Destructiveness of George Soros

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“I fancied myself as some kind of god”

By Frank Furedi

Anyone who dares to criticise the billionaire speculator George Soros can expect to be denounced as an anti-Semite.

There was a time when criticism of Soros was not automatically condemned as a form of secular heresy. Some in the media were more than willing to draw attention to Soros’s parasitic behaviour as a ruthless speculator who seemed indifferent to the destructive impact of his actions on other people’s lives. Even the New Statesman was prepared to question Soros’s imperial ambitions and to question this oligarch’s motives.

That profile drew attention to the who’s who of the American military-industrial complex who made up the boards of the numerous NGOs funded by Soros. It pointed out that Soros’s International Crisis Group included such ‘non-governmental’ personalities as former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and General Wesley Clark, a former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe. The NS profile said it ‘cannot be seriously’ doubted that Soros’s ‘companies and NGOs are closely wrapped up in US expansionism’.

Then there was Soros’s fondness for supporting regime change. ‘Armed with a few billion dollars, a handful of NGOs and a nod and a wink from the US State Department, it is perfectly possible to topple foreign governments that are bad for business, seize a country’s assets, and even to get thanked for your benevolence afterwards’.

And Soros was already hard at work in Hungary, as the NS profile pointed out: ‘In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media. Ostensibly aimed at building up a “civil society”, these initiatives were designed to weaken the existing political structures and pave the way for Eastern Europe’s eventual colonisation by global capital.’

Back in 2003, clearly the New Statesman was not in the business of instructing the public on what you could and couldn’t say about Soros. It was still possible then to criticise Soros’s imperial ambition without facing the charge of anti-Semitism. Soros hadn’t yet been claimed as a sacred figure. Sixteen years later and things could not be more different. Soros is now treated as a male version of Mother Theresa. Last year the Financial Times chose him as its ‘Person of the Year’ and, without irony, characterised him as the ‘standard bearer for liberal democracy’.

In the past, Soros was quite open about his craving for fame and power. He once said: ‘I have always harboured an exaggerated view of my self-importance.’ ‘To put it bluntly’, he said, ‘I fancied myself as some kind of god or an economic reformer like Keynes, or, even better, like Einstein’. Soros clearly enjoys playing God and believes that he doesn’t have to shoulder much responsibility for the destructive consequences of his actions. Indeed, when confronted with the devastating results of his currency speculation on Far Eastern economies in 1997, he replied: ‘As a market participant, I don’t need to be concerned with the consequences of my actions.’

Rich people are fully entitled to play an active role in public affairs. However, there is something morally wrong when a single individual uses his wealth to influence the political culture of a society. Such behaviour is particularly immoral when an oligarch is able to exercise power over a society he is not a part of. It seems clear to me that the NGOs that Soros funded and supported in Hungary swiftly became a vehicle for his neocolonial project.

As for the tactic of discrediting critics of Soros with the charge of anti-Semitism – many people who claim that the use of the term ‘Soros Empire’ is anti-Semitic would not bat an eye if someone were to talk about a Jewish lobby dominating American congress.

Their concern about anti-Semitism is a highly selective one. This weaponisation of anti-Semitism trivialises a very dangerous prejudice. This baiting of critics of Soros as anti-Jewish undermines the cause of fighting genuine anti-Semitism. Thankfully, those who are committed to silencing critics of Soros will discover that their censorious behaviour will provoke more and more people to raise questions about this oligarch and his destructive behaviour.

Galina Toktalieva

Kyrgyzstan-born author residing in Graz, Austria

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