You’ve got to hand it to George Soros. Not because he got so rich, but because he’s now considered to be behind virtually every nefarious plot worldwide, from Hungary, to Ukraine, to the United States. Depending on who you’re talking to, Soros is funding Islamic fundamentalists, fascists, or Communists. The latter conspiracy, the Communist conspiracy, is most popular in the US among the far right and has always been rather amusing to me. After all, Soros is a billionaire who made his money largely in unproductive financial chicanery- not the type of person who should be funding Communist revolutions anywhere, suffice to say.
But what I find really funny about the Soros conspiracy is that when you look at the NGOs and projects Soros actually funds, they’re actually rather innocuous or in many cases helpful or necessary. In many countries, NGOs take care of services that corrupt governments can’t provide. Open Democracy, a publication I’ve written for, has received some funding from one of Soros’ organizations and at least when it comes to Ukraine it’s far more objective than RFERL, plus it’s more in-depth than the coverage of most major Western news outlets.
None of this is to say that Soros’ funding of various projects can’t be problematic. There are serious flaws in a system where billionaires are allowed to use their wealth to shape societies according to their own views, especially those they do not personally live in. The fact that the billionaire in question is George Soros and not, say, the Koch brothers, is irrelevant here. Even if the causes seem progressive, would someone like Soros allow for more permanent solutions to problems like global poverty, especially if those solutions challenged his own wealth and privilege? Moreover the fact that we live in a world with billionaires is one of the root causes for much of the problems people like Soros target; billionaires are a product of inequality and improper wealth distribution. But if you thought I’m going to get on my socialist soap box for this post, you might be pleased to know I have something else in mind.
My problem with the Soros conspiracy is this- we’re told that he’s behind all manner of revolution, chaos, anarchy, etc. He’s obviously not squeamish about violence because he’s willing to fund any group that’s allegedly trying to destroy Western society because…uh…reasons. The problem is, however, that we have zero evidence tying Soros to actual violent groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda, Azov National Corps or whatever they’re calling themselves this week… What we do see is that he funds a lot of these NGOs, none of which seem to have anything to do with violent revolution and whose employees, and I’m generalizing here, probably wouldn’t make the best guerrilla fighters.
So I start thinking. What would I do if I had Soros’ money, and I wanted to bring down some governments with a Communist revolution? I definitely wouldn’t be doing what Soros does, that’s for sure. No, I’d be the Osama bin Laden of a leftist global revolutionary movement- you know, a movement that would actually have something to do with revolutions. Of course I’m not speaking only about Bin Laden here- there are hundreds of wealthy donors, often Saudi Arabian, who have for years paid what has often been likened to protection money to jihadist groups. The money goes not only to media, the only thing that even compares with Soros’ work, but it also goes toward things like arms and training camps. Of course Al Qaeda’s model isn’t really revolutionary and in spite of its huge impact on the world it has had a piss poor record of achieving its goals apart from generally terrorizing people (most of them Muslim, incidentally). But that is a failing of the Sunni Wahhabi ideology and the founders and strategists of Al Qaeda; it’s not because they’re wasting money on the wrong things.
Sure, I’d fund a massive internet-based propaganda machine with my newfound money, but apart from some front groups or social relief organizations (winning of hearts and minds), the bulk of it would go into investments for making more money, arms, training camps, safe houses, slush funds for operatives- standard revolutionary stuff. Needle exchanges for drug addicts are great, but I’ve got a revolution to run, unlike Mr. Soros who apparently couldn’t revolution his way out of a paper bag.
There’s also the matter of Soros’ initiatives all being totally above board and known to the public. Soros isn’t a recluse and information about his initiatives is easily found. If I were trying to instigate a socialist revolution, I wouldn’t be making highly publicized appearances talking about it. I’d be more reclusive and anonymous that most of history’s actual Communist leaders. That’s not only tactical either. I think that remaining largely anonymous also helps work against the cult of personality that plagued socialism from 1917 onward. With no name, no face, there is only the message. Apparently the brilliant mastermind George Soros never considered that.
Soros’ Color Revolutions are pretty pathetic as well. The Color Revolution that has ever really had huge, measurable success was Georgia’s Rose Revolution. And even that ended with its leader, Mikhail Saakashvili being more or less ejected from his own country. If I were the nefarious Soros, I’d just have those politicians I don’t like killed. Why bother with mass protests and occupations of public squares when you can just turn political enemies into amateur astronauts using car bombs?
It is indeed strange that Soros, who is allegedly trying to cause global chaos in order to set up some kind of socialist world order that is friendly to billionaire speculators, doesn’t seem to be aware of any of these tactics. Why it’s almost like he’s not a revolutionary at all, but rather more like some self-righteous billionaire who wants to secure his legacy as a philanthropist while getting massive tax breaks thanks to his charitable donations. What a disappointment.
Rest assured if I had that kind of money and such nefarious plans, I’d do things totally differently from Soros. Of course the point is totally moot because I don’t have even a fraction of his massive wealth. Unless…