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.


1,161 thoughts on “Scruton and Soros

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  • Charles Bostock

    My congratulations to Craig for this article : both for its contents and the fact that he has had the courage to put certain people firmly in their place.

    High time that someone confronted the hatred to which Soros has often given rise on this blog.

    On the subscription issue : my own view is that subscriptions should be compulsory for anyone who wishes to use the comment facility. Let’s face it, the speed with which people go off topic demonstrates that the blog is viewed by many as a platform for sounding off about whatever they wish. It is only fair that they should have to pay for the priviledge. Craig is not a rich man, after all.Therefore : reading is free, commenting should cost.

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      Hell man, of ALL the people who comment here, you are the one that makes the most people quzzical as to what he hell you’re doing here – except perhaps as some troll that MI5/MI6 keep locked in a basement, and in most cases I hazard a guess that Craig Murray too is also so quizzical.

      You say: “Let’s face it, the speed with which people go off topic demonstrates that the blog is viewed by many as a platform for sounding off about whatever they wish.” – to which I say: POT, KETTLE, BLACK.

      So you jump in Soros-like exploitation on a probable rare occasion when you can appear to agree with Craig and say or at least imply that the rest of us should pay to comment. I doubt if Craig will do that – with just you as one of the VERY FEW commenters left, his audience would PLUMMET – which would I suspect suit you very well.

      Hatred for Soros is WHOLLY justified. It is well nigh impossible to pour enough opprobrium on him.

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  • Jude 93

    ***The man is his entitled to his beliefs***

    He certainly is – but the problem with folk like Soros is that they don’t seem to be believe that other people are entitled to theirs; hence their funding of campaigns for so called hate speech laws to outlaw debate of things like gay marriage, transgenderism, mass immigration and so on.

      • glenn_nl

        I think you’re missing the point, Ian – “Jude 93” is saying Soros is _against_ hate speech, and that’s what Jude is complaining about.

        Clearly Jude wants “debate” about gay marriage and so on, which means gays ought to disappear altogether, or comport with whatever Jude thinks they ought to do. (Or more likely, comport with what some religious dogma tells Jude what gays etc. ought to do.)

        • Loony

          Good to see that you are so keen to defend gay rights that you basically invent what someone else has said.

          Let us suppose that your concern for gay rights is genuine. There are 13 countries in the world where being homosexual is punishable by death. There are a further 17 countries where it is illegal to promote gay rights and a further 40 countries that allows for a defense of murder by allowing the murderer to claim that he was provoked by the fact that the victim was homosexual.

          So you tell me exactly how you propose to change attitudes absent debate.

          • glenn_nl

            Don’t pretend you have the slightest interest in gay rights, no more than your hero trump is anything but a bigot who cynically plays to the prejudice of the evangelical rabble.

            The only necessary “debate” is to ask why various countries do not uphold human rights. That’s not a debate in the way you want them, which is to question whether various people you don’t like deserve human rights. Try to be honest once in a while – I know that’s difficult, given how much you love Trump and admire his ability to lie so clearly and so often.

          • Loony

            Asking why “various countries do not uphold human rights” does not constitute a debate unless you postulate some kind of answer. Something you do not do as presumably you find it less intellectually taxing to engage in invective and insults.

            As the original comment specifically referenced gay marriage then by deduction you consider gay marriage to be a human right. Gay marriage is not allowed in any Muslim majority country, much of Asia including China nor Russia. This means that a majority of the world from both a geographical and population perspective does not recognize gay marriage.

            Consequently your very framing of the question betrays your racist colonial attitude. You are in a minority and if you wish to convert others to your way of thinking then you need to do so via dialogue and debate. Spewing insults merely encourages others to believe that you have no arguments and this is unlikely to make them persuadable to your way of thinking.

            All you are doing is utilizing gay people as fuel for the bonfire of your own ego.

          • Loony

            No Gken you are a racist because you think your worldview is more important and more correct than the worldview of a majority of humanity. In your mind the very fact that you hold any view constitutes conclusive proof that it is the correct view. Consequently no further explanation is either necessary or appropriate/

            Naturally anyone that disagrees with you about anything at all is either a deranged psychopath or a malevolent fascist. On this occasion you have written off all Muslims, most Asians and most Africans on this basis. That manifestly constitutes racism.

        • Jude 93

          “Glenn_nl”: Are you some kind of professional reactionary troll – whose role is to make Clintonistas look like complete kneejerk buffoons? If so you’re doing a brilliant job, as your contributions here are beyond parody. On a previous thread you made preposterous claims that those who don’t support the Cliintons – the war-mongering supporters of the openly racist Netanyahu and of the genuinely misogynistic Saudi regime – are de facto enablers of “fascism”, now you’re explicitly justifying silencing debate about the corporate ID politics agenda on the basis, presumably, that all right-thinking folk must recognise the intrinsic virtue of gender reasignment surgery for eight year olds. Since you’re so fond of making assumptions about other folks’ politics, let me return the favour: I’m guessing like most Guardianistas, 15 years ago, you hadn’t the slightest interest in or regard for the transgender agenda, and you only embraced it when it became a cause de jour of the liberal left commisars. That is after all how most Clintonistas arrive at their political views.

          • glenn_nl

            Jude – it would behoove you to translate that Limbaugh style rant into a couple of coherent sentences. Try to make them connect in some way, and I would be very pleased to address your point – if you have one, of course.

      • Jude 93

        Soros has boasted of funding Media Matters and other liberal left groups that seek to force off the airwaves those who even mildly dissent from liberal left orthodoxy on cultural and immigration questions.

          • Jude 93

            Glen, nl: The last refuge of the kneejerk liberal tribalist, as in: “I honestly dunno know what you’re on about, so how I can answer you?”

            Well straight back at you sir: if you’re not intellectually equipped to underestand simple points made in fairly simple language, I’m certainly not going to waste my time further simplifying things for you. Just go back to Salon where there are no nasty people talking about the Clintons’ ties to the Saudis, or Obama’s support for the racist massacres in Gaza.

  • MK

    Globalism or Nationalism, you take your pick CM. You can’t have both. You’re not stupid.

    And, cynically, sorry, you need money and, well, I’m not a billionaire.

    Is that lazy, inaccurate and unfair?

    • fredi

      Globalism or Nationalism, you take your pick CM.

      CM wants Nationalism for Scotland, but within the globalist EU. But he is against Nationalism for England or the UK minus Scotland, bolox indeed..

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      In a rare defence from me Craig under this topic, I believe this false choice presented to Craig is unfair.

      Craig Murray, likes me, wants complete independence for Scotland – and the vehicle through which that is most likely going to be achieved goes under the somewhat unfortuneate name of the Scottish Nationalist Party, a party so named for who knows what historical reasons, I guess which seemed appropriate at the time.

      I’d thought some time ago that as the word Nationalist undoubtedly does have unfortuneate connotations in many minds – for well known reasons – that it’s a shame that the SNP didn’t consider a name change before they got so big, so when a name change would be far less expensive. By no means suggesting it as the best alternative, but something like “Scottish Independence Party would get one of their foundational raison d’etres across even better than SNP does.

      There is NO DOUBT that Scotland in general and the SNP in particular are more welcoming and tolerant of foreign peoples, duskier hued or not, than the on average far nastier and far more racist inGRRRlish nationalists south of Hadrians’s Wall. In that sense they are far less nationalistic than the British in general and the inGRRRlish in particular.

      Globalism also has nasty connotations – though it depends. I believe Global Capitalism or Globalised Capitalism is EVIL; on the other hand I am Globalist in the sense that I believe in the equality of all peoples, and that intrinsically no one is better than anyone else on the bases of skin-hue, other racial physical characteristics or wealth.

      I believe in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights – NOT JUST the bits about freedom of expression – ALL of it: the right to shelter, the riight to feel secure, freedom from poverty and UNPROVOKED war etc. – which tragically the United Nations itself no longer seems itself to believe. I am that kind of Globalist – the opposite of Soros.

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  • Geoffrey

    Very sad to see that Craig is attacking Scruton on the basis of an out of context quote in the Guardian. Though I agree with Craig’s comments about Soros entirely. Not really sure why Scruton has to be mentioned at all in fact.
    I suppose that it shows that Craig is keeping up with the gossip and demonstrating value for money.

    • Captain Pugwash

      I’ve rather a low opinion of writers of arrogant self-serving nonsense such as this (Scruton on foxhunting)

      ‘we are joined in a contest that may prove as dangerous to the hunter as it is to his quarry’
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/countryside/9765963/Tally-ho-Let-the-hunt-remind-us-who-we-are.html

      Yes sure, those brave (sarcasm) huntsmen facing the danger of one small dog (fox) with their pack of 10-25 hounds each one about three times the size of a fox . Seems like he has rather a large blind spot, and lives in a universe where it is ok to enjoy pursuing a small dog to its death by being torn apart….(Have I taken anything out of context?)

      • Ken Kenn

        Scruton probably believes in ‘dronings ‘ too as there is no chance he will be hurt but his beliefs will be further re-inforced that ” The West Knows Best. ”

        Hitchens – Amis and Cohen and Aaronovitch and many many more scribes/philosophers think that too.

        The US/UK are democracies after all and therefore they have carte blanche to civilise the rogue non democracies in any way they see fit.

        Oh – and by the way – they pay our wages they would say over a drink. Jack Daniels is one I hear.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think the difficulty many have with Soros is that he considers it his right to challenge the authority of elected governments without him ever having to face election himself. He is an autocrat, if he were not, he would not call his foundation after himself….it is about him, not about what might be achieved.

    Soros is clearly an EU fanatic and a person seeking to dissolve smaller nation states in favour of pan-regional groupings. It is impossible to argue that the EU is pro-democracy: its elected officers are merely gatekeepers, they have no right to represent proactively through designing and presenting legislation. Soros will like that, as he has enough money to lobby unelected autocrats to his hearts content. I disagree fundamentally with Soros on this one…..

    Soros is also rich enough that mass migrations will not affect him. He does not need to work another day. Those migrations can destroy millions of livelihoods of those much, much poorer than Soros. Those millions should trump the voice of Soros in decision-making, particular in a Europe he has not lived in for decades. Billionaires having the crass hubris to promote societal earthquakes need the error of their ways pointing out fairly sharply….and that is precisely what Orban is doing as the democratically elected leader of Hungary…..

    That is the problem with billionaire decision-making: they are never the acceptable collateral damage.

    If they were, the decisions they take might be rather different….

    • Coldish

      Thanks, Rhys Jaggar. Nicely put. It’s the neo-liberal elite like Soros, Blair, Macron, and the Clintons who have made it imperative for deplorables like me worldwide to vote for any anti-establishment politician or party on offer – whether we like them or not. And when anti-establishment types get elected, as in the USA, Poland, Hungary and most recently Brazil, that should be prompting some serious self-reassessment on the part of the neo-liberals. We’re still waiting.

      • imagine

        @Rhys Jaggar

        Absolutely spot on. Best post on the page.

        As you say, zillionaires like Soros can manipulate the system – ruining hundreds of millions of lives – with no negative comeback on their own sheltered/gated life.

    • the pair

      This. Plus saying “he USED TO BE from Soviet Hungary so he’s justified in antagonizing modern Russia” is a stretch. That’s the same argument used by neocons who happen to be Jewish (but doesn’t lead them to ditch their Russian passports for some reason). The Soviet Union was obviously a detriment to 99% of those affected by it but so is the inchoate and nebulous blob of “neoliberal” borderless finance.

      I could also mention the 60 Minutes interview but I’m sure the apologists will say “he was just following orders” or whatever.

      An overall foul agenda and incidental altruism are not mutually exclusive. Human Rights Watch and other such groups do some good work but it doesn’t excuse their simultaneous propaganda exercises for obvious bad actors on the Global Chessboard.

    • N_

      @RuilleBuille – You are absolutely right. I doubt many people reading this thread are fond of Roger Scruton, but the story of how he contacted Big Tobacco offering to write some “philosophical” or “political” bilge helping them to rake in profits from murdering tens of millions of people with lung cancer each year is worth a read, for those who don’t already know about it. He asked for £5500 per month.

      That is the story to mention if you ever meet anyone who has time for the man.

      As far as I am concerned, a person of that vile kind can stuff every single word they say about “freedom” and “philosophy” and what’s “good for society” where the sun doesn’t shine

      I wonder how much this piece of turd got paid for supporting foxhunting? I’m sure he loves it anyway, but even so he probably still got paid for it.

      Up against the wall with such “people”.

  • Ian Calderbank

    I find it hard to believe Soros is motivated by altruism but then I don’t claim to know his mind. The major problem with Soros, in my view, is he puts a large amount of his resources into identity politics, the purpose of which is to divide people along the lines of race, gender, sexuality etc. This create a smoke screen that allows people to ignore the real source of privilege and oppression in our society which of course is wealth. Identity politics is as wrong when practiced by the left as it is when practiced by the right, and there is nothing new here. It was a wealthy few that financed the violent Suffragettes and later Feminists such as Gloria Steinem and it is worth asking ourselves why.

    • MK

      “I find it hard to believe Soros is motivated by altruism but then I don’t claim to know his mind”

      By his own admission he is motivated by altruism at times, but not others, When it suits him. I ask everyone -especially Craig – does that sound like genuine altruism? Someone you would trust to look after your own interests above his?

      Really? Is anyone on this blog that brain-dead?

      Sorry. I think you were saying that politely.

  • David Ashby

    I must admit I have not taken the time to understand Soros point of view, so am not in a strong position to praise or decry him myself. But I do find your argument less than compelling.

    1. “To condemn him because his beliefs are not all my beliefs would be wrong.”

    To condemn him simple because he disagrees with you would ineed be wrong. Whether or not he deserves to be condemned for his beliefs rather depends on what those beliefs are, don’t you think?

    2. “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. ”

    If Soros is trying to make the world a better place according to his own views, whether that makes him a good man or a bad man surely depends on his views? I have no particular insight into Hitler’s (to use everybody’s favorite bugbear) mind, but surely it is within the bounds of possibility that he felt he was making the world a better place? And yet I would not accept that that would make him a good man.

    (3) 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.

    See (2) – I disagree. If you accept the existence of good and evil, then some acts are good and others are evil. As I have stated above, I am merely a casual observer so am not truly qualified to judge Soros. But – as a merely casual observer- it has crossed my mind that Soros might have succumbed to the deadly temptation of allowing his end to justify his means. And, if that were the case, then – in my view at least – he would most definitely not be a good man.

    • Shatnersrug

      Boris Johnson’s brother Jo lives near my work. He comes into the local Sainsbury’s and I often see him in local eateries. He is friendly, down to earth, appears to have a great relationship with his kids. I still to this day cannot square the friendly neighbour that says hello with the pillock MP that shows up in the news saying stupid things and defending the indefensible.

      I don’t jest when I say had Jo bought me a pizza 20 years ago I would find myself defending the indefensible too. Some people have that power over us.

      A hard and confusing lesson in life that at some point we all must learn is that, well, just because someone is nice to you, does not mean that they are a nice person.

    • Dungroanin

      Interesting thoughts, I too prob have as little knowledge of the chap as you – he made a Billion by betting that the tories were wrong, he didn’t cause that meltdown – makes him a bit of dude in my book. Scrutton on the other hand stands exposed as an imperialist apologist.

      Please don’t take offence as I look at the logic of your reasons to be aggrieved with the article and subsequent comments, which yours apptly summarise and allow my tuppence worth

      1. If we agree to condemn people for their (not illegal) beliefs – then you we approve religious persecution and war.

      2. To improve the world, necessarily means to improve the lot of the poor and and afflicted surely, not the lot of a well of minority. Most people attempt to do this by giving to charities and beggars. Some charities don’t even need anymore but they still get donations!

      3. Your observation is confusing, do you believe in good and evil or not? Either you are judgmental (refer to 1) or not (refer to 2).

      Friday night is Pizza night!

      • DA

        1. “If we agree to condemn people for their (not illegal) beliefs – then you we approve religious persecution and war.”

        I don’t agree that this is the case. I believe that neither Soros, nor anybody else, should be persecuted for his views. Nor am I advocating any form of violence against people for the views they hold.

        My point is very narrow. Craig appears to argue that Soros is a good man purely on the basis that his actions are well intended. My argument is constrained entirely to this logic. I am arguing that neither Soros, nor any other man, can be judged on his intentions. He must be judged on his acts themselves. A man may, with the best intentions in the world, still commit evil acts.

        I am also not arguing that Soros *is* commiting evil. I am merely pointing out the flaw in Craig’s logic that Soros’ intent, separate from any consideration of his acts, is sufficient measure of the man.

        2. To improve the world, necessarily means to improve the lot of the poor and and afflicted surely, not the lot of a well of minority.
        Most people attempt to do this by giving to charities and beggars. Some charities don’t even need anymore but they still get donations!

        I think you might now be verging into the territory of attempting to assess the acts themselves. I agree that this is the way to decide whether Soros is good or evil. However I am not in any way qualified to judge his actions myself, as I know little about them.

        “3. Your observation is confusing, do you believe in good and evil or not?

        Sorry. I do realize that my third point wasn’t clear. I actually searched for an edit button, but there wasn’t one. What I should have written was: “If you accept the existence of good and evil, then some acts are objectively good and others are objectively evil, **irrespective of the intent behind them**.”

        And in answer to your questions, yes I do believe in good and evil.

        “Either you are judgmental (refer to 1) or not (refer to 2).”

        I don’t quite understand your point here.

  • JensGER

    I believe Soros’ intentions are good and he is genuine. Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Could his NGOs be used to “soften up” a country selected for regime change (for good reasons like human rights issues, corruption, dictatorship), and once the country is destabilized, the more sinister forces with the more sinister motives push aside the genuine folks and take over the show? Watch what happened in Ukraine. Soros is said to have financed Euromaidan (legit movement). But then the right sector guys took control, instigated the Maidan massacre (see Katchanovski’s findings), and now there still is a corrupt governement with neglegt for human rights, minority rights, democracy etc., with the difference that is friendly host to NATO and hostile to Russia. Capital job, George, you helped the neocons and hawks achieve their goals.

    • RR

      You’ve described it perfectly. This is the Orwellian “war is peace,
      freedom is slavery,
      ignorance is strength “. The persecutors of fake news are the creators of fake news. In the name “good”, i.e. the promotion of democracy and freedom (blah, blah), Soros funds extremist forces in a given country to overthrow the legitimate government and bring in the puppets friendly to his cronies. The same scenario is played over and over again, yet the penny never drops.

  • N_

    Where does Britain get its cabinet ministers from? Imagine being secretary of state for Brexit and not understanding the importance of Dover-Calais. This wally Dominic Raab was in the civil service too. Didn’t he have to sit an exam?

    Dover shuts and Trinity College Cambridge will sort something out for its own resident members through the port of Felixstowe, which it owns, probably involving Tesco, its business partner. It might even turn the Dome into a warehouse for tinned food. Good for making some quick billions public relations. But if Dover shuts the starvation starts, Raab, you f***ing ignorant moron.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Where does Britain get its cabinet ministers from?”

      Generally speaking they are carefully selected by faceless Tory party apparatchiks at the behest of the party’s wealthy funders, then dropped into a safe seat where mindless voters who have been subjected to endless media propaganda from aforementioned wealthy funders elect them. They are then fast tracked through various ministries by a ‘leader’, who also happens to be owned by the same funders, until they eventually attain a portfolio where they can best represent the interests of their wealthy funders. Competency, understanding, intellect, compassion and experience has always been a career barrier to the owned, politically ambitious, corporate gangsters who run the country on behalf of a clique who are no better than a bunch of organised criminals.

  • Tim

    Thanks for the blog Craig. I don’t always agree with what you write, but as you point out here that is not the test – keep on with it!

  • Jack Hawkins

    My wife who is from a former Soviet Republic learned English through a Soros funded school at a time when only the rich in such places could afford it, and he got native English speakers as well

  • Graham Fordyce

    I have heard of Soros but don’t know much about him so can’t contribute anything to the main point of your article. However I wanted to acknowledge the importance of your first paragraph and thank you for eloquently expressing a point which is almost universally ignored nowadays. The lack of respect and common courtesy is astonishing in social media. It should be re-named anti-social media and your first paragraph should head up every format of communication on the internet.

  • Muscleguy

    I would say that Soros’ manifest and unreal financial success is a potent and powerful argument WHY there should have been and need to be regulations to stop anyone emulating him. That he has taken those winnings and put them to good use to encourage liberal, plural, democratic societies shows me that he is live to the problem. It should be noted as well that he has improved the incomes of many ‘Mom and Pop’ small investors in the US with the foresight to give him their money to play with. He has done well by them and always expressed a cognisance that he was playing with their hard earned money.

    I might dislike rampant unfettered capitalism as much as anyone below the line but Soros is as hard to dislike as Andrew Carnegie was.

  • Ottomanboi

    Soros is a man who uses his great riches to promote his particular libertarian and socially liberal worldview by undermining or subverting elected national governments through agencies set up for the purpose. He is viscerally anti-nationalist and detests the idea of the nation state which he seems to view as ‘rightist’.
    For a man who made his money by opportunistically exploiting the vagaries of the capital markets his supposed ‘leftism’ is rather perverse, his dislike of those bothersome borders and interfering national governments is not.
    He would make mince meat of an independent Scotland….a divisive concept he would certainly not really approve of anyway.

    • Molloy

      .
      You say, “. . . undermining or subverting elected national governments.”

      Please give examples of fairly and democratically elected governments. Also, examples of “elected” governments which do not facilitate and sanction killing and torture and false imprisonment of human beings, directly or otherwise.

      It’s not a long list of governments, is it?!

      Reality beats mythology every time. imho.

      .

      • Dennis Revell

        :

        Well, just right off the top of my head, without any ‘googling’ and all that:

        Milosevic – democratically elected President of Yugoslavia, (3 times I believe). Elections internationally monitored (which I don’t believe they are in the United States of World Horror).

        Yanukovich Govt. of the Ukraine … I believe conspired against by the odious Soros more than once. Most latterly Yanukovich replaced by the equally odious Victoria Nuland’s preferred choice, as revealed by leaked communications.

        Suggetion: Do your OWN research; that way there’s less chance of making an idiot of yourself.

        .

  • Anthony

    Craig, you argue that, ‘That someone made so much money, from rules he believed should have been altered to stop him doing it, is a conundrum’. I think this is mistaken – it’s not ‘a conundrum’, it’s rank hypocrisy of the worst sort. For anyone else, you would, no doubt, say the same. If Soros thinks that it is wrong to allow deregulated capitalism because it generates social bads, and yet he ignores that and nonetheless commits the social bad, he’s not a ‘complicated character’ – he’s a hypocrite.

  • SA

    This defence of Soros is curious. After all he is only lucky to have played the system and won. He then tries to redeem himself by engaging in political activities to improve the world.
    That the system and its manipulation by Soros or any of the billionaires who now are a major influence on what is called democracy does not seem to be an issue that bothers Craig.
    But all of this is a diversion . Of course he is a good man just happens to be good at playing the system and interfering with how people wish to run thier countries, but his intentions are good. Tony Blaire also had good intentions in attempting to democratise Iraq.

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      I see the point you’re trying to make in mentioning Blair – but that’s a bad, ie: incorrect example.

      Blair had NO good intentions either towards Iraq and its people, nor towards Yugoslavia and its people which country he was also instrumental in wreaking destruction and mayhem upon.

      You could only believe the Mass-Murdering serial War-Criminal had good intentions if you believe the public words that come from the accomplished liar’s mouth.

      .

  • Charles Bostock

    “Raab, you f***ing ignorant moron.”

    “I wonder how much this piece of turd got paid for supporting foxhunting”

    N_ : you appear particularly upset today. Is there anythong this community can do to help?

    • Dennis Revell

      “N_ : you appear particularly upset today. Is there anythong this community can do to help?”

      Well, you can bet your arse any such help won’t be coming from your direction.

      .

  • RR

    Mind boggles, Mr.Murray. You display complete sanity and clear critical thinking on some subjects and total ignorance on others. Soros is a good man because (amongst other things apparently) he once bought you a pizza? The man who funds regime change all over the world, the man who uses his vast riches to move chess pieces on the world stage as it were his own game? This ruthless globalist is the typical representative of the one percenters promoting global elites’ agenda. The “good” deeds of the Open Society are nothing but a smoke screen. Check your facts, Mr. Murray, please.

    • Anthony

      “Soros is a good man because (amongst other things apparently) he once bought you a pizza?” 😀 It’s funny cos it’s true.

  • Brendan

    “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.”

    Yet, for some reason, Soros’s experience of the Nazi occupation of Hungary in WW2 did not colour his view of the extreme right in Ukraine. As a child he watched Jews being deported from Budapest to extermination camps, and he said that “that’s when my character was made”.

    In spite of this experience, he wasn’t too bothered when right-wing militias – who idolised Ukrainian wartime Nazi collaborators like Bandera – overthrew the democratically elected president in 2014. In fact, Soros didn’t notice those extremists at all – instead, he saw only pro-European anti-corruption activists on the Maidan in Kiev. His donations to Ukrainian pro-Western NGOs helped in spreading this positive image.

    Likewise, Soros wasn’t concerned by the prospect of ISIS and other Al Qaida offshoots taking control of Syria. Syria, for all its faults, has been the closest thing in the Middle East to a secular, multi-religious, multi-ethnic nation. That would have been destroyed by regime change in Damascus, but Soros saw the Assad government and its Russian allies as the biggest danger in Syria .

    “But Soros is in fact fairly mainstream European social democrat with very liberal societal views”.
    That says more about mainstream European social democrats than about anything else – their views are only for liberal European audiences. Their real policies are completely different.

    • Paul

      “As a child he watched Jews being deported from Budapest to extermination camps, and he said that “that’s when my character was made”.”

      In fact, at the time Soros was secretly put into a non-Jewish family and he went along with his adopted father who inventoried Jews whose homes and possessions had been confiscated by the collaborating Hungarian government. When asked if that wasn’t a difficult situation for a young boy he said it did not matter much to him at the time. So that puts this in a different light. Of course, I do not know him personally but the signs are there clearly is something of a sociopath about him. He studied with Karl Popper, the famous philosopher. That’s were he learned the lingo about the open society. In all, I think Craig’s opinion about him is very superficial.

  • Makropulos

    I never thought I’d say this but, although I’ve never had any time for Scruton, I fail to see what all this fuss is about. I read a lot of invective from Craig above but his article drones on about Soros and not Scruton. And I just did a word search on Scruton’s name through the pages of this thread and can’t find much substance in claims of Scruton’s anti-Semitism. There are links being provided but the one to the Guardian seems almost as vacuous as Craig’s post. Another leads to an enormous piece by Scruton that practically amounts to a book and you’ll forgive me if I don’t spend the rest of the night reading it.

    I dislike Scruton’s writings for many reasons – one of which is an assumed victimhood where those nasty liberal lefties are out to get him. But the treatment I see here only adds fuel to his claims.

    • Geoffrey

      Yes , apparently he is an evil man because he thinks people should be allowed to smoke and hunt foxes, and even worse if you rearrange what he wrote he might have implied something that might have ,under certain circumstances, been perceived as being derogatory about a certain minority in an eastern European country.

  • Stu

    Soros decided that rather than pay $18 billion in tax on his offshore wealth he would gift it to his foundation and use it to spread his neoliberal ideology around the world.

    Anyone who admires that has no interest in seeing a society whether everyone can live with true dignity.

  • N_

    Aaron Bastani calls the poppy campaign “racist”. Is he a snake in the grass or is he really that stupid?

    Racism is when someone shuns you, throws a brick through your window, or puts sh*t through your letterbox because of your skin colour, mate. It’s not when someone lays poppies at the local WW1 memorial.

    • Loony

      Interesting definition of racism. Didn’t you people once have signage that read “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish” Presumably you just need to remove the “No Blacks” part of the sign and then everything would be just fine.

  • Mohamed

    Is he more of a .
    1 controller or
    2 laissez-faire or
    3 conditioner of environments + laissez-faire?

    I suspect #1 or at best #3.

  • Loftwork

    A vaguely relevant comment on subscriptions: I can’t cancel my subscription (not that I would anyway) because I don’t have one. However I’d like to support your esteemed and thought-provoking blog. Just that as a matter of principle I don’t do subscriptions (or any of the other exciting means by which financial institutions and businesses extract a monthly cash flow without confirmation). Bottom line – can you, please, consider adding a one-shot donation facility? I realise this means I won’t be able to threaten to cancel my sub but perhaps I can threaten to flounce out forever in lieu?

  • pete

    Craig, congratulations on an excellent post. I am surprised that the level of hostility that your opinion has engendered, I am guessing that some people cannot differentiate between good and bad billionaires.
    Of course becoming a billionaire is not something to embark on lightly, there is a cost in human terms in devoting oneself to such a singular activity, I believe that in economics these are called opportunity costs. The single minded accumulation of wealth seems to cause irrevocably damage in some people, for example, Sky mogul Mr Murdoch seems to lack much in the way of human compassion and sensitivity.
    Still, I think you cannot generalise, even about billionaires, take for example Hansjörg Wyss:
    https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/swiss-businessman-is-contributing-1-billion-towards-protecting-30-of-the-planet/
    It is true that Wikipedia say that using an unapproved treatment his company “resulted in the deaths of three people” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hansjörg_Wyss) but otherwise, as an individual, he seems to be blameless, and “In 2015, Wyss publicly declared himself to be in favour of higher inheritance taxes (estate/death duty taxes) for the wealthy in Switzerland” which is surely a good thing. You could argue that his passion to counter the ecological nightmare humans seem to be engaged in is purely an instinct for self preservation. That is as maybe, it seems to me the important thing is to avoid adherence to inflexible beliefs or ideologies, if enough people of good will can find common cause even our present situation can be fixed.

  • Andy Lambeth

    Is someone a good person just because they think they’re being a good person? If so, then Tony Blair is also a good person and so is Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The truth is that their deluded, fundamental belief in their own goodness makes them the scariest and most sinister of all villains.

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