George Soros is a billionaire investor and hedge fund manager based in New York. He was born in Budapest, Hungary and survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary. He then left Hungary in 1947 and immigrated to England where he studied at the London School of Economics obtaining a bachelors and a masters. He did various jobs at several banks before starting his own hedge fund, Double Eagle. He then renamed Double Eagle to the Quantum Fund which holds the majority of his net worth. He is famously known for breaking the Bank of England in 1992 when he shorted $10 billion worth of British Pound Sterling, giving him a profit of $1 billion. Soros has been deeply influenced by the philosophies and teachings of Karl Popper, an Austrian philosopher. He has said Poppers theory of reflexivity in capital markets enabled him to have a clear image of valuating securities and identifying asset bubbles. Soros is politically active and he is known to fund various liberal and progressive causes in Europe and America. From 1979 to 2017 Soros has donated more than $12 billion for various philanthropic causes. He is widely acknowledged for playing a critical role in helping Eastern Europe make an orderly transition from communism and Marxism to capitalism.
Soros is a believer of open societies. The open society philosophy was first written about by the French philosopher, Henri Bergson. Karl Popper then greatly expanded on the idea of open societies in his book The Open Society and Its Enemies in 1945. Soros witnessed firsthand the totalitarian regimes of Nazis and communists which claimed to have a monopoly on truth. These regimes imposed their ideologies via the use of oppression. Visit this site to know more at opensocietyfoundations.org. The open society movement recognizes that no one knows the ultimate truth. Every individual person tries to understand the world he or she lives in and their perceptions help influence the events that take place within this universe. Soros’ belief in open societies led him to create his foundation and fund, the Open Society Fund. The main objective of the fund is to promote critical thinking and open up closed societies.
Soros first tried to use the open society principals in South Africa but to no avail, instead of changing the system he found himself becoming part of the system. Soros then moved to Central and Eastern Europe where he achieved success in opening up closed societies. Soros was instrumental in assisting the Charter 77 movement in Czechoslovakia, which was part of the Soviet Union. He also helped the Solidarity foundation in Poland in 1981. Soros established several foundations in Hungary, the Soviet Union and China. These foundations were critical in accelerating the collapse of the Soviet communist system. Presently Soros has a network of foundations in 25 countries excluding China where he shut down operations in 1989. After the collapse of communism, George Soros is concerned with the current big threat to open societies, capitalism. According to Soros the current belief in the market has led to the promotion of self-interest rather than the common good. Visit Project Syndicate to learn more about George.