by Richard Butrick (September 2016)
George Soros began his philanthropic activities when he established the Open Society Foundation in 1984. The foundation funds a range of global initiatives “to advance justice, education, public health, business development and independent media.”
In 2013 the Soros Open Society Foundation had a budget of $873 million and ranked as the second largest private philanthropy budget in the United States, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Here is a partial breakdown of the Soros Open Society Foundation expenditure of more than a 11 Billions dollars spent across the globe since its inception.
According to the foundations’ website, 1993-2014 expenditures included:
$2.9 billion to defend human rights, especially the rights of women, ethnic, racial, and religious minorities, drug users, sex workers, and LGBTQ communities,
$2.1 billion for education,
$1.6 billion on developing democracy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union,
$1.5 billion in the United States to promote reform in criminal justice, drug policy, palliative care, education, immigration, equal rights, and democratic governance.
Who can gainsay any of this. The Soros Opens Society Foundation is basically trying to empower the oppressed and marginalized members of society across the globe. Well – it just might turnout that defending the rights of “ethnic, racial, and religious minorities, drug users, sex workers, and LGBTQ communities” doesn’t quite mean working within the framework of our legal and governmental institutions to defend civil rights and prevent discrimination and that promoting reform doesn’t quite mean by argument and debate.
There’s a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement. No, it’s not victim Michael Brown or Officer Darren Wilson. It’s not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite his ubiquitous campaign on TV and the streets.
Rather, it’s liberal billionaire George Soros, who has built a network business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impact American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org.
The Opens Society Foundation is named after Karl Popper’s influential work The Open Society and its Enemies, When Soros was studying at The London School of Economics he became greatly influenced by Popper’s work in philosophy of science and social philosophy. Popper is
… generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. He was also a social and political philosopher of considerable stature, a self-professed critical-rationalist, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally and a committed advocate and staunch defender of the ‘Open Society.’
The work of the Soros Open Society Foundation certainly seems to dovetail with Popper’s Open Society vision. When Popper wrote The Open Society and its Enemies, he believed that all voices and opinions should have the freedom to be heard and not shut out by political power structures. Subject to critical analysis certainly, but not politically shut down. In a way Popper saw knowledge as an evolutionary process subject to Darwinian survival of the fittest which in the realm of science and knowledge generally were tested by critical analysis. Theories that better survive the process of refutation are not more true, but rather, more “fit.” In the realm of social and political philosophy this all plays out as a defense of the open society against authoritarianism and totalitarianism. If human “knowledge” is always provisional and fallible and ongoing, a society must be open to alternative points of view. By contrast, authoritarian and totalitarian societies must claim their knowledge is fixed and final.
[in a] closed society, claims to certain knowledge and ultimate truth lead to the attempted imposition of one version of reality. Such a society is closed to freedom of thought. In contrast, in an open society each citizen needs to engage in critical thinking, which requires freedom of thought and expression and the cultural and legal institutions that can facilitate this.
The Soros Foundation may be seen as an attempt to foster a more open society along the lines advocated by Popper. And therein lies the rub. The Popper vision is just another orthodoxy which paradoxically claims to be against the imposition of orthodoxies. How then does one deal with those who would impose their version of the final truth and seem to be succeeding with a vision in opposition to the Popper ideal society? For Soros, instead of picking the hard targets from Erdogan to Khamenei to Kim Jong Un and their ideologically based final solutions, or even the milder forms like the imposition of PC in our universities, it means fomenting discontent in the Western societies which have only approximated the Popper ideal. This, of course, is done from within the safety of the US with its legal system, law enforcement and military protection. And evidently, as far as Soros is concerned, while doing all this hard work of trying to disrupt and destabilize Western societies, it doesn’t hurt to make a little money along the way betting against their currencies.
This is no secret.
Soros provided his vision of the process of implementing a world-wide open society in his article, “The Capitalist Threat,” in the February 1997 Atlantic Monthly.
Societies derive their cohesion from shared values . . . religion, history, and tradition. When a society does not have boundaries where are the shared values to be found? . . . the concept of the open society itself.
Destroy the fabric of traditional societies and, mirabile dictu, from the ashes will arise the open society. Just how this open society is to be administered and its norms enforced is never explained but somehow we are assured that like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it shall become a reality (with Soros and his fellow billionaires at the helm?)
To this end George Soros uses a vast network of special interest groups, in the United States and abroad, to promote protest movements and street riots by societies “disenfranchised” groups. In effect this works towards the “tribalization” of society. The concept of tribalization is heavily used by Popper and is the exact opposite what Popper had in mind for his open society.
The various special interest groups include The Democracy Alliance, MoveOn.org, America Coming Together, America Votes and The Center for American Progress all of which, to a greater or lesser degree, advocate open borders. The open-borders advocates vilify the United States as a war-mongering, empire-building, brutish abuser of the world’s impoverished nations. The United States thus is worthy of internal and external contempt and global defeat as part of the nation’s deconstruction. In fact, in the prologue to Soros’ latest book, The Age of Fallibility (Public Affairs 2006), he maintains that the United States is the main obstacle to a stable and just world.
Soros may claim to be following the ideas of Karl Popper but in his alleged implementation thereof he might as well be following the – of spurious origin – playbook of Protocols of the Elders of Zion to a tee.
The Protocols present a scheme for undermining traditional loyalties and the creation of a babble of conflicting loyalties to confuse and create social disarray in order gain control. They are being implemented before our eyes. All done in the name of the final utopia in which mankind will live without wars and social injustice. That deception and false banners must be used, that transitional hardships and even total collapse of social structures must be endured, is all justified by the fair-shake, fair-share social justice world that awaits.
The fatal flaw in all this is the presumption that the evolution of scientific thought is a model for the vagaries of the normative world of social organization resulting in closer approximation of truth. There is no truth in value systems. It is called the is-ought gap. Certainly one does jump the is-ought gap in normative discussions but it is not a logical inference and there is no built in closer and closer approximation to “truth.” The imposition of social norms is a power struggle – hopefully by consent rather than by the sword (or drones) – but it is still some form of a power struggle and always will be. And, again, hopefully mankind can learn from history the grim realities brought on by past value systems at the core of historically failed societies.
But the grim reality facing the Western world right now is that the totalitarian world of Islam is capitalizing on the floundering world of Western value malaise and self-deprecation. Soros may win but he will be raising his butt to Allah.
Dr. Richard Butrick is an American writer who has published in Mind, Philosophy of Science, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, International Journal of Computer Mathematics among others.
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