Davos 2019: Bono tells protesters ‘capitalism is not immoral – it’s amoral’

The social activist called on global business leaders to join the fight against extreme poverty

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 23 January 2019 11:50
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What is the World Economic Forum in Davos?

U2 frontman Bono has said that capitalism is “not immoral” while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying it’s “taken more people out of poverty” than any other system.

The social activist urged global business leaders to join the fight against extreme poverty in Africa and Aids on a panel debating how to end global poverty by 2030 – a UN goal.

“Capitalism is not immoral – it’s amoral. It requires our instruction,” Bono said, adding: “Capitalism has taken more people out of poverty than any other ‘ism’. But it is a wild beast that, if not tamed, can chew up a lot of people along the way.”

The musician said that unfettered capitalism has caused an international drive towards populism and that public-sector spending is more vulnerable than ever due to issues such as homelessness in European cities.

“We have to have some humility about what we can achieve in the private sector but if we can unlock it it’s amazing what you can pull off,” before issuing a warning: “If Africa fails, Europe cannot succeed.”

Bono is a co-founder of One, which is a global campaign organisation with more than 10m members seeking to end extreme poverty.

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Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent MindsHowever, it found itself at the centre of controversy as recently as last year following accusations that managers working for the company had fostered an atmosphere of bullying and attempted sexual coercion – news Bono said he was “furious” about.

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