Nobel Prize Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has called for a compassionate, caring and ethical world that follows the rules, and where people matter more than things.
Speaking at the UCT Graduate School of Business Corporate Learning 2009 Celebration on 20 August, Tutu said capitalism suggests that the highest value in life is to succeed.
"When the highest attribute you value is success, then, as we have discovered, people say you have to succeed at any and every cost."
He wished that most countries would combine the positive aspects of capitalism with the positive aspects of socialism, "where we say it is not profit that has high value but it is people".
The former Anglican Bishop said a happy life is impossible without parameters. "An ethical, moral life that follows the rules will be orderly, and, most frequently, a happy life," he said. "Ethical business is good business," he continued. "You should not just invest, but should ask yourselves why you invest."
He said God had created humans to be a family, and that the ethics of a good family are not to give to its members according to the proportion of their contributions.
"Say people living in shacks are our brothers and sisters. Why would we buy expensive cars while we can buy less expensive cars and make money available to other members of the family?"
Tutu described as "shattering" the statistics on how much the world is spending on arms while millions of people live on less than a dollar a day.
"Are we that crazy that we can spend trillions of dollars on what will destroy life while a small fraction of that can provide clean water, decent homes, enough food and education to millions of people?" he asked.
Tutu said the world should ask questions on why the Scandinavian countries, where there is "a fair degree of caring", are successful.
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On Sunday, 26 December 2021, the University of Cape Town learned of the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 90. We say goodbye to a man who taught us the power of joy to fight injustice and evil.
“Archbishop Emeritus Tutu, as he graciously aged, never lost his vision for a just and free South Africa.”
– Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane
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