The name of the 88-year-old financial magnate George Soros is known by many. A Hungarian Jew, who studied and started a career in Britain and gained international fame in the United States, he looks like a living embodiment of the idea of cosmopolitanism.
It is no wonder that the billionaire shares the concept of open society proposed by the philosopher Karl Popper – even Soros’s international institute is named after it and actively promotes it in every corner of the world. The concept is about building a society based on deep individualism and void of any cultural, religious, national and civilizational roots and traditions, which Popper considered a sign of totalitarianism. John Lennon expressed something similar in a creative form in his famous composition Imagine.
Even in a more prosaic wording, the ideas of Popper and Soros attract a sufficient number of followers, and the Open Society Institute has been working hard for several decades to increase it further. Soros combines his aspirations with a reasonable criticism of deficiencies of the contemporary political and social model. He criticizes capitalism and, among other things, Russia’s reforms of the 1990s, which he describes as “robbery.” He also strongly disapproved of the foreign policy of George W. Bush and the US intervention in Iraq in 2003.
However, this seemingly righteous position should be viewed from the proper angle. Indeed, the billionaire does not like the world of prevailed national egotism and cynical and pragmatic imperialism, first of all, the American one. He would prefer to see a new tower of Babel with the US as the foundation, strong, but void of any clear identity and managed by Soros and his associates for the sake of globalism. This can hardly be considered pure liberal idealism – such world order would make it much easier for Soros to carry out the grand financial speculations that built his fortune.
The Soros structures first came to Russia during the perestroika, and in 1995, the Open Society Institute opened its representative office in the country. Even in those troubled years, the goals and methods of the foundation raised many questions from journalists and members of parliament, but it was only in 2015 that it was declared non grata in Russia. But twenty years were enough for the organization to do Russia enormous harm. It organized what can only be described as a hostile takeover of a significant segment of Russian education, in order to teach school and university students in the spirit of nihilism; it aggressively promoted the ideas of cosmopolitanism and value relativism in the media, culture and art.
Soros was a similarly notorious figure in the former Soviet republics and in East Europe. He was one of the main sponsors and authors of the succession of velvet revolutions of 1989 in the Warsaw Pact countries. His native Hungary has enjoyed his particular attention. After the right conservative forces that insist on special relations with the EU came to power in the country, Soros described the new policy of Budapest as fascist and began fighting against it. Hungarians are now fighting back.
Soros also invested a lot in the color revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine. In 2015-2016, his e-mail correspondence and internal documents of his structures were often leaked to the Internet, sometimes because of hacker attacks. It became clear that he had played a huge part first in the preparations of the Euromaidan and afterwards in shaping Kiev’s military and political views and information agenda. For example, in correspondence with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, Soros wrote about his efforts to get delivery of American lethal weapons to Ukraine approved and offered advice on interaction with US military instructors.
Now Soros is actively fighting against the policies of Donald Trump, accusing him of something he used to accuse his fellow party member George W. Bush of – “national egotism,” “strategic short-sightedness,” and “thoughtless imperialism.” However, the intensity of fight and the vividness of accusations have grown since last time. There can be no doubt that the predatory military imperialist politics of the incumbent US administration does not bode well for the world. But the aggressive liberal globalism of Mr Soros & Co is in no way better. “Both are worse,” one could say, all the more so as Trump and Soros argue about the means and methods rather than goals and essence.