# 50th EDITION SERF UNDER_GROUND JOURNAL

 

Karl Popper versus George Soros …
Two conflicting views of the Open Society.

 
Multi-billionaire and hedge fund manager George Soros, in what could be his manifesto, a book written in 2000, ‘Open Society , Reforming Global Capitalism,’ attributes influence on his views and program, promoted via his global ‘Open Society Foundation,’ to Karl Popper’s classic exposition, ‘The Open Society and its Enemies,’ published in 1950.

‘Open Society,’ says George Soros, ‘stands for freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, social justice and social responsibility as a universal idea.’ ( O.S. Soros. 2000, p 120.) …Sounds good, doesn’t it, ‘freedom,’ ‘democracy,’ ‘rule of law,’ etcetera, etcetera, but somewhere along the way, Karl Popper’s Open Society seems to have undergone a sea-change into something stranger, interesting to compare the two versions, Popper Mark I and Soros Mark II.

Popper wrote his book during the dark days of Hitler’s rise to power and early days of the Second World War when it looked like Hitler’s attempt at world dominance might succeed. He wrote ‘Open Society’ as a response to these events, a felt need to critically examine totalitarianism in its various guises and to defend the values of open, democratic society that were being threatened. The various guises Popper examines in ‘Open Society’ are doctrines of historical necessity and human destiny expounded by Plato, Hegel and Marx, Plato formulating an ideal republic based on his theory of forms, Hegel combating liberalism in the authoritarian state of Prussia’s King Frederic William III, and Karl Marx in industrial England, arguing inexorable laws of social development and class war.

In criticizing these three thinkers, Popper states in the preface to ‘The Open Society and Its Enemies:

’If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men may make great mistakes; and as the book tries to show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason. Their influence, too rarely challenged, continues to mislead those on whose defense civilization depends, and to divide them.The responsibility of this tragic and possibly fatal division becomes ours if we hesitate to be outspoken in our criticism of what admittedly is a part of our intellectual heritage. By reluctance to criticize some of it, we may help to destroy it all.’

Popper’s Open Society High -Five…..

The High-Five of Popper’s Open Society, ‘freedom,’ ‘democracy involving critical debate,’ ‘equal rule of law for all,’ ‘human rights,’ ‘social justice and social responsibility,’ are necessarily inter-connected in complex ways; ‘freedom,’ for example, entailing questions of ‘who rules,’ ‘how much rule’ and ‘what checks and balances on governance’ The main focus of Popper’s two volume ‘The Open Society and Its Enemies’ is his review of Plato’s Republic, Volume 1, ‘The Spell of Plato,’ the first of the blueprint Utopias designed to make-over society on a grand scale.

None of the above features of the open society in Plato’s hierarchical Utopia meant to arrest all change and keep everyone in their place. Popper attributes the attempt by Plato to create an unchanging society to his personal experience as an Athenian living through the strain of an unsettled period of historical change, the disastrous war between tribal Sparta and democratic Athens’ and subsequent civil war, the oligarch party in Athens plotting against the democracy.

Plato summed up this experience by the historicist law of historical development that all things decay. But Plato believed that it was possible to break this law by a return to the original perfect form of things or ideas. His Republic, recreating the perfect tribal closed society ruled by an elite philosopher caste would do this. To maintain unity within this ruling caste, all that was private and individual must be eradicated and therefore, Plato tells us, in his highest state there must be common property of wives, children and chattels. Popper quotes Plato: ‘You are created for the sake of the whole …’ (O.S.p100.) and observes that for Plato, individualism is the enemy of collectivism and must be branded as selfish expression of ego, no place in Plato’s Republic for western humanism and altruism or The Arts.

Lies required, ‘noble’ or otherwise.

So when you wish to make BIG changes you have to be persuasive. The political system Plato designed to achieve his static society necessitated his persuasive myth, or necessary ‘noble lie,’ of the metals in men, gold in an elite class who should lead, and beneath them, tiers of inferior metals with their ordained, unquestioned roles of obedience to the philosopher king. In this hierarchy, only the gold elite get education, but it is an education of received truths not to be questioned, and Plato hopes that in time even the philosopher class will come to believe his noble lie.

More dishonesty. Plato used Socrates as his sock puppet to give respectability to his totalitarian program. Socrates, advocate of the open society and critical debate, member of what Popper calls the great generation of Athenian open society becomes the mouthpiece for Plato’s authoritarian doctrines. Here on justice and rule of law, Plato has Socrates giving a whole new meaning to words like ‘justice’ or ‘freedom’ via convoluted argument….What means justice for each citizen? Why, it’s the right to possess what is his own. And what is this right specifically? Why it’s the right, (within his caste) to attend to his own business, that is, the right of the labourer to labour, and presumably of the slave to slave, and of course, the unquestionable right of the philosopher class to rule. (O.S. Ch 6.)

Justice, then, in Plato’s hierarchical state means what is in the best interest of the hierarchical state and Plato’s focus, regarding justice, was the question of ‘who shall rule the state?’ Popper observes that whether the response was ‘the wise’ or ‘the good,’ or even ‘the general will’ or ‘the master race’ shall rule,’ the question skipped over the fundamental problem of limits to power, the problem of unchecked sovereignty. Popper proposed a better question concerning justice, which is: ‘How can we so organize political institutions so that bad or incompetent leaders be prevented from doing too much damage?’ (O.S.p121.)

In Plato’s Republic, no checks or balances required other than a state-controlled education system designed to manage the succession of leadership and socially engineer selected students from the leader class in preparation for the role of ‘wise’ and omnipotent philosopher king.

How different is this ‘wisdom’ from Socrates curiosity and intellectual modesty, ‘Socrates who taught that we should have faith in human reason and avoid dogmatism. This,’ says Popper, ‘is what Plato made of Socrates’ demand that a responsible politician should be a lover of truth and wisdom rather than an expert, and that he was ‘wise’ only if he knew his limitations.’ (O.S.p 137.)

And this blueprint by Plato in ‘The Republic,’ for the return to tribalism, is how Plato perverts open society concepts of freedom, democracy and equal rule of law for all. You can forget social justice and social responsibility, in this rigid society they don’t apply.

Compare, also, says Popper, Plato’s Republic, with the description of Athens’ 5th Century B.C. experiment in democracy by one of its leaders, Pericles, a member of ‘the great generation.’ that formulated the principle of equality before the law and political individualism.

‘Our political system,’ says Pericles in his famous ‘Funeral Oration,’ ‘does not compete with institutions which are elsewhere in force. We do not copy our neighbors, but try to be an example. Our administration favors the many instead of the few: this is why it is called a democracy. The laws afford equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, but we do not ignore the claims of excellence. When a citizen distinguishes himself, then he will be called to serve the state, in preference to others, not as a matter of privilege, but as a reward of merit; and poverty is no bar. … The freedom we enjoy extends also to ordinary life; we are not suspicious of one another, and we do not nag our neighbor if he chooses to go his own way. … But this freedom does not make us lawless. We are taught to respect the magistrates and the laws, and never to forget that we must protect the injured. And we are also taught to observe those unwritten laws whose sanction lies only in the universal feeling of what is right.’ (O.S. Ch 10.)

Clean Slate – Don’t go there!

Many problems with Utopian attempts to realize an ideal state. As Popper argues, social life is so complicated that it’s impossible to forecast the outcomes of clean-slate engineering. It requires authoritarian controls, no room for criticism, and it means problems with leadership when the benevolent ‘wise’ leader is succeeded by the tyrant. ‘We must never forget,’ says Popper, ‘that excellent leaders cannot be produced by rational methods but only by luck.’ (O.S p 161.)

And when things go wrong, as they must, we can’t back track. Powerful interests are linked to the success of the experience, too much has been invested in the grand scheme. Popper argues that it is much wiser to observe trial and error piecemeal reform, modify an institution, trial unemployment insurance or arbitration courts for example, and if they go wrong, the damage is not as great and readjustments are possible.

Hegel Says ‘No.’ Might is Absolutely Right.

If you listen to Hegel, official philosopher of the Prussian state under Frederic William the Third, things can’t go wrong in the powerful state. ‘That charlatan Hegel,’ says Schopenhauer, and Popper agrees. Hegel motivated by self interest, called to Berlin to justify Frederic William’s authoritarian rule; debauching language and logic to support his historicist dogma, a mystical zeitgeist, realized through a historical process of war of the nations. ‘The Universal is to be found in the State,’ writes Hegel, and ‘The State is the Divine Idea as it exists on earth.’ (O.S. Vol 2 p31.)

Hegel turns Plato’s ideal form corrupted by flux on its head. Unlike Plato, Hegel does not teach that his development of the world in flux is a descent towards historical decay, but rather the trend towards the Idea, the powerful state of ‘now’ is progress, ‘what prevails, is right!’

Hegel promotes his historicist doctrine by his dialectical method that Popper, like Schopenhauer calls an assault on logic. While science and criticism proceed on the argument that contradictions are impermissible and attempts must be made to eliminate them, Hegel says that since science progresses via contradictions, contradictions are permissible and highly desirable and there is no need to eliminate them. Say, imagine if a bridge engineer used Hegel’s dialectic and welcomed and retained errors in his bridge design. What Hegel is doing is omitting part of the argument that ‘contradictions could be said to be welcome as a means of identifying and eliminating false arguments and theories.’ Hegel, by sleight of hand eliminates the italics bit and focuses on a connotation of ‘welcome’ as ‘inviting to stay as a ‘welcome’ guest.’

By this sophistry, says Popper, all criticism and argument must cease. I draw your attention to Popper’s comment, cited above, in his Preface to The Open Society regarding the importance of criticism if we are to protect our freedoms. Note also that Hegel’s attack on criticism secures his own philosophy against argument.

Employing this dialectical method and impenetrable language, (think language of the Alan Sokal Hoax) Hegel employs pseudo demonstration … therefore and therefore and therefore … to undermine human freedoms, for example, appearing to defend claims for protection of ‘ liberty’ or ‘freedom of thought,’ by the state, while proceeding to turn both to their opposite meaning … ‘convictions may be pretentious’ and ‘faced with ‘subversive opinions,’ turns out that only the state can preserve freedom of thought and must ‘make up its own mind concerning what is to be considered objective truth.’ (O.S. Vol 2, pp 42, 43.)

On liberty Hegel uses a pun try to show that a ‘liberty’ is the same as a ‘law’, from which it follows that the more laws, the more liberties. This is clearly nothing than the paradox of freedom that can be expressed by saying that unlimited freedom leads to its opposite, since without its protection and restriction by law, freedom must lead to a tyranny of the strong over the weak. This paradox was solved by Kant, says Popper, who argued ‘that the freedom of each man should be restricted, but not beyond what is necessary to safeguard an equal degree of freedom for all.’ (Vol 2.pp 44/45.)

Popper says that Hegel knows Kant’s solution, but he does not like it, and ‘presents it, without mentioning its author, in the following disparaging way: ‘To-day, nothing is more familiar than the idea that each must restrict his liberty in relation to the liberty of others; that the state is a condition of such reciprocal restrictions; and that the laws are restrictions. But,’ he goes on to criticize Kant’s theory, ‘this expresses the kind of outlook that views freedom as casual good-pleasure and self-will.’ With this cryptic remark, Kant’s equalitarian theory of justice is dismissed.’ (Ch 12.)

Popper concludes that why we need to take Hegel’s flawed logic and his historicist dogma seriously is because ‘Hegel’s influence, and especially that of his cant,’ have had incalculable influence on fascist and Marxist political philosophies and is still very powerful in moral and social philosophy and in the social and political sciences.’ (pp 29, 30.)

Karl Marx and a New Historicism.

‘It is tempting to dwell upon the similarities between Marxism, the Hegelian left wing. and its fascist counterparts,’ says Popper, ‘Yet it would be utterly unfair to overlook the difference between them. Although their intellectual origin is nearly identical, there can be no doubt of the humanitarian impulse of Marxism. Moreover, in contrast to the Hegelians of the right wing, Marx made an honest attempt to apply rational methods to the most urgent problems of social life. The value of this attempt is unimpaired by the fact that it was, as I shall try to show, largely unsuccessful.’ (O.S.Vol 2. p81.)

Popper pays tribute to Marx identifying the importance of situational analysis and economic conditions and not states of mind, as the basis for understanding human history, Marx’s materialism, or ‘economism’, says Popper, is insightful but only so long as it is not sweepingly interpreted as the doctrine that all social development depends upon economic conditions, which is palpably false. The history of Marxism itself furnishes examples that clearly falsify Marx exaggerated economism, for example, it was Lenin’s ‘ideas’ expressed in slogans that became a driving force of the Russian Revolution. (p108.) Popper makes reference, also, to Rousseau’s influence on Robespierre in the French Revolution, to those Medieval fights within the ruling classes, between popes and emperors. Nor do 20th century World Wars conform to this oversimplification.

The historicism of Marx is itself a strand of an intellectual tradition from Plato to Hegel that viewed history as a process of necessity, of inexorable laws of historical development whereby nothing we can do will avert what is to be. Popper attacks the perniciousness of such doctrines that discourage personal responsibility and any criticism of the ‘inevitable.’

Popper also attacks historicist doctrines as false interpretations of history, arguing that the arguments underlying Marx’s historical prophesy are invalid,’ that his ingenious attempt to draw prophetic conclusions from observations of contemporary economic tendencies failed.’ (p193.) The conditions of the working classes under capitalism did not worsen, leading to social revolution, as Marx predicted, instead they markedly improved:

‘The reason for his failure as a prophet lies entirely in the poverty of historicism as such,’ says Popper, ‘in the simple fact that even if we observe to-day what appears to be a historical tendency or trend, we cannot know whether it will have the same appearance tomorrow.’ (p193.)

Popper observes that probably his most crucial criticism of Marx is of his theory of the state and paradoxically the impotence of all politics. ‘Political power, properly so called,’ says Marx in his Manifesto, ‘is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing the other.’ (p118.) The important and dangerous outcome of this theory is that paradoxically, given radical activism, politics are viewed as impotent. A state that holds elections must nevertheless be considered undemocratic per se. Legal and political reforms are a waste of time. The Marxist theory of politics does not require its followers to be alert to abuses of power, (other than economic power,) or any need for institutional checks and balances on state power, even after revolution has ushered in the prophesied classless society.

Says Popper, not only did Marx’s historicist theory block the development of democratic reform, it prevented its followers from envisaging, after the revolution, the danger to political freedom by a dictatorship of the proletariat.

Popper wrote of Marx’s ‘humanitarianism and honest attempt to apply rational methods to social problems’ (p81.) but ultimately he decries the outcome of Marx’s historicist theory, a way of acting that is neither humanitarian nor rational, involving the pain and suffering of likely violent revolution.

Yet Another Manifesto.

In the George Soros Manifesto, ‘Open Society, Reforming Global Capitalism,’ written as he says in his introduction, ‘as a guide to action,’ there is little of Popper’s view of open society with its considerations regarding rational criticism and individual freedom, more a blend of strands of Plato, Hegel and Marx, the Soros messianic change-the-world big plan. Highly critical of present day nation democracies and capitalist markets, Soros expounds guiding principles for his vision of global open society and the network of foundations he has established to realize his aims. The book’s themes focus on present ways of thinking and practices that he claims are a threat to open society. They include what he terms ‘unbridled’ self interest, lack of a universal focused value system and a process he calls ‘reflexivity,’ the fallible feedback problem between thinking and reality that occurs in our human, political, economic and social activities. Soros is particularly critical of the capitalist free market, which he renames as ‘market fundamentalism.’

Je suis Plato.

In Chapter 5 of Soros’ book, with its Plato-sounding title, ‘Open Society as an Ideal,’ hesets out to correct the ‘deficiencies’ of pluralistic value systems in present democracies by establishing a fundamental universal value system. ‘This sounds like a Utopian endeavor,’ says Soros, and so it is, but not to worry because it is necessary, you can’t truly have an open society if it isn’t actually universal. ( Irony tag, in case you’re wondering.) And if there seems something contradictory in imposing democracy from the outside on other nations, as he recognizes in the book’s introduction, ‘contradiction can be avoided …if the intervention brings benefits and is therefore voluntarily accepted.’ Hey, ‘therefore’ Post hoc ergo propter? Maybe after the revolution has settled down?

Best forget those words of Pericles in the Funeral Oration quoted by Popper, ‘we do not nag our neighbour if he chooses to go his own way.’ Soros couldn’t agree less. He’s been known to meddle in other nations’ politics, and like Plato, he’s for pervasive moral guidance and more than a dash of compulsion in his open society, although Soros is not quite Plato with regard to consistency of argument.

In Soros, Chapter 5, there are a few problem definitions involved as well. A core problem of present democracies for George Soros is the promotion of the market principle by all those market fundamentalists out there ‘that believe the common interest is best served by the untrammelled pursuit of self interest.’ (P 117.) First problem definition, Soros substitutes Popper’s and the Enlightenment’s references to ‘the individual’ with the term ‘self interest.’ Like Plato, Soros’ identifies ‘individualism’ with ‘egoism,’ furnishing a powerful argument for collectivism and conflicting with Popper’s description of ‘individualism’ united with ‘altruism’ as the basis of western civilization. The word ‘individual,’ argues Popper, is in opposition to ‘collectivism’ but not, per se, to altruism, whereas ‘egoism’ or ‘selfishness’ is definitively in opposition to altruism.

While applying his connotation of ‘egoist’ to ‘individual,’ Soros makes a brief reference to the ‘individual’ as relating to ‘the universal brotherhood of man,’ in the United States Declaration of Independence and in Kant’s Categorical Imperative, ‘Treat all humans as ends, not means, …and do unto others as you would be done to.’ (Ch 5.) contradicting his argument that a flaw of western democracies is that they have no universal values, here, two universal values expressed and both based on yet another Enlightenment universal value, the value of subjecting tradition to critical reason. As with Hegel, it seems that contradictions are not of much concern to this writer.

Je suis Hegel.

While Soros admits that the Enlightenment unleashed the creative energies of the human intellect to bring about achievements and living standards ‘beyond compare,’ he then dismisses these achievements ‘beyond compare,’ by arguing that in the Enlightenment ‘Reason was unequal to the task.’ As an historical illustration he cites the excesses of the French Revolution, not an applicable example as participants in the French Revolution abandoned constitutional safeguards and rational behaviour, instead responding to events by leadership fiat-decision-making and mob-rule.

A further criticism of the Enlightenment made by Soros is that rationalism produced the ‘unencumbered individual,’ a simplistic view of individuals living as though without family or local connections or any social values, and disregarding the reformist actions of many of these individuals to extend suffrage, enact factory laws, and abolish slavery, not just reformists but humanists, like John Stuart Mill, Benjamin Franklin, Lord Shaftsbury, and Charles Dickens.

‘It’s time, ‘says Soros,’ to subject reason, as construed by the Enlightenment, to the same kind of critical examination that the Enlightenment inflicted on the dominant external authorities, both divine and temporal. We have now lived in the age of reason for the past two hundred years – long enough to discover that reason has its limitations. We are ready to enter the age of fallibility.’ (p 125.)

What does it mean, ‘subject reason to ‘reason,’ subjecting reason to itself? And what does it mean to ‘enter the age of fallibility?’ Popper perceived our ‘human fallibility’ as requiring us ‘to act by trial and error-testing,’ which is rational behaviour for a fallible being and is the basis of the scientific method. What Soros says here seems contradictory, he’s putting fallibility in place of to reason. By abandoning reason, where does that get us?

And there’s a historical problem with Soros’ generalization. Can we say that we have been living in an age of reason for the last two hundred years? In the twentieth century, how to equate Germany’s myth of blood and soil and collectivist aggression with being part of the age of reason? Ironic that Soros’ says that his open society, critical of reason and individual responsibility, is influenced by Karl Popper who wrote his ‘Open Society and its Enemies’ in response to Hitler’s irrational onslaught against it.

Soros and the New Encumbered Individual.

In the George Soros Manifesto social justice is a top priority, social justice with a capital ‘S’ and a capital ‘J’ .You can’t have an open society without lots of it. He presents the seven conditions for open society in our time suggested by Aryeh Neier, President of the Soris Open Society Foundation. They are:

(1) Regular, free and fair elections. (2) Free and pluralistic media.(3)The rule of law upheld by an independent judiciary.(4) Constitutional protection for minority rights.(5) A market economy that respects property rights and provides opportunities and a safety net for the disadvantaged. (6) A commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts. (7) Laws that are enforced to curb corruption.

Well, don’t functioning western democracies already hold these principles constitutionally and generally seek to realize them? Social justice observed by rule of law for all, constitutional protection for minority rights, safety nets for the disadvantaged, pensions, education for all, and catering for learning disabilities that may be mental or physical.

But Soros wants universal and more pervasive government regulation to achieve his own ideal of social justice. He makes the claim that this should come about via bottom up, by trial and error reform, but given that Soros believes irrational, fallible humans, following their own self interest, can’t be trusted to act in the public interest, as per his ideal of social justice, Soros considers, like Plato and Hegel before him, that the state must be given that power. Not just any state, however, but a global organization, promoter and arbiter of the common interest, like the EU heavily regulating the common market and institutions like the Central European University, founded and funded by Soros, to create the ‘encumbered individual,’ with its value-laden program promoting the Occupy Movement. ‘People must be aroused, fired up’ says Soros, ‘and they must coalesce around a common cause for the common interest to override special interests’. (p136.)

Well that might bring about grass roots activism, but mainly as a result of concerted pressure from above. ‘We need to create institutions for the promotion of the common interest’ says Soros, but there’s the rub, that EU and UN army of highly (self) paid unelected leaders and bureaucracy have demonstrated serious governance problems, problems of unvetted immigration, huge welfare bills, law and order and social breakdowns as a consequence of fiat decision making. A top down elite may have a shared interest but it is ‘their’ interest and that does not equate with the common interest. Well not until you align the common interest with your leadership goals. The Central European University is that kind of institution creating ‘encumbered’ social justice activists pushing for globalist values regarding gender politics and social justice, along with green politics-environmentalism and the labor movement.

Founder of the CEU, advocate of the global state, George Soros, wears many hats, Platonic philosopher, Hegelian sophist, and not least, Marxist critic of the free market.

Je suis Marx.

For Karl Popper, the enemy of the open society is totalitarianism in all its guises, whether tribal, fascist or communist, whereas for Soros, its principal enemies are the free market and the global capitalist system. George Soros really, really disapproves of the free market which he chooses to call market ‘fundamentalism’ with all those reflexivity and dogmatist-religious connotations that the term ‘fundamentalism’ brings to mind.

‘Market fundamentalists believe in individual freedom, which is a cornerstone of open society,’ says Soros in the introduction to his book, ’but they exaggerate the merits of the market mechanism. They believe that efficient markets assure the best allocation of resources and that any intervention, whether it comes from the state or from international institutions, is detrimental. Since market fundamentalism has become so influential , it truly constitutes a greater threat to a global open society than communism or socialism, because those ideologies have been discredited.’

Soros makes a number of flawed observations concerning the free market. He disagrees with the classical economists’ argument that the unregulated market will generate equilibrium between demand and supply and that government intervention produces negative results by distorting feedback signals. Soros wants more government regulation to rid the system of boom/bust market corrections.

Say, even if, arguably, Adam Smith classic economics is incorrect concerning homeostasis and Schumpeter’s dynamic disequilibrium theory is the working dynamic, increasing government regulation to make the market an instrument of social justice would also lead to negative results. Schumpeter argues that dynamic disequilibrium is the process of structural change that moves resources from obsolescent to new practices, from industrial revolution steam power to information age internet. Retarding this wealth producing process by government ‘steering’ would reduce innovation and capital, the source of present productive employment opportunities and income and future productive employment opportunities. (Ref below, Hans Rosling video * re the unprecedented outcomes of low regulation markets on living standards and life expectancy in western democracies in the last two hundred years. )

Another incorrect assumption that Soros makes regarding the free market needing top down intervention, is that a free market is an ‘untrammeled’ market. But the free market is far from the lawless process that he describes. It requires rule of law as its basis, including legally binding contracts, protection of property rights, and reliable disputes resolution practices. That’s why kleptocracies are not good places to create a viable business. Nor are western nations where government and global institutions are imposing more, and often arbitrary regulations on the market, for example, results of government social policies in the US Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae banking disaster, and EU youth jobless stats, (over 40% for Greece, over 35% for Spain and Italy, and in eight other EU nations unemployment ranging from 15 % to the high 20’s) a consequence of high regulation imposed by an army of public service elites, highest paid in the world. And then there’s those bale outs by government fiat!

Soros admits his own mistake in predicting the imminent disintegration of the capitalist system after the Asian crisis which he attributes to the operation of the free market though it was more the result of a departure from the free market, but he keeps on hoping – and working to bring it about…

Soros in Action – the Man behind the Curtain.

In 1979 in Hungary, the land of his birth, Soros launched the first of his Open Society Foundations to help ‘build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.’ Passing strange that the Open Society Foundations he funds in more than 79 countries, and the organizations funded by them, often by stealth, are doing quite the opposite.

Aryeh Neier, the President chosen by Soros to head his Open Society Organization, is a Leninist Marxist, founder, in the 1960’s, of Students for Democracy, committed to overthrowing American institutions and remaking them in Marxist mould. Quite a few of the Open Society echelon have a similar history and the behemoth they control funds an activist movement with a similar program to Students for Democracy, to herald in a utopian era of supra-state government, U.N. and EU style. Same ol’ same ol’…

Soros funded programs are directed to the Gramsci long march through the institutions, capturing the educational system, the media and judiciary, and corrupting democracy by constraining free speech and critical debate. Soros’ funded activism invokes attacks on a democratic pluralist media, and corruption of the constitutional electoral process and legal system of non-arbitrary rule of law for all. His Open Society Foundation and underground network seek to bring down the United States and other western democracies by promoting illegal mass immigration, mostly hostile to democratic values. Other programs include environmental activism demonizing atmospheric CO2 and promoting costly intermittent energy sources to affect productivity. Further to weakening society, activists seek to legitimize illicit toxic drugs and provoke hatred of police action that protects the populace against violent drug offenders or political acts of hostility by migrants. Herewith links to organizations directly and indirectly funded by Soros Open Society Foundation and link to OSF top 150 grantees of 2011.

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237

http://sorosfiles.com/soros/2011/10/open-society-institute-top-150-grantees.html#axzz56y1hZ5Z5

A few examples of Soros’ subsidy of leftist activism,

Opposition to Free Speech.

Soros’ funds action to shut down alternative view free speech via orchestrated protest movements that adopt violent tactics. These anti-free-speech assaults include the 2017 May Day Riots across the US, the California University, Berkeley, the violent protests \in February to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos’ speaking at the University, and include the Anti-Trump Inauguration protest in Washington. in January 2017.

A leftwing organization called Rise-Up Org. that claimed responsibility for the May Day violence that erupted across the US on May 1st, 2017, is a left-wing organization financed by Alliance for Global Justice, one of Soros’ top 150, seven figure grantees. It is also funded, indirectly by Tides Foundation, number 3 on OSF grantee list. Tidegave AfGJ $50, 000, according to the AfGJ 990 tax form. http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/03/look-who-funds-the-group-behind-the-call-to-arms-at-milos-berkeley-event/ Many inter-connections, Rise-up is connected to Antifa, and Antifa is an alias of Refuse Fascism, which is sponsored by AFGJ which is funded by Tides Foundation which is also funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundation… Get it? Here are two links that reveal the Rise Up Org. trail.: https://medium.com/how-soros-came-to-own-or-fund-antifa-is-irrelevant-to-this-discussion Another Look Into Antifa’s Shady Connections The passage below is part of a report by an organization called Discover the Networks, of plans and action by Antifa/Refuse Fascism, to violently disrupt Trump’s Inauguration festivities: ‘Just a few days prior to the January 20, 2017 inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump, James O’Keefe’s investigative journalism organization, Project Veritas, released undercover video footage exposing a cohort of hard-left, self-described “anarchists,” “anti-capitalists,” and “anti-fascists” who ― in an effort to undermine Trump’s presidency and strike back at the “Nazis” who they said supported him ― were plotting to disrupt the inaugural festivities with a massive protest dubbed “DisruptJ20.” Specifically, the conspirators planned to: (a) create a series of “clusterf**k blockades” sealing off ingress points all over the capital; (b) shut down the Washington, DC Metro lines by chaining the trains to other physical structures; (c) inject butyric acid, which could cause severe respiratory problems if inhaled, into the vent shafts of the National Press Club; and (d) physically assault Trump backers with well-placed, debilitating punches directly to the throat. While not all of these planned actions materialized on inauguration day, the protesters were nonetheless successful in creating a great deal of chaos in Washington. They rioted in the streets, started multiple fires, set vehicles ablaze, and hurled chunks of pavement through the windows of a number of businesses. Many of the rioters were dressed entirely in black, and their faces were covered by black masks, hoods, and scarves. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=7921 The above url also links to the Refuse Fascism manifesto, which states that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate and exhorts agitators to pour into the streets, ‘in the tens of millions,’ to bring about ‘a profound political crisis.’ On the Refuse Fascism.org website the shut down and vandalism is declared ‘righteous.’ So how else do you weaken open society? Why, by attacks on an independent press and creation of an education system that instills the values you need to build your vision of Utopia. Here’s Soros undermining a pluralist media. Fox News, last diehard of the conservative network, is under attack by Soros. The attack began in the Obama era in the form of demonizing and law suits. In June, 2011 Soros said: ‘Those in charge of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, have done well in identifying me as an adversary, They have done less well in the methods they have used to attack me: their lies shall not stand and their techniques shall not endure.’ In 2010 Soros launched an operation called ‘Color of Change’ to target Glen Beck, which it did. ( Color of Change executive director, Rashad Robinson, sits on the board of DEMOS, also funded by Soros. One of the original board members of DEMOS is Barrack Obama.) Soros also gave Media Matters, his own media outlet,$1.1 million ‘to be used to cut Fox News down to the core.’ Media Matters is a web based progressive research and information centre seeking to systematically monitor a cross section of media for conservative ‘misinformation.’

Soros Bringing Down Fox News?

Education for Utopia.

Here’s Soros instilling the necessary value system and training of social justice warriors at his own University, the Central European University and at the progressivist Bard College, both high in his list of grantees. Soros’ Education for Utopia, a student make-over, kinda’ like Plato’s philosopher-king-training involving the ‘noble’ lie.

Soros has spent more than $400 million world-wide to promote left-liberal, and in some cases extremist causes. One course at CEU incorporated lessons for the Occupy movement, here’s the Program Director for the Environmental Sciences, Tamara Steger, with a slide behind that says ‘How to occupy people’s heads with your message.’ Programs at Bard include a Palestinian youth group and an initative to educate prisoners across the country. The Bard Trustee Leader –Scholar program, Soros funded, is a program that ‘encourages and supports students to do challenging, even brazen acts of world change.’ Read about it at https://www.theblaze.com/news/2012/06/04/special-report-george-soros-godfather-of-the-left Soros Open Society Foundation has granted$407,790,344, to higher education since the year 2000. Together CEU and Bard received roughly 75% of Soros’ total contribution, Ivy League schools including Harvard, Columbia and Yale also received funding.

Corrupting Electoral and Judicial Process.

Funding to manipulate Federal Elections. Those leaked Soros funding documents show that Soros poured hundreds of millions of dollars into often secret efforts to change election laws, to fuel litigation to attack election integrity measures, such as citizenship verification and voter ID, to push public narratives about voter fraud as a myth, and attempts to manipulate media coverage of election issues in mainstream media outlets like The New York Times.

The funding documents name groups that received more than $500,000 each year, including the Centre for Community Change, the Advancement Project Centre and the Brennan Centre. Two of these organizations, the Advancement Project and Brennan Centre, regularly oppose election integrity measures in court and influence media by pushing voter fraud denial narratives. Soros’ money also targets voter mobilization of minority groups that can be counted on to vote for the Democrats, the political party Soros supports. The documents also show funding for the League of Women voters and their current program to stop efforts by Kansas, Georgia and Alabama to verify that only citizens are registering to vote. Democratic non-fiat rule of law for all is subservient to social justice engineering in Soros reformulation of the justice system. Justice is not about addressing criminal acts perpetrated against individuals and institutions, but instead a vehicle for fiat decisions regarding utopian ideals of social change. OSF is a significant donor of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court which aims to subordinate the American criminal justice procedures to an international prosecutor who could initiate politically motivated prosecutions against US officials or citizens. Out in the streets, less safety, more lawlessness isn’t an issue of concern for Soros, funding groups like Centre for Community Change that mobilize and coordinate grassroots’ opposition to enforcement of immigration laws and supporting voting rights for illegal immigrants. Soros also funds groups like Justice at Stake that promote legislation to replace judicial elections with a ‘merit-selection’ system where a small committee of legal elites, unaccountable to the public, would pick the most ‘qualified’ to serve as judges. OFS has spent at least$45 million on efforts to change the way judges are chosen in many American States. (Ref, discoverthenetworks,org id -1237 linked above.) Say, who guards the guardian?

‘Open’ Borders, ‘Open’ Society?

If you wish to break down a western democracy, promoting out of control immigration by people hostile to western culture is the way to go. One of George Soros’ Open Society missions is to cooperate with fanatical one worlders to water down immigration laws in the US and elsewhere. One of the open borders organizations he funds is the American Civil Liberties Union, which not only supports open borders but opposes virtually all post 911 national security measures enacted by the US Government. It rushes to the defense of suspected terrorists an their supporters like Attorney Lynne Stewart criminal defense lawyer convicted of abetting her client, Sheik Abdel Rahman in terrorist activities connected with his Islamic Group. Abdel Rahman was arrested regarding involvement in the Trade Centre terrorist activity. Internal Revenue Service records show that Soros Open Society donated $20,000 to the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee. Soros is less than straightforward in his public statements, which are often conflicting, and in conflict also with his funded programs. Consider Soros recent public criticism of Angela Merkel’s open door immigration. It appears that he is critical because her policies became too unpopular in the EU and a reason for BREXIT. But if you look at Open Society funding in Europe, you see that Soros was funding this open door policy himself, financing the Carte di Lampedusa, for example, founded in 2014 to sabotage all laws limiting migration, and Cospe Onlus , founded in 1983, ‘operating in thirty countries to support indiscriminate international mobility where anarchic diversity is the norm.’ If that’s not enough … Combine programs supporting drug legalization, (a leading recipient of Soros, drug legalization campaign is to the Drug Policy Alliance, and anti police, action by Rise-Up.Org connections,) and you’re making big dents in a functioning civil society. More than a few dents if you attack the society’s economic productivity via environmental organizations demonizing CO2 to create energy poverty. On the top 150 donor list of the open Society Foundation and Tides Foundation are organizations promoting radical environmentalism, opposing mining and logging enterprises, opposing commercial fishing, and demonizing CO2 to prevent that ‘modeled’ human-caused global warming, ‘necessitating’ costly subsidies of intermittent technologies to replace fossil fuels. Number 5 on OSF top grantee list is The Alliance for Climate Protection, number 55 on the list is Earth Island Institute, and here’s Earth Justice, don’t you just love the name, coming in at number 121. Plato…Hegel…Marx…Soros. A lot of difference between the Open Societies of Karl Popper and George Soros. The above manifesto and network funding is what Soros makes of Popper’s open society ‘having faith in human reason and avoiding dogmatism.’ Did Soros, perhaps, use Popper as his sock-puppet-Socrates?Soros would get rid of western democracy with its productivity and freedom of the individual under rule of law for all. Ultimately, what he is promoting is his vision of a supra-state, global governance at a distance by unelected Brussels men, lots of controls on what we may say, and keep the citizens diverted with politics of gender and racial diversity in-fighting, (Hans Rosling Video 200 years.). Advertisements ## 42 thoughts on “50th EDITION SERF UNDER_GROUND JOURNAL” 1. Well, that says it about Soros. Glad you didn’t miss him. Ouch. When I look at this list… (1) Regular, free and fair elections. (2) Free and pluralistic media.(3)The rule of law upheld by an independent judiciary.(4) Constitutional protection for minority rights.(5) A market economy that respects property rights and provides opportunities and a safety net for the disadvantaged. (6) A commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts. (7) Laws that are enforced to curb corruption. …it occurs to me that we are sleepwalking away from these values even as we preach them. A needless law formalising same sex marriage does nothing for personal freedom, drags government into an area it needed not to go, but can be used to bankrupt a Christian cake shop. So, no steps forward and one back. A Russian commentator recently said that the Bolshevik revolution’s centenary passed without much notice in his country because the Bolsheviks were now in the West. I’m even starting to wonder if the heroic capitalists of our day are real or are merely fronts for governments/corporations which can’t afford to look any bigger and don’t want the scrutiny. These modern heroes also seem to specialise in the gathering and processing of information which any central authority would be delighted to have. So, not your basic Brunels, Westinghouses, Hondas etc any more. (Some say Musk, but I was raised on Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies and I can tell cartoon from real.) Anyway, a very thorough and literate kicking administered by my serf! • Fred Streeter Without wishing to be contentious, the same sex partners that I have known merely wished for a form of partnership providing the same legal basis as marriage. They were aware that calling such a partnership a marriage could give offence to those who saw marriage as a religious contract. A law establishing such a partnership for same sex couples was needed. 2. Appreciate your comment moso and agree with you, ‘government in an area where it does not need to go.’ Re Looney Tunes, listening to that occupy video from CE University, I’d say those students could benefit from a bit of Looney Tune reality training, and some HISTORY, eg social conditions for most cits in the Middle Ages. 3. gnomish holy shit – that’s some scholarship what a quagmire. being ‘your brother’s keeper’ means slavery for all. but what is there for a guru to do except mind everybody else’s business? and that serf collar isn’t gonna just put itself on. popper knew that as well as plato, hegel, hume, kant, nietsche and yvette falarca. 4. Say gnomish not as much fun as me 17th Edition but better than wearin the yoke and hoein turnips. As you say, ‘Beware the guru.’ ) 5. gnomish your ferocious intellect will probably keep most of them well away. but then, when you’re the best, there can be no peer review. i saw rand go that way… the guru lurked within. i backed up and read your 17th. i wish your writing was available as audio-book… i get your thougths – i need your cadence. list of things.to.do.first is so much longer than calendar… sad i didn’t know of you long ago. 6. Well gnomish, I’m jest a serf who likes being in the company of, and picking up something from, my intellectual betters, Hence the reading and seeking them out on the internet. Re my pomes, theatre and the dance, do have an ear, but. ) I appreciate yr comment, who wouldn’t? • From the article: “The leading authorities of Secular Humanism may be pictured as the starting lineup of a baseball team: pitching is John Dewey; catching is Isaac Asimov; first base is Paul Kurtz; second base is Corliss Lamont; third base is Bertrand Russell; shortstop is Julian Huxley; left fielder is Richard Dawkins; center fielder is Margaret Sanger; right fielder is Carl Rogers; manager is Christianity is for losers Ted Turner; designated hitter is Mary Calderone; utility players include the hundreds listed in the back of Humanist Manifesto I and II, including Eugenia C. Scott, Alfred Kinsey, Abraham Maslow, Erich Fromm, Rollo May, and Betty Friedan. “In the grandstands sit the sponsoring or sustaining organizations, such as the . . . the Frankfurt School; the left wing of the Democratic Party; the Democratic Socialists of America; Harvard University; Yale University; University of Minnesota; University of California (Berkeley); and two thousand other colleges and universities.” Love it. (We toffs, with our horror of abstraction, like to think in sporting analogies.) Might have to translate this into cricket terms. We’d certainly have no shortage of spinners. 7. Come in spinners… No shortage of left-field players unfortunately. Bring back the Don to hit ’em for six. And maybe, toff, that other Don might be able to turf a few swampies. 8. beth, brilliant blog, mosomoso, good comments. I’ll flag this on Facebook as a must-read. 9. Thank you, faustino, so happy to hear from you on my 50th post. I referenced you on my 1st Edition, heh, never thought I’d get this far. Like you say, faustino, long term prediction isn’t sensible… 🙂 • One “Like” so far on my Facebook post. Many of my FB friends are in later time-zones, hopefully it will be widely read. 10. Thx a million, faustino. 11. jim2 Beth – loved it! I’ve passed it on. 12. jim2, Thx. Glad the Soros activism program is getting out there. Enjoy yr comments at The Chiefio. Some smart people there. ) 13. My thanks again for this post. Not easy for lazy toffs, but worth it. And my thanks to the Great Cunn for his pointers and links here and via email. 14. Always value comments from toffs. 15. Philodemus The aim of a constitution for Plato (or Socrates) may be summed up in the following: …our aim in founding the State was not the disproportionate happiness of any one class, but the greatest happiness of the whole; we thought that in a state which is ordered with a view to the good of the whole we should be most likely to find justice, and in the ill-ordered State injustice: and having found them, we might then decide which of the two is the happier. (1) But Plato cautions that this exercise in creating the two pure categories of the just and unjust society is merely for the purpose of creating a standard against which to measure reality: We were enquiring into the nature of absolute justice and into the character of the perfectly just, and into injustice and the perfectly unjust, that we might have an ideal. We were to look at these in order that we might judge of our own happiness and unhappiness according to the standard which they exhibited and the degree in which we resembled them, but not with any view of showing that they could exist in fact.(2) and thus real communities can never know the perfectly just, or at least not until a new kind of ruler appears: I said: ‘until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils, – nor the human race, as I believe, – and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day.’ Such was the thought, my dear Glaucon, which I would fain have uttered if it had not seemed so extravagant; for to be convinced that in no other State can there be happiness private or public is indeed a hard thing.(3) Plato appears less than optimistic that the just society, under the philosopher king, and operating to produce the greatest happiness, can exist. Instead Plato is stating an ideal which equates with a work of art. In proposing his ideal he states: Would a painter be any the worse because, after having delineated with consummate art an ideal of a perfectly beautiful man, he was unable to show that any such man could ever have existed? He would be none the worse.(4) For Plato the aim of the state is the greatest happiness for all.(5) However the system Plato proposes as the best system to obtain that objective is not necessarily achievable. Plato’s virtuous ruler, the philosopher king, is only possible in the abstract. His system is only possible as an ideal. Plato’s view on the possibilities of government in real life were somewhat different. Jowett asks: ‘Was [Plato] loyal to Athenian institutions? — he can hardly be said to be the friend of democracy: but neither is he the friend of any other existing form of government; all of them he regarded as ‘states of faction’ (Laws); none attained to his ideal of a voluntary rule over voluntary subjects, which seems indeed more nearly to describe democracy than any other; and the worst of them is tyranny.'(6) If democracy is closest to Plato’s ideal, Plato, nevertheless, saw democracy as unstable, leading to tyranny.(7) Plato leaves the issue unresolved. His virtuous ruler is a useful fiction. Democracy best applies the principle of voluntary rule over voluntary subjects – if only it could be made self-perpetuating. Whatever solution might be found to the problem, Plato’s ambition for society is the greatest happiness. 1) Plato’s Republic, trans and with intro by Benjamin Jowett, from Project Gutenberg, at http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext98/repub11.txt , 262 2) Republic, 321 3) Ibid 4) Ibid 5) Note that Jowett incorrectly analyses the quote at Republic, 262 stating that ‘… Adeimantus … urges … that Socrates fails in making his citizens happy and is answered that happiness is not the first but the second thing, not the direct aim but the indirect consequence of the good government of a State’ . But Jowett seems to be confusing the citizens with the guardians. Plato (or Socrates) has it that the state is not made for the particular happiness of the guardians, but the happiness of the whole. This is strongly associated with the state being organised for the ‘good of the whole’. Thus ‘our aim in founding the State was … the greatest happiness of the whole’ This is achieved in a state organised ‘with a view to the good of the whole’ where ‘we should be most likely to find justice’. Thus the state being organised for the good of the whole, where one is most likely to find justice is a means to the aim, greatest happiness of the whole. 6) Jowett, Introduction, in Republic. 7) Plato outlines the stages of political progression, with the worst being tyranny, at Republic, 391. 16. Philodemus Urghh, missed the intro: ‘But Plato believed that it was possible to break this law by a return to the original perfect form of things or ideas.’ Not really. Plato’s Republic was an ideal that he specifically states he did not believe could exist. The society that could exist in reality that most closely resembled his ideals for a society was democracy, though he thought democracy unstable. [The rest of the text follows] 17. Thank you for your comment, Philodemus though we don’t agree on Plato’s ideal state. A s I read Plato re justice, he promoted a theory that was hostile to democracy, accepting of slavery, and involving his ‘necessary’ lie of the metals in men, a rigid hierarchical system involving another myth that individualism precludes altruism. Using the historic democratic Socrates as his mouthpiece he has Socrates voicing a totalitarian program of justice as keeping to ‘your place’ in a caste system that entails a breeding program whereby the guardian class share wives and children in common. “This, then, Glaucon, is the manner of the community of wives and children among the guardians. That it is consistent with the rest of our polity and by far the best way is the next point that we must get confirmed [462a] by the argument. Is not that so?” “It is, indeed,” he said. “Is not the logical first step towards such an agreement to ask ourselves what we could name as the greatest good for the constitution of a state and the proper aim of a lawgiver in his legislation, and what would be the greatest evil, and then to consider whether the proposals we have just set forth fit into the footprints105 of the good and do not suit those of the evil?” “By all means,” he said. “Do we know of any greater evil for a state than the thing that distracts it [462b] and makes it many instead of one, or a greater good than that which binds it together and makes it one?” “We do not.” “Is not, then, the community of pleasure and pain the tie that binds, when, so far as may be, all the citizens rejoice and grieve alike at the same births and deaths?” “By all means,” he said. “But the individualization of these feelings is a dissolvent,when some grieve exceedingly and others rejoice at the same happenings [462c] to the city and its inhabitants?” “Of course.” “And the chief cause of this is when the citizens do not utter in unison such words as ‘mine’ and ‘not mine,’ and similarly with regard to the word ‘alien’?”106“Precisely so.” “That city, then, is best ordered in which the greatest number use the expression ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’ of the same things in the same way.” “Much the best.” “And the city whose state is most like that of an individual man.107 For example, if the finger of one of us is wounded, the entire community of bodily connections stretching to the soul for ‘integration’108 [462d] with the dominant part is made aware, and all of it feels the pain as a whole, though it is a part that suffers, and that is how we come to say that the man has a pain in his finger. And for any other member of the man the same statement holds, alike for a part that labors in pain or is eased by pleasure.” “The same,” he said, “and, to return to your question, the best governed state most nearly resembles such an organism.” “That is the kind of a state, [462e] then, I presume, that, when anyone of the citizens suffers aught of good or evil, will be most likely to speak of the part that suffers as its own and will share the pleasure or the pain as a whole.” “Inevitably,” he said, “if it is well governed.” 18. gnomish nailed it. but i have friends who argue that the fundamental ‘unit’ of humanity is not the individual but the ‘society’. there’s a reason for it, of course, and it doesn’t work to assure somebody that his life (as a human bean) is the standard of values. (plato was a mystic- everything, in his view, was crude manifestation of inscrutable ‘ideal’ – except his authority!) that’s not my mission, anyway – but understanding things always is- what i know is that nature abhors a contradiction and doesn’t bargain; she just kills you. it takes care of itself and requires no intervention. nevertheless, the principle in operation is that the whole may never contradict the parts of which it be composed. so let them build their cathedrals with worthless bricks. it will fall eventually. in fine weather, tho, they can last for 2 thousand years! so i’m not holding my breath… nor do i wish for a storm. as long as i don’t pay for the bricks, it’s not my job. 19. Apt observation re yr cathedral, gnomish… Though the philosopher king may sit upon the highest throne, yet sits he upon his own tail, and the laws he sets in stone will eventually fail. h/t Ma Naychure. 20. gnomish i notice that ownership, the root of rights, is the concern of creatures of all ages. with humans, well before they can talk or even walk well that they have the concept ‘mine’ and defend against the violation of this, their vry identity. every religion, ecclesiastic, economic, chiastic or quotidian has the same bottom line about YOUR STUFF…lol ain’t nobody minding his own business? my consciousness been elevated to death! i been exhorted up one side and down the other like a ton of bricks till the cows come home. but i pine for the death of satire. poe’s law wut done it. puns don’t kill parody. there’s this: 21. Livin’ in a Satire Free Zone – sadly. Was it Poe wot done it in or them virtuous social warriors? … ‘puns don’t kill parody.’ ) 22. Fred Streeter Thank you. Never much bothered with Soros,a so an interesting insight. • Thx Fred, lotta’ deep state stuff happening, not easy to see what’s going on behind the curtain. • Fred Streeter There was one thing that jarred – drugs. When very young, back in the late 1950s, I worked as a dispenser in a pharmacy. It was broken into and all items of value were boxed, ready for removal. The ‘dangerous drugs’ (DDs – Heroin, Cocaine, etc.) cupboard had been forced open. Auditing it’s contents against our DD Register, I was surprised to find that all these drugs were dirt cheap. (US Pulp Fiction had gangs fighting over drug dealerships,, and I had kinda assumed that British gangs did the same, but no.) As the law then stood, if you were an addict, you could go to your Physician and get a prescription, privately or on the NHS. You took this to the Pharmacy and paid a few shillings (Two shillings on the NHS) for your ‘fix’. Your Physician would wean you off your habit. (O.K. some preferred their habit, but one can live with it.) So, DDs had no market value, no incentive for encouraging addiction. Thus no DDs stolen during the break in. Our British gangs had to make do with Protection, Vice, and other less lucrative business. During the 1960s, however, a decree went out from Caeser Americana that all the world should be taxed – with the burden of increased serious crime – by introducing Lex Mafia, the prohibition of DDs. Since then, instead of a civilised Physician-centered treatment of the occasional addict, we have had a criminal Profit-centered induction into addiction. I think we had it just about right back in the day. Whereas, back in the USA, Mr Letter was singing: He gives the kids free samples, Because he knows full well That today’s young innocent faces Will be tomorrow’s clientele. Here’s a cure for all your troubles, Here’s an end to all distress. It’s the old dope peddler With his powdered ha-happiness. • Fred Streeter I am the victim of AI and not checking carefully for its and Lehrer. • Agree, Fred, that there’s a case to be made for legalization of addictive drugs. 23. Your comments, that I always enjoy, belie the deep understanding you have of major topics. While brief and always insightful, they are just that – brief. I never expected to see such a thorough analysis. My apologies for missing the forest for the trees. I would point out one minor detail, that given the length of this article is minor. But mars an otherwise outstanding piece. In Chapter 5 of Soros’ book, with its Plato-sounding title, ‘Open Society as an Ideal,’ hesets [sic] out to correct the ‘deficiencies’ of pluralistic value systems in present democracies by establishing a fundamental universal value system. Your thumb got tired of hitting ye olde space bar! But given the rest, that is indeed minor. Thank you for this article! A masterpiece in every sense 24. And my slashes need working on as well. My apologies. 25. philjourdain, appreciate yr kind comment.You nailed me, thinking fast, then too often hafta’ back-track and take another look, thinking slowly. (Daniel Kahneman.) Speed’s me Achilles’ heel. 26. Annie Great article Beth. I had to concentrate hard! • Nice to hear from you, Annie, and hop we catch up again soon, where-ever. 🙂 27. hunter A critical biographical analysis of Soros is desperately needed. As the growth of wealth in the world means that there will be other fantastically rich megalomaniacs in the future, learning how to identify, neutralize and undo the bad they do will become more important. Soros is in a sense a banal version of a 007 Bond movie bad guy. It is not acceptable, however exciting it is in the movies, to seek a 007 style plot resolution. The Soros deconstruction must be defeated in the arena of ideas. Your essay is a good step in that direction. 28. Agree, hunter, how to maintain checks and balances, and now the lure of the supra-state and its $. I think the blog
‘Invisible Serf’s Collar’ is doing valuable research into the mind
manipulation happening in education, like Soros’ European University.

29. Brett Keane

Thanks Beth. I had reached similar conclusions, relating the billionaires to the rich backers of strongmen who oversaw the final end of the old Roman Republic (not the Empire). Julius for one was always broke and needing their financing. By then independent farmers had been impoverished by slave owners and were driven into urban life etc…. Brett

30. Yes Brett, the Republic before the Empire. Those ruling families
with immense wealth and attachment to power.

31. hunter

Wow, Soros has really done it all.
Megarich market manipulator.
Hiding behind endless shells of faux NGOs.
Destabilizer of economies then complaining they are unstable.
Backer of violent autoritarian extremists.
Sort of a James Bond 007 villain operating in plain site….

32. Yes, Hunter, but too often see themselves as heroes, not villains.
Beware the great man with a blueprint for society sin-drome.
Maybe why ‘Pride’ is top of the chart of the seven deadly sins.

No Greek tragedy
without Hubris, Oedipus,
… or human history.