U2: Keep Your Money
By Anthony Gregory • Saturday June 25, 2011 9:58 AM PDT •
Anti-capitalist protesters inflated a provocative balloon at a U2 concert in Ireland, accusing the band of evading their taxes, leading security to wrestle to them to the ground, which was met with more violence. Around 30 people got in the thick of the struggle.
I’ve never been a big fan of U2, or their globalist politics, but this much is certain: These band members, to the extent they are depriving the Irish government—or any government—of tax dollars, are doing a public service. And this puts aside the fact that these people do seem genuinely interested in fighting global poverty and disease, and have dedicated their time and resources to such generally legitimate causes as disaster relief, AIDS activism, and charity work for the third world. They have been criticized, including by the radical left, for the paternalism of their approach, which does often seem to coincide with the activities of interventionist politicians. But they cannot be worse than the state itself, and so every dollar they save from the Irish government by living in the Netherlands is a wonderful thing.
Perhaps the band’s security overreacted, as some suggest. But it was on private property, and the protesters ought not to detract from the show with their misguided complaints about U2’s tax evasion. Indeed, this might be among the most admirable things I’ve heard about U2. If it demonstrates something hypocritical in the leftist ethos, all the more reason to abandon that philosophy. So I say: Become full-blown capitalists, U2. Speak out in favor of the market. Oppose the politicization of all issues. Condemn war, police statism and socialism across the board. Embrace the philosophy of liberty. Turn your back on the anti-capitalist left, as they’ve turned their back on you. I still won’t like anything you’ve done since Joshua Tree, but will be forced to praise your heroic humanitarianism adamantly.