It seems that no matter how much you do to improve the world, you end up with a large amount of criticism. George Soros is one example of a major philanthropist who has acquired many critics through no fault of his own. Right-wing commentator Glenn Beck claims that Soros’s Open Society initiative is a kind of shadow organization toppling legitimate governments. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Through his Open Society Foundations, George Soros has played an important role in fostering democracy in former Soviet bloc nations.
George Soros opened the first Open Society office in 1984 in Hungary. At this time, the Soviet-influenced Hungarian government required the registration of each and every typewriter in the nation. At great risk, members of Soros’s organization smuggled in Xerox machines to aid the spread of pro-democracy materials. Strangely, Glenn Beck is one U.S. commentator who has completely misread the Open Society Foundations and George Soros’s life mission in general. Instead of gratefully recognizing the importance of Mr. Soros’s achievements, Beck has used his status as a popular commentator to absurdly accuse Soros of conspiratorial activity.
Beck’s Dangerous Campaign
One of Beck’s most alarming claims is that Soros somehow aided and abetted the Holocaust in Hungary. At the age of 14, Soros acted as a messenger for the Budapest Jewish Council (BJC), a group of Jewish elders sometimes accused of collaborating unwisely with the Nazis. Whatever the merits or failings of the BJC, it is safe to say that the 14-year-old Soros did not besmirch his integrity by hunkering low and surviving the terrible pogrom that claimed the lives of nearly the entire Jewish community in Hungary. In fact, it seems that Soros used the terrible experiences of the Hungarian Jewish community as an inspiration for his great personal struggle for democracy.
The evidence is clear that George Soros is a great man with excellent intentions. Although Soros in no way lives up to Glenn Beck’s claim that Soros is “the most powerful man on Earth,” there is no doubt that Soros has exceeded most when it comes to exercising personal influence. What Beck fails to understand is the fact that Soros wields this influence in the service of humanity’s greater good. Since Glenn Beck is an avowed enemy of Communism, it is inexcusable that Beck does not understand just how potently Soros battled Communism in the 1980s. Indeed, commentators have placed Soros alongside Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan due to his role in ending Communist rule in Eastern Europe.
It’s no secret that Soros is one of the wealthiest men in the world. Unlike many other wealthy individuals, Soros has consistently used his wealth in order to improve the lot of humankind. It is particularly sickening that Glenn Beck’s attacks on Soros echo many of the classic tropes of historical anti-Semitism.
Learn more about George Soros: http://www.forbes.com/profile/george-soros/