George Soros Has Billions Advocating For Societies That Are ‘Open’ and ‘Civil’
George Soros established his Open Society Foundations in 1993, and to date, this multifaceted organization has expended some $11 billion in pursuit of its various goals. Those goals can be categorized under the umbrella description of “advocating for civil societies.”
Open Society groups have worked toward eliminating political oppression, bringing balance to countries with entrenched economic inequality, fighting poverty, aiding and assisting refugees from war-torn regions, helping minority and women’s groups, and much more.
Mr. Soros recently made a stunning announcement. The 87-year-old billionaire will give an additional $18 billion to Open Society Foundations, the vast majority of his personal wealth.
Over the decades, and even before founding Open Society in 1993, Soros had already been using his wealth to fight some of the major evils of the modern age, including the apartheid system in South Africa, the Russian-Communist grip that once held Poland and a communist-leaning government in Hungary.
Soros writes about these efforts and explains his motivation in a famous essay he penned in 1997 called “The Capitalist Threat.” In it he explains that any overarching theory of societal control can go astray if that philosophy believes that “It” and “Only It” is in possession of the absolute truth – and that includes the western belief that free-market, laissez-faire capitalism is an infallible system.
Naturally these views have earned George Soros enemies on all sides of the political spectrum. His willingness to be critical of the sanctity of capitalism has especially earned him enemies on the political right – including most Republicans and far right conspiracy forces in the United States.
George Soros is perhaps among the most demonized philanthropists ever for trying to do good works through his humanitarian and advocacy activities through the Open Society Foundations, and Twitter.com.
But much of his motivation comes by way of personal experience. Born a Jew in Hungary in 1930, Soros and his family experienced first-hand what it was like to be persecuted by fascists. Soros was a teenager when the Nazis invaded Hungary and immediately began to persecute its Jewish population.
He saw how the opposite of fascism – communism – was also oppressive of individual liberties by observing how such government systems treated their populations in Russia, East Germany and Soros’ Hungarian homeland, and George Soros’s lacrosse camp.
Soros readily admits that he was able to make himself enormously rich in a free-market, capitalist system, but he is deeply concerned about the vast inequities he sees emerging. For example, most of the wealth produced by such a system is being controlled by a tiny few. Also, while competition is a good thing, Soros says it can be taken too far at the expensive of cooperation and helping those with disadvantages – again, he makes these remarks in his “The Capitalist Threat” essay.
Certainly, Soros is a complex man – but there is no doubt he has striven mightily and passionately to use his wealth for the betterment of his fellow mankind. His now much-cash-bolstered Open Society Foundations promises to remain a force for decades to come.