Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey said on Friday that capitalism is humanity’s greatest invention and doesn’t deserve the criticism it receives. He also went on the attack against socialism.
Mackey was speaking to the market-oriented American Enterprise Institute about his new book Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business. In a video shared by Just the News, the CEO said socialism had consistently failed.
He said capitalism will “be attacked for its motivations because its motivations are seen as somehow impure. Yes, of course, business has to make money. If a business doesn’t make money, it will fail, but that doesn’t mean that its purpose is to make money.”
Mackey, who is worth an estimated $75 million, blamed colleges and progressives for encouraging disquiet about capitalism.
“That’s why we’re seeing this move towards socialism because capitalism they see as inherently corrupt,” Mackey said.
“That is wrong. Capitalism is the greatest thing humanity’s ever done. We told a bad narrative, and we’ve let the enemies of business and the enemies of capitalism put out a narrative about us that’s wrong. It’s inaccurate.”
“Socialism has been tried 42 times in the last 100 years and 42 failures, it doesn’t work the wrong way. We have to keep capitalism, I would argue, we need conscious capitalism,” he went on.
It’s not exactly clear what attempts at socialism Mackey was referring to. Several countries that adopted authoritarian Communism are now free-market economies, including states of the former Soviet Union.
Mackey expanded on the concept of “conscious capitalism,” again suggesting that the business has a purpose beyond merely turning a profit.
“Business is really about creating value for other people,” Mackey said. “That’s why it exists. That’s why it exists to create value for other people. And if it does a good job of creating good value in products and services that its customers want, then the business will flourish, and it’ll make money.”
“We have to recognize that some progressive insights are important,” he said, adding: “We can’t throw out capitalism and replace it with socialism,” calling the scenario a disaster.”
Just the News, which published the video of Mackey’s comments, was set up by former columnist for The Hill John Solomon, who left the newspaper after a review of 14 of his opinion pieces on former Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine found multiple flaws.