Few tycoons have such an aura of omnipotence and omniscience as George Soros. Still best known in Britain as “the man who broke the Bank of England” on Black Wednesday (September 16, 1992), when sterling was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, Soros is also fêted for pumping billions into Eastern Europe before and after 1989. Now 80, the Hungarian-American financier shows no sign of flagging in his frenetic drive to give away a fortune estimated at $14 billion. The Soros myth is fuelled by a steady stream of bestselling books and articles in liberal journals such as the New York Review of Books.
There is, however, a darker side to George Soros: he has a domestic agenda in the US that not only helped to put Obama into the White House but filled the administration with radical Soros supporters; a global political agenda which treats America and Israel as the main threats to peace; and a social agenda of drug legalisation, abortion and euthanasia. To describe Soros’s agenda, which has so far cost more than $7 billion, as utopian would be no exaggeration.
Take, for example, Soros’s campaign against Israel and the “Israel lobby” in the US. This includes a $100 million donation to Human Rights Watch, the largest single gift it has ever received, despite a record of vilifying the Jewish state so shocking that last year its founder Robert Bernstein denounced the organisation. It recently emerged that Soros had secretly funded the American lobby group J-Street, which was promoted by the White House to justify its policy of unilateral concessions by Israel.
Soros is uniquely well connected in the Obama administration, which usually follows his policy prescriptions. Consider, for instance, Soros’s support for the National Iranian American Council, which is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Trojan horse in the US. One of its board members, John Limbert, was until October Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iran at the State Department, which may be one of the reasons why US policy has failed to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Soros wants US policy to be subordinated to the United Nations. There, too, Soros has influence. One of his closest associates is Lord Malloch-Brown, formerly Deputy Secretary General at the UN and a Foreign Office minister, in the British Government. Malloch-Brown has sat on the boards of several Soros organisations and even lived in one of the billionaire’s houses in Westchester County, outside New York. It is the same story in domestic policy. Melody Barnes, formerly head of the Centre for American Progress, is now Director of the Domestic Policy Council in the Obama administration. Soros is a major donor to the Centre.
Soros is a passionate believer in “personal autonomy” and “compassion”, both of which are euphemisms for legalising drugs and euthanasia. He has thrown his vast resources behind the global campaign for assisted suicide, which has gathered momentum ever since it was legalised in Oregon in 1994. As for drugs: Soros strongly backed the referendum in California to legalise cannabis that narrowly failed last month. He has devoted tens of millions to the “medicalisation” of the issue, with considerable success in America and elsewhere. He has extended his campaign to make unrestricted abortion available on demand into Russia and Eastern Europe, even though abortions already exceed live births in some of these countries, which face demographic collapse. Soros is the apostle of what Pope John Paul II called “the culture of death”.
Despite his image as the archetypal capitalist, Soros is a man of the Left, albeit of an eclectic kind. Like Stalin, he sees himself as “an engineer of men’s souls”, and like Trotsky he wishes to consign the old order to the dustbin of history, in favour of his own “New Economic Thinking”. His latest project is a “School of Global Policy”. Globalisation for Soros is a kind of permanent revolution — “global markets need global regulations” — that spells the end of national sovereignty. Hence he believes in unlimited immigration — understandable, given his odyssey from Nazi-occupied Budapest via London to New York — but opposes the integration which made his spectacular career possible.
Soros has a highly prestigious vehicle for his ideology in the Central European University in Budapest, which he founded. Last year, he gave a lecture series there, denouncing capitalism as the enemy of the “open society” and predicting the decline of American democracy. But he told his students, all is not lost: “President Obama has the right vision. He believes in international co-operation rather than the Bush-Cheney idea of might is right.” Such ex cathedra indoctrination has no place in the academy. But Soros has given half a billion dollars to his university. Nobody dares to contradict him there.
This professed disciple of Popper is fond of charging those who try to falsify his theories with “Orwellian propaganda”. But Soros himself has pioneered the latest form of Newspeak. Among the many enemies of the open society, some are more equal than others. And some are simply megalomaniacs.