George Soros has been blamed for all kinds of nonsense, as of late, and all of the vitriol aimed at him is coming from right-wing conspiracy creators who seem to be coming out of the woodwork from everywhere. This is, of course, not a huge difference from what we have been seeing for years, now. Since the days when Mr. Soros earned a small fortune by shorting the British pound, many people have imagined him to be like some invisible puppet master pulling the strings of, well, everything. The funny thing about the entire ordeal is that it is the giving he does out of the generosity of his heart rather than his political giving that is becoming the target for conspiracy theorists.
Because many of the causes that George Soros supports happen to be progressive ones, a lot of right-wing advocates have continued to add fuel to the fire for false accusations that claim he is single-handedly trying to destroy the fabric of America and the world. This couldn’t be further from the truth, because Mr. Soros is one of the world’s largest supporters of democracy. Many of the causes he supports help out minorities, the LGBT community, underrepresented people who don’t have a voice for themselves, and others who do not have the power to stand up for their rights.
It has recently come to light that George Soros has donated $18 billion of his own personal money to his charity organization, Open Society Foundations. This is the largest single donation to a charitable organization in quite some time, and instead of meeting this donation of his with gladness and openness, it has been met with suspicion and viciousness by right-wingers. The problem with this is that the people who spread these accusations are becoming mouthpieces for authoritarian politicians who don’t want to see the underprivileged receive help.
If you look at the origins of the term of philanthropy, you will find that it came from ancient Greece. It originally was used to describe people who helped achieve universal values within society, but it eventually came to describe those who used radical means to achieve what they wanted. By the late 1800’s the meaning of the word changed and came to represent large-scale giving; especially the kind that came from wealthy individuals or corporations. While the U.S.A. has come to be a great place for philanthropists, it also, unfortunately, is a place where conspiracy theories easily get created by those who know how to manipulate the minds of the people.
One of the most interesting facts about George Soros and his philanthropy is the fact that his charity, Open Society Foundations, doesn’t function like many other foundations. Instead of relying, solely, on his opinion and the causes he chooses, it focuses on causes that the local communities say they need to focus on the most. By putting together a decentralized system that includes local boards in many different countries, he has given many charity workers the kind of autonomy that they can only dream of. This also means that, yes, Mr. Soros is not the one pulling all of the strings like most of the right-wing conspiracy theorists would like everyone to believe.