George Soros, Philanthrocapitalism, and the Coming Era of Global Neo-Feudalism

One can agree or disagree with the goals of OSFs and its benefactor. But progressives want to scuttle disagreement by blocking discussion of the sources of funding for their causes. The tactic they use is a rather crude one, one you’d think would be obvious to everyone. Yet it is effective, especially among the simple-minded. It involves appealing to Soros’ ethnicity in order to manufacture accusations of anti-Semitism. “Why do people loath George Soros?” The answer: “Because he’s a Jew.” Are there people who believe Soros lies at the heart of a Jewish cabal to rule the world? Yes, for sure. There are people who believe the world is run by lizards. What does that have to with the fact that Soros is effectively installing DAs around the country who are “reforming” the criminal justice system in a manner that puts vulnerable communities at risk? We deal in facts here on Freedom and Reason. And we don’t flinch.

In the summer of 2016, the rightwing anti-Semitic publication Politico published an article by Scott Bland carrying the scandalous title, “George Soros’ quiet overhaul of the U.S. justice system.” In his article, Bland doesn’t just make it appear as if the billionaire financier, George Soros, who is Jewish, is behind the cabal to change the way the United States criminal justice system operates. He comes right out and says it: “Progressives have zeroed in on electing prosecutors as an avenue for criminal justice reform, and the billionaire financier is providing the cash to make it happen.”

Bland is relentless in pursuing this thread. “While America’s political kingmakers inject their millions into high-profile presidential and congressional contests, Democratic mega-donor George Soros has directed his wealth into an under-the-radar 2016 campaign to advance one of the progressive movement’s core goals—reshaping the American justice system.” That was the year Donald Trump won the White House and the big freak out began.

Fast-forward to November 24, 2001, in the aftermath of a massacre in Waukesha, Wisconsin, I tweet this:

Politico’s foray into anti-Semitism went unnoticed. At least the story has not been retracted. But when Newt Gingrich came on Fox News in September 2020 talking about Soros’ activities, he immediately drew the ire of the hosts of a Fox News television show. The topic was, as Gingrich put it, “Verboten.” (Watch the clip. The ladies are horrified. If they didn’t know how to react, you can be certain there were commands barking in their in-ear monitors. Soros is off limits. Why?) Gingrich anticipated this in a tweet posted several days before his appearance (The Times of Israel in covering the story noted that “Soros has funded progressive candidates for district attorney across the country”):

Both Politico, a center-left publication, and Gingrich, a conservative pundit and former Republican congressman, were over the target (the opening paragraph to this essay was sarcasm; I don’t believe Politico is anti-Semitic, nor do I believe Newt Gingrich is). Soros’ project is real and it has yielded tangible results. It was Soros-funded Wisconsin district attorney John Chisholm who eliminated cash bail in the county, a change that granted Darrell Brooks, Jr. the liberty to drive his SUV through a Christmas Parade in Waukesha, killing six people (so far) and injuring dozens of others. Brooks, a man with a decades-long criminal record, had been released just two days earlier. Posted bail was only $500. (See Rittenhouse’s Real Crime and Corporate State Promotion of Extremism; Waukesha is Scheduled to be Memory Holed.)

Chisholm is not a one-off. Another Soros acolyte, Chesa Boudin, is facing a recall election next year over the rise in San Francisco crime rates. “It’s my perception that Chesa lacks a desire to actually and effectively prosecute crime, in any fashion,” Brooke Jenkins, a homicide prosecutor, told the New York Times in June 2021. “While he ran on a platform of being progressive and reform-focused, his methodology to achieving that is simply to release individuals early or to offer very lenient plea deals.”

Chisholm and Boudin are just two of many DAs Soros has backed. Soros is getting his money’s worth. We’re in the middle of the greatest increase in violent crime in two decades. Last year’s violent crime rate grew by 30 percent over the previous year, the largest single-year percentage growth in criminal violence in American history.

Billionaire and backer of progressive causes, financier George Soros

For those who don’t know who George Soros is, he is a multibillionaire and philanthropist who funds the Open Society Foundations (formerly the Open Society Institute). He has funded the OSFs to the tune of billion of dollars. The OSFs is in turn a major funder of the racial justice movement, as well as pro-immigration causes. In other words, Soros financially backs black nationalism and open borders, causes lying at the heart of the social disorganization in American cities that fuels criminogenic conditions.

“It is inspiring and powerful to experience this transformational moment in the racial justice movement,” said OSFs president Patrick Gaspard in July 2020 of the organization’s support for Black Lives Matter. “We are honored to be able to carry on the vital work of fighting for rights, dignity, and equity for oppressed people the world over started by our founder and chair, George Soros.”

One can agree or disagree with the goals of OSFs and its benefactor. But progressives want to scuttle disagreement by blocking discussion of the sources of funding for their causes. The tactic they use is a rather crude one, one you’d think would be obvious to everyone. Yet it is effective, especially among the simple-minded. It involves appealing to Soros’ ethnicity in order to manufacture accusations of anti-Semitism. “Why do people loath George Soros?” The answer: “Because he’s a Jew.”

To gain some perspective, compare the characterization of criticisms of Soros with progressive complaints about the Koch brothers, Charles and the late David Koch, two billionaires who fund conservative political causes. Their father, Fred Koch, was the son of a Dutch immigrant. You might ask what that has to do with anything. Good question. What does George Soros’ ethnicity have to do with anything? George Soros is no more the personification of world Jewry than Fred Koch was the leader of a Dutch cabal to change American attitudes towards the fossil fuel industry. Moreover, if you know anything about Jewish politics and opinion, you’d know that Soros doesn’t speak for world Jewry. Indeed, a great many Jews do not like George Soros.

Are there people who believe Soros lies at the heart of a Jewish cabal to rule the world? Yes, for sure. There are people who believe the world is run by lizard people. What does that have to with the fact that Soros is effectively installing DAs around the country who are “reforming” the criminal justice system in a manner that puts vulnerable communities at risk? We deal in facts here on Freedom and Reason.

Progressive Democrats cynically leverage Soros’ ethnicity to marginalize and silence those who draw attention to the billions of dollars that are being invested in a political movement orchestrating the managed decline of the American republic and, more broadly, the enlightened West. For example, when Soros backed opponents of Brexit, and proponents of the movement to extricate the United Kingdom from the European Union criticized him for it, the way for the power elite to draw attention away from the money-power behind the transnationalist effort to erase national borders was to accuse critics of anti-Semitism.

The tactic is effective not only in stifling those who speak up, but carries a chilling effect on those who might. Being called an “anti-Semite” when you criticize Open Society Foundations has the same effect of being called a “racist” when you criticize Black Lives Matter. People don’t like to be called names and name calling can shut them up. This tactic is especially effective today since progressives, who administer the academy, culture industry, and media corporations, reject liberal values of free speech, debate, and dialogue.

This is the tactic being used to draw attention away from the money-power behind efforts to undermine the American criminal justice system, portrayed as “reform,” as if black nationalism and open borders could represent reform working in tandem with the interests of the American working class. Most Americans are unaware of Soros’ effort to transform American criminal justice despite Politico and others reporting on it years ago. Criminal justice “reform” is just one facet of what Soros and his fellow globalists seek.

Nicolas Guilhot, Professor at New York University

In 2007, Nicolas Guilhot, senior research associate of French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), in his article, “Reforming the World: George Soros, Global Capitalism and the Philanthropic Management of the Social Sciences,” published in Critical Sociology (no rightwing journal, I assure you), argues that OSFs serve to the same function as the Rockefeller Foundation: moving from the standpoint of globalism and modernization, these progressive organizations enlist intellectuals to legitimize the entrenchment of corporate and financial control over the world economy. One of the ways Soros has achieved this is by controlling the social sciences, whose depoliticized findings are pushed out by media firms and political groups.

Karl Marx and Frederich Engels write in The German Ideology (1845): “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance.” Sitting in Mussolini’s prison, Marxist Antonio Gramsci worked out the machinery of intellectual control in his theory of ideological hegemony.

Guilhot writes, “Philanthropic practices allow the dominant classes to generate knowledge about society and regulatory prescriptions, in particular by promoting the development of the social sciences. The 19th century industrialists had often invested their resources in the definition and treatment of relevant social issues, in order to institutionalize the new form of capitalism they represented. In the late 20th century, the new transnationalized social strata representing the hegemony of financial capital, whose power depends on their capacity to perpetuate the new socioeconomic order, used similar strategies. Philanthropy offers a privileged strategy for generating new forms of ‘policy knowledge’ convergent with the interests of their promoters.”

Focusing on the Central European University founded by Soros, Guilhot argues that “far from seeking to curb the excesses of economic globalization, such efforts are actually institutionalizing it by laying the foundations of its own regulatory order.”

Years earlier, in 1999, in noting another facet of Soros’ power, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman criticized Soros’s effect on financial markets.

[N]obody who has read a business magazine in the last few years can be unaware that these days there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit. These new actors on the scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is “Soroi”.

The accidental theorist: and other dispatches from the dismal science. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 160.

Are these quotes from a nest of anti-Semites? Of course not. The charge of anti-Semitism is an attempt to keep people away from the truth.

Beyond a cheap thought-stopping trick by progressives Democrats to poison the well of their opponents, there is a genuine failure to understand transnationalization and the power actors transforming the global economy and with it the Westphalian system of nation-states and international law, with the long-range goal of fixing the problem of late capitalism (fall of the rate of profit, overshoot and collapse, and all the rest of it) by replacing it with a global system of corporate state neofeudalism—this in order to protect their power and privilege. Such aims are detrimental to the interests of the working classes of the West. Liberal values and republican virtue will be smothered by the New Fascism of the corporate state. Democracy will be replaced by technocracy. So the educator must be educated.

Diane Stone writes about this ignorance of globalization in her article “Global Public Policy, Transnational Policy,” published in 2008 in The Policy Studies Journal. “Trapped by methodological nationalism and an intellectual agoraphobia of globalization,” Stone writes, “public policy scholars have yet to examine fully global policy processes and new managerial modes of transnational public administration.” These observations are echoed in the William Carrol and Jean Philippe Sapinski’s 2015 article, “Transnational Alternative Policy Groups in Global Civil Society: Enablers of Post-Capitalist Alternatives or Carriers of NGOization,” published in Critical Sociology.

Perhaps it is true that public policy scholars had yet to examine fully global policy processes and new managerial modes of transnational public administration in 2008. But radical international political economists had well before that. For example, William I. Robinson, in his Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention, and Hegemony, published in 1996 by Cambridge University Press, deploys a Gramscian analytical frame to lay bare the policy machinery that lie at the heart of the transformation of democracy and international affairs amid the dynamic of globalization, a transformation led by the transnational corporation (TNC). See also David Korten’s 1995 When Corporations Rule. (I studied under Robinson at the University of Tennessee.)

Joel Kotkin, Urban Studies Fellow, Chapman University in Orange, California. 

When one steps back from Soros, what one sees is a network of capitalist elites who are transforming the world economy in the way I have described on the pages of Freedom and Reason. A key word in my essays is neo-feudalism. One increasingly encounters this word. It is Joel Kotkin’s The Coming Age of Neo-Feudalism, who warns the world of this development in a manner resonate with a classical Marxist interpretation, who moved me to adopt it in my arguments. Kotkin’s earlier book, The New Class Conflict sees the rise of an oligarchy founded upon the high technological revolution, supported by the corporate state, academia, and media, a force I describe, following critical theory conventions, as the administrative state and the culture industry. In The Coming Age of Neo-Feudalism, Kotkin identifies three estates in the new world order.

The First Estate is comprised of the oligarchs who have amassed great fortunes, celebrated as “disrupters,” pioneers of a new and glorious future. They are like the robber barons of the Gilded Age who built the great factories and the transnational railroads. The Second Estate are the bureaucrats, consultants, public intellectuals, scientists, teachers, and other members of the professional-managerial strata—the administrators and cultural managers who support the First Estate. They’re the ones who preach multiculturalism and progressivism, who frame the political and societal narratives. Kotkin writes, “Many of the people in these growing sectors are well positioned to exert a disproportionate influence on public attitudes, and on policy as well—that is, to act as cultural legitimizers.”

The Second Estate are the folks who promulgate the rhetoric of “systemic racism” and “white privilege,” not to help those the rhetoric claims suffer on account of racism, but to orchestrate hegemonic devotion to the machinations of the First Estate, thus allowing the First Estate to get richer and more power, which, in turn, finances the lifestyles or the Second Estate functionaries. The university system is the mechanism that prepares functionaries for this role.

As Marxist Adolph Reed, Jr, has noted, identity politics and antiracism are central elements in the corporatist neoliberal project. Reed tells us in his article “Antiracism: a neoliberal alternative to a left” that “antiracism is not a different sort of egalitarian alternative to a class politics but is a class politics itself: the politics of a strain of the professional-managerial class whose worldview and material interests are rooted within a political economy of race and ascriptive identity-group relations.”

Antiracism is corporatist neoliberal doctrine rationalizing capitalism. He writes that “although it often comes with a garnish of disparaging but empty references to neoliberalism as a generic sign of bad things, antiracist politics is in fact the left wing of neoliberalism in that its sole metric of social justice is opposition to disparity in the distribution of goods and bads in the society, an ideal that naturalizes the outcomes of capitalist market forces so long as they are equitable along racial (and other identitarian) lines.” 

Kotkin describes the Third Estate as comprised of those who believe in the liberal values of modernity. That’s us—the working class and the populist resistance. Thus we have the progressive attitude, accepting the legitimacy of corporate governance (“Defining the Corporation, Defining Ourselves”; “Challenging Corporate Law and Lore”), standing in stark contrast to the populist nationalist movement defending Western civilization, the defenders of modernity. It is this resistance that Soros and his ilk mean to break. A true working class movement is opposed to what the globalists desire.

Make no mistake, Kotkin’s Second Estate is a powerful force in the West. The practice of organizing individuals into groups based on skin color and then promoting or punishing people on the basis of identity is the more insidious manifestation of neoliberalism. This thinking has invaded our institutions, public and private, and is now treated as the ground upon which other assumptions are founded.

Embracing the neo-Maoist Black Lives Matter agenda, universities across the country are rolling out reeducation camps for staff and students under the banned of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Intellectuals are being conscripted into the globalist corporatist project to prepare America for completely incorporation into it. On the ground, people claiming to express leftwing politics eschew the capacity for rational judgment. They just want to burn shit down.

The next time you hear deflection of criticisms of George Soros by appealing to his ethnicity and accusing critics of anti-Semitism, understand that what motivates this cynical move is a effort to keep from popular consciousness the work of global elites in transforming the interactional system of nation-states into a global neo-feudalist order. It has nothing to do with a Jewish cabal or anti-Semitism. Those are thought-stopping devices. This is about power and privilege—and those need neither ethnic nor racial inputs. This is about class struggle.

In a recent essay, If We Allow This, We are Over, I discuss the case of Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF is the hub of world planning by the transnational elite and its functionaries. To make the problem about George Soros one Klaus Schwab risks distracting readers from the reality that this is a network of elites who use their immense wealth and privilege to fund and influence global policymaking. This is why I have written so little about Klaus Schwab and never before (until now) George Soros.

History-making is more complex than personalty. At the same time, we are talking about individuals with immense money-power and global reach. Human agency matters. The debate between instrumentalism and structuralism, most famously carried out by Ralph Miliband and Nicos Poulantzas on the pages of New Left Review in the late-60s and early-70s, finds its resolution in work published decades easier, in C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite (1956) and, before that, in Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, written in the earl twentieth century. This is the analytical ground on which I pursue these questions.

Moreover, the assumption that there are no conservatives or right wingers to be found among world Jewry betrays a profound ignorance of the political and ideological diversity among those sharing this identity (see, e.g., the essay “The Great Reset and Klaus Schwab” published in The Jewish Voice). Read my essay. Read David Solway’s essay. Understand what’s at stake. Push out this content. Do not be afraid of smears. Those wielding false smears operate in bad faith.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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