Debate about George Soros has got bogged down.
Did he willingly help the Nazis deport Jews to their deaths, and plunder their property? Did he, even decades later, describe this as the most happy year of his life, fleeing only when he feared that the Nazis would discover that he himself was a Jew? Or did he have no choice, acting in the way he did simply out of a desire to save his own life?
How much did the parents of George Soros despise religious Jews? Did his father really support world government, and pass on this belief system to his son? Or was he just a man who enjoyed made up languages? Did his mother, in spite of being a Jew herself, really hate Jews? Or was it just a mild distaste? Does George Soros today fund groups, including groups in the Middle East, that want to wipe Israel from the map, out of hatred for Jews? Or, perhaps, out of hatred for any nation or individual that wishes to be fundamentally different – not part of a standardized world order? Or is Mr Soros simply ignorant of the true nature of the groups he funds?
Does George Soros fund – directly and via the Tides Foundation – groups in the United States that employ Marxists because he shares their desire to impose totalitarianism upon the world (making a mockery of his supposed anti totalitarian stand in Eastern Europe in past years)? Or because (again) he simply does not know the true nature of the groups he funds?
My own opinion is that the above is simply unknowable.
One can not get into the mind of George Soros to know whether he really knows that he funds anti-Israel groups, and far left groups. And one can not prove one way or the other whether he knows that many of the Marxists he funds, via the Soros money that goes to the groups they work for, are in “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” alliance with Islamist groups.
Mr Soros may simply be an old man totally unaware of, for example, the irony of his “Open Society Foundation” in the United States being controlled by a far left ex high officer of the SDS – someone who would be no friend of Karl Popper. For Soros to fund enemies of the Open Society in the name of the Open Society may simply be the result of a man whose brain is decaying with age – and who is getting a lot of bad counsel from evil advisers.
However, the written and spoken opinions of George Soros can be known.
Mr Soros may not be a good writer (I am not good writer either), but at least his works are fairly clear on his central claim. Pick one book at random, and the central political point is the same in each of the works that deal with policy. And his works have been stating the same central point – the same central lie – since at least the 1990s, so it cannot be a case of senility. If you wish me to pick out a single work, I suggest you look at the Open Society: The Crises of Global Capitalism. Remember that the first edition was published in the 1990s – long before any supposed senility can possibly have been a factor.
So what is the central lie told by George Soros?
It is his claim that “Market Fundamentalism” dominated the Western world in the 1990s, and in the 2000s. A fanatical laissez faire gripped the West, with government reduced to unimportance.
This is simply not true. Not only did governments in the Western world take up sometimes as much half the economy with their spending, but the economies of the West were dominated by government regulations – and the financial industry was especially dominated by governments. Almost every aspect of the financial industry was controlled by thousands of pages of national regulations, and also international regulations – “Basel” and “Basel II”.
Not only was every major economy of the West dominated by a Central Bank pumping out credit money support – creating the very credit money bubble boom and bust that George Soros, and those he funds, claim was produced by “unregulated capitalism” (for this process of government backed credit money expansion leading to boom/bust see Meltdown by Thomas Woods), but in the United States itself, supposedly the heart of this evil unlimited free market, not only was the credit money expansion the policy of the (bailout after bailout, “stimulus” after “stimulus”) Federal Reserve Bank of Alan Greenspan (“Greenspan saves the world” were the headlines that greeted each crackbrained “rescue” operation that Greenspan launched from 1987, then on into the 1990s, then into the 2000s), but also the credit money itself was directed into the housing market by government policy.
As The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell explains, it was government policy that the credit money expansion be directed into the housing market. Nor was this any secret. Iit was obvious and open to anyone who cared to look. It is simply not credible that a George Soros of the 1990s – not the man who may, or may not be, senile today – could not have known that this was not “market fundamentalism” but, on the contrary, an active and interventionist government.
Yet George Soros, in work after work, in interview after interview, attacks a “market fundamentalism” that simply did not exist. This is a man who was active in the financial markets at the time and in a major way, so ignorance cannot be the cause of what he has falsely claimed. Falsely claimed, again and again.
We are not dealing, in the Soros of the late 1990s at least, with an ignorant or senile George Soros – we are dealing with a man who says things that he knows are not true, indeed are the reverse of the truth. In short, we are dealing with a liar, someone pushing a lie so vast, so opposite to the truth and of such scale and importance, that it is operating on “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed” principle, the principle followed by both the Marxists and the National Socialists.
Mr Soros supports – or claims to support- the economic ideology of the late Lord Keynes. He supports government credit money expansion and spending – “stimulus” – as the correct response to the very economic crash that previous government-backed credit money expansion caused (not, of course, that he admits that). He rejects the ideas of the Austrian School of Ludwig Von Mises and F.A. Hayek. Indeed Mr Soros attacks Hayek in some of his writings – which is odd for someone who claims to have Karl Popper as his mentor (Popper was a long time friend and ally of Hayek).
However, it must be stressed that the above point is not about economic theory:
Mr Soros could say, without lying, that “the 1990s and 2000s were a time of government dominance of the the financial industry, via Central Bank backed credit money expansion – and a good thing too”. That would be a statement of opinion, not a false statement of fact.
But what George Soros cannot say without lying is “the 1990s and 2000s was a time of market fundamentalism especially in the banking and financial industries”. That is simply a lie – and it is a lie especially in the case of the United States.
No doubt many American financial enterprises contained stupid and/or corrupt people – Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, General Electric, and Goldman Sachs spring to mind. But “market fundamentalists” fanatically devoted to laissez faire? This is a lie – no more truthful than claiming that John Calvin was a fanatical Roman Catholic.
On the contrary, such enterprises as J.P. Morgan Chase, General Electric, and Goldman Sachs were, and are, dominated by interventionists. And Wall Street was full of important people backing Barack Obama, long before the crises of late 2008, in the hopes of even more corporate welfare – even more government intervention – than they got under Alan Greenspan and the Bush Administration. And these hopes were fully justified – see the book Bought And Paid For.
So this is not a matter of George Soros supporting Keynesianism against the Austrian School. It is a matter of George Soros telling a “big lie”, the “market fundamentalism” lie. And telling it, again and again and again.
George Soros claims that this non-existent “market fundamentalism” is the main threat to an “Open Society”.
Mr Soros is quite open in stating that he does not consider “totalitarianism” to be the main threat to his “Open Society”, on the contrary it is the free market (“market fundamentalism”) that is the threat to his “Open Society”.
Can there be any clearer evidence that Mr Soros is not a follower of Karl Popper? Contrary to his claims.
Karl Popper, the friend of F.A. Hayek, whatever his other faults might be, spent his life fighting totalitarianism (Marxism, Fascism and National Socialism), not fighting freedom.
To George Soros the West is a terrible example of freedom gone too far.
Please think about that – the government dominated West, where, in nations like the United States, the economy is, for George Soros, dominated by the flow of government credit money, and a vast web of regulations and the power of officials, is freedom gone “too far”.
So what would things be like if George Soros had his way?
Clearly things would not be more free than they are today. Indeed even the existing level of freedom is unacceptable to Mr Soros – this is “market fundamentalism”.
It is impossible not to conclude that George Soros is trying to create a society that is even less free and even more government dominated than society is today.
And it is also clear that Mr Soros supports world regulation. We know this because he has said so, again and again, almost whenever he opens his mouth or puts pen to paper. World governments must “cooperate”. Yhere must be “world governance, (if not a formal world government. There must be no question of people having a free society to a flee to, for that would be “market fundamentalism”, a threat to the totalitarian “Open Society” that Mr Soros wishes to create. One can hardly have a society which can be best be understood as a boot coming down upon a human face (for ever) if people can just leave and go and live in lands of unregulated “market fundamentalism”.
Once this is understood, the funding of various Marxists and other totalitarian collectivists by George Soros, via the money he gives to their organizations directly or via the Tides Foundation, becomes far less strange. And one does not have to believe that Mr Soros has gone senile or has been deceived by evil advisers. It is simply a matter of their objectives, at least in part, being the same as his. In short George Soros is George Soros – not Karl Popper.
Also, as an atheist, Mr Soros may simply see radical Islamists as fools, as people whom he can manipulate for his own ends. The idea that religious people are all stupid is a mistake that other atheists have made, including highly intelligent atheists. So the alliance between his far leftists and Islamists need not bother George Soros. After all when the “barriers to world peace” (Israel, United States. …) are destroyed, he can get rid of these Islamists, and perhaps get rid of the Marxists as well. They are all stupid, no match for him. …
Mr Soros may be quite correct in his contempt for religious belief, although it is still odd that “religious” leftist groups in the United States should take money from a man who has nothing but contempt for the religions these leftists are supposedly believers in. However, of one thing I am certain of is that Mr George Soros, whatever he may think, is not God. He is not nearly so superior to the Marxists he funds, or to the Islamists, as he thinks he is. If he thinks, as he appears to think, that he can just use them and then get rid of them, then the great George Soros, no matter how high his IQ may be, is a fool.
It is easy to laugh at George Soros. I have almost fallen into that trap myself in the last paragraph. After all he is a man who has for decades denounced lack of regulations, yet who makes his living in the Hedge Fund industry, which is perhaps the only part of the financial industry not totally controlled by regulations. If regulations are so good, why has Mr Soros spent his whole life trying to avoid them? Here is a man who attacks tax avoidance, yet who bases his fund in the Netherlands Antilles. “Do not worry about Soros – he is a hypocrite, a corrupt joke, not a serious threat”.
However, it is too easy to laugh at George Soros. His actions are a threat to a real “Open Society”. By funding, both directly and via the Tides Foundation and other front organizations, the groups for which so many Marxists and other collectivists work, Mr Soros has done great harm to the cause of freedom. He has put vast resources into the hands of ruthless collectivists who will stop at nothing to destroy the free society around the world. Indeed Mr Soros has empowered some people with the same ideology that he once claimed so strongly to oppose in Eastern Europe.
Today (April 5th 2011) the various socialist and Marxist-socialist groups are having events around the world – including many events in the United States, where they increasingly control various trade unions and the overall AFL/CIO union organization, and where their power in schools and in universities is especially noteworthy. It is no accident that Bill Ayers went into producing works for teacher training, without changing his totalitarian “We Are One” ideology.
Mr Soros has funded many of these totalitarians, by giving money, directly and via the Tides Foundation and other front organizations. He cannot honestly claim that he has no moral responsibility for the actions they are planning even as I type these words.