Last time around, we took a brief look at George Soros‘s youth and at his parents’ values – his father was an Esperanto idealist, his mother a self-hating Jew. As we’ll see, this mixture of influences helped shape a man who would, paradoxically, combine utopian ideology and philanthropy with a staggering egocentrism and personal moral expediency.
Let’s move on to his early career. Studying economics in London after the war, Soros came to embrace the concept of the “open society” – a society, that is, that shrinks from considering itself in any way superior to any other. In short, he became a moral relativist – a position consistent, perhaps, with his twisted youthful enthusiasm for the Nazis. He found work on Wall Street, but found the U.S. “commercial” and “crass.” In 1959 he settled in Greenwich Village, where he befriended New Left radicals who despised capitalism; meanwhile, his own mastery of capitalist enterprise caused his wealth to grow exorbitantly.
In the 1980s he began to spend his wealth on causes dear to his heart; in 1993, he established the New York-based Open Society Institute, which remains the centerpiece of his philanthropic work. His consiglieri during all these years has been Aryeh Neier, a Marxist who back in the 1960s founded the radical group Students for a Democratic Society. With Neier at his side, Soros has handed out princely sums to a wide range of “progressive” groups – ranging from ACORN to the Arab American Institute to the National Council of La Raza – that despise capitalism and the U.S. while supporting big government, the welfare state, and socialist-style wealth redistribution.
Soros has thrown money at radical environmentalists, radical feminists, and groups that agitate for the subordination of the U.S. government to the authority of the United Nations; he’s supported Occupy Wall Street and the effort to exploit the Ferguson, Missouri, unrest to inflame racial tensions and demonize cops; he’s poured truckfuls of cash into far-left news media such as Pacifica Broadcasting, The Nation Magazine, and Air America Radio, as well as into various journalism-related groups that pose as objective “media centers” and “media institutes” (notably Media Matters for America), but whose actual role is to protect and perpetuate the leftist media narrative and to demonize truth-tellers whose work disrupts that narrative. His Soros Documentary Fund, which subsidizes “social justice” films, has been part of the left-wing Sundance Institute since 2001.
Among the countless other beneficiaries of his largesse have been The Constitution Project, which has provided support to Islamic terrorists, and the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee, which has bankrolled lawyer Lynne Stewart, convicted of serving as a messenger between her client Omar Abdel Rahman and the terrorist group al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. Most recently, Soros money was critical in the successful bid by the left to subordinate the Internet to FCC regulation. As John Fund put it in National Review on February 26, the goal of the Soros-funded Internet grab is, quite plainly, “an Unfree Press — a media world that promotes their values.”
But to focus on these individual groups, grantees, causes, and collaborators is to miss the forest for the trees. And quite a forest it is. During the last decade or so, the groups has created or funded have been shaped into a veritable “Shadow Party,” as it’s been called – a network of key political actors that collaborate in pushing the Democratic agenda, all the while pretending to be apolitical and independent of one another. Key elements of the Shadow Party include the Center For American Progress, which poses as a think tank, and MoveOn, a PR and fundraising operation.
If there’s a figure, then, in the carpet of U.S. politics today, it’s not the Koch brothers. It’s George Soros, enthusiast for “social justice” and foe of freedom.