George Soros, a well-known hedge fund investor and philanthropist, explains that capitalism poses a new threat to the open society concepts. Though he earned mostly through leveraging financial markets, Soros feels that uncontrolled advances of laissez-faire capitalism and other market values to different areas of life really creating a danger, similar to communism and Nazism once did. When the concept of “open society” introduced in the early 1930s, it was considered that Nazism and communism would be the greatest threat as being totalitarian ideologies – believing they possess the ultimate truth. It should be noted that ultimate truth is something that cannot be reached by humankind, and the ideologies served a purpose of oppression of a particular class or race.
Post Second World War, Nazism waned, and after the 1990s, even communism lost its prevalence. George Soros started founding his Open Society Foundations from the early 80s, and the focus of the foundations changed after the collapse of communism. Under the leadership of Soros, it started to cater constructive tasks compared to subversive ones during the communist period. While the Open Society Foundations in the East did an excellent job, the West did not reciprocate the same. Considering the disillusion after collapse of Soviet Union, Soros decided to re-examine his concepts about the open society. He identified that open societies could also be threatened by excessive individualism. The basic structure of capitalism – too much competition with little cooperation – creates instability and inequalities in the society. The laissez-faire capitalism propagates marketplace, which is imperfect in the current system and can break down, confirms Soros.
George Soros is considered to be one of the biggest contributors to various causes. In the last three decades, he reportedly spent more than $12 billion in contributing to various philanthropic groups. Soros supports various organizations around the world that are working for freedom of expression, accountable government, societies with equality and justice, and transparency. He is also a fighter for discriminating classes of the society including LGBTI people, sex workers, drug users, and more, and makes efforts to bring them to the mainstream of the society.
Soros had a childhood of living through the Nazi invasion. He was born in 1930 in Hungary and emigrated to the U.K. after Second World War. Soros completed his graduation by enrolling at London School of Economics. After working for a brief stint in London, he migrated to the U.S. and started working as a Stock Broker in the Wall Street. In 1970, he founded his own hedge fund firm named Soros Fund Management. His investments are mostly focused on currency trading, and his short-sale of Pound Sterling worth $10 billion in 1992, forced the Bank of England to stop the operations temporarily. With the transaction, Soros earned a profit of more than $1 billion and got a nickname “the person who broke the regulator, Bank of England.”
For details: www.biography.com/people/george-soros-20926527