Recently the Guardian, Britain’s serious Left-ish newspaper, ran an article titled: “The George Soros Philosophy and its Fatal Flaw,” which is itself fatally flawed in its analysis, unless you belong to the Roseanne Barr/Breitbart wing of unhinged hysteria, which it got about right.
First, the truth about Soros’ “collaboration” with the Nazis has to be laid bare — and it is rather murky: Soros came from a thoroughly assimilated family (they changed the name from Schwartz in order to blend in better) that proved quite adept at adapting to whatever environment it found itself in. Pre-war Hungary was home to the traditionally Christian anti-Semitic memes, though in a much milder form than, say, Russia. It was also home to a Communist party which briefly took over power after the Great War and which, inevitably, had a large number of assimilated Jews in its leadership (including the leader, Bela Kun). It also had a lunatic fringe, the Nyilaszkereszt Party, which coined the term “National Socialist” and whom even Hitler thought too extreme. Both were suppressed by the monarchist Horthy government.
When Horthy tried to make a separate peace with the western Allies to avoid Russian occupation in 1944, Hitler was forced to accept the Nyilaszkereszt Party as his ally and alleged puppets to keep the Hungarians in the war; they then proceeded to pursue all their fever dreams of “pure” Hungary, bulwark against Communism, aided and abetted by the odious Eichmann.
There were Jews who collaborated with the effort, mostly in misguided attempts to save at least a remnant: Manfred Weiss, Yoel Brand, and especially Yisrael Kasztner come to mind. That wasn’t Soros’ thing — he was interested in saving Soros.
When the SS concocted a scheme to destroy the British economy with counterfeit pound notes, Soros was enlisted by an intermarried, baptized uncle into a junior role in smuggling the contraband cash out of the country and into distribution. The pound note before the war was like gold, on a higher level of trust than the U.S. dollar has ever been, acceptable everywhere. The Germans wanted to change that, and they enlisted Jewish engravers, etc., in the effort. If that’s “collaboration,” have at it.
Soros, therefore, finds himself suspended between an understandable and profound hatred of the extremes of National Socialism, as experienced, and the obvious failures of Communism. Even assuming that the ideals stated in the article are indeed what Soros is seeking, he is a profoundly cynical atheist, and singularly amoral about the ways in which he pursues his goals.
Just as bad as the Breitbart-ian caricature of the Left and Soros’ part in it is the Guardian’s caricature of “capitalism.”
Itself a Marxist term, capitalism is portrayed as a conspiracy of plutocrats (among whom the Rothschilds, a far more successful family similar to Soros’, have always been prominent) and the inevitable result of the liberalism propounded by John Locke, Adam Smith, and others in response to mercantilism.
To some extent, this criticism is justified. The irony is that Smith specifically warned against the tendency of “interests” to cozy up to government and enlist it in their cause. This is one of the reasons that the Founding Fathers were set on decentralizing power, setting up checks and balances, and also why they emphasized the importance of a vigilant public and a free press.
Soros’ failures, and those of the Left generally and Communism specifically, lie in two areas. The first is their profound atheism. Smith knew precisely Whose “invisible hand” shapes societies and free markets; the Left equally religiously rejects the idea.
The second is that they fail to understand that nations are organic realities which they cannot simply cause to disappear. The fall of the Soviet Union, which led directly to the Putin regime today, really began when Stalin was forced to confront that reality during the successful stage of the Nazi-led invasion of 1941. He had to start calling on Russian patriotism instead of loyalty to the revolution, which had fallen flat.
The recognition of nationhood and the interests of nations is not the same thing as nationalism. William F. Buckley once said that he was a patriot to the core but had not a nationalist bone in his body; I echo that sentiment. Nationalism too easily falls into racialism or tribalism of the worst sort, in which “my country, right or wrong, but my country” quickly fails to recognize any wrongs and justifies actions which it would vilify and abhor on the other side; viz. Trump and his most fanatical followers.
Economic liberalism, wedded to a recognition of the realities of national character and interests but eschewing nationalism, are the true ideals of conservatism. The philosophy flourishes in a garden of Biblical morality, which ultimately requires recognition of the Gardener who planted it.