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Is this the end of the Soros empire? The retreat from Europe is long-overdue

Just another Bill Gates (Popow/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Just another Bill Gates (Popow/ullstein bild via Getty Images)


September 11, 2023   6 mins

Even in retreat, the Soros empire commands a feverish hysteria. When, last December, the 93-year-old George finally handed control of his Open Society Foundations (OSF) to his 37-year-old son, Alexander, many of his liberal supporters wondered whether it was the beginning of the end. Now, their worst fears appear to have been confirmed: under the guise of a “radical shift of strategic direction”, the OSF would appear to be effectively withdrawing from Europe, with staff being told that the organisation “will largely terminate funding within the European Union”.

Predictably, the news sent a ripple of panic into the heart of Europe’s progressive establishment, which has long viewed Soros Sr as a crucial ally in the struggle against the populist Right — and which relies heavily on the OSF for funding. Over the years, the Open Society has donated billions to countless European NGOs, think tanks and media organisations, which understandably didn’t take well to reports of the scale-back.

Facing accusations that the OSF’s withdrawal “couldn’t come at a worse time for the European project”, Soros Jr was quick to clarify that the OSF was simply shifting its focus further east, to non-EU countries in the Balkans — and, crucially, to Ukraine, where Soros has been backing pro-Western organisations for decades — in order to help those nations “work towards EU accession” and counter Russian influence. “The European Union still stands as a global beacon of the values that shape our work,” he assured.

There are two ways to look at this. The first is that the OSF considers its mission of securing a liberal-progressive consensus in the EU as largely accomplished, and can now therefore afford to move on to more “left-behind” areas of the continent. If we consider the ideology that is prevalent among cultural elites and the Brussels establishment, one might indeed lean towards this conclusion. The second is less complimentary, viewing the organisation’s decision to pull out of the EU as an admission of defeat in the face of the Right-populist wave sweeping the continent — partly as a reaction to the liberal-progressive ideology promoted by the likes of Soros (and, of course, the European Union itself).

This would explain Soros Jr’s decision to focus more on the United States as well, with the stated intention of ensuring that Trump, a “Maga-style Republican” who is sceptical of the EU and Nato and seeks to end the war in Ukraine, doesn’t come to power in the US. If the Soroses have lost the battle in the Old Continent, avoiding a similar defeat in America would naturally become an imperative.

Where one stands on this whole affair, and on Soros Sr in general, depends of course on one’s political inclination — and that’s the problem. As with so many issues today, there are apparently only two positions allowed in discussion about Soros: either you believe he’s “the standard bearer for liberal democracy” — a valiant defender of human rights, freedom and pluralism — or you must inevitably be a Right-wing, antisemitic conspiracy theorist who believes he is an evil puppet-master bent on world domination.

A case in point is the 2019 BBC documentary Conspiracy Files: The Billionaire Global Mastermind?, which focuses exclusively on the most outrageous conspiracy theories surrounding Soros: from the claim that he is responsible for deliberately flooding Europe and the US with migrants to the belief that he organised a fake mailbomb campaign to delegitimise Trump. The unsubtle implication is that any criticism of Soros is simply a modern iteration of the antisemitic trope of the “global, manipulative Jewish monster who can be blamed for all evils and problems”, as an interviewee from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre put it.

Now, it’s clear that there are many people who hate Soros due to his Jewish heritage. But it’s equally clear that charges of “antisemitism” are today deployed to silence anyone who raises legitimate concerns about Soros, none of which have to do with his Jewish ancestry.

In 2019, remember, the late Sir Roger Scruton was sacked from his role as the Government’s housing advisor following an interview with The New Statesman in which he reiterated his past claim that there was a “Soros empire” in Hungary. “Anybody who doesn’t think that there’s a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts,” he said — a claim which the magazine described as being antisemitic. Following Scruton’s dismissal, however, The New Statesman was forced to admit that “the article did not include the rest of Sir Roger’s statement that ‘it’s not necessarily an empire of Jews; that’s such nonsense’”, and that “elsewhere in the interview Sir Roger recognised the existence of antisemitism in Hungarian society”. Housing Secretary James Brokenshire subsequently apologised for Scruton’s dismissal and reappointed him, recognising that his words had been “misrepresented”.

This is just one example of the way it has become virtually impossible to have a reasoned debate about Soros and his foundation. It hasn’t, of course, always been this way. In 2003, for example, The New Statesman itself published a profile about Soros which described his “empire” in much harsher terms. As the article pointed out: “In 1984, [Soros] founded his first Open Society Institute [the precursor to the OSF] in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media. Ostensibly aimed at building up a ‘civil society’, these initiatives were designed to weaken the existing political structures and pave the way for eastern Europe’s eventual colonisation by global capital.” Indeed, the article noted that Soros engaged in similar activities across all of Eastern Europe throughout the Seventies and Eighties, playing a crucial role in the fall of communism in the region. In the following decades, Soros then used his Central European University, established in 1991 in Budapest, to “unashamedly propagate the ethos of neoliberal capitalism and clone the next pro-American generation of political leaders in the region”.

Twenty years ago, such claims were fairly uncontroversial — and, interestingly, were much more likely to come from the Left than the Right, as one might have expected in the face of a billionaire who made his fortune by aggressively speculating on financial markets and then used his wealth and power to “Americanise” and remodel entire countries and societies in the mould of neoliberal capitalism. In fact, his Central European University made no secret of its founding mission “to help educate a new corps of Central European leaders”. As Nicolas Guilhot, Professor of Intellectual History at the European University Institute, wrote in 2007, the aim of the CEU “was the creation of a Westernised elite by philanthropic foundations” that adhered to the ideas of the “Washington Consensus” and to the ideology of globalisation. The CEU effectively saw itself as “the provider of a post-national, ‘cosmopolitan education’”, according to Guilhot. This included shaping the debate on topics such as human rights, gender issues and environmental protection.

Over the years, Soros’s philanthropic empire has expanded well beyond Eastern Europe. Today, it operates in more than 120 countries and supports (or has supported in the past) a wide variety of causes: from the rights of Roma people and the Black Lives Matter movement to various anti-Brexit campaigns and transactivists. More recently, Ben Scallan, an Irish-Jamaican journalist and commentator, claimed that that OSF-linked NGOs are distorting statistics to show a steep rise in hate crimes across Ireland, despite the Government’s own data showing the opposite, in order to ramp up support for a proposed hate-speech law that would seriously restrict free speech.

The point here is not what one thinks of these causes, some of which may indeed be worthy of support; the point is whether it is acceptable, in democratic societies, for a single individual to use his wealth and influence — or, in Alex Soros’s case, the wealth and influence inherited from his father — to shape the culture and politics of entire nations. Many people, rightly concerned about the hollowing out of democracy as a result of the undue influence of private money in politics, would argue that it’s not.

No wonder that, in recent years, there has been a growing backlash against Soros in many countries — first and foremost, ironically, in his home country of Hungary. In 2018, Viktor Orbán’s government, after accusing Soros and the OSF of encouraging migration into Europe and undermining Hungary’s national culture, ultimately forced the OSF and the Central European University to leave the country and relocate their offices to, respectively, Berlin and Vienna.

As for the fact that Soros’s activities have also engendered a wide range of wild conspiracy theories, there is little doubt. But this happens precisely because legitimate criticisms have been shut out of the public debate. Ultimately, there is nothing particularly original, or conspiratorial for that matter, about Soros’s philanthropic empire; it is simply the by-product of unrestrained capitalism and the oligarchs it inevitably empowers. Throughout history, the dominant classes have always sought to generate new forms of “policy knowledge” convergent with their interests. In the 19th century, for instance, America’s most famous industrialists and robber barons — Carnegie, Stanford, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Rockefeller — all founded universities for that very purpose. The OSF, just like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, simply represents the contemporary incarnation of this age-old tradition.

Yet whether Soros sincerely believes in the righteousness of the causes that he sponsors or whether he thinks they serve his material interests, is beside the point. For at its heart, “philanthropy”, when it comes to exercise such a massive influence over governments and societies, is intrinsically anti-democratic — and should be opposed first and foremost on such grounds. In this sense, for all its controversial aspects, the pushback against “Sorosism” in Europe and elsewhere should be seen as a democratic reaction by a body politic that feels increasingly disenfranchised by global elites. If it is to be effective, however, it also needs to tackle the economic and institutional system, of which the EU is part, that gives rise to oligarchs such as Soros in the first place.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago

NGOs of all kinds are becoming a real problem in western democracies. They have developed this co-dependent, incestuous relationship with govt, big business and institutions. Instead of listening to voters, govt have become captive to NGOs. Most, not all, of these groups have no grassroots support. They are funded by govt and business to lobby govt and big business. When you think of the over production of educated elites, many of them can be found in NGOs, which are accountable to no one.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I agree. Forget Soros himself (always a hero for stiffing Major’s ERM madness). The NGO and charity sector is vast and has evolved into a self serving greedy industry. Many form the shock troops for modern toxic progressivism.

Combined with the vast unelected regulatory Quangocracy, they together are choking governance like weeds. Nearly 1 million people are employed in what is a largely unproductive parasistic sector. It is simply outrageous that the EU and HMG pour millions of taxpayers money into the hands of the likes of Stonewall and FoE.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Great post. Think of the most disconnected, dangerous policies shaping the west, and you will find NGOs driving the bus.

Terry M
Terry M
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, it is a way for government to exercise power indirectly that is denied to them legally.

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
9 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Not NGOs but GONGOs.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
9 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

GONGOs, Jeff?

Rob N
Rob N
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

Government operated NGOs I presume.

Nick Faulks
Nick Faulks
9 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

Too true!

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Absolutely. And then they think these NGOs represent the will of the people, because it’s the only constituency they interact with.

Pamela Booker
Pamela Booker
9 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

I see it as the Government ceding power to NGOs & Quangoes because it can’t be bothered with its duties to the people. The prestige and privileges of office alone suit the current self-serving lot in Parliament.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
9 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Yes, the sad truth is that our current generation of politicians are so useless they’re happy to spend our money paying pressure groups to tell them what to think.

Pamela Booker
Pamela Booker
9 months ago

How did it come to this sorry state of affairs with such weak and self-serving politicians? Was it after Crosland & cronies destroyed our education system?

James Kirk
James Kirk
9 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

How many does the MSM employ? Or Advertising? If the parasites outnumber the host how long have they got? For sure they won’t be donning a uniform or bearing arms.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Could Soros be the real Dr. Evil? Pinky’s up!

Last edited 9 months ago by Cathy Carron
AC Harper
AC Harper
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Agreed. The Social Justice Monster must be fed for it to provide a good living and recognition for its minions.
In the abstract Social Justice sounds worthy. In practice it distorts. Groups of ‘Oppressed’ are identified and their causes heavily promoted. And when those Oppressed have been ‘saved’ new Oppressed groups must be found, whether they exist or not. The Social Justice Monster doesn’t care for slim rations.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Social justice today is just an euphemism for mob justice.
NB: Keep getting a red CAPTCHA sign each time I post.

Last edited 9 months ago by Julian Farrows
Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It is worse, the mob with global reach is entirely new phenomenon.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Ditto!

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dumetrius
Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Quite. Isn’t that why Stonewall needed to invent a new raison d’être and diversify into trans issues?

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
9 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

Someone really skilled in the use of the media megaphone had to found to speak up for that .003% of the population that wanted drag queens in the libraries for Story Hour to promote sexual deviance.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

Yes, once gay marriage & inheritance was settled, there was nothing for Stonewall to do.

It should have been wound up.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Correct. I once got into an argument with head of one of the bigger NGOs who simply could not understand my point that running campaigns to pressure the gov to give him more money while he was in effect funding these with money he had already received from it was borderline corrupt. But the issue is not just the NGOs. Twenty odd ministers cannot control the sprawling activities of modern government – and especially all the regulatory quangos – which are falling progressively under the influence of NGOs, corporates, billionaires and misc campaigners. It is not yet as bad here as in Washington but that is where we are heading.

A good starting point would be to clamp down on all the forms of “soft corruption” used to influence government: the revolving door, the use of lobbyists as special advisers, the employment of former ministers by those they have regulated, a Victorian attitude to financial rectitude amongst civil servants, transparency in who ministers meet, transparency in who funds think tanks to produce reports ….

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
9 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I’d say it’s worse than ‘borderline’ corrupt.

Stevie K
Stevie K
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

They important distinction is that it’s almost all power corruption not money corruption, Actually it’s just as dangerous. But it is so much easier to delude yourself of course that that corruptly obtained power is only “so my progressive ideas can have free rein to create a fairer society etc”. And purely coincidently raise my status in my peer group and get me a bigger job.

Last edited 9 months ago by Stevie K
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Actually the legal definition of corruption in Anglo Saxon countries is incredibly narrow. Basically you have to be an idiot to fall foul of the law whereas even the most minimal precautions ensure the wrongdoer is doing nothing illegal. Contemplate Neil Hamilton and Tony Blair.

Stevie K
Stevie K
9 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“A Victorian attitude to financial rectitude amongst civil servants”, what a great phrase.
Interestingly within the Amazon empire they are required to ask themselves the question “Is this the frugal choice?” at key points in decision making. It certainly hasn’t held back their rise to world domination.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s a consequence of the over-centralisation of most Western governments. The more that spending power is concentrated in fewer hands the easier it is for bad actors like Soros to exercise their malign influence.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I would suggest it is the overproduction of vast numbers of arts graduates who want a secure well paid job with no risk or requires overcoming challenges. We have vast numbers of people who talk about problems but who do not want to solve them as they would be without a job. There is certain type of upper middle class graduate who once has achieved a reasonable salary desires status and power more than additional income.
Northcote Parkinson wrote about the rise in the size and influence of the administrative class in his books Parkinon’s Law , Law of Profits and In- Laws and Out-Laws in the late 1950s. As Parkinsin pointed out, the rise in the cost of the administrative class led to the collapse of the Roman, Mughal and Chinese Empires.

Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Aren’t NGOs accountable to the corporate entities that fund them? Isn’t that how corporations have camouflaged their rapacity for quite some time now while managing to wield enormous influence over governments and global organisations such as the WHO?
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini.

Last edited 9 months ago by Glyn R
Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Aren’t NGOs accountable to the corporate entities that fund them? Isn’t that how corporations have camouflaged their rapacity for quite some time now while managing to wield enormous influence over governments and global organisations such as the WHO?
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The ‘independent’ charities and government financed NGOs are NOT ‘funded by govt and business to lobby govt and big business’. They are there to echo the policies of government and big business, offering critical support in the eyes of those ignorant of their financial ties.

Konstantinos Stavropoulos
Konstantinos Stavropoulos
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

261 voted for this comment until this moment. I’ve never seen such a big number of support for a comment in Unherd..!!!

Chipoko
Chipoko
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Very well stated. NGOs are unaccountable for their huge impact on public policy.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
9 months ago

“This is just one example of the way it has become virtually impossible to have a reasoned debate about Soros and his foundation.”
Reasoned debate? The thing with Soros is so many people have good reasons to hate him. Look at the United States. He funded his own special brand of prosecutors into office. What did they do when there? Not much. Just let cities burn, violent criminals go free, and harass anyone who would not fall in line. Everything this man does seems to be to damage the fabric of Western society and I don’t give a damn what good reasons he thinks he has.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The Open Society Foundation is now trying to interfere in the upcoming general election in India. For some contrived reason it wants the well-functioning Modi government to be replaced by an unproven coalition lead by Rahul Gandhi. Why is this foundation meddling with a democracy? Why isn’t this foundation trying to do some humanitarian work in non-democratic countries? Have they forgot the meaning of “Open Society”?

Last edited 9 months ago by Vijay Kant
martin logan
martin logan
9 months ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Modi isn’t a very democratic leader, and certainly isn’t creating an “Open Society”.
Go ask Muslims.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

That is a very Soros like comment and totally wrong.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Modi is a democratically elected leader who is only pushing for Uniform Civil Code for all citizens. If he succeeds, muslim leaders will likely lose some control over ordinary muslim citizens due to their resultant loss of monopoly on laws based on Sharia. Islam here is used as a political tool. When a religion is abused as a political tool, it ceases to be a religion! This is the case with Islam in the Middle East and South Asia.

In any case, “Open Society” is considered an enemy of Political Islam.

Last edited 9 months ago by Vijay Kant
jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Isnt this essentially the same issue that brought up the conflict between our King Henry II and Thomas Becket. Does a single kingdom or country have two valid law procedures run by different factions. We now see it through the gauzy haze of Heritage,we exit via the gift shop for a Cream Tea but actually it was the exact same dilemma we have now. Im with King Henry(apart from that I have a smidgen of that Plantagenet DNA) he was quite right to insist on one system.

Tiaan M
Tiaan M
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

How about we ask non-muslims in most Muslim countries how they are treated by fellow Muslims? Maybe India just doesn’t want a repeat of the partitioning that literally tore its country in two.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
9 months ago
Reply to  Tiaan M

The fact that Soros peddles a fake narrative about Muslim minorities in danger is because political votebanks among obscurantist Sunni Islamists is a tactic the Communists and the Congress party ( who are now in alliance mostly)have successfully used for quite some time to stay in power. Soros funds their eco- system dominant in academia, large chunks of media and so- called ” civil society” ( read activists of Wokery) well, to bring in the same cults as those rampant in the West.
It is mendacious in the extreme. You are bound to be woken by the call of the muezzin on loudspeakers in any Indian city, other than the fact that Sharia grounded Personal Laws are still in vogue for Muslims in India.
You thus have a strange irony of extreme Wokes defending the hijab and niqab, and complete facial cover for Muslim women, along with the right to ” triple talaq”( divorce by utterance); as opposed to liberal individual rights for Muslim women.
All under the rubric of ” choice” of course.

jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago

Muslim minorities. They must be joking. They breed like fruit flies.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Probably so, but given the chance, you know they’d do the same.

Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

I’m not sure about Modi either I must say but I am sure that Soros and son should not be allowed to influence democracies or anywhere else come to that.
The egos of the likes of Soros, Gates, Bezos etc are out of control and, in my opinion, pose a threat to many. Isn’t it time that multi-billionaires were put in check and had their wings severely clipped?

Last edited 9 months ago by Glyn R
Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
9 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

By you and whose army? Every government that can be bought, is bought.

0 0
0 0
9 months ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Because Soros like to feel power and look important, like most billionaires. The causes he supports are not important to him and docent matter if he believes in them. They are about winning the approval of people in his social strata and gaining influence for his personal benefit though those he supports. His open society philosophy is a pretension.

Last edited 9 months ago by 0 0
Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  0 0

If that were true he would support a variety but it only goes one way with him. He’s a cancer on mankind.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
9 months ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

The reason is complex. As someone who is familiar with the issue, Soros roots for Rahul Gandhi as his party helmed a culture of dynastic democracy for 70 plus years, which infused the institutional matrix with deep- seated malfeasance and venality. The present federal government has cleaned up that culture with digitization and information technology fused so well into the banking infrastructure that the sort of wheeling dealing helping the likes of GS under a rag tag band of ( largely) kleptocrats is no longer possible with ease.

Stevie K
Stevie K
9 months ago

Very helpful historical background – Thank you.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Self praise is NO recommendation.

Jake Dee
Jake Dee
9 months ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Soros got kicked out of China in 1989, just before that abortive revolution/counter-revolution or whatever it was in Tianamen square kicked off. Chinese government aint dumb.

Bruce Jollimore
Bruce Jollimore
9 months ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Thanks for the update, sincerely

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

In that respect, you could say his work in Old Europe is done. Not so much a retreat, more a realisation that sufficient seeds have been sown for societies to collapse on their own. They certainly are not voting or fighting their way out of this mess.
Time to put his money to destroy different ones.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dustin Needle
jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Sounds to me like he’s off to sort out Ukraine. Seeing as conventional battlefield tactics aren’t producing the desired results and not quickly enough he must be planning to bribe and corrupt there,which won’t be too difficult only Black rock,JP Morgan et al are getting impatient to.geton with.thr. reconstruction. Kerching.

Jerry K
Jerry K
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

So does that make him a sort of (still living) financial equivalent of Vlad Prigozhin? 🙂

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It’s utterly baffling that the Americans allow men like Soros to quite openly buy politicians and functionaries in this way. How can it be compatible with any notion of ‘democracy’?

Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Democracy isn’t what it used to be is it? I would say it has pretty much been killed off and what we see is a pathetic pantomime. Current Western leaders – almost all – clearly have little time to listen to or act on the wishes of their electorate, whom they seem to despise, they clearly have other more pressing agendas to attend to and much more lucrative fish to fry.
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini.

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Allow Soros? The Democrats love him. Realize that the Democrat party is wholly owned by billionaires trying to demolish the capitalist system so that they can rule as feudal lords “in the best interests of the people” of course. To do that you have to destroy the middle class.
Mass illegal immigration, mass criminalization of cities, destroy the nuclear family with woke policies. Raise inflation through the roof to destroy markets and middle-class savings, borrow trillions to fund green boondoggles. The pandemic was engineered to bankrupt small businesses and create a perpetual “health emergency”. It’s working well, is it not?
No need to worry about winning elections when you can engineer mass mail-in voting in battleground cities under Dem control.
It will take a spiritual revival to save America now.

Bruce Jollimore
Bruce Jollimore
9 months ago
Reply to  Simon Tavanyar

This describes Canadian politics in motion.

Yvonne Hayton
Yvonne Hayton
9 months ago

And UK ones

D Walsh
D Walsh
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

And all time he preaches utopia, he’s no different to Bela Kun, Trotsky, Marx, ect ect

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
9 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

James Kirk
James Kirk
9 months ago

Or a people who made up Gods that didn’t.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
9 months ago
Reply to  James Kirk

Eventually, you’ll find out.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Mademoiselle de la guillotine is always awaiting the call.

jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago

Over the last four year we’ve at.times felt the true dark cold sense of real evil.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Well said!

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago

I just wish he, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnel, Joe Biden and that entire generation of creepy power brokers would just hurry up and die already. For the love of God please just die and leave us alone.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Sadly they will only be replaced by yet another Cohort of similar ‘deplorables’

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Exactly, where is “deadly” COVID 19 when really need it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

All three of them were clearly in the ‘beaten zone’, but all three survived…..weird?

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
9 months ago

They never got “the Shot”, but were given placebos. It’s the only explanation as to why none have them have shrugged off their mortal coil. Old, overweight, boozers etc. But they all caught covid – some more than once ans made a big issue of it.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Old Hungarian preparation used by Countess Elizabeth Bathory . Soros is here to help keep her alive . He is much much older than he claims .

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
9 months ago

Could be Countess Elizabeth Bathory still lives and Soros is her Major-domo . Virgins blood thought to be extremely effective against covid .

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Sounds rather like ‘Vlad the Impaler’!

Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

His son is taking over….We see dynasties ruling in the US and Canada. They seem to believe that once their mum, dad, wife or husband has been President then they have a god given right to do the same.
Democracy has become a sham. That needs to be put right.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

Time for another Oliver Cromwell methinks!

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

Honestly – Justin Trudeau parading his son around is making me nervous. The Trudeaus are going to be like some evil plague that descends on Canada every 30 years. I can just see myself now in some old age home shaking my cane in impotent rage as yet another one screws us all over.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Gen X would probably be fine to rule; but millennials and Z will finish the destruction eventually.

john d rockemella
john d rockemella
9 months ago

Soros is hated because he has effectively forced political changes out of greed, went for the UK government and effectively forced us into the EU. His policies are so radical I would say are hateful towards a cohesive society. Divide and conquer. All funding in America has led to a dramatic decrease in police funding and now look at the so called progressive “California” this is completely sick.
The funding off the Biden party, and the political now radical left is causing the demise of the USA and its people, but alphas much wider consequences. Nothing to do with “anti-semitism” it’s because these NGO and WEF and all the others are making horrible decisions and ruining lives!

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
9 months ago

‘Divide & Rule’ is the very catchphrase of the left. That is why, in the UK, they are determined to make everyone dependent on some form of Government benefit so that the people are more likely to vote for whoever is likely to give them the biggest handout which is more likely to be the Labour Party, certainly historically. They do not ask who is paying for all this as long as it is not them! Who is going to pay for it? The workers through employment taxes, the drivers who are now suffering under ULEZ (clearly not an environmental policy since it doesn’t matter how polluting your vehicle is, as long as you pay the charge! Sounds a bit like the Jizza tax charged in certain countries of old (& possibly still paid.)
This has been going on for years & is only now being recognised & fought back against in certain Western countries. Soros & others of his ilk have been financing this for years with immigration to the West of people very unlikely to ever contribute to the wealth of their new countries. Am I being antisemitic? I doubt it as I am myself Jewish & a great supporter of Israel.

Lesley Keay
Lesley Keay
9 months ago

An excellent article, thank you. One point I would make is Soros can afford to retreat possibly because theTony Blair Foundation is ready and waiting to carry the mantle.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
9 months ago
Reply to  Lesley Keay

And where does Tony Blair get a large proportion of his funding? Yep, you guessed it.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
9 months ago

A recent book regarding that other well-known ‘philanthropist ‘ Bilbo Gates said his philanthropy should more correctly be called impact investment and makes him billions in profits.

But Amol Rajan’s BBC ‘interview ‘ (aka ars*licking cringefest) of the creep let him luxuriate in his own splendour like some present-day pharaoh.

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I love calling Bill Gates a silly nickname (laugh at things you fear/hate to make your fear/hate smaller and all that) but you surely can’t use “Bilbo” as Bilbo Baggins was a GOOD hobbit?

Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

He really is the epitome of the kind of dangerously deluded, out of control ego maniac that once it has seized its claws on power can’t help but rain down terror on humankind. I’m thinking of h itler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao etc etc

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
9 months ago

I think that Soros is an example of educated people that experience the nation state, after WWII, as the root of all evil, because H-word. Soros & the EU technocrats aren’t so much backing a neoliberal capitalism as trying to replace nationalism as a source of identity with a more supra-national identity.
Of course, experts agree, the way you create a new political entity is by uniting a people to fight an enemy. You must have, as Enoch Powell told us, a “demos.” Maybe that’s what the US and EU backed Ukraine War is all about.

Last edited 9 months ago by Christopher Chantrill
Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
9 months ago

One can also do it by generating a climate of fear and self loathing.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
9 months ago
Reply to  Mangle Tangle

Or, a fear of climate.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago

Well if the UK had capitulated in 1940 we would have had one world government – or possibly three – one for Europe one for North America and one for Asia. Is that really supposed to be better? I don’t understand how the threat posed by supra national organizations isn’t obvious to everyone. As a Canadian I still don’t understand how anyone in the UK puts up with the EU and being ruled over by people you literally fought with for centuries. Just looking at that wicked queen Ursula Von Whatsherface would turn me into an instant Brexiteer.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

The ‘Pax Romana’*was about as good as it gets for many.
We shall NOT see its like again.

(*Also remarkably tolerant of much petty nationalism.)

Terry M
Terry M
9 months ago

Pax Americana – 1945 to about 2000 – wasn’t too bad for most either.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

No indeed! And we still bask in its generous ‘sunshine’, it must be said.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
9 months ago

The Roman Peace was not all that peaceful for the countries they conquered! although it probably was for the Romans themselves &, possibly, those countries & peoples who were happy to be consumed by a colonist & nationalist (its own) entity which required them to submit to the new nations leaders & religion/culture.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Obviously ‘conquest’ was traumatic, but recovery soon followed.
Tacitus for example tells that the wretched Britons (Britunculi*). quickly succumbed to baths, under floor heating, vino, games etc, and off course PEACE.

(* From the Vindolanda Tablets.)

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
9 months ago

Roman largely conquered lands where there was continual conflict between tribes. The conquest of Greece took place because only under Alexander did the Greeks acquire any unity.
Rome had the ability to think beyond the village and valley; most other peoples did not. In large parts of the World the dialects between valleys vary enormously which shows lack of travel.

jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago

It’s ironic that the Jewish people had a really good deal under Roman rule. They had a much better deal than a lot of other subject peoples. They had a lot of religious freedom and a rare and ok resented tolerance of their religious practices. As subject people the Jews cut a better deal with Rome than many others managed,yet there’s no pleasing some people,we know the rest of the story.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Yes, from reading Tom Holland’s ‘Shadow of the Sword’, it’s quite clear the Romans offered the Judeans and those in related kingdoms a pretty damn good deal.

There’s some truth to the old “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

Jerry K
Jerry K
8 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Possibly because the Jewish tribes were not fighting each other nor wanting to create or enlarge empires. Basically common sense was rewarded by the Romans who did not see the Jews as a threat…

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I agree, but could you then explain Trudeau? Disgusting creature.

James Kirk
James Kirk
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

There’s you with Trudeau debanking truckers and promoting euthanasia. Think I’ll stick with VdL.

Glyn R
Glyn R
9 months ago
Reply to  James Kirk

She is no better.

jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Neither WW1 or 2 need have happened They were not the inexorable workings of fate. They.were.not inevitable.

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
9 months ago

Democracy ends at the national level. Supra-national means a fascist global government.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
9 months ago

Unlikely with Soros, Christopher, as his history during that spectacularly evil period shows.

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
9 months ago

Jacqueline what was Soros’s history during that evil period?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
9 months ago

I suggest something , else desirefor power. WW2 was a war where if one had secondary education, was not A1 fit and a trade union union leader, one could avoid combat. A minority of people volunteered for combat and some achieved very high levels of responsibility at very young age , the youngest wing commander in the RAF was 21 , Finucane and being a major at 21 to 23 years was not uncommon ( Bill Travers MBE Gurkhas, Chindits and SOE, major at 23 years ) . This people had been given power and responsibility and in doing had been immunised against a desire for power. If one was fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain, women threw themselves at you. After WW2, they wanted a quiet life.
Those types like Kenneth Widmerpool and others who had avoided combat developed lust for power and rose rapidly through the bureaucracy and /or became politicians. The creation of a vast administrative state after WW2 created a source of power for those who desired status and security but lacked a sense of adventure.Many of those with sense of adventure who had given responsibility at young age were killed( Finucane , Gibson VC ) worked overseas for British companies in oil, mining, construction, shipping , etc or emigrated.
NGOs employ the same sort of administrative people as nationalised companies and civil service employ; risk free status and salary.
Politics may be down from culture which is down from character.

jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

This is an interesting and true analysis. I was a young teenager in 1968. I well recall the vibe of that time. My favourite TV show was The Monkees. 4 hip cool young men just monkeying around. One of their songs (written by Carol King) celebrates/mocks their Square parents generation who live such quiet dull lives in suburbia,their greatest joy being pruning the roses and washing the car. World War.Two happened about 200 years ago and it involved Old People,boring Old People. That.generation of young men born early 1940s reacted against the security and safe planned lives they had been brought up in. They wanted travel,adventure, risky excitement even sex. Out of that was born rock music. It would take several decades before those callow youth would do the sums,as it were,and realise those boring old people who brought them up,were teenage warriors in WW2 and had all the risk and foreign travel anyone could wish for.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Tho Widmerpool avoided combat, his closest real-life inspiration did at least die in an air crash in 1945.

It’s true tho that ‘The Papal Bun’ would have likely become a Whitehall mandarin, had he lived. He was well on the way.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dumetrius
jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago

Yes it is,and more.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
9 months ago

Or, maybe the plan is to focus on destroying the US and eastern Europe, while merely holding the line on the EU, and then return to deal with Europe when there is no one left to defend it.
Sorry if “destroying” sounds extreme, but I live in one of the US counties with a Soros-funded prosecutor and the damage he has done here and in the many other jurisdictions so blessed has been almost incalculable.

T M Murray
T M Murray
9 months ago

Thank you Thomas Fazi for always addressing the most fundamental issues.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
9 months ago

The struggle between conservative nationalism and European or EU liberal cosmopolitanism is an interesting one.
More recently, ir has spread into the geopolitical realm in the resistance to neoconservatism and the project of a New American Century.
The US has of course importing Soros as a sort of neoliberal and neocon gift to itself, or at least the morally bankrupt Democrat Party. He is famous in the UK for shorting the pound out of the euro and producing half a decade of recession.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
9 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

It was only the Anglophone countries who resisted the collectivist mentality whether communist, fascist or nazi in the 1920s and 1930s. The EU is a bureaucratic oligarchy designed to prevent emergence of communism or nazism. Freedom is sacrificed for security. Basically the EU has no faith in democracy being able to stop extreme dictatorship.

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
9 months ago

This is a fantastic news for all people in EU but it means interference in elections in some pretty fragile democracies and that more American cities will be destroyed by lawlessness and crime. There cannot be a reasoned debate with locust and that’s what Soros organization has become.

Terry M
Terry M
9 months ago

This is just one example of the way it has become virtually impossible to have a reasoned debate about Soros and his foundation. almost anything with the Left.

FIFY

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

It was ‘educated’ elites the like of which Soros thinks he’s enabling, who manufactured Cathars and witches to persecute in past eras, and ‘Nazis’ in this one.
Now, imaginary enemies are all well and good.
Unfortunately Russian soldiers do actually exist, presenting his foundation with a conundrum in its new role.
Unless he just gets into arms dealing?

Last edited 9 months ago by Dumetrius
jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Yes he is going to Ukraine to stick it to the Russians but maybe not on the battlefield

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago

Great article. Would have been nice to have just a passing mention of Blair’s outfit. Imagine if Starmer were doing Soros’s bidding…

Last edited 9 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
9 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You think he isn’t? or won’t if he gets into power…g/d help us!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago

Sorry, I meant there would be uproar if neoliberal Soros were infecting our next government, but neoliberal Tony Blair gets almost a free pass – despite being worse than Soros (in my books). Six former Blair advisors in Shadow Cabinet. As you said, gawd help us.

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
9 months ago

You may have heard of the Progressive Prosecutor Project here in the United States which has received funding from Soros or one of the foundations he controls. Among the more notable district attorneys elected are George Gascon in Los Angeles, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia Kim Foxx in Chicago and Alvin Bragg in New York City.
In these cities quality of life crimes, such as shoplifting and carjackings, have increased. As a result, many merchants have either closed stores in these cities and or placed merchandise behind locked doors.
I have no idea why lax or non-enforcement of laws, leading to more crime, especially amongst residents who are often the most disadvantaged, is a cause that he supports.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

In the business of a Soros NGO, a group of Oppressed are used to gain access to government at high level.
Members of the Oppressed are usually told to be quiet when in those meetings, or permitted only a minor role – giving personal testimony or so on.
A wise group of Oppressed uses a Soros NGO to carry its cause for a couple of years and then drops them once they are aware a politician wants to hear their particular story or take steps to solve their issue – which can happen.

Often the politician is sick to death of hearing the Soros NGO and their tedious rhetoric over and over, with each new group of Oppressed they latch onto.

It sounds mean, but you usually have to seize the narrative and double-cross the NGO to get progress. I have done it twice with different groups.
In the end a Soros NGO is a parasite hitching a lift on your oppression to achieve its own aims.

So you just play them at their own game.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dumetrius
jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

I like that analogy “hitching a lift on your oppression” as only a few years ago less than ten years it dawned on me that all these journalist campaigns for truth and justice were about advancing this or that journalists career and getting famous.

Phil Re
Phil Re
9 months ago

Soros is the single greatest enabler of far-left antisemitic causes and organizations in the US today. And let’s be clear: there is absolutely nothing antisemitic about saying so!
The antisemitism he promotes is usually laundered through “social justice” efforts to scapegoat and delegitimize Israel. These efforts are then masked as “criticism of Israel’s policies.” But the intended effect is to normalize antisemitism and to weaken the bonds of the liberal order.
Look at Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Look at the Women’s March, J Street (which serves as a broker between the more openly extreme groups), today’s Souther Poverty Law Center, the International Crisis Group and other think tanks and international agencies. And look at their connections to academic institutions and media outlets. (Robert Malley and Princeton are a telling recent case in point).
So, no, criticizing Soros for his megalomania and the antisemitism he bankrolls is not antisemitic.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
9 months ago

I would argue, that the old “Rubber Barons”, Business Men and Industrialists like Vanderbilt, Stanford, Carnegie and Johns Hopkins etc. weren’t as dangerous as this new generation of oligarchs like Soros and Gates. I might be naive, but I think the purpose of the 19th Century industrialists was to educate Americans in the spirit of the American Dream, meaning everybody, whatever their background, can succeed as long as they educate themselves and work hard. Their “new” Universities (often with excellent Research Hospitals attached), Libraries and Museums were for the American public, not tools to influence “Global Institutions”, working together with world governments and businesses.

Last edited 9 months ago by Stephanie Surface
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
9 months ago

Good point. Jack Kennedy and M L King were the last American politicians who supported the pioneer spirit. Since then it has been what can taxpayers do for me?

Saul D
Saul D
9 months ago

Any parties that lobby directly cannot be allowed to receive government funding or contracts. So a private company can be involved in lobbying via its industry body (minimum 10 members), but never directly on its own behalf. An NGO (eg RoSPA) can lobby, but then shouldn’t be able to get government money for things like training, consultancy or research. The services would need to be provided something entirely separate in a competitive tender – so no overlapping board members.

Terry M
Terry M
9 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

Interesting. But who you gonna get to lobby for that legislation??

Davy Humerme
Davy Humerme
9 months ago

Thanks Thomas excellent article and the contributors add to its salience with their comments about the NGO/political complex. Here in Scotland this form of government by minority activist is writ large in the trans prisoner scandals and the imposition of Ulez in Glasgowand other Scottish cities. An alliance of politicians, NGO’s and scheming corporates peddling woke virtue, are destroying democracy here and elsewhere. Philanthropy barons like Soros fund them, as they rob of us of our democratic rights.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
9 months ago

Oddly, there is no mention in this article of Soros’ sinister funding of the campaigns of extreme left-wing district attorneys in the US, which fostered what are effectively pro-criminal and anti-law enforcement movements, mainly in the impoverished big cities rapidly going to hell. These DAs and attorney generals (even one in San Francisco) have been or are now in the process of being thrown out of office by voters terrified by the consequent rise of crime thanks to this comic book villain.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jerry Carroll
Mark Melvin
Mark Melvin
9 months ago

I cannot bring myself to read anything about this old b*****d. Didn’t know he was a Jew and don’t care either. He was just the c-word that nearly brought Sterling to its knees and then did the same across Asia making tons of money that he has used to endlessly lecture us with. This old hypocrite is the real unacceptable face of capitalism. Sorry about the rant but this guy is the limit for me.

andy young
andy young
9 months ago

I recommend reading Popper’s excellent ‘The Open Society & Its Enemies’ as a good method to determine in which category Mr. Soros dwells.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
9 months ago

If the OSF was really a charity, control would have passed to the best person qualified and not to a son.

B. Mink
B. Mink
9 months ago

Government in Canada has created and/or funds ‘non-profits’/NGOs/charities. With most unions being gov’t employees, and many ‘charities’ also being gov’t-dependent the real ‘civil society’ sector – that is organizations based on truly voluntary gifts of time and money – has been colonized and silenced.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
9 months ago

Thomas’s work is reason enough alone to subscribe to UnHerd.

John Pade
John Pade
9 months ago

Soros has brought murder and mayhem to many US cites by funding Progressive prosecutors who refuse to prosecute any but the worst crimes (and Republicans).
I doubt he even used a penny of his own money to do it. Progressive parties have been funding his organizations with both hands for years. He has used our own money against us. Kind of like a modern incarnation of Lenin’s rope trick.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
9 months ago

George Soros demonstrates once again that there is no depth to which an Esperantist will not sink,

Peter Samson
Peter Samson
9 months ago

In what way has the Gates Foundation served the personal, material interests of its founders?

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Samson

In vaccines for example, which the Foundation (or specific other Gates funded foundations including WHO) promoted – I understand that Gates had shares in Pfizer or Moderna which he sold and made 1/2 billion in profits. Only after selling did he start to criticise the vaccines’ efficacy…

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Samson

I understand neither suffers from malaria?

Johan Grönwall
Johan Grönwall
9 months ago

Always been a little hesitant when it came to critique of Soros because the antisemitism angle until I read this very critical article in a Israel newspaper about his influence in US drug policy.

https://www.jns.org/jns/george-soros/23/8/21/312008/

jason mann
jason mann
8 months ago

disenfranchised, lost, disgusted, directionless, distrustful, and detached. In terms of charity, I give to the relatively few non-agenda driven “news” (whatever the hell that means) sources like this and give locally to youth focused non-agenda driven institutions. In terms of the rest of the “world” that is presented to us American’s? I’m now desensitised and relatively indifferent. It’s absurdist art to me.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago

.

Last edited 9 months ago by UnHerd Reader
James Knight
James Knight
9 months ago

Soros looks like a Bond villan.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
9 months ago

Can anyone explain, going back decades before the Ukraine war, the deep core of anti-Russian sentiment and activism? Does it relate to historic issues predating but encompassing the Soviet era?

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
9 months ago

Rather strange reading this. So called ‘Think-Tanks’ would definitely fall under the rubric of NGO’s, unless anyone can explain why they wouldn’t. For the last 40 years most government policy in the UK has been written by the Insitute For Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute and Policy Exchange. These have all kept their funding secret, but it is common knowledge that people like the Koch brothers pour hundreds of millions of dollars into organisations across the the world in pursuit of imposing policies that are anti-union, anti environmental regulations, support climate change denial and are anti regulation of any description; they believe law should exist solely to protect wealth and property and the unfettered right to do whatever they wish completely unimpeded. The funny thing is that Unherd, which claims it gives voice to the left as well as the right has never, as far as I know, looked at these undeniable facts. I hold no brief for Soros, he has done some good things and bad things, but I wouldn’t be a fan of currency speculators, anymore than I am a fan of billionaires anywhere being allowed to do whatever they want completely unhindered. It is outrageous that EVERY ‘Think-Tank’, even on the left, is registered as a charity. But the right-wing cabal who are always fulminating about charities that are ‘political’, i.e. support something they disagree with, on the grounds that charities are not supposed to engage in political activities, have no trouble with the large number of opaquely funded organisations that have had the Tory Party, bought and paid for since the mid 1970’s.

David Butler
David Butler
9 months ago

“The point here is not what one thinks of these causes, some of which may indeed be worthy of support; the point is whether it is acceptable, in democratic societies, for a single individual to use his wealth and influence — or, in Alex Soros’s case, the wealth and influence inherited from his father — to shape the culture and politics of entire nations. Many people, rightly concerned about the hollowing out of democracy as a result of the undue influence of private money in politics, would argue that it’s not.”

This is the crux of the matter.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
8 months ago
Reply to  David Butler

Completely unlike the Koch brothers for example, or Peter Thiel, or the Mellons and dozens of others in the U.S.A., the U.K. and across the whole of Europe. Funny how they never get mentioned.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago

You’d think with all that money he’d have some work done on his face wouldn’t you?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

Soros never stopped me at a checkpoint. Empire me ****

martin logan
martin logan
9 months ago

Soros’ influence is really more the product of Fazi’s–and others’–feverish imaginations.
Rather like Medieval and Renaissance beliefs in demons, the “Hidden Hand” is a trope used by all sides in the current culture wars–with the same level of probability.
Neither demons, nor Soros’ “Woke Empire” really exist.
But to far too many, they are “real presences” that shape–or rather misshape–current discourse.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

No, Soros really exists. His Open Society has a lot of fingers in a multitude of pies. When I come across a movement or cause I disagree with I always explore further to see who is funding it. More often than not it’s Open Society or one of its affiliates.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Every time the CEO of Best for Britain appears on a TV panel – as she does on BBC Politics Live on pretty much a weekly basis – to promote that organisation’s elitist ideology, you are seeing Soros at work in our politics. Without his money, she and her organisation, which has no organic support in the UK itself, would remain in utter obscurity. Is it really right that foreign-based hedge fund managers can buy their way into British politics like this? Of course it isn’t – it renders your vote worthless.
Don’t be so complacent.

Theodore Stegers
Theodore Stegers
9 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Certainly the claim “The Open Society has donated billions” assuming the author has USD or Euros in mind, will be a wild exaggeration.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago

Yeah, a lot of Soros’s efforts seem to be handed euros in the hundreds-of-thousands range. Still, some of his stuff is definitely paying the piper.

R Wright
R Wright
9 months ago

https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/financials
“For over three decades, the Open Society Foundations have had expenditures of more than $18 billion”.
Unless you’re implying that $17 billion of that went into salaries, they have donated billions.

Last edited 9 months ago by robertdkwright