George Soros is many things: investor, activist, author, and philanthropist. He is a highly polarizing figure, and the subject of several Illuminati-esque conspiracy theories. Much of the polarization stems from his activism and philanthropy, with rancor flowing from those opposed to his ideals, and praise coming from those who support it. Rather than delve into this murky quagmire of Internet speculation and alt-left and alt-right frothing at the mouth vitriol, let us instead look at a the general tenor of his donations, beginning with a specific instance of philanthropy when he donated roughly $18 billion of his personal wealth to his philanthropic agency, Open Society Foundations.
According to The Atlantic, Soros has been donating this sum over the past few years and disclosed the sum in October 2017. This made OSF the second largest foundation in the world, behind only the Gates’ Foundation. Open Society Foundation exists to promote the ideals of an open society, a term which was first created in the 1930s by Henri Bergson and further developed by Karl Popper according to Wikipedia. Not coincidentally, Popper also came up with a General Theory of Reflexivity, which Soros applied to investing.
The concept of open society espouses that society should be open, transparent, responsive, and humanitarian. This is the opposite of authoritarian governments that dominated Soros’ native Hungary. After escaping the horrors of Nazi-occupied Hungary, then seeing the Communist governments that arose during the aftermath of World War II, it is no wonder that Soros would dedicate his life and fortune to fundamentally oppose the ideals of such governments.
According to a Business Insider article from May 2017, Soros is well-known for his activism and philanthropy regarding democratic reforms, social justice, migrant and refugee rights, anti-war issues, and criminal justice reform, He fostered pro-capitalist and pro-democracy sentiments in former Communist Bloc nations. Through his foundations he has set up progressive universities throughout Europe, and pushed for democratic and immigration reforms throughout the EU. All these efforts have demonized him in the hearts, minds, and rhetoric of the governments and organizations who would benefit from controlling the opinions of “the people.”
In the original, ancient Greek meaning of philanthropy, George Soros is truly someone who “loves mankind.” Time and again he has spoken out in favor of the rights of the disenfranchised, promoted flexible and creative thought, and funded progressive democratic and immigration reform movements. He has pledged money to fight poverty throughout Africa, citing poor goverance as a contributing factor to impoverishment. If nothing else, George Soros is consistent in his thoughts and ideals, and puts those thoughts into practice with his words and wealth.
Regardless of whether you support his ideas or reject them, at least understand and accept that George Soros loves mankind and cares for their well-being. He feels that by promoting creative thoughts and tolerance humanity can transform society. Mr. Soros history of philanthropy demonstrates his commitment to this idea.
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