George Soros is renowned as one of the richest philanthropists in the U.S.A. Soros has given more than $12 billion to charity. His donations have been channeled to supporting organizations that fight for transparency, accountable government, freedom of expression, and societies that lobby for equality and justice. Soros’s has also focused his charity to those societies that are discriminated against.
Soros’ Life Background
Soros experienced intolerance at a tender age. Born in 1930 Hungary, Soros had to endure the atrocities of the Nazi Occupation which included the murder of more than 500,000 Jews. His Jewish family was lucky to survive after getting false identity documents, hiding their backgrounds, and assisting others to flee from the wrath of the Nazis. Soros recalls that he and his family resisted a tyrannical force and was able to prevail. Soros fled to London in 1947 and got a part time job at the railway station and at a night club. The earnings from these jobs helped him pay for his college fee at the “London School of Economics”. He later emigrated to U.S.A. to venture into the industry of finance where he amassed a great fortune.
How Soros Started His Career
In 1970, Soros established a hedge fund and named it the “Soros Fund Management“. This firm helped Soros to be listed among the most prosperous investors in the U.S.A. Soros injected his fortune into the Open Society Foundations- a collection of partners, projects, and foundations in over 100 countries.
How Soros Begun Philanthropy
Soros’ first act of philanthropy was in 1979 when he sponsored black South Africans who were facing apartheid. During the 1980s, Soros helped the Communist Eastern Bloc to exchange ideas by donating photocopiers to assist the reprinting of banned texts. Soon after the Berlin Wall fell, Soros established the Central European University to encourage critical thinking. He promoted cultural exchanges which played a central role in assisting the Soviet society to be open to the world.When the Cold War ended, Soros expanded his voluntary services to Africa, Asia, and the U.S.A. Soros committed his efforts to making societies more transparent, democratic, and accountable.
What Is Open Society?
The phrase open society was first described by Henri Bergson but popularized by Karl Popper in one of his most popular books, “The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)”. According to Popper, totalitarian systems like Nazism and communism have one common denominator; they claim to possess the truth. Because the truth cannot be accessed by mankind, most of these ideologies turn to oppression to impose their ideologies on society. Popper further identified that no single person possesses the truth. Since different people view the world differently, there are institutions in place to ensure all these people live peacefully together. Such institutions ensure the freedom of speech and choice. Popper referred to this social structure as open society. He also held that totalitarian concepts were its greatest enemies.