George Soros, a well-known philanthropist and billionaire investor, thinks that democracy can be threatened by capitalism. Though he is a beneficiary of financial markets, considering his investment success in financial markets, Soros believes that the uncontrolled entry of market values into the human life and society is creating a significant threat to the values of democracy. He further stated that open society is no longer experiencing a threat from communism, but it is from capitalism. Soros confirms that when the open society concept was introduced in the 1930s, it considered both Nazism and communism as the biggest threat to the concept due to its totalitarian ideological base – focusing on state control over people and behaving as if they possess the ultimate truth.
Post World War 2 and after the collapse of communism in the 90s, Soros thought that the communities could work towards a global open society concept and many of the Open Society Foundations in the East started working towards that goal. However, he says that the foundations in the West did not reciprocate the same feeling. Therefore, he began thinking about the concept to make it address the current needs of the society. During his re-examine, Soros identified that open societies more prevalent in the current world to lead to political action explained by Karl Popper – the intellectual who coined the term of open society – in his book.
Soros extended the concept of open societies and explained that excessive individualism could also tamper the idea of open society. Extreme market competition creates less cooperation and reflects instability and considerable inequalities. Soros thinks that laissez-faire capitalism that projects the magic of marketplace has all the possibilities of a breakdown, unless if it is working towards a common goal. Soros further acknowledges that he would not put laissez-faire capitalism to the buckets of communism or Nazism. While totalitarian concepts directly oppose the open societies, the laissez-faire policies inadvertently do it.
Soros is a Hungarian-born American investor. He was born in 1930 and migrated to the U.K. after the Second World War. Soros completed his graduation from the London School of Economics and migrated to the U.S. in the year 1956. He started investing in the Wall Street as a stock broker and founded his hedge fund management firm named Soros Fund Management in 1970. In the later years, Soros utilized the opportunities of currency market trading to earn larger profits, and the company grew significantly.George Soros has contributed more than $12 billion, as of today, to various organizations working for transparency, promoting societies with equality and justice, accountable government, and freedom of expression. Since the early 80s, he started founding Open Society Foundations across the globe with missions of political correctness and inclusiveness of all the voice. Currently, his Open Society Foundations have operations in more than 70 countries.