I mean, one shouldn’t just assume.
Or to put the question more precisely, is the supposed anti-poverty campaigner actually promoting neoliberal global exploitation? This fair question is asked by journalist Harry Browne in The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power), which got its Galway launch tonight in good old Charlie Byrne’s bookshop.
As I understand it, the thesis is that Bono has become the poster child for what is sometimes referred to as the “conscience consumer”. This is the sort of person who chooses a credit card because it gives some tiny percentage of each transaction to charity, who is ready to make the world a better place just as long as they don’t have to get involved personally.
Through being rich and powerful, and associating with the rich and powerful, Bono has come to promote the idea that the rich and powerful will save the world. Despite all the evidence to the contrary so far. It’s an interesting argument, and given his odder actions and pronouncements – see links below – I am inclined to think it’s true.
Is it? Read the book and let me know. College is back and I have about fifty others to get through right now.
- Bono: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid” (dailypaul.com)
- Bono can’t help Africans by stealing their voice (theguardian.com)
- What the Irish Hate About Bono (counterpunch.org)