George Soros ranked one of the wealthiest people in the world is a renown investor, political activist, and philanthropist. His most substantial act of philanthropy got witnessed when he contributed the staggering sum of $18 billion to Open Society Foundations, a charitable organization working in over 100 countries around the world. Open Society Foundations was started by George Soros in 1993 as Open Society Institute, to get used as a channel for funding various pro democracy projects, public health and programs involved with human rights and refugees. His first notable philanthropic act was in 1979, several years after he had started a hedge fund Soros Fund Management and provided black South Africans with fully funded scholarships.
Although Soros’ continuous giving has earned him his prominence, it has been at the same time fuelling several conspiracy theories, with some critics even demonizing it. According to The Atlantic issue of December 5th, 2017, some critics claimed that Soros was the instigator of several protests such as Black Lives Matter, Antifa, among others. But that has been the case with all significant philanthropists, even the likes of John D. Rockefeller and the Koch brothers; antagonists always tend to demonize their actions saying that these acts have an underlying intention. Despite all these, Soros has not relented in his cause of promoting good governance and democracy. The Atlantic reports that Soros had become one of the top financiers of the Democratic Party by the year 2000, contributing $27 million, a point that his Conservative critics found vital to scrutinize.
Soros, a Jew born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930, is a survivor of the Holocaust during the time leading up to World War 2, a period in which Jews were being murdered by German Nazi’s. Soros and his family were able to escape by use of false identities and moved to England in 1947. He holds a bachelor’s and masters in philosophy, both from the London School of Business. He has since then dedicated himself to helping others all over the world.
Soros, in his paper The Capitalist Threat which he wrote for the Atlantic, explains how he coined Open Society Foundations. His primary goals were to open up closed systems such as those of law or religion, to make them more inclusive rather than exclusive, and to encourage open-mindedness through critical thinking. He tried to apply in South Africa, but since apartheid was still rampant in the region, his intentions were mistaken for being a part of the problem. He then focussed his attention on Central Europe where he made notable progress. Soros hopes that political ideologies will soon focus on promoting open societies other than self-enhancement.
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