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From hero to villain: how the paranoid right made George Soros a hate figure

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by Gideon Rachman

George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist, has had a busy year. Since the beginning of 2017, he has faked a chemical attack in Syria, funded anti-Trump marches in Washington, come up with the "Soros plan" to flood Hungary with refugees, forced a change of government in Macedonia, undermined the Israeli prime minister and got several key White House aides sacked. Not bad for a man of 87.

All of the above are, of course, conspiracy theories. But the fact that they have surfaced this year - and all feature the name of Mr Soros - is not just a curiosity. It says something important and worrying about global politics.

In the 1990s, Mr Soros was in tune with the spirit of the age, as he used the billions he had made in finance to support the transition to democracy in post-communist Europe and elsewhere. But now the global political climate has changed and liberal ideas are in retreat. For a new generation of nationalists - from the US to Russia and Hungary - Mr Soros has become the perfect villain. He is an internationalist in an age of nationalism. He is a supporter of individual rights, not group rights. He is the 29th-richest man in the world, according to the Forbes rich list. And he is also Jewish, so is easily cast in the role of the shadowy and manipulative international financier, once reserved for the Rothschilds.

One of the nastier bits of anti-Soros propaganda this year explicitly linked him to the old slurs against the Rothschilds. When America First nationalists became worried that HR McMaster, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was purging their allies in the White House, they set up a website called "McMaster leaks" which featured a cartoon of Mr McMaster being manipulated by puppet-masters labelled "Soros" and "Rothschilds".

In 1989, one of the beneficiaries of a Soros scholarship to study at Oxford was a young Hungarian activist named Viktor Orban. Today, the same Mr Orban is prime minister of Hungary and demonises his one-time benefactor. The Hungarian leader has made denunciation of an alleged "Soros plan" to flood Hungary with Muslims central to his re-election campaign. There is no such plan. What is true is that Mr Soros is a generous backer of refugee charities and has also supported the EU's plan to resettle Syrian refugees across the bloc, including in Hungary. That was excuse enough for Mr Orban to plaster the country with posters featuring a grinning Mr Soros, and urging: "Don't let Soros have the last laugh."

The demonisation of Mr Soros in Hungary, where he was born, is not an isolated case. In the past year, he has been denounced by political leaders in Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Turkey, all of whom claim he is plotting against them.

The paranoid right in America also churns out anti-Soros material. As long ago as 2007, Mr Soros was denounced on Fox News as the "Dr Evil of the whole world of leftwing foundations". The origins of Soros-hatred in the US may date back to his opposition to the Iraq war. His support of liberal causes in the US, as well as of international institutions such as the UN, has kept the far-right pot boiling.

There is clearly an echo-chamber element to the anti-Soros campaigns around the world, as far-right groups pick up on the same conspiracy theories. But some strongman leaders have more concrete reasons to fear Mr Soros's Open Society Foundation, which funds civil society organisations that promote education, a free press, minority rights and anti-corruption initiatives. In 2015, Vladimir Putin's government chucked the Open Society Foundation out of Russia since it was no longer willing to tolerate the latter's support for organisations such as Memorial, which promoted research into the Soviet terror.

Mr Soros's activities have even made him a target in Israel. The obvious anti-Semitism in many of the anti-Soros campaigns around the world evidently matters less to the Netanyahu government than Mr Soros's support for Palestinian rights and other causes unpopular on the Israeli right.

There is also a personal element in prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's anti-Soros ire. As an anti-corruption probe has got closer and closer to Israel's first family, so they have lashed out against Mr Soros. Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister's son, complained recently that the "Fund for the Destruction of Israel, funded by Soros and the European Union, is threatening me". He even re-published a cartoon of Mr Soros dangling the world in front of a reptilian creature, the kind of image that his father would routinely denounce as anti-Semitic if it had been published by another source.

Conspiracy theorists have an explanation for everything. So the fact that the FT should publish a column defending Mr Soros will simply be taken as further evidence of his nefarious influence. For the record, I have had precisely two conversations with Mr Soros. On both occasions, we were on the same public panel at seminars organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank that he partially funds.

We have never had a private conversation and I certainly would not claim him as a friend. But I have no hesitation in applauding his philanthropy. The fact that it even needs to be defended says something sad about the times we are living in. gideon.rachman@ft.com



Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/world/from-hero-to-villain-how-the-paranoid-right-made-george-soros-a-hate-figure-20170918-gyk37g#ixzz59H5vKmgF
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Soros is a HUGE figure to the right, but I rarely run into any Democrats who even know who he is. Republicans think everybody-who's-not-Republican (all of whom they consider far-left socialist crazies! Very Happy ) all take our orders from this guy, but I never pay him any mind.

The right has a bizarre tendency to completely magnify anything that opposes them. The lastest crazyperson-craze is Antifa. Antifa's nothing, just a handful of punk rock kids, but for some completely-weird (and hilarious) reason, the right thinks they're everywhere and they're way-scarier than ISIS!

Really, the right's just terrified of everything. Fearful, trembling, weak people in general. I have to deal with 'em at work all day and I'm constantly having to calm them down from panicking over things. The freakin' photocopier breaks and they think it's some kind of conspiracy...

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When you want the dollar to decline... open borders... world rule... and think yourself a deity... you're Soros.

Gobble gobble gobble useful idiots. Check out some of his exploits in Europe... good times.

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I can always tell when y'all have lost the argument because I see a douche post right after mine... lol.

Let me guess. A couple of personal slurs and a cartoon? What a joke... jocolor

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PkrBum wrote:I can always tell when y'all have lost the argument because I see a douche post right after mine... lol.

Let me guess. A couple of personal slurs and a cartoon? What a joke... jocolor

You blame Soros for everything. That's apparently the price for standing up these days against the fascists.

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I really do not know who George Soros is........I think I saw a sixty minute section on him fifteen years ago, but the only other contact was Mr. Markle and others who continually mentioned his name. It just sounds like the usual anti jew propaganda, where the Rothchilds and Soros are part of some inter generational plot to rule the world. It is absurd as most of the major banks and wall street firms are public companies, and the idea that a couple people are controlling the world because they are jewish is more of the same chit, just a different target.

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2seaoat wrote:I really do not know who George Soros is........I think I saw a sixty minute section on him fifteen years ago, but the only other contact was Mr. Markle and others who continually mentioned his name.  It just sounds like the usual anti jew propaganda, where the Rothchilds and Soros are part of some inter generational plot to rule the world.  It is absurd as most of the major banks and wall street firms are public companies, and the idea that a couple people are controlling the world because they are jewish is more of the same chit, just a different target.

Soros aided the Nazis and helped them target Jews... his neighbors and fellow ethnics.

Posing as a Christian.

No surprise you'd defend him.

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PkrBum wrote:
2seaoat wrote:I really do not know who George Soros is........I think I saw a sixty minute section on him fifteen years ago, but the only other contact was Mr. Markle and others who continually mentioned his name.  It just sounds like the usual anti jew propaganda, where the Rothchilds and Soros are part of some inter generational plot to rule the world.  It is absurd as most of the major banks and wall street firms are public companies, and the idea that a couple people are controlling the world because they are jewish is more of the same chit, just a different target.

Soros aided the Nazis and helped them target Jews... his neighbors and fellow ethnics.

Posing as a Christian.

No surprise you'd defend him.


He was a child whose father put him into hiding so he wouldn't be killed. He apparently learned from that experience. Too bad certain people don't also learn from their experiences.

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Same old same old. First, I am not defending him because I do not know the man other than the anti Jewish propaganda is raw meat for some, and to point out that Hitler and fascist scapegoated Jews, one would expect that anybody attacking the same would be historically correct......of course those who attacked Hitler were part of the Jewish media......you know.....fake news.

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500,000 Hungarian Jews exterminated... but Soros called the Nazi occupation the happiest time of his life. It sparked his delusion that he was "godlike". That humans and  their suffering are just cogs in the machine. He also crumbled countries later... manipulating elections or currency. Let them eat cake.





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http://articles.latimes.com/2004/oct/04/opinion/oe-ehrenfeld4

"America, under Bush, is a danger to the world," says Soros. To save the world and prevent the reelection of George W. Bush, Soros has dedicated extraordinary amounts of time and money because defeating Bush, he says, is his "central focus." His motto, "If I spend enough, I will make it right," is the essence of his articulated ideas about changing society.

It seems that Soros believes he was anointed by God. "I fancied myself as some kind of god ..." he once wrote. "If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me in trouble."

When asked by Britain's Independent newspaper to elaborate on that passage, Soros said, "It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out."

Since I began to live it out. Those unfamiliar with Soros would probably dismiss the statement out of hand. But for those who have followed his career and sociopolitical endeavors, it cannot be taken quite so lightly.

Soros has proved that with the vast resources of money at his command he has the ability to make the once unthinkable acceptable. His work as a self-professed "amoral" financial speculator has left millions in poverty when their national currencies were devaluated, and he pumped so much cash into shaping former Soviet republics to his liking that he has bragged that the former Soviet empire is now the "Soros Empire."

Now he's turned his eye on the internal affairs of the United States. Today's U.S., he writes in his latest book, "The Bubble of American Supremacy," is a "threat to the world," run by a Republican Party that is the devil child of an unholy alliance between "market fundamentalists" and "religious fundamentalists." We have become a "supremacist" nation.

During a speech at Columbia University's commencement ceremonies, Soros said, "If President Bush is reelected, we must ask the question, 'What is wrong with us?' " He has written that he always "felt that modern society in general and America in particular suffer from a deficiency of values."

Bush's aggressive waging of the war on terrorism has only increased these feelings. "When President Bush says, as he does frequently, that freedom will prevail, in fact he means that America will prevail," Soros writes. Who would Soros prefer to see "prevail"? Saddam Hussein? Osama bin Laden?

Despite his reputation as an international philanthropist, Soros remains candid about his true charitable tendencies. "I am sort of a deus ex machina," Soros told the New York Times in 1994. "I am something unnatural. I'm very comfortable with my public persona because it is one I have created for myself. It represents what I like to be as distinct from what I really am. You know, in my personal capacity I'm not actually a selfless philanthropic person. I've very much self-centered."

Soros was more succinct when he explained his life philosophy to biographer Michael Kaufman. "I am kind of a nut who wants to have an impact," he said.

But the speculator's visions don't end there.

"Next to my fantasies about being God, I also have very strong fantasies of being mad," Soros once confided on British television. "In fact, my grandfather was actually paranoid. I have a lot of madness in my family. So far I have escaped it."

In his book, "Soros on Soros," he says: "I do not accept the rules imposed by others.... And in periods of regime change, the normal rules don't apply." Clearly, Soros considers himself to be someone who is able to determine when the "normal rules" should and shouldn't apply.

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https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/george-soros-ss-nazi-germany/

Was George Soros an SS Officer or Nazi Collaborator During World War II?

Despite politically-motivated rumors to the contrary, billionaire leftist George Soros was neither in the SS nor a Nazi collaborator in the Second World War.

**************

Read the whole entry. Glenn Beck was fond of demonizing Soros, as was Dinesh D'Sousa. Ms. Ehrehfeld, author of the LA Times opinion, is a Jewish-born naturalized American citizen. You will recall that in 2004, Israelis were actively engaged with the Bush administration in promoting and prolonging the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...and pushing for war with Iran. Soros was correct in calling out Bush for the war criminal he is. Soros posed as a CHRISTIAN during WWII.

and:

A Promoter of Democracy Angers the Authoritarians
By JUDITH MILLER JULY 12, 1997


"For the past decade, George Soros, the Hungarian-born financier and philanthropist, has spent more than a billion dollars promoting a free press and political pluralism abroad -- everything the world's authoritarian rulers despise.

Now some of those political leaders are fighting back.

In Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and Croatia, Mr. Soros's foundations have been accused of shielding spies and breaking currency laws. His employees have been assaulted and threatened with imprisonment or financial sanction for alleged crimes.

Here in Belarus, Mr. Soros recently suspended operations after the Government, headed by Aleksandr Lukashenko, the popular but autocratic 42-year-old President, fined a Soros foundation $3 million for alleged tax violations and seized its bank account.

While expressing a desire to resolve the crisis here and lessen tensions with other authoritarian governments, the man whose own fortune was made in high-stakes business gambles is vowing not to back down.

''We would like to continue working in Belarus, to do what we can wherever we can,'' Mr. Soros said in a recent interview in New York. ''But we insist that all our foundations remain independent. We will not play by Mr. Lukashenko's rules.''

The growing pressure on Mr. Soros's philanthropic empire, which stretches from South Africa to Haiti and employs 1,300 people in 24 countries, with two regional offices in New York and Budapest, appears to have only stiffened his resolve.

This year he opened five new offices in Central Asia -- Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia -- and one in Guatemala, his first in Latin America. And soon he is to open nine new foundations in southern Africa, he said, expanding the number of countries in which his foundations are active to 40.

Moreover, given his growing personal fortune, which friends estimate at $5 billion, his efforts are likely to continue at current levels for at least a decade, and perhaps for two.

While American foreign aid in the last decade has been cut in half in real terms, Mr. Soros, 66, recently signed a 20-year lease on his new headquarters in New York.

In Central Europe alone, he spent more than $123 million between 1989 and 1994 trying to help democracy take root -- roughly five times the sum spent by the United States Government's chief democracy-promoting foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy.

Unlike United States Government development aid, about 80 percent of which is given to American contractors and consultants, most money Mr. Soros distributes is given quickly and with few strings to local groups and individuals, says Thomas Carothers, a former State Department lawyer at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, because local activists are less expensive and more efficient at spreading the democratic, free-market mantra.

Mr. Soros's philanthropy has its critics. Some say it is too impulsive and mercurial, too arrogant and micromanaged, too confined to friends on the left of center and not as open to public scrutiny.

Others criticize his investment in countries to which he gives; Mr. Soros's defenders reply by citing strict rules within the foundations for avoiding conflicts of interest.

Mr. Soros noted, for example, that his investment company sold its 6 percent interest in Alliant Techsystems Inc., a Minneapolis weapons manufacturer, because Alliant made land mines, a direct conflict with his program to ban land mines.

But Mr. Soros has permitted his foundation in Russia to own GTS, now the second-largest telecommunications company in Russia, because the profits accrue to the foundation, not to him or to his investment funds..."

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/12/world/a-promoter-of-democracy-angers-the-authoritarians.html?pagewanted=all

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I didn't call him ss... but he describes his collaboration himself. How do you ignore that?

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PkrBum wrote:I didn't call him ss... but he describes his collaboration himself. How do you ignore that?

HE WAS A CHILD during WWII...about 9 or 10 years old...the same age as my granddaughter.

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Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:I didn't call him ss... but he describes his collaboration himself. How do you ignore that?

HE WAS A CHILD during WWII...about 9 or 10 years old...the same age as my granddaughter.  

Wrong... he was 14 when the occupation began. HE SAYS IT IN HIS OWN WORDS ON VIDEO..!!

Again... how do you ignore that and instead believe some leftist revision in your head?

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PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:I didn't call him ss... but he describes his collaboration himself. How do you ignore that?

HE WAS A CHILD during WWII...about 9 or 10 years old...the same age as my granddaughter.  

Wrong... he was 14 when the occupation began. HE SAYS IT IN HIS OWN WORDS ON VIDEO..!!

Again... how do you ignore that and instead believe some leftist revision in your head?

https://www.investopedia.com/university/george-soros-biogrpahy/george-soros-early-life-and-education.asp

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Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:I didn't call him ss... but he describes his collaboration himself. How do you ignore that?

HE WAS A CHILD during WWII...about 9 or 10 years old...the same age as my granddaughter.  

Wrong... he was 14 when the occupation began. HE SAYS IT IN HIS OWN WORDS ON VIDEO..!!

Again... how do you ignore that and instead believe some leftist revision in your head?

https://www.investopedia.com/university/george-soros-biogrpahy/george-soros-early-life-and-education.asp

I'll help you with your own source... sigh.

"George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930.

In March of 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary

Soros was 13 years old when the Nazi army rolled in, and he felt its presence in his daily life very soon after. Nazi-cooperating city authorities forbade Jewish children from attending school and soon began to order the deportation of Jews from Budapest, most to the death camp at Auschwitz."

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PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:I didn't call him ss... but he describes his collaboration himself. How do you ignore that?

HE WAS A CHILD during WWII...about 9 or 10 years old...the same age as my granddaughter.  

Wrong... he was 14 when the occupation began. HE SAYS IT IN HIS OWN WORDS ON VIDEO..!!

Again... how do you ignore that and instead believe some leftist revision in your head?

https://www.investopedia.com/university/george-soros-biogrpahy/george-soros-early-life-and-education.asp

I'll help you with your own source... sigh.

"George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930.

In March of 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary

Soros was 13 years old when the Nazi army rolled in, and he felt its presence in his daily life very soon after. Nazi-cooperating city authorities forbade Jewish children from attending school and soon began to order the deportation of Jews from Budapest, most to the death camp at Auschwitz."


Read the part about how his patron forged documents to get the Jewish people out of the country. I know you were indoctrinated by the clown Glenn Beck and many other right-wing trolls, and everyone on the right wants to hate Soros because he does so much good in the world, but the reality is he's nothing like what you've portrayed.

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Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:I didn't call him ss... but he describes his collaboration himself. How do you ignore that?

HE WAS A CHILD during WWII...about 9 or 10 years old...the same age as my granddaughter.  

Wrong... he was 14 when the occupation began. HE SAYS IT IN HIS OWN WORDS ON VIDEO..!!

Again... how do you ignore that and instead believe some leftist revision in your head?

https://www.investopedia.com/university/george-soros-biogrpahy/george-soros-early-life-and-education.asp

I'll help you with your own source... sigh.

"George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930.

In March of 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary

Soros was 13 years old when the Nazi army rolled in, and he felt its presence in his daily life very soon after. Nazi-cooperating city authorities forbade Jewish children from attending school and soon began to order the deportation of Jews from Budapest, most to the death camp at Auschwitz."


Read the part about how his patron forged documents to get the Jewish people out of the country.  I know you were indoctrinated by the clown Glenn Beck and many other right-wing trolls, and everyone on the right wants to hate Soros because he does so much good in the world, but the reality is he's nothing like what you've portrayed.

I've never listened or read anything from Beck. The only indoctrination is that which blocks reality from you.

Soros flat tells you what he is... lol.  Rolling Eyes

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