February 9, 2001

False Prophet-At-Large

Hungarian-born, international billionaire businessman and currency speculator George Soros seems to glide effortlessly through the chaos of globalization. He’s always at the big economic summits and politicians around the world hold him in high esteem. This is because although Soros’s most famous (or infamous) business activity – currency speculation – is highly predatory, Soros has a double identity. He is also an ideologist for Humanity.


Soros has been painted as many things – from great humanitarian to Satan. He reminds me of the title character from a science fiction novel I read many years ago called The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by the American author Philip K. Dick. In the book, the New World Order is a formal reality, drugs are legal and everyone uses them, and it is impossible for the mind-numbed people to escape the ubiquitous image of multi-billionaire Palmer Eldritch. Coincidentally, Soros supports the legalization of drugs.

A quote from Soros’s last book, Open Society, gives a hint of his personal morality:

Currency traders sitting at their desks buy and sell currencies of Third World countries in large quantities. The effect of the currency fluctuations on the people who live in those countries is a matter that does not enter their minds. Nor should it; they have a job to do. Yet if we pause to think, we must ask ourselves whether currency traders (not to use the more incendiary word, speculators) should regulate the lives of millions.

~ Soros, Open Society

Do many people still regard the word "speculator" as incendiary, a decade after the demise of the Soviet Union? "Scumbag" is still an incendiary word to most people, certainly, but surely not "speculator." But isn’t it interesting to ponder what Soros is thinking when he says "they have a job to do"? It’s as if people who get a thrill from debauching the currencies of entire countries are doing a service to Humanity. They’re teaching the "little people" a lesson they need to learn. Hey, somebody’s got to do it. Furthermore, whether it’s they’re goal or not, currency speculators do "regulate" the lives of millions.

One thing you can safely say about Soros (apart from the fact that he doesn’t take criticism well) is that he doesn’t believe in the concept of sovereignty. What does it mean when Former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott – who believes all countries are "artificial and temporary" – describes Soros as a "national treasure." Soros is a US citizen, but the dustjacket of his last book describes him as a "stateless statesman." Maybe Talbott means that Soros is a treasure of artificiality and temporality, like Strobe? At any rate, there certainly does seem to be an "artificial and temporary" quality about George Soros.

However, it has to be said that Soros isn’t necessarily a bad person just because he doesn’t believe in national sovereignty. Sovereignty is not purely about nation-states. Saying that the "sovereignty of the people" is an end in itself is saying that the vast majority of the world’s inhabitants really only want to live peacefully – without constant fear of being bombed, molested or disturbed by the war-for-profit machine. But all indications are that Soros doesn’t really advocate "popular sovereignty" either.


Text-only printable version of this article

Write to Chad Nagle

Chad Nagle is a professional writer and lawyer licensed in the District of Columbia. He has been published in the Wall Street Journal Europe, the Washington Times, and several other periodicals. Mr. Nagle traveled extensively throughout the ex-USSR from 1992-97 as a research consultant. Since mid-1999, he has traveled widely in the former Communist bloc on behalf of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group.

His column, At the End of History, appears alternate Fridays on Antiwar.com.

Previous articles by Chad Nagle

Soros: False Prophet-At-Large

Belarus: Oasis In The Heart Of Europe

Serbia Joins the West

Death of a Patriot

The Twilight of Sovereignty in Azerbaijan

The Ukrainian Model of Democracy

The Slow Strangulation of Democracy in Slovakia

Patrick Buchanan and the American Reformation

The Betrayal of Democracy in Post-Soviet Georgia


From lofty perches like the economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, the view of democracy as political power emanating from the common man is obscured by clouds. Democracy becomes – at best – "government with the consent of the governed." If I step on your face long and hard enough or send police around to your house to kick your door down on a regular basis, you might consent to me "governing" you. But democracy you wouldn’t have. Soros is probably not a big democracy buff, no matter what he thinks of himself. He advocated a global governmental role for unelected NATO many years before the bombing of innocents in Yugoslavia, and before KFOR troops started kicking in doors.

Soros is supposedly on the "left" – and he finds nationalism repulsive – but he doesn’t see political power emanating from the common man. He is the global elitist par excellence. Soros’s left-of-centrism involves knowing what’s best for the little people. He is one of the big people, and the big people have the money and the technology that can solve all Humanity’s ills. Soros claims that his ideology doesn’t have "solutions," which conveniently allows him to sidestep the responsibility of putting forth anything but sweeping, nebulous ideas. But he does in fact have vague "solutions." He just doesn’t call them that.

I advocate an alliance of democratic states, with a dual purpose. One, to promote what I call open society. I talk about an alliance of open societies which would first bolster the development of open societies within individual countries, because there’s a lot that needs to be done in that effort. And secondly, to establish basic international law and international institutions that you need for global, open society. So that’s my sort of broad concept. Now, I have not worked out the details, because I don’t think it’s for me to work out the details. It’s for them to work out the details.

The "details," apparently, are the crumbs of power from the big table that the squalid little nation-states are left while the enlightened global elite feast on the big issues. But what is "open society"? It’s "a society that holds itself open to change and improvement." Hold yourself open, now, and open wide (or bend over) because we’re coming in. Soros’s "open society" in practice makes national governments into less than governments. They can be administrative subdivisions of the new global order and deal with "details" but they can’t be truly sovereign because that would mean they weren’t part of the Open Society. Don’t try to keep any secrets from us enlightened globalists because we control the capital and we will brand you as "closed" and therefore evil. But since a government without secrets isn’t really a government, there can be no sovereign governments in the Open Society.

Soros’s ideology calls for a civilian "complement" to NATO – the "Open Society Alliance" – consisting of the US, European Union, and a "critical mass of democratic countries from the periphery of the capitalist system." But he never says how it’s supposed to work.

The Open Society Alliance would be concerned with establishing and preserving those preconditions: a democratic constitution, the rule of law, freedom of speech and press, an independent judiciary, and other important aspects of liberty… The Open Society Alliance would have to establish its own criteria in full awareness of its own fallibility. It would give each society the greatest possible latitude in deciding its own character.

~ Soros, Open Society

He speaks of an "alliance" like it’s a person. How else could it be "in full awareness of its own fallibility"? And what is the "greatest possible latitude" supposed to mean? Is Belarus – which he has condemned – a less "open society" than the Republic of Georgia? I guess that depends on whether you’re viewing the situation from a Manhattan townhouse or from inside one of Shevardnadze’s filthy prison cells. For that matter, how does he define "democratic" and "the rule of law"? Well… "open society"!

One of the things lost in the amorphous mass of lofty words and phrases is the notion that the most important element of freedom in any society is the basic trust people have in their ability to select their representatives or leaders. Is it more important that the citizens of a nation-state have confidence that their votes will count when they cast their ballots, or that the head of state or government agrees with "open society"? Because the way things are right now, the United States – which Soros describes as "the greatest open society in the world" – is entrusting the organization of elections to figures schooled in a system that used sham elections as evidence of popular support, funding those people, and congratulating ourselves on the triumph of democracy and "openness" around the world when they pull off a stunning victory and continue to do our bidding. If that sort of corrupt imperialism is compatible with "open society" then I’m setting up the Closed Society Institute.


A few years ago, Soros advocated a globally centralized financial clearinghouse or "international central bank" that would leave money in the hands of those (i.e., Soros) who really know how to lend it while leaving details of allocation to nation-states as they’re eroding. From the right-wing perspective, the problem with this vision is that it offers no substitute for national sovereignty over the medium of exchange. The image of the Queen of England on the British currency is not supposed to be merely aesthetic, but to represent collective faith in the integrity of an institution. From the left-wing perspective, entrusting management of the common weal to a global "financial elite" doesn’t sound very egalitarian.

In Open Society, Soros concedes that his international central bank idea proved too "radical" at the time. Although he doesn’t say so, it would finish off what’s left of Western civilization. This is because – leaving aside the fact that the Sorosian globalist vision does not appeal to traditional Western notions like duty, honor, courage, decency, loyalty, and so forth – there’s that little matter of currency as a "legal fiction." The US dollar is formally backed by the "full faith and credit of the US government" (the "servant" of the People), but the Sorosian globo-dollar is backed by…? There isn’t a government with popular confidence to give the Sorosian Central Bank "Western" integrity. Soros may know that, although he has invested so much time in putting the legal fiction of his money between himself and ordinary people that he may have skipped this little "detail." So his global clearinghouse still feels less like a proper central bank than a global "Gosbank." Gosbank was the old Soviet institution that monitored all transactions within the USSR’s "Gosplan" – a sort of "managed chaos" like the New World Order. However, as long as the New World Order is going to be managed chaos, why couldn’t Soros be World Minister of Plenty (or something bigger)? On the bright side, the Sorosian Gosbank would provide a lot of "jobs." Aspiring applicants may want to start getting fitted for their Outer Party overalls right now.

A writer for Rolling Stone asked Soros why any citizen, anywhere in the world, should trust a remote and powerful governing body acting exclusively in the interests of global finance. His answer: "I don’t think the broad swath of Americans are sitting in a very good position to control credit stores in the world. I mean, it’s a pretty specialized and technical thing." That’s democracy for you. Damn those stupid proles.


I can already discern the makings of the final crisis… Indigenous political movements are likely to arise that will seek to expropriate the multinational corporations and recapture the "national" wealth. Some of them may succeed in the manner of the Boxer Rebellion or the Zapatista Revolution. Their success may then shake the confidence of financial markets, engendering a self-reinforcing process on the downside.

~Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism

Compare that with:

You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable. Or perhaps you have returned to your old idea that the proletarians or the slaves will arise and overthrow us. Put it out of your mind. They are helpless, like the animals. Humanity is the Party. The others are outside – irrelevant.

~ Orwell, 1984

Soros expresses trepidation about the proles, hinting that a global hierarchy may be needed to keep them under control, while O’Brien is utterly sure of their defenselessness. Since O’Brien is the future and Soros is now, Soros may want to speed up world government and consolidate its civilian and military institutions. The alternative is for the corrupt political and financial elites to possibly lose their privileges and be torn to pieces by the angry hordes.


A careful study of a Soros-sponsored website – Transitions Online – gives some idea of the ideology of "open society" in practice. There are lots of "analytical" articles and bits of commentary on it about the level of "freedom" and "openness" in various countries, although definitions are skipped. On the recent Czech TV crisis, for example, Transitions explains that the recently removed director had "political connections." A media boss with political connections? Imagine that in America. And Transitions goes on to critique the media situation in Poland and Slovakia in a similar vein. Media officials aren’t "independent" – i.e., they’re dependent on the wrong thing. In the US, huge corporate conglomerates control the media, and employees had better toe the line or they could find themselves out of a job. That’s "independent." The Transitions tactic is evidently to constantly pressure and criticize the media in other countries until they abandon all attempts to define public interest in any way other than embracing multi-culti globalism and a worship-the-money-god worldview.

The fact is that all news, even the most basic wire report, has to reflect some political perspective simply by virtue of emphasizing some events or facts relative to others. What makes some piece of news more important than another for a given society? The Sorosians decide because Soros knows he’s right, just as Lenin knew he was right. But to us little folk, the idea that some "international" NGO can come into a sovereign country and decide how "independent" the media is on behalf of the country’s inhabitants is sinister to say the least.

How about the rule of law? Here is Transitions Online on the Yugoslav Constitution:

[I]n his conversations with Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, Kostunica's insistence that constitutional procedures be strictly followed shows his schizophrenia. His stance is in line with his views on legalist consistency – if Montenegro respected the Yugoslav Constitution, secession would not even be an issue. But his insistence also shows his political inflexibility. The Yugoslav Constitution was more a private vehicle for Milosevic to stay in power than it was the supreme law of the land. It is hard to expect that anyone –except Kostunica – could take it seriously.

"Schizophrenia"? This passage barely merits comment except to say that it should be for the people of Yugoslavia to decide whether to take their constitution seriously. Who elected Soros and his minions? Not me, and not the citizenry of Yugoslavia.


In many ways, the "privilegentsia" of the ex-Soviet Bloc is better suited to the bureaucratic, NGO-dominated New World Order than the highest elite of the West. Soros has shown no reluctance to confer legitimacy on and support ex-nomenklatura figures who have reincarnated themselves as great democrats. As long as the United States continues to bankroll the major NGOs and slots the old Eastern Bloc elite into top positions at top salary, it will gradually build a more and more solid foundation for the political apparat of the post-Western world – a hybrid of corrupt corporate capitalism and socialism.

George Soros is a key agent in this process. He has been described as the "stateless statesman" even though he’s a US citizen, and the United States is really the perfect state from which Soros could claim citizenship and operate his NGOs worldwide. The reason is simple: no one is truly "in charge." In Machiavelli’s timeless work The Prince, a strong, centralized state is seen as the best guardian of the rights and well-being of the People. Soros claims that on the national level, this is bad because it isn’t "open society." That’s why he wants to undermine the benevolent leadership of Alexander Lukashenka in Belarus. The Belarussian leader is a thorn in the globalists’ side, and hampers their drive to do away with national sovereignty or popular government.

It may be a "petty" concern to someone like Soros, but I like the fact that there are different countries in the world. I don’t want war, but what a dull world it would be if all the peoples of the world suddenly marched entranced into a drab, one-world "Open Society." Would all the shysters, charlatans and tricksters suddenly disappear at the same time? Somehow, we’re expected to take it on faith that Soros’s global political design – his "Open Society" – wouldn’t turn into a corrupt, centralized tyranny. That’s why Soros is a false prophet. In his business he knows the shysters are out there, so he’s too smart to believe his own vision.


America is both the problem and the solution at the same time. It is the problem because it is the engine of the New World Order, pursuing a policy of assimilating states for the sake of assimilation, and intervening in the internal affairs of foreign states in every way possible to reify that ideology. And America is the solution because it is the last truly sovereign entity – the last domino – in the West.

Soros’s description of the US as "the greatest open society in the world" doesn’t fit his own definitions, and he surely knows it. Our government still has secrets, and that means it has sovereign power. Unfortunately for some of us, it is using that sovereign power to spread junk culture and corrupt corporate capitalism cloaked in the phony ideology of political correctness and democracy. It doesn’t take an understanding of Soros mentor Karl Popper’s critique of logical positivism or his ability to demarcate science from pseudo-science to see that – logically – the more America makes the other states like itself, the more it becomes like them. Does anyone but me think that might come back to haunt us some day?

So either Soros is a great American patriot who revels in US power because of all its great cultural accomplishments and the "openness" it’s spreading in the world, or he’s an American by passport alone, and longs for the day when America is tossed into the dustbin of History along with the memory of the West. One thing seems certain though, and that is that Soros wants global assimilation to continue. Where it will lead is anyone’s guess.


On February 1, when President George W. Bush held his "National Prayer Breakfast" at the White House, several foreign dignitaries were invited. Among them were Milo Djukanovic (US-backed President of Montenegro), Zoran Djindjic (US-backed Prime Minister of Serbia), and Cacak Mayor Velimir Ilic. Bush has shown every intention of giving "continuity" to the Clinton administration’s policy of backing these unpopular figures, who may pray to something but it probably doesn’t look anything like what Dubya prays to.

Djindjic is a former professional Marxist philosopher who mixed with the radical left in Germany in the 1970s, on the fringes of the terrorist Bader-Meinhof Gang and the Red Army Fraction. Djukanovic and his gang of leather-jacketed spivs have managed to turn Montenegro into a paradise of "reform" (i.e., a dump of corruption) since taking over in a very dubious election in 1997. Ilic led a band of mercenaries and paid thugs to loot and burn his own country’s federal parliament building. As for Soros, I still don’t know whether he was there physically or not but he had to be there in spirit. Last year he established the first international bank in Djukanovic’s Montenegro with initial capital of $5 million.

So far, George W. Bush has said he’s committed to "bringing people together in Worshington, DC" but other than that, his "vision thing" is about as vague as his dad’s was. If his dad, Dick Cheney or the CIA’s daily brief tells him that what’s good for business is good for democracy, he’ll take it on faith as the word of good Christians. Bush may be a decent man compared to Clinton, but that really isn’t saying much, is it? Dubya hasn’t really been anywhere in the world, and for all his affability it’s still hard to avoid the impression that – on the foreign policy stage, at any rate – he’s anything more than a shill for Big Oil.

I didn’t watch the prayer breakfast, and I don’t know if Djukanovic and party ever even made it. But I couldn’t get one very vivid picture out of my head when I thought about them attending. It was an image of President Bush with his head bowed, eyes clenched tight, and his face straining with the full intensity of his religious faith as the prayer was recited. Meanwhile, Djukanovic and Djindjic – heads also bowed but eyes not closed – swapped glances at each other with inaudible sniggering. Words were unnecessary, because the eyes said it all. We’ve made it, they were saying. We’re finally here. We’ve arrived.

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