George Soros is the ultimate philanthropist. It can not get any better than donating eighty percent of your wealth to charity. George Soros did just that with his recent donation of eighteen billion dollars to the Open Society Foundations.
When it comes to the United States and philanthropists, The Atlantic explains that there is a duality. On the one hand, the United States is a free society where philanthropy is openly supported. On the other hand, it is a breeding ground for conspiracy theorists who want to demonize philanthropists, for whatever reasons. This has been going on for a really long time. On both the right and the left, suspicions eventually grew into out blown conspiracy theories that had no basis in reality. Conspiracy theories eventually led to the founding of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was a result of deep suspicions about people on the other side of the aisle. The same happened to George Soros. People on the extreme right started to accuse him of everything under the sun, including being behind the Roy Moore accusations and organizations like Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
George Soros makes the ultimate target for the alt-right. He is wealthy and he is Jewish, which automatically makes him a target for antisemites who hate Jewish people. He is also a progressive who donates heavily to Jewish causes. He wants to help the world improve. The conspiracy theorists twist that around and try to portray a picture of a rich Jew who controls the world through his wealth. That is a classic antisemitic stereotype. Although they will deny that they are playing into this stereotype, if you study the conspiracy theories you will see that they are indeed the basis of much of the conspiracies.
George Soros named the Open Society Foundations after Karl Popper’s book. The book talked about the difference between closed societies such as Nazism and communism, and open societies. George Soros suffered under both Nazim and communism, but he believes that there is another type of closed society, as he writes in The Capitalist Threat. He works to make open societies more viable, and he works against all kinds of closed societies.
George Soros writes that too much individualism is another form of a closed society. Some people believe in the free market like it is a God. However, in the end, if everyone is pursuing their own goals, they will not help out others. People need to focus on a common interest. That is the one threat to an open society even in countries where democracy reigns supreme. Of course, George Soros stressed that this is not to compare this threat with the threat of communism or Nazism. People who are focused on their self interests are not actively seeking to harm others, but the truth is that we need to make them aware of how they are inadvertently not helping society move forward.
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