George Soros recently donated $18 billion to the Open Society Foundations, which is a charitable organization that he started to help underprivileged and under-represented people in many different countries all over the world. Over the last 30 years, Open Society Foundations has already donated close to $14 billion to pro-democracy, human rights, and social justice causes all over the globe. George Soros’s first large donation occurred in 1979 when he created scholarships for black South Africans. He went on to put together a foundation in Hungary to support growth of liberalism that was taking place there and then created the Central European University in Budapest. In between these and after he has done a lot more and helped a great many people.
While his philanthropy has always drawn the negative attention of the political right, he has never let that stop him from giving to the causes that are nearest and dearest to his heart. The odd thing is that leftists originally were worried about his focus on globalization, but that quickly changed as right wing media figures took hold of his ideas and turned the man into an almost demonic figure of sorts. They now accuse of him of everything from undermining the very social order of the United States to quietly infiltrating and transforming the country into the progressive home of their worst fears. On top of this, authoritarian governments and leaders have used the fodder created by right-wing commentators to suggest that George Soros is mobilizing forces against them.
In more recent times, as Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States and right-wing nationalism has grown, George Soros has renewed his commitment to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Many people in the LGBT community have become targets of hate and misunderstanding and Soros is ensuring that their voices are not drowned out by those with the podium at the current time. This has caused him to be an even larger target to Donald Trump’s allies and the right-wing media. The interesting thing about all of this is that Soros does not run the Open Society Foundations from the top-down. Instead, he has created a decentralized charitable organization that is ran by local leaders and people who know most about the important issues that face people in their areas.
In an article that George Soros published on The Atlantic titled, “The Capitalist Threat,” he talked about why he chose the name Open Society Foundations for his charity. The term, itself, was originated by Henri Bergson in his book, “The,” which was published in 1932. But it was really Karl Popper that defined the term much better in his book “The Open Society and Its Enemies.” In that book, Popper revealed that totalitarian ideologies have a common thread, and that thread is that they always suppose that their truth is the only truth. This angle causes them to have to force their ideas on people, because, the truth is, there are many different truths for many different people. George Soros started Open Society Foundations with the idea that an open society allows a diversity of opinions and ideas and that no one person shall dominate the rest.
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