By now, everyone has heard or read about George Soros and his massive donation of eighteen billion dollars to the Open Society Foundations. This donation has made many people overjoyed, because it means that the Open Society Foundations will be able to continue doing their good work.
However, as always, philanthropists will continue to be demonized. The Atlantic gives a bit of history about philanthropists and the demonization of their philanthropy. In the beginning, philanthropy was a term that described large scale activism, not large scale giving. People who spoke out and motivated a lot of people to work for a change in society were called philanthropists. Eventually, with the advent of the industrial age, certain individuals started to become extremely wealthy. At that point, they realized that they did not need all their money, so they started donating money on large scale with the purpose of changing society for the better. Thus, philanthropy came to denote donating money on a large scale.
Rockefeller was a philanthropist, and so is George Soros. However, even when philanthropists were people who simply did activism on a large scale, there were always people who demonized them and complained about them. It is hard to think of a reason why they would do that, but the fact is that some people can not begrudge to see changes that would make other people enjoy more freedom, even if it doesn’t really affect them. This is the negative nature that many human beings have, and they are not working on themselves to change it.
In The Capitalist Threat, George Soros explains how he wanted to change countries for the better. An example would be what he wanted to accomplish after the collapse of the Soviet Union. You would think that after they failed, the new government in Russia and other countries where communists ruled would have democracies like we have in the United States. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Russia is not a real democracy, and the elections are rigged so that opponents can not run for office. Why is that? George Soros believes that after the collapse of communism, the people there simply did not know what a real democracy was, and they did not know how to work for it.
Others were simply too busy trying to fend for themselves after a government collapse. It was the role of the Western world to step in, like they did after the second world war, and create governments that were fully democratic. They have not come to the aid of the people worked hard for the collapse of communism. George Soros devoted almost 100 percent of his efforts after the collapse of the Soviet Union to help shape the governments that took over the former communist governments. Although he is just one man, he accomplished a lot. That is the meaning of a true philanthropist. It is someone who improves whole societies.
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