Scruton and Soros 1161


One principle of this blog is that I give my views whether they will be welcome or not, either to the general public or to the portion of the public who regularly read this blog. Since we started accepting subscriptions to keep it going, almost every article causes somebody to write to me saying they are canceling their subscription because they did not agree with me. I would much prefer anybody who is kindly giving money in the expectation of agreeing with everything I write, to cancel now. The purpose of this blog is to be intellectually challenging and provide food for thought, with facts and viewpoints not readily available in the mainstream media. It is about intellectual inquiry, not followership.

This is one of those occasions when I know that a significant number of people here will not agree with me. I like George Soros and consider him to be a good man. I should declare an interest; he once bought me a pizza, over 20 years ago. But I considered then, and I consider now, that Soros is a man who has devoted huge amounts of his personal resources, in terms of time and in terms of money, to attempting to make the world a better place, from motives of altruism.

Furthermore I believe that a lot of the work of the Open Society Institute, which I witnessed first hand, in Poland and Uzbekistan and elsewhere, is good work, particularly in the field of human rights and media freedom.

I believe that Roger Scruton’s attack on Soros, particularly in a venue in Hungary where the far right Prime Minister has conducted a truly hateful, state orchestrated, anti-semitic and anti-immigrant campaign against Soros, puts Scruton totally beyond the pale.

Soros frequently is cited in comments below the line on this blog as the personification of evil capitalism. Let me address the obvious elephants in the room. The first is how he made his money. This I make no attempt to defend. He has simply managed assets and traded derivative products, particularly in foreign exchange markets, and either by brilliance or sustained good luck, become extremely wealthy from an activity that provides no societal good. Indeed derivatives trading is a cancerous growth on modern economies, where the financial flows vastly exceed the value of trade in actual goods or genuine first party services.

However, people live and work in the economic situation that exists; to condemn people for not dropping out and going off-grid is to adopt a purist and ineffective position. I do not know how Soros got into the business line he adopted, but I am not condemning every individual working in trading. It is also worth stating that Soros’ ethnicity is utterly irrelevant to his career, and those who hint otherwise are offensive.

The second elephant in the room is that Soros appears aligned to the global spread of neo-liberalism, and to the Clinton camp with its warmongering foreign policy. Leaving aside for two paragraphs the question of whether or not that is true, the most important answer to that is that the man is entitled to his beliefs. To condemn him because his beliefs are not all my beliefs would be wrong. That Soros uses so much of his personal wealth to try to make the world a better place, according to his view of how society might best be structured, makes him a good man and not a bad man. That I may have a different view of how society should be structured is not the test; it is whether somebody is genuinely trying to do good by others.

Soros’ view of how society might best be structured is coloured by his past experience of the Eastern bloc. It is natural that anybody from what was occupied Hungary looks at Russia with a wary and distrustful eye. It is natural that those who understand the real failings of Soviet style central planning are dubious of schemes of socialism. But Soros is in fact fairly mainstream European social democrat with very liberal societal views. I genuinely do not understand his demonisation by large sections of the left. Soros is anathema to the right wing nationalist parties of Eastern Europe.

It is also worth pointing out that Soros’ view of his own profession is by no means straightforward. He argued extremely strongly for greater financial regulation, publishing highly informative and reasoned books on the subject, at the height of the craze for deregulation. He was not a supporter of the Big Bang or of Gordon Brown’s market worship. His 1998 opus, The Crisis of Global Capitalism, argues that financial markets are inherently unstable and swing like a wrecking ball not like a pendulum, and that globalisation is in fact an extension of Imperialism. That someone made so much money, from rules he believed should have been altered to stop him doing it, is a conundrum; but he is altogether a complicated character.

Finally, that Soros is a warmonger and supporter of US military attacks on the Middle East is not true. He opposed the Iraq war, and is generally against military intervention. His funding reaches so many NGO’s, of diverse views, it is always possible to find a tweet by Avaaz, or a report on Syrian human rights violations by Amnesty International, and make the claim “that is Soros shilling for war”. But in fact his influence on the vast array of civil society institutions he funds is extremely light touch, and they encompass widely differing viewpoints. Soros’ strong support for the warmonger Clinton is something I do not attempt to justify, other than to note that many people of liberal views are taken in by the old “liberal” establishment. It is quite a psychological step to accept it has gone full neo-con.

I most certainly do not agree with all of Soros’ views, or actions. But I agree with more of them than you may suppose. That all of his actions are motivated by a desire to make more money for himself or to benefit the ruling class, I am quite sure is not true. That he is a hawk and a warmonger I do not believe. That his efforts do a lot of real good I have witnessed first hand. The demonisation of Soros is lazy, inaccurate and unfair.


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1,161 thoughts on “Scruton and Soros

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  • Nick

    “Roger Scruton’s attack on Soros”

    The full quote shows that Scruton is saying quite the opposite and warning about the ongoing problem of anti-Semitism in Hungary:

    “Many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form part of the extensive networks around the Soros Empire. People in these networks include many who are rightly suspicious of nationalism, regard nationalism as the major cause of the tragedy of Central Europe in the 20th century, and do not distinguish nationalism from the kind of national loyalty that I have defended in this talk. Moreover, as the world knows, indigenous anti-Semitism still plays a part in Hungarian society and politics, and presents an obstacle to the emergence of a shared national loyalty among ethnic Hungarians and Jews.”

    Scruton actually took on Orban and lobbied hard against his move to close down the Central European University in Budapest last year. The university founded by George Soros…

    Upset that Guido is giving me more balance than you Mr Murray. (Upset mostly at myself, however).

    • Old Mark

      Well said Nick

      Scruton may now be ‘beyond the pale’ to Craig and assorted attention seekers in the HoC and Grauniad, but strangely enough he is still accepted by Soros’s own pride and joy, the Central European University, and its Dean, Michael Ignatieff.

      Ignatieff’s defence of Scruton when hosting him at the CEU last year (despite protests) is well worth listening to, as is Scruton’s lecture itself- which may be hard going for the oiks who simply dismiss him as a ‘right wing loon’-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn6kB9qC-oI&feature=youtu.be

    • Dec

      Scruton risked his life to help the Eastern European intelligentsia at a time when Europe’s supposedly enlightened cultural leaders revelled in its oppression. But let not facts get in the way of the simple, two-tone picture of the world Craig keeps telling us he is here to counter, yet himself propounds when the emotional envelope suits him.

  • Paul Greenwood

    “he once bought me a pizza, over 20 years ago.”

    I have never digested such a memorable pizza that it ruminated 20 years later. That aside I adhere to the view that Lamont gave Soros the BoE reserves. It was a gift. There was no reason to waste £3.4 billion of foreign currency reserves defending an exchange rate permitting Germany to force the costs of Re-Unification onto Italy and UK. It was bizarre for Lamont from Rothschild Asset Management to sanction such a stupid policy.

    Soros is fortunate in having inside information like every other speculator whether Ivan Boesky or the proverbial hedge-fund operator buying polling information before publication or Goldman Sachs getting Treasury data before the rest of the Financial Markets.

    Soros swims in a cess pool and then tries to shower in rose water

    • Alex Westlake

      Lamont opposed it, he wanted to leave the ERM, but others in the cabinet, notably Heseltine, Hurd, and Major himself didn’t, so Lamont was overruled, and ultimately dismissed after Black Wednesday had played out. Yes, it was effectively a gift, but not from Lamont. It was from the man who was Chancellor before him, and Lamont did not deserve to be the fall guy.

  • Vazelas

    First elephant in the room: “However, people live and work in the economic situation that exists; to condemn people for not dropping out and going off-grid is to adopt a purist and ineffective position. ” This is not true for the true left, though – if you made your money in trading, you made your money from the exploitation of the hard work of others. This is adequate reason to criticize Soros.

    Second: “That Soros uses so much of his personal wealth to try to make the world a better place, according to his view of how society might best be structured, makes him a good man and not a bad man.” I know it’s a cliche, but Hitler also tried hard to make the world a better place, according to his view of how society might best be structured, so did Stalin ,so did Thatcher, so did Bin Laden. We can still condemn someone for their views on how society might best be structured, based on the views themselves, not how hard they try to make them happen. And his views on how society should work still revolve around the capital being the regulator, and the rich ruling the earth. That is also something the left is worth condemning.

    Final elephant: “Finally, that Soros is a warmonger and supporter of US military attacks on the Middle East is not true.” Perhaps, but he is still a supporter of regime change and intervention to the affairs of other countries, which is not much different from straight out bombing them. Perhaps he wants to do it for good, perhaps for bad, but it is worth remembering that his protegees the White Helmets have been used politically to advance the neoliberal agenda of regime change in the Middle East. In fact his NGOs trying to make a change and a difference in other countries are suspicious and signs of interventionism and trying to affect domestic affairs of sovereign states.

    In short, I think all three points above are not valid points to reject Soros’ condemnation and demonisation by the Left, and rather the opposite: his world view is not different form the neoliberal world-view of capital domination, exactly the opposite of what the left stands for.

    • Vinnie Pooh

      Wanted to say pretty much the same as your Second, but you beat me to it.

      Somewhat different modality, more utilitarian – Soroses attempt to make world a better place leave a far larger number of people people much worse off, than the number of people they actually help.

    • pretzelattack

      pretty much agree. i appreciate craig summer’s blog, and his welcoming dissenting viewpoints, but i just can’t see an honest neoliberal as being above criticism because he honestly believes in it.

    • Arby

      Craig’s blunt (which we need) assessment of the Royals is that they are parasites. But for some reason, Craig gives this parasite kid (very soft) gloves treatment. Whatever. I’m going to look closely at what “progressives” are all about, just because I’ve decided that that could prove interesting. I’ve already started collecting thought-provoking articles/blog posts by assorted bloggers etc, which call into question the direction that some progressives are going (and whether, therefore, we can call their progress ‘progress’), and will in the future try to say something useful about much of the contradictory and/or disturbing stuff that progressives toss out. Was it Craig himself, talking about Jesse Jackson if I recall, who said ‘Never meet your heroes’?

      Give Craig credit. He’s letting us rant about this.

      • Roger Lewis

        I’m with you Arby, Craig is entitled to his views as much as Soros is. we all have to be wrong to learn a way that works for us, isn’t it called trial and error. A Priori reasoning can take us so far but however sound we think that reasoning can be a deal of Humble pie must always be in reserve when inevitably,a posteri , we see that we have made asses of ourselves.
        Mr Soros’s Billions raise his voice above more intelligent, reasoned and worthy voices in my view, The Open Society Foghorn in my view brings fog rather than alerts against hazards.
        Mr Soros opined on Brexit in the project syndicate journal, I made a comment in response
        https://longhairedmusings.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/a-response-to-george-soros-on-his-eu-brexit-meddling/
        ‘ Soros is yesterday’s, Man. Neo-Liberalism has been found out and Soros´s brand of Financialised Capitalism and Stae Monopoly manipulation of Markets has been Exposed. The People of Britain, as well as the people of Europe, remember the Golden Age of Social Democracy and even Democratic Socialism. Neo-Liberalism having failed to deliver on its promises and having undermined British Democracy and institutions will now be set aside, as will the EU. The EU, if it reforms and goes back on to the Track of Social Democracy, may Survive and see the power vector restored from the people to the Executive and not this top-down Elite, Managerial command and control Farce.’

        The latest Chris Hodges interview of David Harvey is worth watching I am eagerly awaiting part 2 next week.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-YO5EROH-I

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    There s no sensible alternative to some form of capitalism unless we are going back to being cavemen.

    I like Soros too given the world’s current forms of capitalism.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        He is a huge capitalist who uses the money in all kinds of projects that governments are increasing loathe to fund.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Finally! A conspiracy theory you don’t believe. Keep worrying about those CIA earthquakes though. Shush, they might be listening.

        • imagine

          @Trowbridge

          Soros is indeed a huge capitalist. Soros has previously said: “I am basically there to make money, I cannot and do not look at the social consequences of what I do”

          We could look at many of his actions. Altho admittedly many of his projects/fundings are never disclosed.

          But let’s look at his 6 million dollars to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Anyone who has taken the time to read the Wikileaks and Snowden revelations will know all about Clinton’s motivations and devilishness.

          How could the funding of Hillary Clinton be considered good for the ordinary people of this planet?

          • glenn_nl

            I: “How could the funding of Hillary Clinton be considered good for the ordinary people of this planet?

            Because she was the opponent of Trump. Trump, as you may recall, is engaged in trade wars, has withdrawn from the Paris accords, wants war with Iran, enables the Saudis, has made tax cuts on the rich, cares nothing about the environment or human rights, and is ginning up white supremacy race-hatred. Just for starters.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            i don’t like the Clintons either, and hated voting for Hillary since her Bubba, Panetta, and Tenet tried to kill me in Portugal, Sweden and here.

            At least they are not as dangerous as our Hitler Light.

            There no chance of avoiding crap when one lives in a shithole.

          • imagine

            @Glenn

            Glenn says: “Because she was the opponent of Trump. Trump, as you may recall, is engaged in trade wars, has withdrawn from the Paris accords, wants war with Iran, enables the Saudis, has made tax cuts on the rich, cares nothing about the environment or human rights, and is ginning up white supremacy race-hatred. Just for starters.”
            ——————————–

            you mean the same Clinton who had also planned to bring in massive tax cuts for the elite once elected.

            the same Clinton who, along with her colleagues in washington, had set the middle east on fire…..and planned to invade more countries once elected. My democrat friends were terrified clinton was gonna start a world war.

            the same clinton/obama regime that did not close the torture prison in Cuba (despite promises). The same regime that dropped 20 percent more bomzbs in it’s 8 years in office, than the dubya bush regime. The same regime that targetted truth-tellers, whistleblowers and journalists?

            By the way, have you taken the time to read the snowden and wikileaks revelations in recent years?

          • imagine

            @Trowbridge

            Trowbridge said: “i don’t like the Clintons either, and hated voting for Hillary since her Bubba, Panetta, and Tenet tried to kill me in Portugal, Sweden and here.”
            —————————–

            ok. I’m a tad confused.

          • Tom Welsh

            ‘Soros has previously said: “I am basically there to make money, I cannot and do not look at the social consequences of what I do”’.

            The Hungarian Gordon Gecko, then.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Because she was the opponent of Trump. Trump, as you may recall, is engaged in trade wars”

            Whereas Clinton as Obama’s Secretary of State, oversaw his foreign policy, bear in mind Obama, is the POTUS longest at war.

            But to be fair, in my opinion, there was no outstanding candidate as POTUS between Clinton and Trump.

          • glenn_nl

            Imagine: “My democrat friends were terrified clinton was gonna start a world war.

            Where did they get that idea from, I wonder? Perhaps you could provide some references from them, it would be interesting. If it’s the same source that said Carter/ Clinton/ Gore / Obama/ Clinton were coming for their bibles and their guns, I would be hesitant to trust that sort of information.

          • Tom Welsh

            @glenn_nl

            “Where did they get that idea from, I wonder? Perhaps you could provide some references from them, it would be interesting”.

            You sound like the kind of person who would regard The Grauniad as authoritative…

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/25/hillary-clinton-syria-no-fly-zones-russia-us-war

            Or, for the less postmodern among us,

            http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/12/hillary-clintons-insane-plan-for-a-no-fly-zone.html

            It’s very simple really.

            1. US government declares “no-fly” zone over Syria.
            2. US government takes normal first step in imposing a “no-fly” zone: destroy all the target nation’s air defence systems.
            3. Russia shoots down all American missiles.
            4. USA sends aircraft to destroy air defences (some of which are Russian).
            5. Russia shoots down American aircraft.
            6. USA attempts to destroy Russian air defences, aircraft, air bases.
            7. Russia shoots down everything, destroys US carriers and air bases.
            8. People in Washington turn bright red, hop around in frustrated rage, and order tactical nuclear weapons used against Russian bases.
            9. Russia – as laid down in its defence doctrine – retaliates with tactical nuclear missiles.
            10. RIP everyone.

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      You have that completely arse over tit – as I’ve noticed you have on most things.

      As some famous socialist luminary proposed, the ONLY alternatives are: “Socialism or barbarism”.

      The current Global Capitalist domination of the World seems to provide more than sufficient proof of this.

      Of course, if you don’t believe that this capitalist dominated World is currently undergoing one of its most barbaric periods, if not its most barbaric period, then clearly I am urinating the wrong way against the isobars and talking to an obviously half awake dimwit; but I feel confident that at least you’ll agree with me on THAT point.

      .

      • JIm C

        Socialism leads to barbarism.

        Show me a single socialist country that didn’t devolve into barbarism. And, no, the Scandinavian countries are not socialist; they are mixed economies, like most in the West.

        North Korea, the Soviet Union, Venezuela, (and, until recently) China – those are socialist countries: the state owns the means of production.

        All governments utilise coercion to maintain the elites’ positions, but the relatively “light touch” in capitalist countries at least produces enough food to eat.

  • James Mills

    In any democracy each should be entitled to their own view – even the people we do not personally like . I do not know enough about Mr Soros to judge him fairly .There are many in the UK who I do not personally know but whose actions I detest so , for the moment , I will concentrate my ire on them rather than George Soros .
    I am sure Mr Soros feels the same about me . lol

    • Arby

      You should, if you’re a progressive (some who cares; caring is knowing), know enough to know what to think about George Soros, aka Mr regime change. Paying attention – which is ‘not’ being lazy – makes it easy to draw a conclusion about George Soros’s contribution, positive or negative, to human civilization (such as it is). I would have thought that Craig would have thought that the people (most) visiting his site are not intellectually lazy, which failing to be able to recall a plehtora of details about this or that person or subject, on the spot, does not automatically make you.

  • EB

    Must’ve been an incredible pizza! Thanks for this. The mind boggles at how one billionaire is constantly singled out for the most poisonous demonization, far above and beyond any other single billionaire – and this billionaire happens to be the broadly progressive billionaire. Ridiculous to expect perfection (or some impeccably radical politics that suits everyone) from such a man. I agree with virtually every word of this post.(Disappointingly!) Hope it gets read widely. Cheers.

    • Paul Greenwood

      He is not. The Koch Brothers are a force for evil as is Sheldon Adelson and we are not even discussing the Saudi funding of Western political front organisations.

      • EB

        @Paul
        There is zero interest in Adelson and the Saudis compared to Soros. A little bit more in the Kochs but still dwarfed:
        https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=%2Fm%2F0gyk6w,Sheldon%20Adelson,Saudi%20lobby,Koch%20brothers
        Soros is an obsession, an irrational bugbear, and an uncomfortably revealing one. His name comes up routinely and reflexively, like some secular Satan.
        I can assure you he’s nowhere near as evil or as destructive as numerous other superrich bastards, and lavishly funded secret agencies, etc, who simply don’t advertise where they channel their comparably (indeed, collectively *far more*) vast resources.
        I suppose the devotion to smearing Soros smacks of intellectual laziness more than anything. He’s not quiet about his interests and so the very definition of an easy target.

        • pretzelattack

          the kochs get attacked all the time. trump (if he is indeed a billionaire) gets attacked for doing stupid billionaire things quite often. being in the u.s., i see much more criticism of them than george soros.

    • imagine

      @EB

      EB says: “The mind boggles at how one billionaire is constantly singled out for the most poisonous demonization, far above and beyond any other single billionaire – and this billionaire happens to be the broadly progressive billionaire.”
      ———————————

      progressive in what way?

      the latest data that I saw a few weeks back, indicated that in all of recorded history, there has never been greater inequality across mankind.

      we see endless regime change by the west. Torture, conflict, and death, in scores of skirmishes and wars across the globe

      the climate is well and truly up the creek.

      And the last I recall, Soros had pumped at least 6 million dollars into the Clinton campaign in 2016. The same evil woman that is happy to wage war across planet. The same woman that played a major role in bringing Libya down into it’s curent chaos. Did you ever get a chance to read wikileaks, edward snowden or manning’s revelations?

      Soros is a monster. Just like his neo-extreme pals, the Koch brothers. There is absolutely nothing progressive about him. He just likes to get progressively richer and more powerful.

      • EB

        @Imagine
        This is hard to describe as anything other than progressive, at least in principle: https://www.georgesoros.com/2016/09/20/why-im-investing-500-million-in-migrants/
        Bar for a few undeniably interesting international episodes, such as Korea, etc, Clinton might probably have been better than Trump and so I can think of worse things for a rich man to fund. (I didn’t see much difference during the election but Trump is undeniably a far more seriously troublesome, in general, president than Clinton 2 would’ve been.)
        Soros may be a monster but he’s far from the only one and probably one of the better ones on balance – and the obsession with demonizing him to such a singular, all-encompassing extent is absolutely pathetic. The world’s issues are far bigger than one complicated billionaire, yet one surname comes up, over and over and over, as though it’s the single root of all planetary evil. It’s laughable.

        • imagine

          @EB

          thanks for the reply, EB. Fair points.

          I agree, there was no choice in the 2016 election – re Clinton v Trump. It was the devil v satan…..Al Capone versus Arfur Daley.

          But you acknowledge that Soros is a monster. It shouldn’t be necessary to pick one monster, because he is perceived as a lesser monster to the other.

          For what it’s worth, I prefer to keep my pepper dry (saying that we have around our way in the rural north of Ireland).

          I am in the autumn of my years. I have seen red and blue come and go. Ordinary folk, despite their efforts, keep on getting poorer and working longer hours, with less benefits. Meanwhile the elite keep getting richer, regardless of the economic climate. I just see endless war…..and a media that nobody is buying any longer, because it is just pure undiluted propaganda.

          I want equality. And one’s efforts rewarded. I want a national health service. I want peace and a beautiful planet. None of these elite folk are interested in any of these things. They just crave power, control and greater riches. And they don’t give a damn if they have to launch wars, and invade countries, to get their hands on the spoils.

          Just my tuppence.

          • lysias

            There were other choices. Like mine for Jill Stein. Choices that all too many Americans refuse to make, for reasons that I do not understand.

          • imagine

            @lysias

            Good point. I liked Jill Stein too.

            And Bernie Sanders.

            But all that big corporate money has to do, is to whisper the S word, and the sheepish voters get spooked.

            It’s crazy. Undiluted unregulated unfettered capitalism has not worked. You’d think folks would try an alternative.

          • Dungroanin

            Oi Imagine, please leave Arthur Daley alone, he was a diamond geezer, heart of gold, soft as bambi … just like Delboy Trotter.

            And I heard that Capone and co who were made by the State – Prohibition, set that whole raft of gangsters afloat!
            Dillinger was a bit of Robin Hood too.
            Lets’s not forget that Miss J Edgar Hoover, got gis heels on the American body politik from thence and wrote all the ‘history’ determining who was good and who was bad.

            Hillary started out as a Republican, her and Bill were nurtured by the Parhocracy from an early age, it is their modus operandi.
            Trump is that version of NY immigrant new money that the Aristos hate and never let their kids marry – the thing about the mouthy fuzzy headed potus that stands him apart from ALL republicans is that i’ve never seen a picture of him firing or even handling weapons! Not in the MSM anyway.

            Amyway look for a better comparison, how about, Ming the merciless and Gordon Ghekko?

      • Tom Welsh

        “[P]rogressive in what way?”

        Yes, that is indeed the question. To call someone “progressive” can mean that you think they have brought about progress (by your standards) or that they think they are bringing about progress (by their standards).

        Craig wrote, “But I considered then, and I consider now, that Soros is a man who has devoted huge amounts of his personal resources, in terms of time and in terms of money, to attempting to make the world a better place, from motives of altruism”.

        In other words, Craig thinks that Soros is progressive. But is it safe to claim that anyone who attempts to make the world a better place is necessary a good person, or a doer of good? How about, for example, Robespierre? Lenin? Savonarola? Even our own dearly beloved Oliver Cromwell?

        Those who think they can improve the world are sometimes correct, to some degree and in some ways. But they are often hugely, monstrously wrong.

        • imagine

          @Tom Welsh

          Tom said: “In other words, Craig thinks that Soros is progressive. But is it safe to claim that anyone who attempts to make the world a better place is necessary a good person, or a doer of good? How about, for example, Robespierre? Lenin? Savonarola? Even our own dearly beloved Oliver Cromwell?

          Those who think they can improve the world are sometimes correct, to some degree and in some ways. But they are often hugely, monstrously wrong.”
          ——————————–

          Absolutely right.

          One person’s definition of what constitutes enhancement/improvement and progress, does not coincide with someone elses.

          Those ultra-rich zillionaires that throw their financial muscle around, often via anonymous donations to questionable groups, are demonstrably operating outside the system.

          It’s hard enough to make the system work, without the very rich manipulating it from the shadows.

          But to be honest, the system is long since broken. It’s not fit for purpose. The supposed ‘progressives’ have taken us back to the dark ages. And no amount of spin and PR varnish will change that reality.

  • Ben

    It is absolutely legitimate to blame people for not choosing to drop out of a culture that is damaging the planet. Just because epiphanies are rare amongst the privileged, does not mean wilful ignorance should be excused.

    “That Soros uses so much of his personal wealth to try to make the world a better place, according to his view of how society might best be structured, makes him a good man and not a bad man” seems an awfully vague qualification. Surely I could substitute the word Soros for any of a myriad wealthy despots who tried to do just that?
    There seems to be an awful lot of very bad things Soros has done / advocated that you need to excuse before focusing on whatever positive contribution he’s made. I dont know anything about the man, just from reading this article, it comes off as a bit weird.
    I won’t unsub because of it tho. You are an important voice for revolutionary thinkers with invaluable experience, insight and a hunger for simple truth and freedom. But I am a bit confuzzled by this one. Are we to believe Soros couldn’t have taken his money and quit the capitalist stuff and invested in somethin more productive? Just feels like u give him way too much lea way even from just the things you mentioned here.
    Or I could be missing some important information or I may have misjudged something, it’s just how it seems at the moment.

  • Loony

    Judas Iscariot sold out for 20 pieces of silver. Fast forward 2.000 years and the price has fallen to a slice of Pizza.

    …and just to think we’ve all been told that inflation is the problem.

        • Tom Welsh

          Ironically gold and silver have maintained their value almost exactly since Biblical times. Whereas no paper currency has ever even continued to exist for much more than a century, because they are issued by governments and therefore always depreciate like crazy as the government prints more and more in futile attempts to fulfil the impossible promises it made in order to get elected.

      • Loony

        Really, and what point would that be. I only ask because we have very recent evidence of your deliberate and mendacious rewriting of comments that I have made.

        You are entitled to hold any opinion that you want on, but what you are not entitled to do is to twist and distort comments of others for your own nefarious purposes.

      • Herbie

        Still. A bit cheap.

        The above endorsement is worth quite a lot more than that.

        Given the new forms of funding that have emerged very recently, it’s now possible to financially support your favorite independent writers and content producers.

        What’s happening is that there are many out there who are tailoring their discourse to that which produces most funding.

        They can see drops in funding when they go off script. This happens on both sides of the political argument.

        All that’s kinda obvious.

        What’s interesting is that larger interests can now manage public discourse by giving or withholding funding, and anonymously.

        They’ll always beat the sum of individual contributions

  • imagine

    the Koch brothers and Soros are a cancer within western society. Endless greed and wars. Bond-nemesis-like billionaire unelected dictators.

    For the ordinary person on the street, there is little effective difference to be seen between neoliberalism and neoconservatism. You’re still getting screwed by extreme control freaks, who crave power, influence, money and war. And in the middle east, the poor people suffering below the western bomzbs (and against their economic sanctions), can’t detect if their attacker is blue or red.

    The great irony is that Craig has major objections when people allegedly pump big money into impacting the Brexit referendum. But appears to have no issue with Soros using big money to influence his own pet projects across the world.

    • Dungroanin

      There is a difference between transparent, declared, donations to a cause and the types of dark money and campaigning into the Brexit campaign – including via the DUP who have refused to provide that information.

      Do you agree with that?

  • isa

    I disagree on this one. His involvement in regime changes via soft democracy NGO’s, his participation in the ruining of Russia in Yelstin years and also – as per Yanis Varoukakis own words -The fact Soros demanded that Tsipras fired Varoufakis from his Finance Minister position in 2015, the man responsibleblack wednesday these are not the actions of a good person. What possible interest can Soros have in the Greek Government, just what? His support for a neo conservative and a liar like Hilary Clinton is not compatible with being a good person, he has been around a long time and is not a naive voter tricked by the media. No excuse. I think the world would be a far better place without the kind of “help” as per the examples above from people like Soros. He may have done a lot of good but he has certainly caused an outrageous amount of chaos to the world.

    Could someone link me the materials published by Scruton regarding Soros , I saw some claims regarding the issue today but cannot find his actual statements ? Thank you in advance.

    • Dungroanin

      Varoufakis is a banker muppet. Pretending to be a intellectual academic socialist, while working to destroy the social, political and most importantly the economic unity project of the EU – the only hope of removing the gangster MIC and their thug goons nato out of Europe and to stop paying them 2% of GDI as ‘protection’.

      If Soros had anything to do with his defenestration he just went up in my estimation of billionaires.

    • imagine

      @MK

      yes, an amazing irony.

      Not unlike Sinn Fein/IRA – also very big into nationalism, but now also ride the globalist bandwagon.

      A strange combo.

      • Jude 93

        ***Sinn Fein/IRA – also very big into nationalism***

        Where’ve you been? Sinn/Fein IRA gave up being “very into nationalism” a long time ago. Sinn Fein’s candidate in the recent Irish presidential election even said she had no objection to wearing a poppy – a symbol in southern Ireland of militant Unionist anti-nationalist revisionism of the Sunday Indpendent variety. Not to be outdone, the newish Sinn Fein leader, Mary Lou McDonald, recently said that the northern Unionists were right to reject Home Rule in the early 20th century, because it had indeed turned out to be Rome Rule, You can agree or disagree with this, but it sure ain’t Irish nationalism – even of the mildest variety. For what it’s worth I think the Sinn Fein leader was uttering more of the dismal thought free cliches so typical of Irish left liberals . On closer inspection, the fabled “Rome rule” of de Valera’s Ireland turns out to have been a state where almost all of the major banks and industries were owned by Protestants, as was the major newspaper (the Irish Times) and the major university (Trinity College), and where two of the first four presidents were Protestant.

        There’s a lot of talk recently about criticism of Soros being anti-semitic – simply on the basis that he happens to be Jewish. This is absurdly circular logic. Am I anti-Australian simply because I don’t like Rupert Murdoch? Oligarchs who use their wealth to manipulate the political process come in all ethnicities. If one disapproves of the Ford Foundation does that make one anti-Dutch American? The veteran Anglo-Irish (and Unionist) journalist, Bruce Arnold,has done sterling work laying out the huge funding the Irish American moneybags, Chuck Feeney, has given to various cultural leftist causes in Ireland. If one disapproves of Feeney, does that make one anti-Irish or anti-Irish-American?

        • imagine

          @Jude93

          Thanks for the post, Jude. Interesting points.

          I am a protestant from the north of Ireland. And yes, I did detect a couple of Sinn Fein leaders come out with original thoughts recently.

          Indeed, the leader of the Sinn Fein actually referred to Derry – as “Londonderry” one day recently.

          This is good to see. But as a protestant, I can only tell you how many of us see it…..merely a smokescreen…..spin….PR. SinnFein/IRA have been murdering prods for a helluva long time. To get a united Ireland over the line, they now want to hold out a fake hand of friendship.

          I would love to be wrong. I was very depressed when Martin McGuinness passed away. I thought he has a potential big bridge builder.

          As for nationalism/socialism/globalism. I can’t get my head around where Sinn Fein is going. Unfettered globalism, and EU membership, has brought great infrastructure to the south….but awful personal debt…..awful high prices…….worse employment rights…..big efforts by the regime stench to privatise anything they can get their paws on (eg efforts to privatise water).

          I don’t see how they can square the circle. Unfettered globalism is making the elite very wealthy. It has made the rest of the world poorer. It is ruining our culture, history and communities.

          I don’t see how anyone that cares about their country and it’s people can be on board the globalist bandwagon.

          I had never heard of Feeney til you mentioned him above. As for Murdoch – the worst bastad that ever landed on these islands. IMHO

          • Jude 93

            imagine: Thanks for your reply: I’m afraid I don’t share your view that Sinn Fein has become more original in its thinking. In fact “originality” is not a word I would ever associate with McDonald, Adams and the rest of them – they seem to me to be knee jerk liberal globalists of a peculiarly banal and lacklustre variety. Their lattter day jumping on the anti-Catholic bandwagon is nothing short of pathetic – regardless of how one feels about the Church (I am a believing Catholic, but that really is not the point in this context). As for their support for poppy wearing, “Londonderry” and the rest of it, it all raises the question of what exactly Sinn Fein is for. I never believed in the armed struggle – partly because I take the Aquinas view that an unwinnable war is an unjust war – and in my view the IRA’s war was unwinnable – certainly in the way it was fought. Having said that the old Ruairi O’Bradaigh led Sinn Fein had some genuinely original ideas about decentralisation of power, subsidiarity, national self-sufficiency, conservation and protection of the environment. The old Sinn Fein was also strongly opposed to the EU (or the EEC as it then was) as well as Nato, and so on. When Adams took over he jettisoned all of that – and replaced it with precisely nothing. He may have looked the part of a “professor at a New England women’s college” (in the words of Ed Moloney), but he wouldn’t know an original idea if it leapt up and bit him. The same goes for McDonald and the rest of them.

    • Herbie

      “Mr Murray – Scottish nationalist and pro-globalist? Nice combo.”

      Yeah, but those who’ve been here a long time, know Craig is a Liberal, always has been, always will be.

      It’s a problematic creed, when looked at closely, but there ya go.

      Sounds good, until you get into the logistics.

      It’s kinda like Socialism for the middle class.

      Airy-fairy talky dinner party stuff,

      Nothing concrete.

      No wonder elites have always loved it.

  • Mighty Drunken

    Ah oh, Pizza Gate II! 🙂

    Soros attracts so much conspiracy theories around him and outlandish attacks, especially from the “alt-right”. I would say it is bizarre but every movement have their villains and no doubt Anti-S plays a role.

  • Kat

    I suppose it would be fair to say that the Open Society Foundation is SO big that one man alone could not control it, but equally it is his money he would surely want some control over how it is spent in his name. However, one can’t help but wonder at the myriad of connections between Soros funded organisations and political and/or social unrest and instability in countries where they operate. At the very least it is worth keeping an eye on these things, they can’t all be coincidences.

  • GlassHopper

    A thought provoking, sincere, and hugely edifying piece by Craig.

    I’ve probably been known to use the S word, if only to call the airheads at The Guardian and Independent Soros bots after being relentlessly accused of being a Putinbot.

    If this was written in The Guardian by one of the usual subjects, i’d probably be sceptical, but coming from Craig it is a powerful and worthwhile comment and the reason why i, and many others, are here in the first place.

  • kula danga

    Honestly, Craig, get real with the intellectual challenge. You can’t come out with these blanket statements about ‘poor old Soros’ and ‘rotten ole Hungary’. Do some research. And buy your own pizza.

  • Anthony

    Soros’s cash injections to try and overturn the referendum result have been hailed by the very same entities howling about spurious Russian bankrolling of the leave campaign.
    Glaring liberal hypocrisy, pt, 14,897.

  • bj

    I think what’s at play in the criticism of Scruton (whom I’ve always thought of as a despicable conservative fox hunting sleazeball) are carefully cultivated semitic sensibilities.

    They are weaponized now and then for other elephants in other rooms.

      • Makropulos

        Scruton “a clear and careful logical thinker”? I have a difficulty reading anything he writes or says because I constantly feel he’s trying to sneak something past me. Take the opening of this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHw4MMEnmpc

        Scruton’s first statement is a cracker:

        “At any time between 1750 and 1930 if you had asked educated people to describe the aim of poetry art or music they would have replied “Beauty”.”

        And right away I have that little voice in my head that screams: “Hang on a minute! What’s he saying here?” So let’s consider: He’s talking about a period of 180 years. Can his claim be verified? Not without a time machine and a vast research team. And how do you determine who the “educated people” are? (I get the impression Scruton would say, “The educated people are the ones who reply “beauty” to the question”)

        But right away I can think of at least one counter example: Beethoven. He was a passionate man of high political ideals and I doubt if he would be happy to simply assert that his music aimed at beauty. His late quartets were described by his contemporary Louis Spohr as “indecipherable, uncorrected horrors.”

        The problem is that Scruton has an agenda here. Well – most people do. But you might at least expect a bit of honesty i.e. don’t make claims that cannot be backed up.

        And then you have the problem of what “beauty” means. Is it an unchanging thing? Hardly. And sitting through this Scruton programme, I was deluged by image after image of tasteful crucifixion scenes before which Roger bowed his head in self-regarding piety. But – then a change! A hideous discord! An image of a crucified frog! Evil modernity strikes! Boo! Hiss! But I thought, Oh thank God for that! Something with a bit of life!

        Scruton’s concept of beauty is a monolithic static thing whose true purpose is to justify his ideal: a monolithic static society.

      • Zoltan Jorovic

        Nice bit of counter-pointing there. “Clear and careful logic” versus “woolly fantasies”. Binary thinking at its most blatant. Can one be logical but also unethical? Or clear but mistaken? It is possible to have views that are consistent and carefully thought out, yet repugnant and self-serving? It is also seems likely that woolliness better reflects the complex, interwoven nature of reality than does clarity and logic. Scruton would have the world a nastier, more divided, more unequal and less generous place, for all his cleverness. It may be fantasy, but to hope for, and work towards a kinder, more compassionate and fairer world seems more worthwhile than any amount of logical thinking. Also, anyone who gets pleasure out of killing is a psychopath and not to be trusted.

  • Ozzie F

    ‘That Soros uses so much of his personal wealth to try to make the world a better place, according to his view of how society might best be structured, makes him a good man and not a bad man.’
    Soros aside, this rather vapid argument could be adduced in support of every fanatic in history. From the crusades to the Nazis, men have used their personal wealth to impose a horrific vision on society that they no doubt genuinely think makes the world a ‘better place.’
    I reiterate, this is not about Soros. He may well have a genuinely human vision, it’s just that one cannot argue from motives to actions in this simplistic way.

  • Tom

    I completely agree, Craig. What we’re seeing in Scruton’s comments is the way the establishment can deliberately try to muddy the waters and confuse. The Brexit government are using Scruton to kill two birds with one stone – a) pretend they support free speech even if it borders on anti-semitic, thus attempting to dispel the growing feeling they are in the pocket of the Israel lobby and b) try to use the public’s scepticism about Israel as a way to discredit Soros.

  • J

    I remember Soros being a lone voice in lamenting the neo-liberal agenda in Russia after the Berlin wall with aid and cooperation tied to privatisation of infra-structure, laissez faire, financialisation etc. I believe he called it something like a monumental failure of vision by the West.

    Refreshing to hear a view from outside the far right dominated discourse, cheers!

  • MK

    Soros: “I am basically there to make money, I cannot and do not look at the social consequences of what I do”

    “My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours, who swore that you were his adopted godson – went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.”

    Soros: “Yes that’s right, yes”

    “That sounds like an experience that would send a lot of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult”

    Soros: “Not at all…it created no problem at all….But there was no sense I shouldn’t be there, because that was, well in a funny way [smiles] it’s just like in the markets, I wasn’t doing it it but someone would be taking it away anyhow whether I was there or not…So I had no role in taking that property away.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsnuhbT0ooM

    If he smiled, did it ever reach his eyes?

    • J

      Do you get any sense of his being a perfect mirror in that article? Of articulating the system too clearly to be tolerated by the system?

  • glenn_nl

    Strangely enough, all the attacks I see on Soros are strictly from the right – where they use Soros as the boogie-man behind every genuine opposition to the far-right, Trump, and fascism generally. This is probably because most of the far right “grass-root” movements are funded by the Koch brothers, the Heritage foundation, and the thousands of spin-offs from them.

    As something of a leftie myself, I have no problem with Soros.

    • imagine

      @Glenn

      much of my politics is left of center and, to me, Soros is a monster.

      Soros and the Kochs are the flip side of the same coin.

      Extreme control and greed, is the common theme……and they will both go to endless means (often hidden) to achieve their objectives.

    • Charles Bostock

      @ Glenn_nl

      ” all the attacks I see on Soros are strictly from the right”

      I can’t agree with you on that, Glenn. The greater part of the kommentariat on here is left wing – very left wing – and anti-Western and they really hate Soros. Just look at a lot of the comments so far; if it had been anyone other than Craig writing, the buckets of shit would really be flying around by now.

      • Ken Kenn

        Surely the supposed hatred is because Soros is a mega capitalist?

        That’s the message from lefties.

        Whereas the attack on Soros from the right is because he is Jewish.

        The Illuminati – Masons etc etc.

        I suspect that Orban dislikes Soros due to his ethnicity and not because he is a raging capitalist involved in dealings which nearly brought the Financial world to its knees a while back.

        By the way – all these philanthropist million/billionaires are doing good works to buy their way into heaven in my opinion.

        They have busied themselves with making life a hell on earth ( some intentionally -some accidentally ) for the
        poor people of the world and they are taking out an insurance policy of ‘ Good Works ‘ just in case their God is
        sympathetic to ex rampant capitalists.

        Tony Blair is a fine example of these works amongst men.

        I suppose you could just call it Guilt Money?

    • Loony

      Maybe you only see what you want to see.

      It is beyond doubt that Soros is seeking to interfere in the affairs of a number of countries. He is for example funding organizations that wish to overturn the results of the UK referendum on EU membership.

      What Soros does is far less important than the underlying principal. If you support Soros’s right to interfere then you must support the rights of other people to similarly interfere in other countries internal affairs – for example the Koch brothers. Equally you should find no reason to object to alleged Russian interference in US elections and should consequently be lobbying to have the Mueller investigation shut down for the simple reason that it really does not matter whether Russia interfered or not.

      Equally in the UK you should be highly critical of restrictive rules imposed by the Electoral Commission that limits who can and cannot donate to UK political parties. You should have no view whatsoever as to any Anglo-American interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

      If you do not support all of these things then not only are you guilty of double standards but you travel dangerously close to Fascism – something that you appear only too willing to accuse others of

      • Dungroanin

        There is a difference between declared influence, transparency of funds and causes and dark, undeclared money and hidden donors.

        That should be obvious for anyone interested in fair play.

  • Bill Boggia

    I remember being completely horrified when he cashed in on crashing the ruble in the 90’s overnight making ordinary peoples life savings and pensions worthless for millions of Russian people. Particularly vampiric I thought.
    Personally I don’t think the world will be saved by billionaires – they weild a power that reinforces the bulldozer of hierarchy and priviledge,

    Still – your bolg is generally excellent in my view and and a welcome changed from mainstream media gutterings.

  • N_

    What a crappy article, @Craig. It’s right up there with your assertion that Robin Janvrin couldn’t have been involved in the murder of Princess Diana because you know him and like him.

    That his efforts do a lot of real good I have witnessed first hand.” Hitler solved the unemployment problem too.

    • N_

      As for Scruton, what kind of person takes that idiot seriously? I remember when he got caught offering to write articles, for suitable payment, for Big Tobacco. Very “philosophical”, huh? He’s a stupid venal c****.

      • Charles Bostock

        “He’s a stupid venal c****.”

        And you’re an intemperate, foul-mouthed oik.

        Seriously though, it’s clear – from Scruton’s writings and from your many posts on here – that Scruton is so far ahead of you in the intelligence stakes that the two of you might as well be living on separate planets.

        So if he’s “stupid”, how should one describe you?

        • Tom Welsh

          I realised with a start that, nowadays, “oik” makes a worse impression than “c***”.

          The times they are a-changing…

    • Charles Bostock

      ““That his efforts do a lot of real good I have witnessed first hand.” Hitler solved the unemployment problem too.”

      That is a pretty moronic comment even by your standards. All the more so because no one (including Craig) is clailing that Soros is attempting to solve the unemployment problem.

      More generally, I think Craig is intelligent enough not to pass judgement on people solely on the basis of his personal acquaintance with them. That said, there is surely room for a little intuition in judgements abojut people; one would have to be a very grey and inhuman type of being – even fanatical and perhaps unbalanced – not to acknowledge that.

      • Coldish

        N_’s comment ‘Hitler solved the unemployment problem too’ may be ‘moronic’ as Charles Bostock suggests, but there’s some truth in it. In 1932 there were about 6 million unemployed in Germany, although Hitler claimed there had been more. By 1938 most of those 6 million were in paid work of some kind or other.

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      Agreed and good and succinct.

      Adding that Hitler also (allegedly) proposed Autobahns – multi-lane fast roads with ramp accesses, and a relatively affordable People’s car (Volkswagen) would not have taken up much more space, whereas Soros practical suggestions in this World have been PRECISELY zero.

      On those bases alone, Craig should have a greater liking for Hitler than Soros?!!? – it being arguable in my view as to which one has caused the greater number of premature deaths (well, it’s probably Hitler, but of course Soros’ “work” is not yet finished).

      Well, I mean a greater liking apart from the pizza thing …

      .

  • Arnold Layne

    I haven’t followed much of the actions of ‘Open Society’ (TM) beyond the association of the Otpor ‘clenched fist’ brand logo association with imposed CIA-orchestrated colour-coded regime change events. Maybe the author could give details of how much good work OS is doing in say Israel? The UK, The US?

    ‘Open Society’ is one of the clever dual faced marketing slogans. It seems so benign and even benevolent. After all, who could oppose ‘open’ societies with citizens participation? However, in practice, the only consistent outcome seems to be societies forceably opened to western colonial/neo-liberal looting orchestrated by a handful of carefully selected and indoctrinated ‘activists’.

    Overall, I don’t think the author has quite grasped how the ‘humanitarian intervention’ regime change scam is implemented.

    • Tony Osborne

      You said it for me.
      Craig Murray makes this patronising and self-righteous statement.
      ‘ I would much prefer anybody who is kindly giving money in the expectation of agreeing with everything I write, to cancel now.’
      I supported him even though I often disagreed with his point of view and many of the things he said.
      I have now happily cancelled.

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      Right on! Otpor and the Western/Vatican orchestrated break-up of what was once the well functioning state of Yugoslavia was also my first encounter with the EVIL machinations of Soros.

      Let’s just hope that Craig Murray does not try to persuade us that Martin Sheen’s laudatory exposition of Otpor should convince us all that Otpor was good and kind and not a terrorist organisation also funded by a couple hundred million dollars of CIA money sneaked over Yugoslavia’s porous borders in a couple of suitcases – most especially if Mr. Sheen once bought Craig a pizza.

      .

  • pasha

    No.
    By the same reasoning, Hitler was a good man because he believed that by exterminating Jews, Roma, gays, etc. he was improving the Germanic race.

  • james

    thanks craig, for an alternative take on soros… i fall into generalizing people with obscene levels of wealth… mostly it comes on the back of little people… that they then turn around and do benevolent acts, is a good thing… a better thing would be if they didn’t screw others over in the first place, but apparently our world condones it, so it is to be continued by the likes of people like soros… i don’t have much respect for the man, but i respect you for saying what you think!

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      Most people – I hope, but certainly including me – don’t respect Craig Murray for what he thinks, but the conclusions he draws as to what the most probable truthful explanations and stories are behind the actions and fairy tales that Govts. and other authorities tell, that indicated by the MASSES of evidence he DOES often collect; and which expositions are clearly helped by Mr. Murray’s deep experience in certain areas – which also rightfully garners respect.

      All of that, of course, is hard work: collecting, collating and laying out the evidence in words and documents. That is what earns the respect.

      You might as well say you respected Pol Pot for ‘saying what he thought’.

      .

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