Outgoing Whole Foods CEO John Mackey issued a dire warning about the encroachment of socialism in an interview this week.
What did Mackay say?
Mackey announced last September that he was retiring from managing the supermarket chain that he co-founded more than 40 years ago. But before his departure from Whole Foods at the end of August, Mackey is warning Americans about socialism.
“My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over,” Mackey said on the “Reason” podcast this week.
“They’re marching through the institutions. They’re taking over everything,” he added. “They’re taking over education. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they’ve taken over the military. And it’s just continuing.”
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey ( Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Describing himself as a “capitalist at heart,” Mackey blamed socialists and socialism for eroding many of the liberties that Americans once universally believed were fundamental to our way of life.
“I believe in liberty and capitalism. Those are my twin values,” he said. “And I feel like, you know, with the way freedom of speech is today, the movement on gun control, a lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat.”
What is the background?
Mackey is no stranger to warning Americans about the perils of socialism.
In a 2020 interview, for example, Mackey described socialism as the “path of poverty.”
“They talk about ‘trickle-down wealth,’ but socialism is trickle-up poverty,” Mackey said. “It just impoverishes everything.”
Capitalism, on the other hand, is “greatest thing humanity has ever created,” according to Mackey.
“Capitalism is the greatest thing humanity’s ever done. We’ve 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 — and it’s doing tremendous damage to the minds of young people,” Mackey said.
“The Marxists and socialists, the academic community is generally hostile to business. It always has been. This is not new,” he explained.
In his retirement from Whole Foods, Mackey is likely to be more outspoken about politics. In fact, he told Reason that he will no longer be “muzzled.”
“Pretty soon, you’re gonna hear about ‘Crazy John’ who’s no longer muzzled,” he joked.