U2 fan Pat Minturn posted: “Better late than never. I’ve always felt he had genuine compassion, albeit misguided at times.”
Although Bono is a multi-millionaire today, he grew up in Northern Ireland which is known for its poverty and political upheaval. The band’s most overtly political song is Bloody Sunday, which is designed to transport the listener into real-life 1970’s war-torn Northern Ireland where on one Sunday in 1972 British Soldiers shot 26 unarmed Irish civilians. It’s been noted that Bono’s outlook on poverty and politics comes directly from growing up in that era.
His reversal on supporting Socialism and the redistribution of wealth was an overall shocker, says reporter Christian Toto, who added: “Bono blasted activists who love breaking stuff but can’t be bothered getting their hands dirty to make things happen. Systemic change demands hard work, he says, and not everyone is up to the task.”