Whole Foods CEO Rails Against Socialism, Says 'Capitalism Is the Greatest Thing Humanity's Ever Done'

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."

Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election was due in part to grassroot support from progressives, some of who identify as Democratic Socialists. The most prominent of these is independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who wrote a unity platform with Biden following the former vice president's victory in the Democratic primaries.

President Donald Trump's campaign deployed fears about socialism in winning over Latino voters. This strategy was particularly effective in Florida, where there is a large Cuban-American population. Trump carried the state.

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.

American politicians, including Trump, have long used economic malaise in socialist countries such as Cuba and Venezuela to warn Americans against voting for the likes of Sen. Sanders.

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.

Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market John Mackey
Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market John Mackey speaks onstage at Conscious Capitalism: Liberating The Heroic Spirit Of Business during the 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 10, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Mackey has strongly criticized socialism. Dustin Finkelstein/Getty Images for SXSW