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Friday, 16 June 2017

George Soros on Soros and America

In the words of the “political pundit” Matt Welch (writing in 2003), George Soros “has a long and storied track record of being all villains to all people”. This same writer also finds something that's a little worrying and self-contradictory about many of these portrayals of the billionaire “villain”. For example, he concludes by saying the following:

Thus we now have the spectacle of one of the world's most active and influential anti-communists (not to mention one of its most successful capitalists) being tarred as a particularly dangerous friend of Marx and Lenin.”

On the surface it seems that it is indeed a contradiction to portray someone as being both an “anti-communist” and a “particularly dangerous friend of Marx and Lenin”. (Or it would be if the same person said it.) Surely Soros can't be both. Yet it's George Soros we're talking about here! Thus, as a billionaire villain, surely he can be both a communist and an anti-communist! Or at least he can play both characters at different times to different people. This kind of thing has happened many times before with other people. So why not with George Soros? What's to stop Soros from being an anti-communist on Monday and a friend of Marx and Lenin on Friday? After all, it will be seen in the following that not only does Soros contradict himself in terms of his own deeds (which has often been commentated upon), he also contradicts himself in terms of his own words.

Soros has written many books. He's said a lot of things. Much of what I've read is sophisticated and of interest; and that's despite what's just been said about Soros's contradictory words. I was particularly impressed with Soros's George Soros on Globalization; though, even here, the fact that he uses his own name in the title shows us that we're also dealing with a very vain man.

The fact that some of his writings are sophisticated isn't a surprise. Or at least it shouldn't be a surprise. Even the people who hate him “with a perfect hate” must admit that a villain can also be highly intelligent. Indeed to be both a billionaire and a global political actor must require intelligence and even wisdom. (A few people - who look down on moneymaking - deny all this.) Quite frankly, I'm fairly impressed by the expertise of Soros's ideas. That's not to say that I agree with a single sentence he's uttered or written. It's simply to say that he may not be a cartoon baddie. Or, if he is a cartoon baddie, then he's one who can be fairly convincing when he sets pen to paper.


It can be said George Soros's following words would provide a perfect opening for his autobiography:

Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman.”

Having said that, Soros then went on to admit that he “used to be opposed to the idea of social entrepreneurship”. So was that after he became a “human being” again? Whatever the case, Soros “now recognize[s] that actually you do need to mix it up [business and morality] and I think there is room for social entrepreneurship”.

In a similar vein, George Soros is often honest about himself (at least up to a point). He's therefore honest about his own conceit. For example, he claims to be “primarily interested in ideas” and that he doesn't “have much personal use for money”. He then goes on to say:

But I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't made money: My ideas would not have gotten much play.”

That's Soros admitting that having a hell of a lot of money is a very good way of gaining political power – which, of course, it is. Certain “ideas” too can be a means to political power. Or, as Soros himself puts it, if he weren't a billionaire, his “ideas would not have gotten much play”.

This honesty (or is it game-playing?) also comes into show when he admits to suffering from “fallibility”. As a consequence of this, he also claims to be adept at self-criticism. Not only that: Soros believes that these frames of mind are very productive – both politically and financially. In his own words:

I am a very critical person who looks for defects in myself as well as in others. But, being so critical, I am also quite forgiving. I couldn't recognize my mistakes if I couldn't forgive myself.”

As I said, there's an honest vanity being proudly displayed here. Indeed Soros has what some psychologists or moral philosophers would see as a self-contradictory personality.

For example, in one breath he says that he admits to “being wrong” and “fallible”. In the next breath he says that this is a “source of pride”. Thus he's proud of his being wrong and self-critical. (Or, at the least, he's proud of finding these things within himself.) To us mere mortals, on the other hand, being wrong and fallible is a “source of shame”. That means that being wrong and fallible are only bad things if we “fail[] to correct our mistakes”.

Thus, in the end, Soros is “quite forgiving” of himself. Indeed that forgiving nature itself leads to positive and beneficial personal and even (politically) global ends.

Soros gets even more vainglorious when he tell us that he wishes that he “could write a book that will be read for as long as our civilization lasts”. And if he managed that, he

would value it much more highly than any business success if I could contribute to an understanding of the world in which we live”.

This kind of conceit and moral grandstanding can be found everywhere in Soros's words and writings. Take this piece of embarrassing autobiography:

I have devoted half my fortune and most of my energies in the last 15 years to promoting the values of democracy and open society all over the world... I came to feel that those principles need to be defended at home.”

So how, exactly, does Soros intend to “defend” his “principles” in the United States? By financing Black Lives Matter and the Democrats, for example? (See this article on Soros's funding of Black Lives Matter.)

Soros on America

George Soros is deeply anti-American. Of course he would strongly deny that he is. Indeed he does deny it in his writings and interviews. Though this is because his personal America - America as he wants it to be - isn't what he's against. What he's against is America as it is and has been.

For example, Soros (as everyone knows) is very anti-Trump. He was also anti-George W. Bush. Soros (as everyone also knows) wasn't anti-Obama. Why? Because Obama's America squared fairly well with Soros's own America. Then again, Soros still believed that Obama didn't go far enough. He'd have needed more terms in office to go far enough.

Not that Soros is critical of America in precisely the same ways that, say, juvenile Marxists or progressives are critical. In other words, Soros's position is far more sophisticated than typical (Leftist) anti-Americanism; even if it's the case that he's very happy to fund and support many groups and individuals who take an extremely unsophisticated - and indeed violent - approach to America.

Soros was at his most extreme on America (in 2006) when he said the following:

The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States. This is a harsh — indeed, for me, painful — thing to say, but unfortunately I am convinced it is true.”

Typically (for Soros) he qualifies his anti-Americanism with that grandstanding central clause: “This is a harsh — indeed, for me, painful — thing to say...” Yet if you genuinely believe that the United States is the “main obstacle to a stable and just world order”, you may wonder how genuinely “painful” it would be for Soros “to say” all that.

Soros also offers his very own solutions to the painful problem that is America. This also explains why he funds numerous groups and individuals who and which are intent on destroying America as we know it. He says:

Changing the attitude and policies of the United States remains my top priority.”

Is that, then, why he funds Black Lives Matter? Is Soros “changing the attitude and policies of the United States” by funding Black Lives Matter? Why not? This group - amongst the many other extreme groups he funds - also wants to change the United States. Indeed the activist group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), as another example, wants to change America by any means necessary. (See the link between BAMN and Soros in this article.) And considering Soros' s huge influence, he too wants to change America by any means necessary. Indeed he even comes very close to stating that himself.

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