Bono Capitalism Statement, African Aid Actions Criticized By Socialists

Bono’s capitalism statement sent socialists into a tizzy recently.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Bono’s capitalism remarks actually took place last year during a F.ounders tech conference in Dublin:

“Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure. Entrepreneurship is the most sure way of development.”

Bono has continued to rally people to “protest poverty” in Africa. He has been trying to raise startup money and investment in third world countries. Most media outlets at the time applauded Bono saying capitalism works to end poverty. But not all of them did, with some claiming these “types of ineffective, top-down social engineering” only promote dependency.

Bono’s capitalism statement is apparently still bothering socialists, with a recent blog post claiming, “for nearly three decades as a public figure, Bono has been … amplifying elite discourses, advocating ineffective solutions, patronizing the poor and kissing the arses of the rich and powerful”. They claim Bono’s capitalistic approach to Africa is “a slick mix of traditional missionary and commercial colonialism, in which the poor world exists as a task for the rich world to complete.” They believe Bono “seized the political space which might otherwise have been occupied by the Africans” and the “poor are not invited to speak.”

Another blog attacks the statement from Bono about capitalism by claiming his “optimistic message about the trajectory of poverty eradication, and the reasons for it, is a flimsy tissue of truths, half-truths and statistics, conveniently skewed to suggest that he and his Western partners in Africa (governments, corporations, foundations) have been doing a great job entirely.” They defy the claims of Bono who says extreme poverty, which is defined as living on less than $1.25 per day, halved from 1990 to 2010. Instead, critics focus on economic equality and how the divide between the extreme rich and extreme poor has grown.

Critics of Bono focus on World Bank statistics that point out if you exclude the rapid economic growth of China, then the amount of people stuck in extreme poverty has increased by 13 million. They note sub-Saharan African poverty rose from 10.5 percent to 30 percent by 2008. But they also note poverty in Latin America and east Asia has fallen by 40 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

Do you agree with Bono that capitalism will eventually lead to the end of poverty?