October 15, 2007
Soros the Guiltless
One of the marks of traumatic stress is a constant feeling of guilt. Some of the rescue workers at Ground Zero on 9/11 still suffer from survivor guilt today. They constantly wonder, "Why did those people die? Why not me?"
Yet guilt is what makes civilized society possible; it's what keeps us from unleashing our most selfish impulses on each other. Not everybody is capable of feeling guilt. Psychopaths do not experience it. That is a defining feature of the disorder. That is why psychopaths can do things that would haunt most of us forever. Think of O.J. Simpson, or a repeating child abuser who never shows remorse.
Some human beings flip guilt on its head, and turn it into rage against others. That may be true for Jimmy Carter and his NSC Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinsky, who are constantly blaming others for the fatal blunder of bringing the nuke-mad mullahs to power in Iran in 1979. Thousands upon thousands of innocent people have died as a result, but neither Carter nor Brzezinsky has ever owned up to their responsibility. They don't seem to feel guilt about the looming threat of mullahs with nukes, but they are constantly pointing the finger at others.
Which brings me to George Soros, one of the top 100 richest people in the world. Mr. Soros is one of those odd hybrids, the socialist capitalist: He has made it very big indeed, but he doesn't want others getting rich in free markets. Instead, we are told, he wants "a strong central international government to correct for the excesses of self-interest." Such as his own $8.5 billion fortune, presumably, made partly on currency speculation.
Soros is the moneybags behind Moveon.org and Media Matters, two Leftwing fronts that constantly try to drop Black PR bombs in the media, always trying to smear the democratic Right. But they are so rage-driven, so far beyond the pale, that they risk triggering a backlash. Moveon couldn't resist smearing one of the most admirable people in America, General David Petraeus, as "General Betray-Us," in the pages of the New York Times. Media Matters tried to get away with smearing the biggest patriotic voice in the country, Rush Limbaugh.
Moveon and M-M are slander squads funded by György Schwartz, later known as György Soros (with two sh-sounds), and later George Soros, US citizen. In his autobiograpy, modestly entitled Soros on Soros, he described how as a teenager he helped to cart off the stolen possessions of Hungarian Jewish men, women and children after they were rounded up and transported to death camps. He claims it never bothered him a bit, and still doesn't bother him today. He has no personal regrets about his actions. Somebody would have done it.
Normal people are haunted by harsh self-criticism after such morally toxic situations, even if they were helpless at the time. But Mr. Soros is blessedly free from any qualms, as he tells us.
From a 60 Minutes interview with Soros on December 20, 1998:
KROFT: (You) went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.Mr. SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.KROFT: I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?Mr. SOROS: Not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't see the connection. But it created no problem at all.
(Note: Mr. Soros was not a child in 1944. Teenagers are well aware of moral rules.)
KROFT: No feeling of guilt?Mr. SOROS: No.KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was --- well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets, that if I weren't there, of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would be taking it away anyhow. And whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt."
George Soros absolves himself constantly. He calls himself a "spectator" when he was an active collaborator. His only reply is that, well, he could have been "on the other side" --- a victim rather than a perp. His is an instrumental morality.
Now we don't know exactly what happened sixty years ago in the life of György Schwartz during the Nazi Holocaust. According to Robert Slater, "George Soros later said that he ‘grew up in a Jewish, anti-semitic home,' and that his parents were ‘uncomfortable with their religious roots.'" We don't know if his parents' anti-semitism influenced his willingness to cart off the property of his Jewish neighbors. But by 1944, Hitler's plans for the Jews could not be denied. Soros himself escaped persecution by being adopted as a Christian. He must have known what he was doing therefore, even as a teenager. Two years later, when Auschwitz and the other death camps made headlines all over the Western world, not even the young Soros could have denied his role in what happened. But George Soros felt free of guilt.
Soros' parents were internationalists, promoting the worldwide spread of a single language, Esperanto. Chances are they were anti-Nazi, but also anti-American. Little György grew up speaking Esperanto, the language of the Socialist Paradise to Come. But reality intervened, and Soros became a highly successful capitalist, in some pretty dubious ways. For instance, Soros has been blamed for crashing the national currency of Malaysia in 1997. He is still hated for that by Mahathir Mohammed, the former prime minister of that country, who has emerged as a major international voice of Islamic anti-Semitism. Soros claims that somebody would have profited from speculating in Malaysian currency. He may be right. But many of us might not want to be anywhere near the crashing currency of a poor country, even if somebody else would do it anyway. We would feel ashamed to profit from disaster.
According to Wikipedia,
"Soros is famously known for ‘breaking the Bank of England' on Black Wednesday in 1992. On Black Wednesday (September 16, 1992), Soros became immediately famous when he sold short more than $10 billion worth of pounds, profiting from the Bank of England's reluctance to either raise its interest rates to levels comparable to those of other European Exchange Rate Mechanism countries or to float its currency. ... He was dubbed "the man who broke the Bank of England. ... Soros first traded currencies during the Hungarian hyperinflation of 1945-1946."
In 2002 a French court ruled that Soros was guilty of insider trading, and fined him $2 million. Who knows? He might be innocent. But there is a repeated pattern of manipulative and destructive actions in Mr. Soros' life.
According to Byron Rork of the National Review, "the (Soros) Open Society Institute gave $20,000 in September 2002 to the Defense Committee of Lynne Stewart." Stewart is the "activist" lawyer who secretly passed messages for the "blind sheik" and his fellow Muslim terrorists convicted of trying to truck bomb the World Trade Towers in 1993.
Soros funded support for democracy movements in Eastern Europe with the fall of the Soviet Union, but he also supported marijuana legalization in California and elsewhere, which is irresponsible, to say the least. Marijuana has been credibly linked to psychotic breaks and other mental disorders in adolescence. Marijuana smoke contains some of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, although no causal link has been established as yet. Proving such a link takes years and hindreds of millions of dollars.
Why would any responsible person pay for a campaign that will end up making highly potent marijuana more available to vulnerable people? If booze harms millions of alcoholics, why double the risk by legalizing yet another powerful brain drug?
Soros was also a major backer of the Campaign Reform Act of 2002, supposedly "to get money out of politics" --- whereupon he immediately funded Leftist front groups using loopholes in the same law. It was other people's money he didn't want in politics. Politicians are now collecting just as much money as before, and from some very dubious sources. (See Norman Hsu.)
In an interview with The Washington Post on November 11, 2003, Soros said that removing President George W. Bush from office was the "central focus of my life" and "a matter of life and death." He said he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat President Bush, "if someone guaranteed it." Soros later claimed he was joking. But he has written articles such as "The Capitalist Threat" in the Atlantic Monthly, and funded something called "Democracy Alliance: In Search Of A Permanent Democratic Majority." It seems he wasn't joking after all.
He looks like he wants total power for the Left. And now we find Mr. Soros backing aggressive Leftist smear groups in America.
Mr. Soros also blames Israel for the fate of the Palestinian Arabs sixty years ago. Israel was founded as a place of refuge for millions of Jews from places like Hungary, the same people Soros helped to dispossess as a teenager. As he said in his 60 Minutes interview, his Holocaust experience "helped to shape his character" --- a double-edged comment if ever there was one.
Mr. Soros fancies himself to be a philosopher, like so many educated middle-Europeans. Well, Adam Smith was professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh; we know him as the first economist to clearly state the benefits of free trade. But Adam Smith always emphasized the importance of having a clear moral compass. Capitalism in the raw is not the same as capitalism constrained by morality and law. Soros seems to think of capitalism as a kind of piracy, and personal morality does not seem to play a conspicuous role in his life. Instead, he seems to like to be the supreme manipulator.
It makes an interesting psychological profile, doesn't it? On the one side, calm denial about his Holocaust role in Hungary, and decades later, about his part in manipulating currencies from Britain to Asia, benefiting himself but impoverishing others. On the other hand, his funding of very aggressive political mudslinging teams in the United States, openly trying to bring down a twice-elected president of the United States. Add to that his animosity toward Israel, a home for Jewish refugees from the same European Holocaust that saw him collaborating with the Nazis.
We live in a time of steady public decline in civilized values. The Left shamelessly peddles the idea that real patriotism means leaking national security secrets when our soldiers are risking their lives in combat. The national media have become so vulgarized that scapegoating GOP presidents has become the open aim of the "profession" of journalism. Opportunistic demagogues like Al Gore jump on the phony Global Warming bandwagon, and are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, thus raising his public image while debasing the Nobel Prize.
We have seen immense vulgarization in one generation, a loss of simple decency in public life. Much of that decline has been deliberately pushed by the Left and the tabloid press, which is no longer separate from the "mainstream" press. Sociopathy is flying high.
Now long-distance diagnosis is not usually a good idea, but Mr. Soros has given us a lot of personal facts to ponder. His is not the profile of a kind man. It is the mind of a narcissist, free of the pangs of conscience, yet haunted by a need to destroy the reputations of decent people for having a different point of view.
Soros shows us the sense of infinite superiority of the European Left, always managing to explain away millions of victims, as long as they die somewhere out of sight. But George Soros is not a man at peace with himself, nor with a civilized life that is governed by a sense of responsibility and self-restraint. In his manipulative assaults on the Bush Administration, in peddling the legalization of harmful drugs, in pushing for "campaign reform" and then immediately driving a monster truck through the legal loopholes, George Soros may be trying to chase off his inner demons.
He fits perfectly in the company of Bill Clinton and John Kerry, of Hillary and Harry Reid, and all the self-loving, destructive narcissists of the Left.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/