Live 8: Bob Geldof’s Immoral Sense of Entitlement

by | Jul 6, 2005

In the tradition of modern celebrities, Bob Geldof has decided to lecture the world on the virtues of altruism and sacrifice. That lecture is Live 8. The website states that there are, “10 concerts, 100 artists, a million spectators, 2 billion viewers, and 1 message… To get those 8 men, in that 1 room, to […]

In the tradition of modern celebrities, Bob Geldof has decided to lecture the world on the virtues of altruism and sacrifice. That lecture is Live 8.

The website states that there are, “10 concerts, 100 artists, a million spectators, 2 billion viewers, and 1 message… To get those 8 men, in that 1 room, to stop 30,000 children dying every single day of extreme poverty.” [1]

But that “1 message” is hardly as innocuous as it sounds. Those 8 men, if they choose to accept his proposition, would be violating the rights of over 861 million people — the combined population of the G8 countries. If Geldof believes that his cause is as important as he says it is, he can finance it himself or with the help of other individuals.

He has no right to demand that governments be responsible for a cause that he, not the people whose money would be used, believes in. The message he refers to is not noble; it is theft.

There is a lot of hot air on the website about changing history, creating justice, and ending poverty. None of that will happen. History will not be changed by more government aid; that particular malpractice has been occurring for decades. Justice is not created through theft and coercion; it is created through a respect for the individual rights of all humans — even those in the G8 countries. And finally, poverty will not be ended by throwing more money (as we have done for so long) at [corrupt statist regimes]. Poverty will be ended when Africans have freedom and the only morally acceptable political and economic system — capitalism.

The real reason Africa is suffering isn’t lack of aid; it is the lack of capitalism. With leaders like Isaias Afworki, Robert Mugabe, Omar Al Bashir, and Muammar al-Qaddafi, is it any surprise it is the poorest continent?


Cartoon by Cox and Forkum

Africa suffers because so many of its countries are socialist regimes, led not by the people, but by despots who took office through military coups.

In contrast, all the most prosperous nations have one thing in common — capitalism [more or less]. For historical evidence, look no further than the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. America was growing at a rate that not only exceeded anything it had done in the past, but at a rate that exceeded anything anyone had done in the past. And what was this time period marked by? Nearly unfettered capitalism.

Geldof refuses to accept this. Geldof’s choice to make Live 8 into a mission to “tax non-Africans for Africa” as opposed to one for “non-Africans to voluntarily give aid to Africa” only helps to accentuate the moral perversion inherent in his goal. There would be no issue if Geldof merely wanted to raise money — as he did in 1985 — for a cause he believes in. It wouldn’t matter if people agreed or not; an individual has a moral right to spend their money however the please, so long as he does not initiate force upon another. But that isn’t enough for Geldof; he removes the burden entirely from those who believe in his cause and places it squarely on those who have expressed no such belief.

Why? Because he feels we all have an unchosen moral “duty” to eliminate the poverty of third world nations.

The problem with this notion is that there is no evidence that such a “duty” exists. It is taken for granted on faith in much of the world that those who have more owe it to those who do not. Bob Geldof subscribes to this irrationality. He preaches constantly without ever giving us a justification for his beliefs. When nobody listens to his tiresome moralizing, he attempts to force it down our throats by goading our elected officials to steal from us. Geldof has a cause to attend to, and if that means that trampling over the rights of a good portion of the world’s population, so be it.

All this indicates two things about Geldof: His profound disgust for capitalism and his misguided belief that the purpose of government is to force their citizens to contribute aid to Africa.

References:

[1] Live 8

Matt Lawton is a Political Science and Creative Writing double major at Knox College.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

Have a comment?

Post your response in our Capitalism Community on X.

Related articles

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Both Biden and his predecessor, President Barack Obama, promised that they had Israel’s back, but it now appears that they are painting a target on its back at a time of its greatest vulnerability.

No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.

Pin It on Pinterest