Bono of the Irish rock group U2 (who has nothing to do with Cher) strikes us as someone who is both extraordinarily charitable and possesses a certain hardheaded practicality (in a good way). His list of charities is “impressive,” to put it mildly. We don’t agree with some of them, but unlike some celebrities and most media figures he has on occasion admitted to making mistakes.
Of course, we’re defining “mistake” as any disagreement with us or anything we might not or shouldn’t do. . . . Shockingly, like G. K. Chesterton, Bono seems to have a degree of acceptance for people who might not agree with him.
Perhaps even more amazing, Bono has said positive things about the Great Satan — the United States — and the amount of money that America pours into helping the poor. This is at a time when it’s becoming ever-more popular to excoriate greedy Americans and demand that Yankee not only Go Home, but have the decency to be killed to eliminate the greatest threat to peace the world has ever seen . . . aside from the Jews, the neo-cons, or whoever else you happen to be pissed off at this week.
Bono has even said Good Things about (gasp!) Evangelical Christians and President Bush! What next? Israel? Feh. And do you know who wrote the foreword to one of capitalist pig poster child Jeffrey Sachs’s books? (Well, we said he made mistakes. . . .)
Now for the real shocker. Bono has claimed that “capitalism” has helped more people out of povertythan foreign aid. That’s enough to get him condemned for all eternity to neo-distributist hell for all eternity and then some. Compounding his heresy and highlighting his hypocrisy, Bono seems to be something of a fan of Christian apologist C. S. Lewis, and is thus deliberately distorting the words of the Master!(!!)!!! What’s next? Saying mean things about “the great Dr. Marx” (Karl, not Groucho), as “Small is Beautiful” guru E. F. Schumacher called him?
Let’s stop and think about Bono’s statement for a moment, though. What is the purpose of foreign aid? Is it to help keep people alive during an emergency until a solution to the problem can be found? Or is simply throwing increasing amounts of money that you don’t have at the problem the solution to everything?
Having said that, we need to put in a caveat, lest our critics pull their usual stunt and start screaming that we’re “against” helping the poor, are neo-con/rad-trad/Zionist/capitalist non-kosher pigs, or whatever else is bunching their drawers at the moment. We are not against helping the poor. We are all in favor of redistributing wealth in response to an emergency. It is absolutely essential as long as the powers-that-be insist on screwing up the system.