The following is a guest post by Dr. Mária Schmidt, director general of the House of Terror Museum and the XXI Century Institute.
"If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change."
Michael Jackson, "Man in the Mirror"
A case study
Once upon a time, there was a huge mining district in nearby Trepca, where about 40 mines yielded gold, silver, zinc, lead and cadmium. Those mines provided livelihood to the people of the region. One in particular, Zvecan in Kosovo was even richer in minerals than the rest. It so happened that the International Crisis Group (ICG) – ahighly authoritative research and analysis institute consisting of independent experts that had been set up to enable us to avert wars and to build a more peaceful world, and among the board members and lavish donors of ICG we find in person the great philanthropist George Soros along with his son. The ICG discovered that boosting production in Trepca was essential to Kosovo’s future. Its mineral resources would have a great role to play once Kosovo were to become independent. ICG’s independent experts found it deplorable however that the production was seriously underfinanced, mismanaged and hazardous to health. In addition, of course, local people were being exploited by Belgrade. “Trepca…is Kosovo's Berlin Wall”, their professional argument ran. Then the War for Kosovo broke out. A few months later, Bernard Kouchner, the UN High Representative, a founding member of Doctors Without Borders, an NGO also funded by George Soros, was shocked to discover when arriving in the wake of the blue helmet force the harmful effect on human health of work inside Trepca mines, especially to the health of children and pregnant women. The UN administration therefore lost no time in expropriating the mines and the processing plants. Then, in a sweeping gesture, they also laid their hands on all forms of productive property in Kosovo. It was certainly by mere accident that Mr Soros’ private investment firm was given the chance at this very time to invest 51 million dollars in the area. Simultaneously, the US federal government guaranteed American investments in the Balkans up to the value of 100 million dollars. Mr Soros was chosen from among 17 applicants, presumably through an open and fair public procurement procedure. Zvecan therefore got the necessary amount of financing, with the obvious purpose of preventing mining from further harming the employees, especially pregnant women and children. All this took place in conformity with the expectations of open society and guidelines by independent experts, just as it invariably happens wherever and whenever events find a happy ending. I have retrieved this story from a contemporary article because it happened not so long ago and not so far from us, at a time when many of us did not yet suspect that Soros and his network operate everywhere using similar methods and following similar recipes and purposes. Whenever business ceases to be lucrative enough, off they go, leaving everything behind. The mines and the adjacent processing plants have recently been nationalised in Kosovo, a move that Serbs living in northern Kosovo refuse to accept.
The recipe is a simple one. Identify a business target worth acquiring. Send your NGOs onto the spot, destabilise the region, arrange for the necessary media tailwind, create chaos and as soon as that is done, become the one who organises help for reconstruction while cherry-picking the most profitable business opportunities. Pull down the borders that are undue obstacles to your movements. Dismantle national sovereignty to avoid obstacles in your designs from the interests of the local population. Buy off the experts, with money, scholarships, awards, fame, recognition or personal promotion, depending on their propensities. Prevent their affiliations from being detected or their incompetence from being revealed, as it happened when the data on global warming turned out, for the second time, to have been doctored. Buy off the local media, TV and radio stations, dailies, weeklies as well as web magazines. Label them as independent outlets and remunerate them properly to have them work for the purposes you set for them. Reward them and promote them, too. You can identify the media outlets that are stuffed with Soros money in Hungary and internationally by their habit of following the Leninist tactics of personal attacks. They never challenge causes, statements, suggestions, which would be too tiresome both for themselves and for the public. They prefer intimidating individuals or, if that doesn’t suffice, annihilating them. Their activists and journalists are experts in character assassination.
The so-called civic associations that are also lavishly funded by Soros are, of course, also “independent” and, needless to say, depositories of “expertise”. They also indulge in calling themselves and each other “impartial”. They will enthusiastically line up any time and for any purpose set out for them by the Soros Empire. Soros’ power and unprecedented influence stem from this ever-present network of auxiliary forces transcending borders. He moves them in an organised and co-ordinated way. Sometimes he does so in accordance with US foreign political interests, while at other times against them. Sometimes he serves those interests, but every so often he also proceeds, hoping for good profit, in the framework of temporary agreements with local leaders. He is a businessman after all – or to be more precise, a speculator who makes money and accumulates treasure by ruining other people.
The Soviet Empire transformed into a Soros Empire
We don’t often get a glimpse into the great background games being waged by superpowers, regional power centres and their local sponsors, but with time we can put the mosaics together. Basically, it is always the same: new zones of influence being taken over or old ones being preserved. This is how it happened in the power and influence vacuum the Soviet empire left behind when it crumbled. With hindsight, we can confidently say that the takeover of zones of influence was accomplished by the early 1990s relatively smoothly and with moderate amounts of blood being shed.
The 80s brought about significant changes in the balance of power between the two superpowers of the bipolar world. Ronald Reagan put through a new foreign policy doctrine. Shedding the defensive strategy of containment, which had for decades determined the attitudes of the United States towards expansive attempts by the Soviet Union, he opted for a policy of rolling back Soviet power and overthrowing communism. The presence of Solidarity in Poland and the undeniable American support it was enjoying, the American efforts to arm the mujahideen in Afghanistan as well as Deng Xiao Ping’s policy of opening, which was meant to propel China to world power status, created new conditions and new challenges for the Soviet bloc and therefore for Hungary as well. By that time, the Hungarian party leadership had been filled with technocrats and this new kind of bureaucracy raised the idea in Moscow to launch a pilot project aimed at probing to what extent socialism could be reformed. As a first step, Hungary was allowed to join the World Bank and the IMF in 1982, while in 1984 the idea to dilute ideological homogeneity was also put on the agenda. In close cooperation with the highest ranks of the party, George Soros’ freshly created foundation was allowed to launch its operations in Hungary. I happened to be one of their grantees.
Soros was very much after OTP
When George Soros appeared in Hungary in 1984, Soviet rule still appeared solid and indestructible. Six years later, in 1990, when communists were toppled by God’s grace, Soros had already recruited a broad circle of supporters and proposed to take over Hungary’s complete sovereign debt and, in exchange, asked for Hungary’s industry, that is, the bulk of the country’s national wealth. His offer was turned down by JózsefAntall, our first, democratically elected prime minister.
The pundits, who had by that time been promoted to positions of moral authority by Soros, launched a sweeping media campaign urging the government to repay the substantial debt accumulated by the communists and not even think of requesting a debt waiver or even rescheduling. Meanwhile, keeping debt servicing in mind, those same pundits wanted and urged Hungary to be the only country in the region where no re-privatisation took place. That is, they opposed the idea of returning nationalised property to the original owners. Instead, they favoured privatisation, a process already launched by communist comrades. That position created a common ground for the former democratic opposition, i.e. SZDSZ and those former comrades who had been the beneficiaries of wild privatisation. This is how the fullest and fastest privatisation possible became one of the main demands of the post-communist camp. It is an established fact by now that privatisation in this wild form, just as in its later incarnations, meant the bargain sale of public wealth.
It was during Péter Boross’ tenure as prime minister that George Soros made an attempt at a bargain buy-off of OTP, Hungary’s largest retail bank. His plans were foiled first by Boross and then by Gyula Horn, his Socialist successor. For when the new government took over, Soros made another bid at getting hold of OTP at a spectacularly low price, and this time he was strongly supported by SZDSZ, which was part of the government coalition. Prime Minister Gyula Horn didn’t let him have his way.
The Hungarian Test
It was in Hungary that Soros tested the kinds of organisation that were worthy of being funded as well as the type of network he had to set up to push his interests as effectively as possible. He soon realised that people committed to the national cause, the likes of Antall or Boross, i.e. the MDF or again the patriotic wing of the Socialist Party as well as Fidesz – after it showed for the first time its opposition to the Democratic Charter – would always hinder his endeavours. He therefore built and broadened his network, drawing on opinion-making groups. The latter accepted the opportunities offered to them by Soros – some inadvertently, a few consciously, and many hoping for quick and tangible advantages. Another way to put it would be to say that Soros bought off segments of the intelligentsia – liberal intellectuals, first and foremost, but not only them. Soros grantees occupied important, and even, dominant positions in Hungary’s cultural life as well as in the humanities. They used their media dominance to become for decades the ones who call the shots in determining the canon.
Setting deceptive and seemingly innocent goals like equal opportunities, Roma programmes, hospital equipment and, above all, human rights, Soros attracted a great number of people to his orbit. Soros’ activists transformed human rights into a flexible notion that can arbitrarily be expanded and applied to all kinds of situations. Nowadays, his people concentrate on the human rights of migrants, but recently some of them would extend those rights to animals as well. All this only partially masks, if at all, the fact that through his network, Soros intends to directly advance his political goals, which yield him everywhere and at all times business profits that can be converted into money – a lot of money.
It also took a great deal of coordinated effort to build his popularity, that at the sound of Soros’s name, today’s young generation think of a selfless philanthropist fighting for noble causes rather than the currency speculator who tried to ruin and then acquire France’s largest bank in 1988 and crushed the pound sterling in 1992. In addition to the superb gains he made, that latter operation also made him a kind of celebrity – a status he enjoys brandishing. In 1998, he also knocked out the ruble, causing significant collateral damage to Hungary’s economy. In an open letter published by The Financial Times, he argued that the Russian economy was overvalued and was nearly bankrupt, thus the national currency should be devalued by at least 15 to 20 per cent. As a result, the ruble crumbled and lost 61 percent of its value, while Russia became insolvent. Millions of Russians lost their retirement pensions and of course their savings as well, similarly to what had happened half a decade earlier in Great Britain.
Anyone curious about why the activity of Soros himself and the organisations funded by him have become unbearable in Russia, this is where the roots are to be found. However, one year before, he launched a speculative attack on Malaysia, Thailand and Japan as well. Malaysia’s president called Soros a criminal who destroyed what Malaysians had built for forty years. “When I make money, I do it without considering the social consequences,” he explained in a fully philanthropic way. Oh yes, since we are talking about Soros, the philanthropist, who apparently feels especially committed to us Hungarians, it is not irrelevant to recall that in 2008, in the gravest hours of the financial crunch, Soros and his associates launched a hostile takeover attack against the forint and OTP. These attempts were repelled and the Financial Supervision Authority imposed a record half-a-billion forint fine on Soros’s company, which he easily paid of course.
We should never forget however what we can expect from him and who he really is: a speculator, who ruthlessly represents the interests of a specific group of global business and financial circles, playing on a thousand instruments and shrinking from no obstacles.
Quite naturally, the “authoritative” press sponsored by him presents Soros as a friend of mankind, a philanthropist. But what kind of philanthropist is a serial ruiner of European and Asian currencies, who wiped out the savings, retirement pensions and salaries of masses of ordinary citizens in order to reap huge profits for himself? His wealth is charted in offshore tax havens in the Cayman Islands and in the Dutch Antilles. In other terms, the main bulwark of left-wing foundations that are so deeply worried about poor people is a tax evader. In our region, at the price of investing relatively small amounts, he acquired huge influence, the dimensions of which he himself characterised by saying that he had managed to transform the Soviet empire into a Soros empire.
Soros and the Left – one and the same thing
In the United States, he started launching his network exactly a decade after having set up his foundation in Hungary in 1994. His NGOs started out with campaigning for the legalisation of light drugs. Then came the so-called left-wing causes (the canon of politically correct issues, environmental protection, feminism, gay rights, gay marriage, support for migrants, pro-Islamism, racism, campaigns against American whites, legalising prostitution, et cetera).
Our little “left-wing causes and topics” are the ones Soros’ network stands behind, supports and represents, the ones he pushes by every means at his disposal. The Left which has been thus taken hostage by Soros is by now unscrupulously serving the interests of multinational enterprises and global financial actors. This is why among left-wing leaders we can only see well clad businessmen, bank managers or politicians who sooner or later are bound to become lobbyists for big business (Clinton, Schröder, Blair, Kern, Macron, Schulz, Gyurcsány, Bajnai).
In order to be able to buy off the Left and by the way liberalism as well, it was indispensable to buy the Democratic Party in the United States, a fact considered indisputable even by the writers of Saturday Night Live, Who describe Soros as “the owner of the Democratic Party”. A milestone in acquiring the Democratic Party was the adoption of the McCain-FeingoldBipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which excluded from campaign financing those large entities like trade unions that had been the main traditional supporters of the Democratic Party. Republicans were much less concerned by that legislation because they had always relied first of all on the support of wealthy, private individuals. This is how organisations set up by Soros and specialising in campaign fundraising and organising became vital for the Democratic Party. They includeMoveOn.org founded in 1998 or Courage Campaign set up in California in 2005 or again the Center for American Progress (CAP), an organisation set up in 2003 (a supporter of Gordon Bajnai’s Together movement), whose founder and first president was John Podesta who later became the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Today, there are hundreds of organisations performing organisational, fund-raising or political functions around the Democratic Party that can be traced back to George Soros.
The first policy-making operation in the United States that Soros decided to lead in person was the campaign against George W Bush’s re-election to which he committed $24 million. That time he failed. However, the election of Barack Hussein Obama to president of the United States created an exceptional situation whereby Soros’ goals and left liberal ideological views became the official policy of the USA. In the pre-Obama era, just like now, under Trump, Soros’ network has often stood on the side of anti-American forces. The most striking expression of this trend is his support to anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, western, left-wing organisations. Soros has never supported Israel arguing that “Israel has enough supporters”. Whenever the man in the White House is not his man he believes that “the USA is the biggest obstacle to a safe and just world order” and also urges the United States to give up “its privileges”.
Soros reminds me of Silva, the wicked but hugely smart, leading character in the 23rd James Bond movie Skyfall. Played by Javier Bardem, Silva’s obsession and mission is to grab world power. Soros is led by a similar obsession. As he put it himself, he is driven by “some rather potent messianic fantasies” in trying to implement the kind of global world order, the kind of global society that runs a global economic order. All this sounds very familiar to us. Yes, we have lost almost half a century thanks to a similarly utopian redemption project that was imposed upon us by similarly messianic people.
Soros thinks he has enough money to not be bound by any rules and also to change the ones he doesn’t like. “I am interested in change,” he said. He also proudly declares: “I like subversive actions and often resort to them as well.” And he is perfectly right in saying so. It is clear to everyone that the people behind the colour revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia were those of Soros’ NGOs and network, but he also contributed to Yanukovich’s fall and to the Arab Spring.
He has also intended and continues to intend to topple Orbán and of course Trump as well. The methods are always the same. He buys influence in the world of the intelligentsia, among opinion makers in academia and in the financial world, as well as in the media. He builds and takes over political parties, NGOs. He organises them into a network and uses them as covers. He stokes chaos and apprehension. He weakens incumbent powers by all available means. He cries electoral fraud if necessary, economic hardships whenever possible or finds some other pretext. He has large demonstrations organised or if they are organised by others his people join them immediately and take over the lead. Through Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones, huge masses can be mobilised, making his job easier than it used to be. He has been educating and raising his activist network and his media for 25 years now and uses them to take those demonstrations as starting points in order to try and destabilise the system. He provokes disturbances with his radical street fighters in order to create chaos. It is also important in this project to create the impression that the incumbent powers are about to surrender or have already been overthrown and have lost control of the situation. What is at least equally important is the message that the demonstrators are not alone. They have the whole society and even the entire world behind them. Especially the most “advanced” and the most “authoritative part”. They think and act just like you because you and your ilk are on the good side of history and represent progress.
In our country, such arguments only have an impact on the young. We, the older generation, have become too thoroughly acquainted with “progressives” and those who preach about historical necessity. Once they produce fratricidal wars, religious wars, border clashes, economic crises, financial collapse and disorder, Soros appears in the role of the one person who is able to restore order. He distributes aid, bandages, medicine, while telling people what to do. He invests(!), buys property, stabilizes and, most importantly, opens an opportunity to a new political team of the kind that follows the noble goals of “open society”, one that plays from Soros’s music. Those are the times when he’s really in his element. As he put it himself, “the world very much needs to have a conscience, and I want my foundation network to be the conscience of the world.”
Destabilising Europe, disintegrating the European Union is a tough challenge for him but that is precisely what is on the agenda. In the wake of the financial crunch of 2008, economic and financial growth came to a halt and, as a result, a sense of insecurity became pervasive. The European political elite has been showing signs of fatigue. All this in itself was hard enough to bear, but the migration crisis supported by Soros and organised by his network is a real test of the breaking point. Understanding the recipe described above, it is not at all difficult to detect what Soros’ goal must be: split the European Union by maintaining and increasing migration; destabilise western Europe by flooding it with masses of Muslim migrants whose integration is impossible, while drying out the eastern half of the continent financially. Once Europe thus becomes incapable of any resistance, Soros’ organisations will be able to organise an authentic open society there with the help of “civil society” – of the left, liberal kind. This will of course require Europeans to sacrifice the remnants of their identity at the altar of openness and renounce everything that made them what they are.
Fortunately, however, Soros and his activists are not the only players in the field. Those who are not seduced by progressive and redemptive siren-songs know perfectly well that the slogans of democracy, checks and balances, human rights, free speech and freedom of education when pronounced by them are worth exactly as much as they were when uttered by our communist rulers. That is, nothing. They are phony and hypocritical. They don’t tolerate debate, open speech or arguments. I feel sorry for left-wingers. They invested all their remaining heritage into their marriage to Soros. They abandoned the desires and the aspirations of the ordinary people and gave up representing and protecting their interests. What they got in exchange from Soros is just money, nothing else. Money is never there in sufficient quantity, and there are always more people who want to share it. And once it runs out, they will be left with nothing– including their self-respect.
Fidesz’s victory in 2010 erected unexpected obstacles to the previously unhindered expansion of the Soros Empire. The headwind blowing in Hungary is of particular importance because as I have mentioned above, this is where Soros’ philanthropist operation was originally launched and this is where it runs the school – CEU – that provides it with a fresh supply of human resources. Once CEU is compelled to abide by the same laws that apply to the other universities, people will get the message that George Soros is, after all, not omnipotent nor invulnerable. That news is as great for us as it is intolerable for him and his activists.
As I have already mentioned, Soros has been for several years a policy player in the United States as well. He devoted huge amounts of money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Trump’s victory was a personal failure for him. This is why toppling him became a goal he set himself. His organisations are trying day in and day out to destabilise the position of the new president of the United States. They attack him ceaselessly and put his legitimacy, his competence and loyalty to his country in doubt. In doing so, they follow the recipe employed in countries of our region with their trained organisations, like in Macedonia or Serbia, for example. They gathered sufficient experience in the colour revolutions, from Georgia to Ukraine. Just like in the Balkans since 2003, the activists, students, the NGOs who enacted the project of “peaceful revolution”, replacing Shevardnadze with Saakashvili as president of Georgia, were being trained by Soros’ foundations in Belgrade. The same pattern was followed in toppling Yuschenko and in the destabilising attempts against Orbán.
A significant portion of Soros’s educational, or rather training programmes and influence projects, are aimed at bringing people professing the Sorosist world outlook to power through elections. He therefore devotes huge amounts of money to weakening “populist” politicians who have stood up against mass immigration, the offensive of global world forces and in defence of their nation’s sovereignty.
For instance, from the “confidential” documents of the Open Society Foundation, a kind of Soros think tank, it’s clear that in 2013 alone $35,000 was spent on disabling populist voices in Hungary through the Athena Institute whose contributors include Tamás Meszerics (LMP) and Zsuzsanna Szelényi (Together). An additional hundred thousand dollars was allotted to the various “independent” institutes within the Union to promote their struggle against populism in our region. Some ninety institutes were, according to leaked documents, granted a total of $6 million by Soros to campaign in favour of pro-immigration parties in view of the European Parliamentary elections in 2014. Interestingly enough, not one single report on the WikiLeaks documents quoted above has seen the light either in the New York Times, or on CNN or in the Washington Post or on CBS News.
Soros is present in about 100 countries. What he represents, what the members of his network represent is dismantling national sovereignty, promoting the interests of global enterprises and the priorities of “the developed West” with the addition of an ideological mix: Sorosism, which has by now sucked all the oxygen from the Left and liberalism. What remains in their place is a utopian, globalist world of values á la Soros, where instead of the “proletarians of the world” it is the “globalists of the world” who unite in representing their own interests. They have bought off both the Left and liberalism, then expropriated and repositioned their values in order to put them at the service of global migration and the interests of the global market. Anyone who continues to stand up for national sovereignty and national interests, that is, anyone who wants to serve the masses who can only voice their interests through their elected representatives, is being branded as a populist, a fascist, a Nazi. In order to defeat such people and eliminate them, they mobilise both their huge financial resources and their trained fighters masked as expressions of civil society. This is what we have experienced since the beginning of the migration crisis in Romania, Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary – and by no means for the first time. But a taste of it has been felt by the USA as well, not so long ago in Ferguson, in the outskirts of Saint Louis, where Soros spent billions of dollars in the summer of 2014 to send his paid campaigners from across the United States to the scene of the action. From leftist Berkely to New York’s Brooklyn, his activists were staging demonstrations and disturbances for weeks, accompanied by an enormous media campaign that was meant to prove the existence of institutionalised racism in Ferguson. Their campaign failed to achieve the desired goal because in that almost fully black part of the city, the white mayor, who had been branded as a racist by Soros’ people, was re-elected.
When Central European University moved to Budapest only a few years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, many people including myself welcomed it as harbinger of western-style transitions as well as American-style standards and university freedom. We interpreted it as proof that, as a result of America’s victory in the Cold War, time had come for free thought to take over academia from homogenous and compulsory Marxism. The party-state had rigorously insisted on preserving its ideological monopoly, especially in social sciences.
It soon become apparent, however, that rather than contributing to pluralism in social sciences, CEU was becoming a unilateral supporter of those post-communists in academia who competed from hugely advantageous positions from the get-go. The changes were limited to the arrival of new representatives of Marxism, the Marxists from the West. All worn-out American, Canadian, Israeli and West European Marxists could count on secure positions and a few pleasant years in the social science departments of CEU. Rector Michael Ignatieff and his comrades in arms are trying to portray this requirement that CEU should now operate in conformity with Hungarian law as if academic autonomy and the freedom of education were in jeopardy. That’s far from being the case. Certainly, our earlier enthusiasm about Anglo-Saxon universities is a thing of the past. Based on the experience of so many years, we have grown more critical towards them. Over the past quarter of a century, a great many of us have learned English and the World Wide Web offers us access to the kind of information we were denied in our isolation behind the Iron Curtain. We can hear and read that diverging opinions are not tolerated at American and British universities and that people whose views differ from militant Sorosists are not allowed to give speeches or lectures.
This is precisely what the militant young communists used to behave like in our own country when, backed by their party, they chased all non-communists from Hungarian universities as early as in the late 1940s. We don’t want to experience the same thing again, not even if that is supposed to be the criteria of being “advanced”. Nor do we want “safe spaces”, like those at CEU, where those who don’t want to listen to others can withdraw. We don’t want our universities to train political activists specialising in political sabotage like it is being done at CEU and more recently at Harvard as well.
With hindsight, we see that being supported by Soros is tantamount to a lethal embrace. He distorted and shaped his university to his own image, just like he has done with the political Left. First it wasthe self-proclaimed liberal SZDSZ that disappeared from Hungary’s political scene, and today even the survival of what used to be the Socialist Party has become doubtful. Nevertheless, they still don’t understand the consequences of a declaration by former Socialist Party chairperson Ildikó Lendvai: “the opposition is on the side of Soros.” They don’t understand that by becoming Sorosist, politicians seal their own fate.
George Soros is an old man. He will be 87 on August 12th. He survived the Holocaust about which he once said: “1944 was the happiest period of my life. It was a very positive experience. I believed in myself, I believed in my father, and I knew that nothing could happen to me.” Nothing did happen. He has built a world empire. He has accumulated an infinite amount of money and his power is almost boundless. But nothing is eternal. Everything comes to an end one day.
This article was translated from the Hungarian-language original, "A baloldal sírásója," which was published on Látószög.