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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  • uncle tungsten

    Thanks Craig it is a provocative post. All I wish to contribute is that slavery was legal and many profited from that form of ‘economy’. Certainly derivatives trading is legal (unfortunately) and many profit from it including George S. People are disadvantaged by both some even enslaved due to the impact of the latter. Fortunately ‘modern’ people revile slavery and have legislated to minimise it.

    Unfortunately George appears to be happy to perpetuate its modern form and hence I don’t have any time for him.

    • Loony

      Why is it unfortunate that derivatives trading is legal?

      In its modern form derivatives trading was pioneered in Chicago so as to allow farmers to fix their revenues for future agricultural production. This afforded a degree of price certainty and so encouraged investment and was a seminal feature of the development of agriculture in North America. Today North American agricultural production plays a significant role in allowing the world to feed itself.

      Have you ever noticed that your domestic gas and electricity prices do not vary on an hourly basis. This is possible as a consequence of derivatives trading.

      I have no idea how people become enslaved as a consequence of derivatives trading, but I do know that without it people would starve.

      Is it possible that you are confusing derivatives trading with derivatives speculation?

      • Paul Greenwood

        Derivatives are one thing. What is a problem is “Prop Trading” which should be banned. It should be illegal for any Insured Bank to advance liquidity to anyone engaged in Prop Trading. It is one thing to offer services to industrial firms and farmers but to be using pure Speculation to risk Bank Equity is Criminal and should be illegal

  • Hieroglyph

    Controversial.

    My views on Soros might get me banned. Or sued. Safe to say, not a fan. However, on one point I agree with Craig, I don’t think Soros is, not anymore, purely motivated by greed; he’s made enough money. No, he is that altogether more complicated beast: an ideologue. But what is his ideology? It’s certainly not communism, and he doesn’t appear to be hard-core neocon. No, the story goes – and I don’t know for certain it’s true – his ideology is transhumanism. This kind of thing we’ll be hearing more about, as the rush to AI gathers pace. And transhumanism isn’t pretty.

    Btw, everyone has seen the the clip where Soros admits to collaborating with the Nazi’s right? I mean, I’m not being facetious, and he was 14 years old, but it’s a very odd clip indeed. He comes across as a total psycho, to be blunt.

    • John Goss

      As Craig writes: “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. ”

      Soros belongs to an elite that neither you, nor I, nor Craig could ever belong to even if we wanted to belong to it. I have met a lot of charming people, and I am sure Soros can turn on the charm. It is fair to say he would not go bankrupt if he bought everybody in the UK a pizza. He could not buy my loyalty. His do-gooding comes at a cost. I do not think he is a good man. His Open Society fundings have not been good for Ukraine, a country which for the first time saw the IMF change its own protocols to fund a country in the middle of a civil war to try and bolster up a regime change to pose a threat to Russia.

      He is also a long time funder and supporter of GM crops. I suspect the end-product of GM crop production is to put the world at ransom (though Russia and a few other sensible governments are not buying into it, which probably means Soros will also pull out). If the elites can globally enforce GM crops it works like this I aver. Plants can be genetically modified so, beautiful or tasty as they appear to be, the seeds they produce are infertile. The suppliers (Masters) have the master plants. You can work the rest out.

      • Shatnersrug

        Liberalism is a type of self deception that appeals to the vain. Some are intelligent and kind, some are conniving and crafty, but I have never met nor read a liberal that does not suffer from some type of political dishonesty.

      • Shatnersrug

        Liberalism is a type of self deception that appeals to the vain. Some are intelligent and kind, some are conniving and crafty, but I have never met nor read a liberal that does not suffer from some type of political dishonesty brought about by an inflated ego.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        The suppliers also have the patent over the genes used. Thus a monopoly on food production can be generated.

        • Paul Greenwood

          The real joy is that Glyphosate can be used in excessive quantities because it supposedly does not affect the GM crop but terminates weeds. However as Bayer will now discover an Agreed Settlement of $80 million in CA does not reduce their problems now they are a duopolist in Agri-Chem and yet have had to acknowledge cancer as a result of glyphosate use

      • J

        John, can you point me toward evidence of Soros funding GM, I’m not terribly impressed with the technology, certainly not the uses Monsanto/Bayer put it to, but I am aware of some work in GM that is or at least appears to be genuinely beneficial. As with everything else, if it’s developed by a corporation, it’s beneficence will probably decline in inverse proportion to the amount of money it can generate.

        Also, his involvement in Ukraine, is it co-existent with NATO/US meddling or aligned with it? What was it? When was it? Likewise, can you suggest somewhere I can view the information?

        I ask because I’m quite certain that I’m opposed to many of those in media who regularly attack Soros, which is no guarantee they are wrong, only that I believe their motives are opposed to fairness and decency. Genuinely seeking answers.

    • Ian Stevenson

      I do assessments for counselling and he doesn’t come across that way to me. The actual interview ( if we have the same one in mind ) and the assumptions of the interviewer come across , to me, as an attempt to show him in a bad light.

  • Sharp Ears

    He arrogates to himself the right to interfere in a foreign country’s affairs. Just because he has this enormous and obscene wealth, that is wrong.

    ‘Soros expects that Brexit will fail and the Premiership of Theresa May will last only a short time. Soros is opposed to Brexit and has donated £400,000 to the anti-Brexit ‘Best for Britain’ group.

    Soros also hosted a dinner for Conservative donors at his London home to encourage them to follow his lead. Soros’s Open Society Foundations also donated a total of £303,000 to two pro-EU organizations, the European Movement UK and Scientists for EU, and a center-right think-tank, Bright Blue.’

    Ampnhst other beneficiaries, his money goes to:

    Open Society Foundations
    New America
    Black Lives Matter
    Best for Britain
    European Movement UK
    Scientists for EU
    Media Matters for America
    Center for Public Integrity
    Human Rights Watch
    Priorities USA Action
    American Bridge 21st Century
    America Votes
    Millennium Promise

    • Loony

      What on earth is “Scientists for the EU” ?

      Surely scientists can only be scientists for science otherwise it cannot be science. It is not really any different from “Jockey’s for haberdashery”. It simply makes no sense.

      I guess it is just one more piece of the anarchists jigsaw. Incidentally they appear to have found a new piece of their puzzle with this highly intelligent case wasting legal resources and by extension public resources.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/08/dutch-man-69-starts-legal-fight-to-identify-as-20-years-younger

      • Blunderbuss

        @Looney 22:56

        Apparently, there are a lot of scientists from EU countries working in British research laboratories and they are afraid they will be deported after Brexit. It’s just a scare story but some people believe it.

        • SA

          BB
          It may be a scare but the truth is that Brexit will definitely make it difficult to recruit scientists and healthcare professional who will be put off coming to Britain by what has so far been said (and left unsaid) by our dithering government.

          • John

            I’ve lived as a legal immigrant in a non EU country for almost 30 years. If you tick the right boxes your permission to stay is a minor expense and takes a negligible amount of time.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Funny that because the European Medicines Agency is moving to Amsterdam but without the staff who have refused to go and will simply take jobs with UK-based Pharma companies

      • Ian Stevenson

        there is, pretty much, a consensus that EU co-operation is better than any form of Brexit and the existing links should continue for our mutual benefit.

    • Sharp Ears

      I think the Best for Britain Group is a relic of Gina Miller’s outfit. The current grouping is called the UK-EU Open Policy Company Ltd ‘which was incorporated last October. It is backed by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and its directors include Sir Clive Cowdery, the financial backer of the Resolution Foundation think tank, and former Goldman Sachs executive Stephen Peel.

      Eloise Todd, who spent seven years working as a political adviser in the European Parliament, is set to become the campaign’s chief executive and the new venture is expected to run alongside Open Britain, another major soft Brexit movement.’

      Enough said.

    • Dungroanin

      Looks like a reasonablish bunch of groups that he helps support.

      Even if we don’t necessarily agree with their aims or all their members (anyone associated with NuLabInc is automatically suspect, especially if they still are Blair apologists), the fact that Soros support is transparent and actual amounts are declared, stands him apart from the likes of the Koch bros and that insidious father/daughter Mercers who bankrolled brexit,
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/us-billionaire-mercer-helped-back-brexit
      Along with numerous other setups like https://www.atlasnetwork.org/

      If Soros is against that lot then it is not hard to pick his side – after all he knows first hand the horror of European disharmony and if he wants to leave it better than he found it, who can blame him?

      Friday night is pizza night!

  • David D

    I liked your analysis of the anti Russian programs by the British government due to their logic. I can’t quite say the same with your Remainer views and apparently contradictory Scottish independence ideas. However this is possibly the most controversial comment you ever made Mr Murray. ” I like George Soros and consider him to be a good man.” That puts you at odds with just about every freedom leaning person on the planet. Whilst I have not met him, nor shared a pizza, I have read a lot about him and so far have been unable to find anything that is less than repellent about the man. If he is considered a good man Satan has succeeded in his work. He supports NGO’s that have been involved (not in a good way) in just about every trouble spot you can think of. He supports open borders and the destruction of western society in many ways including shipping immigrants into European ports. He is actively involved in trying to oust Trump with support to the irrational and extreme Democrat party (who are even worse than Republicans). He acts in concert and probably on the orders of the international bankers (which is more than enough to condemn him in my view). I can well believe that he is involved in a whole lot of other very disturbing things as well. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to why any Jewish person, in this case Soros but also including Netanyahu and similar criminals, can always count on people to scream “anti semitism” (which is a meaningless slur in any case as not all Semitics are Jewish and not all Jews are Semitic) at the merest hint of criticism. I have to say if I were in a position to order a very, very in depth investigation into Soros I would and would not be surprised if it proved to be very criminal in nature. If it proved to be so you would then probably call me anti semitic as I’d make Orban look very tolerant indeed.

  • N_

    @CanSpeccy

    Why Craig, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for a pizza?

    He bought him healthy food. That was just a veiled reference to Pizzagate 🙂
    (Joke!)

  • fwl

    I find nothing unexpected in traders and fund managers wanting to exploit derivatives. Why though did the UK and the US decide to liberalise or relax regulation and to allow these products. Why did they give in. In particular why did the US? The US has traditionally taken something of a puritanical attitude limiting gambling to places where the punter has to travel quite some distance or be on water, and prohibiting naked shorting. Bill Clinton and in the UK Gordon Brown were both keen on deregulation, which I find weird. During the Clinton years the flood gates were opened and the traders of course jumped in the water, got the biggest sails for the lightest and flimisiest of vessels and got into difficulty. Why then were they all rescued and bailed out and given new boats with bigger sails and sent back out? No lessons learned whatsoever. In post WWII US bankers looked to deal abroad precisely because they knew their government looked out for the punter and they stood no chance of domestic deregulation. So what happened? What changed that?

    Does anyone query whether its a good thing for Goldman Sachs to be going into retail banking? Or are we just surprised at the possibility of some interest being offered by a bank for once.

    So we haven’t learned any lessons and yes it’s worth listening to Soros and what he has to say on financial regulation.

    The libertarian viewpoint, the viewpoint that says remove regulation, deconstruct the state, that the state and government is simply to protect property although superficially attractive (because it appears to offer freedom and freedom to compete) has a big danger: it calls for the sheep to be free to compete with the wolf.

    On globalisation: if we look back we see that elites used religion to bind people to them. When the printing press was invented they a new concept replaced religion, that of nationalism. Now we are moving to a third concept: digital control, which can be corporate, national or global but is essentially another form of elite control. It depends upon control of: 1) media and so a) knowledge, b) the Overton window, c) what is deemed to be true and d) what is taboo; 2) money and its uses; 3) scrutiny and intelligence i.e. the watching rather than the revealing; and 4) social status. The digital tool is ideal for this purpose and is the obvious successor of nationalism and religion. The modern heretic is perhaps the hacker. I’m not saying the digital tool is a good or bad thing. Elites have always looked to adapt, just like the successful trader they use what they can. I’m just saying that is what seems to be going on.

  • Julian Wells

    I like to think, possibly wrongly, that I’m not prone to follower ship. Nonetheless, I find myself agreeing with Craig nearly 100% of the time, including here.

    Soros is indeed something of a conundrum; he is perhaps the liberal equivalent of Parvus (Alexander Helfand), minus the arms dealing and other dodgy activities: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Parvus

    • Paul Greenwood

      Soros is indeed……… minus the arms dealing and other dodgy activities

      You can assure us of that as a fact ?

  • Baron

    A weird narrative, Craig, to say the least.

    You don’t defend the way Soros made his money, you believe derivatives trading is a cancerous growth on modern economies … yet you object to Soros who made his money this way being labelled as the the personification of evil capitalism.

    You will not ‘condemn him because his beliefs are not all your beliefs’. Would you also be as generous when it comes to condemning Hitler for his beliefs?

    You will not justify his support for the warmonger Clinton, but you think the demonisation of Soros is lazy, inaccurate and unfair.

    On the contrary, the demonisation of the man is justified, accurate and fair. He has never stood for any public office, his ability to initiate, influence, and most importantly fund events everywhere is only thanks to his wealth.

    Shame on you.

    • J

      As on so many topics which come up here, I don’t have a strong position and indeed a degree of ambivalence and a fair degree of ignorance.

      I don’t know Soros personally, I don’t much agree with many of those who’ve adopted a position either way on Soros in most other things and I certainly don’t trust most of the media who do have a position on Soros about anything else they say, why would I trust them to report accurately about a hobby horse?

      He’s said some interesting things over the years, he’s controversial, he’s been a malign presence as a speculator and allegedly a benign presence as a philanthropist. But I’m certainly not against a discussion, whatever else, he is interesting. Frankly, shame on you for being so up your own arse that you can’t abide others expressing a view in good faith.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Philanthropy……to usurp Dr Johnson is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

        We look at John D. Rockefeller owned 2% US GDP and as a philanthropist inter alia founded University of Chicago and John Hopkins Medical School and schools throughout the country including for Blacks………..he made his money in cartels.

        J Paul Getty was the richest man in the world and left his fortune from the sale of Getty Oil to Texaco to his Museum in Malibu which systematically destroyed the world art market. Whatever redeeming qualities J Paul Getty had were well concealed

        Howard Hughes at least made movies, designed a cantilever bra for Jane Russell, and offered to pay to move the US nuclear tests from Nevada to somewhere away from his hotel room

  • John2o2o

    Well if George Soros had bought me a pizza 20 years ago I would probably like him as well.

    TBH I know relatively little of the man. He’s demonised by some and that has often struck me as a bit paranoid.

    With that said Soros clearly is attempting use his wealth to buy influence in the world. Is that a good thing?

    • Dungroanin

      When we give to charities are we not also guilty of using our wealth to influence the world?

  • JMF

    Soros is old school. He believes in the ‘Quantity Theory of Money’ which is a false theory.
    For example, since 2008 we have had massive central bank quantitative easing i.e. a massive increase in the quantity of money but this was followed by DEFLATION not inflation.
    QE actually destroys the productive economy by redirecting far too much capital into bonds. This is the dirty little secret of the tax collectors, the money changers and ‘highly likely’ GS too.
    Think about it: If the central banks are buying up massive volumes of bonds on a regular basis (which is the mechanism of QE), ‘everyone’ else is going to jump onboard for the free lunch. Too much productive capital is redirected into bonds causing DEFLATION i.e. the exact opposite of what the public are ‘supposed to believe’
    Welcome to the ‘Greater Fool Theory’.

    • John

      I wonder if another unforseen result was an increase in shares and hence an increase in shareholders demanding dividends, causing a downward pressure on wages of the employees of the share issuing companies.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Yes but QE is “Inside Money” not “Outside Money” and was used to prop up the Banks Asset/Liability position not to expand credit.

      Fisher’s Quantity Theory is an Identity not a mechanism. Bernanke and King used the Real Balance effect to prop up asset Prices to prevent Implosion of Bank Balance Sheets and Derivatives.

      The Quantity Theory is wholly unaffected by this because the Asset Inflation since 2008 has acted as a Deflationary Force on household incomes transferring incomes from Workers to Capitalists

    • Loony

      QE is far worse than you postulate.

      It has led to deflation in certain things – for example wages and returns from fixed income arrangements. Conversely it has created asset price inflation in everything from art to real estate to stock prices. Additionally it has created inflation in things like the cost of education – think university tuition fees.

      This has benefited (or appeared to benefit) the holders of assets and it has locked everyone else out of meaningful participation in the economy. This is creating societal divisions principally between young and old. It is also in the process of creating divisions between various classes of pensioners – people on final salary pensions will do just fine. people on money purchase schemes not so fine. This in turn breaks down into a split between public sector pensioners and private sector pensioners.

      Places like the UK needs to import over 50$ of its food and energy. Its financial system is insolvent and it persuades the foreign man to supply it with its needs via the ever present threat of force with the value of its money being shored up by the sale of fixed assets. Naturally these fixed assets go to people other than the people who have grown the food or extracted the energy. This all contributes to the refugee/migrant crisis.

      So you have society fracturing along multiple fault lines – young vs old, public sector vs private sector, indigenous vs immigrant etc. The more money you print then the more these fault lines will be exacerbated.

      • Paul Greenwood

        They are not “printing money”. They are issuing Government Bonds to Banks and then buying them back just as the Italians and Spaniards are issuing New Debt to their Domestic Banks who are selling them to the ECB for Cash and their Depositors are then transferring Money to Germany. They are monetising debt.

        The fact that it is an INSIDER Game is the racket. They are doing a 2000-2007 Credit Ramp-Up all over again. Their is far higher Debt and Leverage than in 2008 but it has all gone – as you say – to the Insiders who have ripped off the Outsiders. Classic Pre-Revolutionary situation as with the Third Estate in France

        • Loony

          You are exactly correct as to both the mechanism and the creation of pre-revolutionary conditions – which is presumably being done with deliberate intent

          I wonder how many people understand what is going on.

  • JMF

    Imagine there are 5 casinos in town. One of the casinos, called the BOND CASINO, decides to do away with the green zero on all their roulette tables. Which casino will quickly become be the most popular in town? And what will happen to the other casinos?

  • Chick McGregor

    I know little of Soros other than the part he played in Black Wednesday when the UK was forced to leave the ERM.

    However since that exposed an intrinsic weakness in the nascent UK financial services economic model of those times, I was not as perturbed about it as most were.

    Your portrayal of him as a latter day Sylvester McMonkey McBean type character whose seemingly self-servingly profitable intervention, while causing financial loss, nevertheless lead to a greater good in terms of societal understanding are an interesting take.

  • N_

    There’s a typical piece of Wikipedian cack in that organisation’s article on the holocaust that was carried out by fascists (Ustashi) in Croatia in the early 1940s, when they murdered hundreds of thousands of people, including Serbs (the vast majority of their victims), J__s, and Gypsies. After Section 1 (“Background”), Section 2 is entitled “The Holocaust”, which has four subsections and deals only with J__s, and Section 3 is entitled “Other Ethnicities”, with one section each begrudgingly devoted to Serbs and Roma. Some twat on the talk page learnedly explains “There isn’t a clear consensus for inclusion of Serbs in The Holocaust. Yes, they were murdered in their hundreds of thousands, but that doesn’t make them victims of ‘The Holocaust’. Inclusion requires reliable sources and consensus.

    He’ll go far, in Wikipedia and probably in life. Imagine prostituting your intellect like that. Any old rationalisation will do to refer to most victims of a very real holocaust, even today, as if they were some kind of second-class human beings.

    I’m mentioning this because it sums up Wikipedia and more besides. It is so “internet epoch”.

    • Roger Ewen

      According to testimony from the British Red Cross at the Nuremberg trails 272000 Jews died!

      Perhaps we might take a step back, and realise, when we are being sold a pup!

    • Roger Ewen

      Or if we want to be really stupid, we can also believe their assumptions that 4 million Jews died in WW1, according to the Talmud run press! They have previously stated billions of Talmud zionists cult members have been murdered! Please remember, Talmud zionists are European, and do not follow the Torah.

    • Paul Greenwood

      It was the only place the Waffen-SS had to step in to restrain the brutality of the local Fascists. The Ustasche are similar to the Banderites in that they are the new flavour in the new era with the old wrapper

      • N_

        From the Croatia-Iceland football match in 2013: “Za dom spremni” (“For the homeland – we’re ready!”) – the equivalent of “Sieg Heil”. The large majority of the victims of the Ustashi holocaust were Serbs, the same ethnic group who comprise the large majority of those who were displaced from their homes in the South Slav region in the 1990s. The latter fact still isn’t widely recognised. Of course many Croatian people detest the Ustashi and everything they stood for, and it’s good to know there is a statue of Nikola Tesla, a Serb from Croatia, in Zagreb.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Actually UK entered the ERM to get Inflation down by effectively using the D-mark as a Gold Standard. It was a policy of impotence from the UK throw into disarray by German Reunification and Germany’s mercantilist desire to preserve their export markets and Britain’s hubris in not seeing where its “1931 Moment” lay and the Tory fear of being accused of “Devaluating the Poun” as they had always tanned Labour after 1947 and 1967 when Labour had to bite the bullet the Tories winced from biting

  • Bruce L

    “I would much prefer anybody who is kindly giving money in the expectation of agreeing with everything I write, to cancel now.”

    Quite right, too. I’ve never understood this “I’ll be your cheerleader only as long as you give voice to my own thoughts and views without deviation” mentality.

    The “please cancel my subscription” trope is widespread among all publications/writers who show a bit of backbone. You are in good company.

    As for Soros, I know little about the man, but the fact that he is very clearly not trying to use his money to subvert society for his own ends, as so many in his rarefied stratum do, is good enough for me. I don’t need another rich bogeyman to rail ineffectually against, I’ve got plenty enough as it is.

  • Roger Ewen

    Craig, as you must be bviously know, as soon as the anti semetic words are mention, I take a step back, as we both know, this is an attempt to curtail discussion on a rabid Talmud cult.
    Soros, a Talmud Zionist, the financier of the Ukraine debacle, and the following rise of the extreme right wing Nazi party in Ukraine being given legitimacy, and worse still, power. Remember the American foreign secretary, giving orders as to who was brutal enough for political office in Ukraine!
    Sorry, you are way off, just look at who financed edl and Tony Robertson!
    Way off.
    All the best, I will still always read your posts, and we are all entitled to be wrong.

    • J

      It is known that Stephen Yaxley-lenon was financed by Quilliam Foundation (Henry Jackson Society) but you’re saying you’ve seen evidence Soros is behind both? Or Lenon/EDL were funded by Soros in addition to funding from Quilliam?

      Likewise, I’ve heard the claims that Soros is behind Ukraine, but I’ve also heard claims Saddam had WMD and that Ghaddafi was about to commit the kind of genocide reserved by Saudi Arabia or the UK/US and so had to be destroyed along with Libya. Some evidence for the assertions would be informative.

  • Iain

    After reading this one can only conclude that Craig is to international diplomacy what David Icke is to goalkeeping.

  • Sharp Ears

    Meanwhile…. as ‘commemoration’ and ‘remembrance’ approach their peak,…..

    ‘The violence is unbearable’: medics in Yemen plead for help
    Hodeidah hospitals struggle to treat people hurt in airstrikes as well as hungry children
    8 Nov 2018

    Battle rages in Yemen’s vital port as showdown looms
    7 Nov 2018

    Trump says Yemen bus attack was due to bombers not using weapon properly
    President says he will raise the matter with Saudis, whose coalition forces killed 51 people in August using a US bomb
    5 Nov 2018

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/yemen

    Theresa May is in France and Belgium laying wreaths.
    World War One: Theresa May paying respects in France and Belgium
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46145199

    Gross hypocrisy.

  • mikhas

    It seems Murray is trying to warm us up to the fact that he (and part of the Scottish independent movement?) is or eventually be funded by Geörgy Swarthz aka Satan aka Soros, just like the evil bastard funded the criminal Pigdemon and his bourgeoisie elitist gang in Barcelona.

    • Dungroanin

      Utter red-rag nonsense.
      Murray is not so keen on the EU after the way they diregarded the crackdown on the grassroots Catalonian referendum, shut down of its elected parliament and imprisonment of it’s democratically elected representatives.

  • TFS

    I have no doubt that there are some NGO’s doing good.

    How about everyone pull together and get the UN and the ICC to DO ITS JOB. Either that or stop funding another failed experiment.

    The rest will follow.

  • kashmiri

    Finally someone says it. Thanks for writing this Craig.

    I will only add that political views have become a religion nowadays, and like every religion in the world they have developed to have their own rituals, mythology and daemonology. Thus, for some Left believers, Soros is the name of an evil daemon whose public hate and despise are considered religious acts. Facts and reality play no role for those people.

    So, thanks for bringing in a bit of common sense.

    • Brian c

      There you go Craig, finally bouquets from figures who persistently sneer at your anti-establishment posts.

  • Clive p

    Like everybody else I know little about Soros except he made loads of money shorting the pound. Some of his activities seem ok, others not. He’s the same as other billionaires who fund what they want partly to gain influence and power. The main thing in his favour is the people who demonise him eg Orban. Makes me think he can’t be all bad!

    • SA

      The point is that we should always examine the system not the individuals. If you approve a system that allows people to get so rich legally and become inordinately powerful and increases inequalities then you cannot blame individuals for exploiting the system. This is what is hard to get across, even in this well informed forum, that the way capitalism has evolved means that things like Brexit or Scottish Independence and so on mean very little change to the individual because the system will not change.

  • mikhas

    Funny how the Murray- crowd suddenly becomes pro-Sorosian fascist globalists, colour revolutionalist and regime changers as soon as Murray showed his true colours.

    What took you so long?

  • Andy Duncan

    Interesting. I have always felt something similar about Soros. As for Scruton …. the title “right wing intellectual” with which he happily identifies, says it all. He had the audacity once to write about prejudice claiming he understood this from his own first hand experience of abuse received for being a right wing intellectual. His book on Spinoza was for many English speaking students of a certain generation one of the few scholarly sources on offer. And yet it is at best a crass over rationalisation of one of the greatest philosophers there has been, and at worst a juvenile misreading. Personally I never take seriously anything Scruton says or writes and would never grace him with the title intellectual in any sense.

    • Makropulos

      On the topic of Scruton’s much self-advertised victimhood at the hands of a “left establishment”, this link is interesting:

      http://crookedtimber.org/2016/04/02/a-very-very-brief-intellectual-autobiography/

      There is a remark by one “Hidari” which is worth quoting in full (obvioulsy it has dated references but the gist is still relevant):

      “‘Is there any truth in Scruton’s claim that Longman panicked over the 1985 reaction to “Thinkers of the New Left” and (per Freeman) “withdrew” the book?’

      No it’s obvious and self-evident bollocks. I had a huge post about this in my brain, so to speak, but I decided that were I to post it the internet might self-combust due to its tediousness. Suffice to say, one of the key charmless tropes of right wing intellectuals is that they all have to pretend that we do not, in fact, live in capitalist societies, that the governments in these countries since (roughly) about ’67 do not, in fact, ‘lean to the right’, and that this is partly because since that time the Right has seized the intellectual high ground, based on its army of think tanks, paid-for intellectuals, right wing journalists, the corporate media etc. etc. etc.

      To be right wing since, roughly, 1971, therefore is to be absolutely in the mainstream of modern intellectual thought. It is not in any sense an anti-establishment or a ‘dissident’ opinion. And if anyone denies this, think of the bottom line. What hit to Scruton’s wallet did taking his (allegedly) controversial intellectual opinions cost him? Did he at any point live in grinding poverty, as Karl Marx did? Was he sent to prison or threatened with it (as happened to Bertrand Russell or the Soviet dissidents)?

      Incidentally google ‘Scruton’ and ‘The Guardian’ and see how gently he is reviewed and interviewed in the ostensibly ‘hostile’ Guardian. And remember also this: for a long while Scruton was a paid columnist (the wine reviewer) for the New Statesman, the premier left wing non-academic journal in the UK.

      Imagine you were a young journalist and you went to your bank manager. And you said to him: ‘I want to be a journalist. I also want to make as much money as possible. Should I write for right wing papers, or left wing papers? Should I flatter Jeremy Corbyn or David Cameron/Tony Blair?’

      What do you think your bank manager would recommend?”

  • Matthias Vogelsanger

    I think Craig’s description of Soros is fair and to the point. However, the way Soros acts politically, it boils down to the principle that he who has the gold makes the rules. That makes him off-putting to many, including me. He is entitled to his views, but his legitimacy to spread them through using his vast funds may rightfully be questioned. Basically he is part of a corrupt system where money rules and not the people. This remains deplorable whether or not you approve of the agenda.

  • Carnyx

    Soros’ name is Esperanto for “soaring one”, his father was an enthusiast and changed the family name, Esperanto hoped to get rid of linguistic and national differences in order to bring a unified world in which there would be no war. It seems to me that Soros genuinely holds an anti-nationalist ideology which is compounded by it also being in his financial interests. While his background provides understandable reasons he might support this, the ideology is still questionable and the results of his meddling extremely dangerous.

    A one world govt by it’s very nature will be imperialist, it will be constantly at war with regions disputing it’s rule, it’s rulers will be out of touch with the concerns of their subjects. The reality of such a society would contradict the aims of a peaceful world, as such Soros is now promoting war with Russia in the name of peace. Only part of this stems from his Hungarian Russophobia, the other is the fact Putin isn’t playing along with the Globalist agenda.

    In the link below Soros argues that Russia is exacerbating the refugee crisis to harm Europe, in fact the refugee crisis peaked before Russia intervened in Syria starting in October 2015, the refugee crisis peaked during the summer of that year.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/11/putin-threat-europe-islamic-state

    Soros is smart and informed enough to know his accusation that Russia is deliberately creating more refugees in Syria in order to attack Europe cannot be true, so why is he lying?

    I’m not a Kantian, I don’t think good intentions define judgements of the moral worth of a person or action. I take a more utilitarian approach, I think consequences matter. And whatever Soros intends, he has made the world a worse and more dangerous place. We all know what paves the road to hell.

  • Nancy Elkins

    Interesting take on Soros. Do you have the same views on other billionaires like Bill Gates, who spend money trying to do good, but actually wreak havoc on institutions like public school?. Gates may mean well, but he has no business interfering and does not really have the background to be an expert. Why should any individual have enough power to change fundamental structures?

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