Soros’s purse against democracies

February, 27, 2023

He is a man whom half the world loves to hate and the other half loves him for his left-leaning ideas and for his money. He is an avowed partisan with fixed opinions and goes to great lengths to fund the support for those opinions. George Soros has been called an evil and an angel by equally loud voices. The 92-year old, from a Jewish family, survived the Holocaust when his father placed him under the protective umbrella of one of the partisans of that mass cruelty and from his sheltered space he watched the dispossession of Jews. The Hungary-born Soros is a practitioner of profit-based capitalism and has benefitted hugely from that ideology. Simultaneously, he denounces that ideology and has spent the bulk of his wealth, $32 billion out of a total of $40 billion, emaciating capitalism. In that destructive quest, he became known as the man who broke the Bank of England, when during the September 1992 financial crisis, he resorted to short selling billions of pounds and made $1.5 billion in just a month. He is a prolific author, having written 15 books including the famous title “The Alchemy of Finance.”

Soros is heavily into the domestic policies of many countries, through his Open Society Foundation that has received the bulk of his largesse. He supports political parties, partisan groups and even organisations that openly support the use of violence to achieve their aims. He has a huge focus on the US, the quintessential capitalist country. In the two-party polity of that country, he has always supported and financed one, the Democrats, and demonised the other, the Republicans, and that is not because of Donald Trump; he has donated to the Democratic PACs since long. In the recent 2022 mid-term elections, he donated $150 million to this party, topped only by Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, that went bankrupt recently and Sam was arrested on criminal charges. He finances many academic institutions to set-up departments and chairs to espouse the anti-capitalist cause and had announced a fund of $1 billion in 2020 to “promote liberal values and his vision of an open society.” These institutions have become echo chambers for anti-capitalist ideas and are notable for a cancel culture where it is virtually impossible to invite a speaker who subscribes to any contrary ideology. This has resulted in substantial degradation of freedom of speech, expression and thought on university campuses across the US.

Antifa, that stands for anti-Fascism is in effect a fascist organisation, whose masked members are known to commit violence against those they declare to be Fascists, this being a classic example of a label prostituting itself to whosoever pays. Antifa played a huge role in the 2020 US presidential election on the side of the Democrats, blocking highways and the venues of the Republican election gatherings and indulging in physical violence against Republican supporters. Antifa, in turn, spawned the Black Lives Matter (BLM), that was, once again, instrumental in large-scale violence, including looting and burning of stores and destroying public property and justifying such acts as necessary response to inequality in the US society. Their opponents coined the slogan “All Lives Matter” and were the recipients of physical violence from BLM for chanting it, showing the extreme partisan nature of the enterprise. Both Antifa and BLM received Soros funds with the latter receiving up to one-third of its resources from Soros.

Other causes close to the heart of this philanthropist are the pro-abortion campaign, support of same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ causes. Planned Parenthood, the leading pro-abortion entity in the US has been heavily supported by Soros. Abortion is a major election issue in the US and when the Federal Supreme Court overturned the landmark verdict Roe v. Wade that had made abortion available virtually without any limitations, Planned Parenthood made it an election issue in favour of the Democrats. Soros, in tune with the pro-abortion lobby, said the verdict “diminishes human rights, and greatly threatens reproductive care.” All these leanings place Soros in direct conflict with conservative ideologies in the US and India, in his country of birth Hungary, in Poland, Germany, France and Israel. Soros’s money controls the media in many countries. When Victor Orban won Hungary’s election in 2022, he said that he had defeated Soros. Israel had issued a statement that Soros continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected government by funding organizations that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself. The British government fired philosopher Roger Scruton for speaking against Soros; shortly thereafter, Polish President Andrzej Duda presented him with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, the highest award that can be given to a non-Pole, for his role in Poland’s anti-communist struggle. Soros has been in conflict with the Czech government for the latter’s anti-immigration stand. He has been fighting the conservatives Party AfD in Germany with his Open Society Foundation, dedicating large sums of money for this party’s defeat in the elections.

Thus, Soros has been vehemently opposing the democratically elected governments in various countries when he differs with the ideology of the party elected to power. Such use of foreign money in elections is an offence in many countries including in India and the US. Yet, surprisingly he has been soft on many cruel totalitarian regimes, if they happen to be under the protective label of communism. His views on the nuclear sabre-rattling Kim of North Korea should have raised many an alarm but did not because he controls so much of the media. Soros had said, “In my opinion, North Korea chose a nuclear test as a desperate option, which on the contrary, can be interpreted as an expression of its will to have a talk with the United States… If the United States employs a more softened diplomatic policy toward North Korea and persuades the North to quit nuclear weapons on the promise of securing the regime, a change in the North Korean regime can take place more smoothly and quickly than expected.” He has been often silent about the Chinese atrocities in Tibet and Xinjiang and has not done much to help the oppressed people in these regions. He did not help the Chechens when Putin pounded the homes of the Muslim minority and finally coerced them into submission. Beyond lip service, he did not move to help Ukraine in any way when Putin annexed Crimea. Oppression of minorities in Pakistan, so well documented, has not drawn a response from him but the so-called issue of Kashmir is close to his heart and he has repeatedly slammed India on that score.

Soros’s latest diatribe against India is a continuation of his tendency of placing his ideological choices over the democratic outcome and to use his purse to tilt that outcome. Some day it may become known that Hindenberg, who tapered down Adani, had the blessings of Soros.  The Hindenberg episode did cause a hiccup on the Indian financial markets. Yet, our experience of millennia shows that at times India is down but never out. India has been a bulwark for democracy and a stonewall against the destructive and oppressive leftist ideology. India has successfully resisted  terrorists and bullying by the superpowers of the world. It is futile for Soros to think that his few billion dollars and his support for destructive ideologies can cause a tremor in India. He failed to influence the course of events in his motherland Hungary and in neighbouring Poland. Those who fail to hunt foxes in their neighbourhood should stay clear of the elephant

The writer RN Prasher is a retired IAS officer of Haryana cadre | Personal Opinions

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