George Soros The Champion Of Open Society
When a man has everything he needs, especially money, they say his real character reveals itself. Perhaps that is the explanation of the contradiction we discern when observing George Soros.
The 87-year-old billionaire is a member of the elite, but he condemns them for being selfish. He is a Hungarian Jewish immigrant to America, yet he is openly critical of Israel. Although he has made his fortune speculating in financial markets that have fueled capitalism, Mr. Soros routinely castigates the system. An example of this is an article he published in The Atlantic magazine’s February 1997 issue, “The Capitalist Threat” by George Soros.
To make sense of the puzzle that is George Soros we must consider his history. He is a man who due to the cleverness of his parents was able to escape both the Nazi and Soviet occupation of his land of birth. A product of the London School of Economics where he received both a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Philosophy.
While studying at the London School of Economics Soros was mentored by renowned Philosopher Karl Popper. Young George Soros became fascinated by Popper’s ideas about tolerance, reflexivity, and open society. These three would form the cornerstone of Mr. Soros’ thinking over the next seven decades. In fact, he attributes his ability to accurately interpret the sentiment of the market to Popper’s teachings on reflexive thought. In 1956, the young philosopher made his way to the U.S., and Wall Street. He hit the ground running and never looked back.
According to Forbes magazine’s February 2017 issue, George Soros was the 19th richest person on Earth. When weighed among other hedge fund managers he is first among equals. He is the wealthiest hedge fund manager in the world. His net worth was calculated to be $25.2 billion.
Along the way, Mr. Soros has also become one of the world’s most influential philanthropists. Through his Open Societies Foundation (OSF), he has given away $18 billion through the years. That is according to a recent article in The Atlantic magazine “George Soros and the Demonization of Philanthropy” by Benjamin Soskis, December 2017.
OSF has been instrumental in promoting democracy and tolerance for differences in political opinion. These ideas have been encouraged throughout the world by Mr. Soros. He has held these convictions because of his commitment to the philosophical teachings of Professor Popper at the London School of Economics.
His detractors have accused him of meddling in the affairs of nations. What he is doing is sharing what he learned all those years ago. Tolerance for the opinion of others, even if we disagree, is a benefit to all. The notion of an open society suggests a world where there is not only freedom of commerce, but also tolerance for different behavior and unfamiliar ways of thinking.
To this end, Mr. Soros has impacted society by promoting his progressive views on immigration, civil rights, gay marriage, and opposition to the death penalty. Sure, he could hoard his money, but apparently, that is not who he is.
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