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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey — From Leftist to ‘Conscious Capitalist’

Posted: January 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm   /   by

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey used to be a leftist.  He is now a whole-hearted supporter for what he calls “conscious capitalism.”  The story of Whole Foods, and his ‘conversion’, appear in this interview conducted by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News on her show GretaWire.

In this interview, Mackey says:

When I was young, I believed in the myth that business was selfish and greedy.  I certainly didn’t want to be a business person.

I think the critics of capitalism have hijacked the narrative.  They judge business by the worst practitioners, by the Bernie Madoffs and the Enrons, [but] business is the greatest creator of value in the world.  It has helped lift humanity out of poverty into prosperity.

I read a number of free-market economists like Friedrich Heyak, Ludwig Von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and I discovered that these explanations of the world work a lot better. Business people are heroic … we’re not the bad guys, we’re the good guys.

The problem in the world is not that there is too much capitalism — the problem is that there is not enough of it.

Mackey’s philosophy is laid out in his new book Conscious Capitalism.


David Leeper

David Leeper

David Leeper is a retired engineer living in Scottsdale, AZ, with his wife of 45 years. He is currently a volunteer science teacher at In his 40-year career he held positions from lab technician to technical vice president at Bell Labs, Motorola, and Intel. He holds 16 patents in telecom technology and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. During his career, he wrote mainly for technical journals including Scientific American. He began writing for in 2011.
David Leeper

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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey -- From Leftist to 'Conscious Capitalist'