Deeprok Chopra Interview on CNN

The Mud Report offers special thanks to CNN for both running this interview and for graciously sending the transcript below. It's very cool that a huge mainstream media outlet like CNN would run such an unabashed anti-consumer interview at the hieght of the mindless consumption season.


ROMANS: You teach a course about management and you speak to CEOs about how they can blend making money, but also conscience capitalism, as you call it. Did we lose track -- do we lose track of our conscience in how we did business that led up to this calamity that we face today?

CHOPRA: I think the first principle that's taught in business school, I teach at Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University, and the first thing I tell them is that the first principle of business is wrong. When you go to a business school, the first thing you are told is the purpose of a business is to improve shareholder value. Right there you are off track. The purpose of a business is to improve the quality of life on this planet and to improve the stakeholder value, but the stakeholder is everyone from the community, the consumer, and our ecology, and the poor people in the world. They're stakeholders.

ROMANS: What about consumers? You know, many of us watching this program are not going to be the CEO who try to make a more sustainable product or could try to do better for their employees or their country. Well, what about the consumer, should the consumer spend, invest and make money based on values not on greed?

CHOPRA: First thing the consumer should learn to do is to stop spending money that they haven't earned to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like. OK, we start off on the wrong track, we are buying stuff that we don't need with money that we still haven't earned just so we can keep up with the Joness.

ROMANS: Were Americans filling something in their soul over the 20 or 30 years by buying things on borrowed money, a hangover after the holidays because they have to pay for something that maybe was just a sugar rush in their life. Is there a way to fix or change that mentality?

CHOPRA: Slowly and we all have to participate in it. Money reflects -- the way we spend money reflects our values. So we've spent money with only one inner dialogue, me, me, me, me. Now spend money with the inner dialogue we. Turn me around and make it we.

ROMANS: Do you believe that with faith comes the responsibility to give?

CHOPRA: I think all faith is based on giving. The biggest message of Jesus Christ is to go and serve and help the rest of humanity. If you do that, then yes, there is the flow of abundance, but by faith means I'm going to pray to God and somehow money is going to start flowing in. That is not real faith. That is greed.

ROMANS: Let me ask you one last question, you have one piece of advice for the American consumer watching this who feels frustrated about all of the things that have happened and now may be playing defense with their finances. What do you say to them?

CHOPRA: I think first of all, don't be scared. It is a hard time for a lot of people. A lot of people are suffering. We must have compassion and understanding for this suffering but, you know, in a sense we allowed Wall Street to governor our lives and now Wall Street itself is paying its karmic debt. As Wall Street recovers, we should right now think of spending money in a way that helps everyone and let's focus on relationships instead of consumption. It is an ugly word we have to describe ourselves in America. We call ourselves consumers. Just think of the images that conjure up in your imagination when you just say the word consumer. We are a conference of relationships so focus on love, kindness, compassion and giving. The universe is abundant, it will flow.

ROMANS: All right,Deepak Chopra, thank you so much for joining us.

CHOPRA: Thank you.

ROMANS: Congratulations on your most recent book.