George Soros: Busy Putting his Money Where his Mouth is
George Soros can be described as one of the most generous philanthropists living today. Having given over $12 billion of his money away for various causes. However, the area where he has been most generous towards is human rights, specifically for people who are marginalized simply because of who they are. Racism and discrimination are still a real problem for many in the world and thanks to people like George Soros, those at the receiving end of it have hope for protection. Examples of groups who still live with the reality of discrimination are the Roma peoples, LGBT community, drug addicts and sex workers.
Some may wonder where Mr. Soros got the interest to help others from. The answer is simple. George’s family are originally from Hungary. When he was a child the country was invaded by the Nazis. Coming from a Jewish family, he and his family witnessed many of the atrocities done to their friends and relatives. Through perseverance and bravery, his family was able to survive and ultimately prevail. In the 1950’s George managed to move to the US with a degree from the London School of Economics and started working in the world of finance. While working here he put his talent for numbers to use and made his fortune.
After working for various financial institutions, he went on to start his own hedge fund company named Soros Fund Management. It was after the success of this company that George set about establishing charitable foundations with the purpose of helping societies that encourage freedom and democracy. While attending the London School of Economics he came across the works of a philosopher by the name of Karl Popper, who wrote the book “Open Society and Its Enemies”. In this book, Popper argues that countries can only flourish with the free flow of ideas and freedom of thought and expression. Karl Popper’s ideas stayed with him for the rest of his life.
In his early years of work as far a philanthropy is concerned, Mr. Soros was worried about totalitarian regimes of different types around the world. Most of these societies were either communist or some other form of dictatorship. Today, the landscape has changed, and he feels that another type menace is affecting societies around the world, which would be capitalism. Mr.Soros believes that Capitalism, or laissez-fair capitalism as he calls it, is the new threat for open democracies.However, he is very clear to point out that this new form of capitalism or laissez-faire capitalism, is not in the same category as Communism or Nazism as far as their extreme views go.But he does believe that laissez-fair is just as capable of establishing itself as the sole truth from which everything else should abide by. And this is the type of attitude he has now decided to help against its spread.