George Soros is a name that is heard innumerable times in the philanthropic world with different contributions, activism on human and civil rights, interference to create strong democratic communities around the globe, and more. In October 2017, his name hit the headlines but raised the eyebrows of everyone. He transferred more than 70% of total fortune to philanthropy. The transfer of $18 billion to his philanthropic wing, Open Society Foundations, is expected to shape the societies around the world. Analysts have already communicated the importance of the transfer considering the fall of democratization in Asian and African countries.
However, the conservatives, who always see Soros as their enemy, showed their frustration towards the transfer and started creating conspiracy theories, as usual. The credentials of Soros, including his fights for liberal values, opposition to Donald Trump and George W. Bush during the presidential elections, scathing attacks on flawed policies of conservatives and their divisive policies, and more, have made him one of the primary targets of conservatives. Right-wing theory sites like Breitbart declared the OSF as a Death Star and welcomed the news. Giving an image of a philanthropic boogeyman to Soros is another strategy of conservatives, and it is reflecting the current political standard of conservatives.
However, these stories can create detrimental effects on the society and encourage dark forces to move and work against democratic values for destroying the societies. It is also expected to reduce the grassroots level activism significantly and leading to discussing the meritocracy of philanthropists without touching how they are shaping the society. In the history, it has shown that philanthropists are experienced many cases of abuse for their acts, but the industrialization in the 19th centuries gave rise to billionaires who were ready to spend for shaping the societies. The United States was highly welcoming the philanthropists and their works and interferences in the societies.
However, it also generated a political system that focused on creating conspiracy theories against philanthropists. Considering Soros is a champion of progressivism, capitalism, and globalism, his critics are effectively utilizing all these spectrums to direct theories against him. To people who do not know him, he is a strong critic of laissez-faire capitalism which accesses all areas of human lives and damaging democratic and open societies. Though Soros earned his fortune from the opportunities that capitalism provided, he is cautious about the integration of market values into human lives and warns against it – the mindset of a truly democratic and open society champion with a generous heart.
George Soros is from a Hungarian Jewish family and was born in 1930. His family moved out to England after the Second World War, and he enrolled at the prestigious London School of Economics. After earning graduation, Soros decided to use the market opportunities in the United States and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. His initial career as a stockbroker in the American capital markets was highly successful. In early 1970, he created his own hedge fund group named Soros Fund Management. After generating substantial business success, he turned towards philanthropy by founding OSF.