Bono and the 'Elevation' of Capitalism

August 15, 2013 - 11:03 AM

“Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. Of course we know that.”

The quotes are almost a year old but recently they have been receiving some elevation (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

A video of U2 lead singer Bono speaking at Georgetown on November 12 of last year has recently gone viral.

“Rock star preaches capitalism. Wow. Sometimes I hear myself and I just can’t believe it,” Bono said at the event.

“But commerce is real. That’s what you’re about here. It’s real. Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid,” Bono continued, “Of course we know that.”

While some find a celebrity praising capitalism shocking, it wasn’t the first time Bono had discussed the power of commerce.

On October 19, 2012 the singer told the audience at the F.ounders conference in Dublin that it was a “humbling thing” to learn the power of commerce.

According to Forbes, Bono discussed how his views on philanthropy had now stretched to include an appreciation for capitalism.

“Job creators and innovators are just the key, and aid is just a bridge,” Bono told the audience, “We see it as startup money, investment in new countries. A humbling thing was to learn the role of commerce.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that this was reported in Forbes. Bono and his five partners in the Elevation Partners equity group have had a 40% stake in Forbes Media since 2006.

It would seem Bono’s view of capitalism was elevated some time ago.