Bono the Hypocrite

The U2 singer Bono is a saintly man. He would make you believe that he holds all the keys to making the world a paradise. If you read newspapers or watch TV it is hard to avoid his propaganda on how he will eradicate the poverty and hunger in the world if we only give him our money.

But when he goes beyond the money collection from donors and tries to develop an enterprise to help the poor, the result is a miserable failure. It’s no wonder: it is much easier to beg for large amounts of money (which is probably squandered long before it reaches the poor) than to build a real business enterprise. Maybe the problem lies in Bono’s not so deeply hidden distaste for capitalism.

The issue is with Edun, an “ethical fashion house,” which Bono and his wife established in 2005. If anybody remembers the media noise at the time of the venture’s launch, they may recall the grandiose plans: Edun was supposed to transform the lives of the people in the developing countries by radically changing clothing manufacturing.

In no time the company started to work. They established connections with farmers in Uganda and created production facilities in Tunisia, Tanzania and Kenya. However, very soon the problems started to pile up. The quality of the clothes produced there was low both as manufacture and design and the people didn’t want to buy them (even the dorky Greenpeace wackos). On top of that, the delivery speed and reliability were far below great.

Bono realized that running a business is not like collecting money for charity. Your noble feelings and desire to save the world are far from enough. You need to have skilled people capable of making quality products that a sufficiently large group of other people are willing to buy. It is impossible to rely on suckers who would buy any junk for the sake of Bono’s “noble” cause.

If Bono had a little common sense, he would have been aware of the problem. Although it is not politically correct to state it, but most African countries are not known for great manufacturing skills or work ethics.

An ordinary greedy capitalist would have liquidated such an ill-conceived venture or moved it to a place where there’ll be a better chance for success. On the other hand, Bono, as a compassionate do-gooder should have taken his time to educate the African workers and merchants, so that they can make that clothing company a success. Of course, that would have cost time and money, but does that matter, if your goal is to make African people’s lives much better?

But no, he didn’t do that… Bono acted as an ordinary greedy capitalist.

He decided to move the production to China. That was a smart move from a business point of view, because clothing manufacturing in China is much better developed than in Africa. Yet Bono conveniently “forgot” that the Chinese workers, especially in that line of business, are subjected to heavy exploitation in their world-famous sweatshops.

In addition to that, Bono sold a 49% stake in Edun to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Again, that should be considered a smart move, because it will ensure a competent business management of the company, but it is opposite to the ideals of the bleeding hearts. Louis Vuitton is an evil capitalist corporation, certified by all self-respecting lefty loons.

So it turns out that Bono is a simple hypocrite. Most of the money made will go to enriching Chinese sweatshop owners and a large French corporation. It is not clear how much of it would reach the poor Africans.

The whole mess begs a simple question: why did Bono have to go through all that? Wouldn’t it had been much easier, if he gave his fortune away directly to the poor people he claims he wants to help?

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  1. […] not the worst of it though, as Blog Wrath explains, Bono conveniently “forgot” that the Chinese workers, especially in that line of business, are […]

  2. […] That’s not the worst of it though, as Blog Wrath explains, […]

  3. Evan White says:

    Fantastic piece! Insightful and well-researched! But your use of “begs the question” is irritating to grammar purists and detracts from the rest of the piece. Technically, the “whole mess” does not “beg the question,” because that isn’t what the phrase “begs the question” actually means. To avoid a usage controversy, you should say “raises the question.” For an explanation and discussion, see:,, or Thanks!

    1. admiwrath says:

      Thank you for your observation.

  4. […] not the worst of it though, as Blog Wrath explains, Bono conveniently “forgot” that the Chinese workers, especially in that line of business, are […]

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