Many of us consider George Soros to be the ultimate personified evil in the contemporary world. Yesterday, I watched a dozen of videos by the Little Brother whom I hadn't known before and who looks like a rather brilliant Czech counterpart of some of the best Anglo-Saxon conservative or classically liberal YouTubers.
One of these videos was This is George Soros and it is a rather friendly portrait of the billionaire – at least given the fact that the Little Brother "stands on the other side of the barricade".
OK, we learn that Soros was born as Schwartz in a rich Jewish family in Hungary. His father was an esperantist and lawyer, was able to get some documents to turn the family into a Christian Soros family, and they moved to the West. In New York, young Soros thrived in the banks, traded European stocks, and was generally a decent trader doing his work.
Then he got very wealthy by betting that the British pound was overvalued and it wouldn't be possible to keep its exchange rate within a window. This self-fulfilling prophesy became reality, he earned one billion once the pound dropped well below the allowed interval, and it was the real reason why Britain would never think about adopting the euro again.
And in the later stages, he decided to own the world, make all countries "open", and he supported the anti-communist movements in the Soviet bloc – which was OK – as well as many other activities that didn't deserve any support. In the most recent years, he is said to be very dissatisfied because of Brexit, Trump, negative attitude by one of the guys he used to sponsor, Orbán, and other things.
Well, I am not sure Soros should be expected to be bitter now. The Western civilization is really collapsing according to the template we associate with Soros – so I think that he should be immensely happy.
Two formative events
At any rate, the Little Brother mentioned two events that defined who Soros politically was. When he was a student somewhere, he had to work and his teacher secured a donation for Soros from a charity. That's where he decided that he would solve everything through charities (which is really a very bad idea to distribute funds among a broader set of recipients). Second, he got familiar with the work by...
Do you know who invented the words "open society" in Soros' "Open Society Foundation"? It was Karl Popper, yes, the same philosopher who is worshiped as a semigod by all the people screaming "falsifiability" 24 hours a day. Just hours ago, I didn't know about this Popper-Soros relationship at all. Or maybe I used to know about it but I have totally forgotten about it because in the past, I didn't find it important enough?
OK, Popper's 1945 book The Open Society and Its Enemies was being written between 1938 and 1943. It expresses his own opposition to totalitarian societies; a criticism of the "teleological historians" who assume that there's a purpose of the history (and that's a generalization of the fact that Popper rejected Marx – he also rejected Hegel as another seed of the 20th century totalitarianism); and defense of "liberal democracy" and open borders, among other things.
Also, Popper and Soros have exchanged a huge number of letters and Soros is sometimes described as a "student of Popper's" (it goes back to Soros' years at London School of Economics). Soros credits Popper with his "reflexivity in economics" which means that prices are affected by lots of "non-economic" factors.
So a big portion of the politics that we hate so much and that is being spread by the Soros-funded NGOs today came from... Karl Popper. We could even say that Soros monetized Popper – and turned his ideas into a political force – much like Engels monetized Marx. It seems bizarre that no one has emphasized this point to me before. It's obvious that I would have been interested, right? At least now I am very interested. So I guess that virtually no one is aware of this rudimentary fact.
I may read the full Popper book later (a Czech translation was only published in the 1990s!) but the Wikipedia page makes it rather clear that – despite some shared enemies such as Marx – I would stand on the side of the critics. It does make sense that what the Soros' NGOs are doing must be almost directly "encouraged" by Popper's book.
According to Popper, Hegel was bad, Schopenhauer was good etc. There are tons of such things and other people's reactions to these things. But let me pick this criticism:
Some other philosophers were critical. Walter Kaufmann believed that Popper's work has many virtues, including its attack against totalitarianism, and many suggestive ideas. However, he also found it to have serious flaws, writing that Popper's interpretations of Plato were flawed and that Popper had provided a "comprehensive statement" of older myths about Hegel. Kaufmann commented that despite Popper's hatred of totalitarianism, Popper's method was "unfortunately similar to that of totalitarian 'scholars'".This claim – Popper's method was totalitarian by itself – seems highly believable to me. We see the unbelievably fanatical defense of the "only possible truth" by the self-described "liberal democrats" today. This fanaticism has some roots, some authorities that have justified it, and Popper may very well be the primordial one among these authorities.
One big reason why I find it so believable is that I see that the Soros types – but also analogously, the Popperazzi obsessed with the "falsifiability" – never admit that their principles must be employed carefully, with some moderation, otherwise they destroy many other important things or other principles that shouldn't be overlooked. This leads them to behave utterly irrationally in many situations; or as full-blown totalitarians in others or the same situations. It also drives them towards immense hypocrisy and double standards.
If you allow me to assume that my conjecture is a fact and Popper is the genuine root of this general school of human thought, I think it's fair to say that the Popperists are the most hypocritical bunch in the history.
It has so many staggering examples. In particular, they are willing to say "the ends justify the means" more than anybody. And the ends, while phrased ideologically, are often just their own material well-being. You know, when Soros was ruining the British currency, he was already thinking of himself as a promoter of the open societies, the abolition of borders. But it had to be obvious at that time that by preventing the pound from merging with the Euro, he would thicken the border between the U.K. and the continental Western Europe, right? The recent Brexit hassles are just a ramification of Soros' having earned that one billion of dollars almost three decades ago.
(The Little Brother mentions two more ironies – Soros has "created" not only Brexit but also Trump by paying for the hated counter-candidate Hillary Clinton, Soros' friend, who simply had to lose and make Trump stronger; and he turned the post-communist Europe into a region opposing his neo-Marxism by having "created" Viktor Orbán by his money. He got the billions easily, he lost them easily, too.)
But this observation – that the destruction of the pound by Soros helped to build the British-European fence or deepen the English Canal, if you wish – is exactly the type of important and basically rock solid observations that are being completely hidden and obfuscated by any Popper-style ideology. Their "reasoning" says that in order to make the world a better place – abolish the borders etc. – they must be rich. So earning one billion dollars by cutting the links between the pound and the Euro must be a good thing, right?
Exactly the same comments apply to the nonsensical schemes to reduce the CO2 emissions. Surely it's "good for the climate" when the warriors against the CO2 gets wealthy, right? The problem is that their alternative technologies (biofuels etc.) don't even reduce the CO2 emissions, let alone "helping the climate". Popperism encourages this conflation of the personal interests and the "greater cause".
In an atrocious PC essay a few days ago, Ethan Siegel told us about "Step 2" – never dare to compare the URMs (underrepresented minorities) to themselves. This is really an explicit formulation of the hypocrisy and double standards and the Popper-Soros-style people are behaving similarly all the time. A fair comparison of two situations is their big enemy – an enemy of the Open Society [Foundation], if you wish.
This is also seen in all the talk about "falsifiability". There is this whole sect who walks on Earth and screams that "falsifiability" is the most important problem of contemporary science etc. If these creatures could ban string theory by using these excuses, they would do it right away. I haven't met a single person in that cult who would be very intelligent – I mean, for example, a person who could be reasonably compared to your humble correspondent. All of these people are pretty much stupid monkeys or at most average undergraduate students who just mindlessly scream some low-brow slogans. But they lack the ability or desire – or both – to see what their own principles imply for their other statements.
The result is that the most unfalsifiable papers and theories that you may imagine are being written by these Popperazzi. How is it possible? Well, it's possible – and, in fact, almost unavoidable – because the main actual point of Popperism is "to never look at things in their context, never try to keep the uniform standards to judge things". The real point of this Popperist ideology is that "some reference to a Popper-friendly principle is always ready to beat any other argument", however rock solid that other argument might be.
As a result, these people believe that they're allowed to do things (by other Popperists) that no one else can do. They believe that they're standing above the law – and above their own principles, too. And they try to impose extreme or dogmatic – and therefore utterly devastating – rules over topics such as "free migration", "ownership rights", and "falsifiability", among many others.
I mentioned three examples – but there are many others. Let me discuss these three examples in some detail.
Free migration. This "open society" approach of Popper (or Soros) is clearly one of the possible branches or interpretations of "libertarianism". Hurdles such as borders must be eliminated and that's how one produces the healthiest possible society. However, as I have argued in previous blog posts, this assumption severely strips people of their individual – and collective (assuming local collectives including families and nations) – freedom because they have very good reasons to want and build various fences and hurdles as a separation of their realm from the rest of the world.
When individual people, families, nations etc. are free, a significant part of this freedom unavoidably manifests itself in their trying to build barriers that will make it somewhat harder in practice for others to practice their freedoms or "freedoms". It can't be otherwise! When legal systems of countries decide about the legitimacy of an act, they must compare which freedom was "more important". No wise decision can be made without these comparisons because "the absolute freedom for everybody even in practice" is a contradiction since people's freedoms unavoidably clash with each other – and I think that Popper was the first one who actively wanted to misunderstand this basic point.
A valid and important point denied by the Popper-Soros ideology is that borders, fences, restrictions, job contests etc. have very good reasons to exist in systems that work well. In particular, skin – on the surface of humans and other organisms – is the largest human organ. The environment inside the body is different and must be different from the environment that is outside, otherwise death follows. Skin is essential to preserve this difference. Borders play a very similar role at the level of the nations, countries, and civilizations – which are larger counterparts of organisms. Job contests prevent "most people from being hired" and they're essential for maintaining the quality and meritocracy, something that journal referees, teachers with their grades, and many others do, too. "Openness" in the sense of "everyone can be hired" would clearly be harmful almost everywhere.
It's just a terribly stupid idea to promote the complete absence of borders to the status of the highest principle that beats everything else. As a primary starting point for policymaking, it's exactly as stupid and devastating as the idea that the skin should be removed from all humans and other animals. Nevertheless, the Popper-Soros people don't want to rationally think about any of these matters. They have already chosen their absolute principles, promoted them to dogmas, and they will maximally fight against every conversation about them – and obviously against the efforts to actually have the borders.
Ownership rights. I included this second example because of the arguments "Facebook is a private company, it may delete anything and ban anyone." I am not the first one who finds it amusing how these people – most of whom are extreme leftists – have suddenly become such staunch, dogmatic defenders of private ownership. Needless to say, the private ownership obviously isn't the primary reason why they're hysterically defending this silly thesis about the unlimited rights of Facebook Corp. The actual reason that makes them fanatical is that they fanatically want to silence the opposition – and if the capitalist ownership rights, something that have fought against so many times in the past, may be helpful to achieve the actual priority, namely the total censorship, then they must be embraced!
Once again, we see some fanatical defense of some arbitrary principle that has been elevated to a "dogma" while – according to these Popper-Soros people's rules of the game – no one is allowed to even consider some other arguments. So I had a discussion about the banning of the Little Brother from Facebook yesterday. Most of the Soros trolls on Twitter etc. are just utterly insufferable scum.
OK, so I pointed out the obvious point that our society is evolving towards the same behavioral patterns as those after the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia. People who were inconvenient for the bosses in the Kremlin were fired and otherwise downgraded. I used the example of singer Ms Marta Kubišová – who was at least a top 3 Czechoslovak female singer before August 1968 – who was downgraded to a clerk in a vegetable shop because she was too associated with the liberalization of communism in 1968.
Marta Kubišová, Let the Bells Sound, 1967. The accelerated liberalization only began in January 1968 but the conditions were already rather relaxed earlier in the 1960s. No one knew that exactly Kubišová would become the canonical pop music interpreter who was going to be punished for discomfort she would cause to the Kremlin and its local allies. Note that despite 19 years of communism, Prague was still keeping the charm.
Great, so one of these Soros trolls immediately attacked me. How dare you? How could I compare Kubišová with the Little Brother? Kubišová was talented and courageous, the Little Brother is [a sequence of insults]. Well, I dare to compare them because the situations are nearly identical. Kubišová could still sing (even the same songs) in the shower. But since February 1970 (the comrades needed some time!) she was stripped of her access to the important microphones so she could no longer make her living as a singer. The Little Brother is being stripped of the access to major servers – which are obviously as analogous to Kubišová's microphones as you can get – so his livelihood as a content creator is being threatened. One must be a total moron or a fraudster not to see that the situations are nearly isomorphic. Also, the commies were insulting Kubišová's professional credentials much like this Soros troll is attacking the Little Brother today – this part of the "seemingly meritocratic" but in reality totally dishonest and politically driven propaganda and hit pieces are present in both cases, too. (Incidentally, the official excuse for the ban of Kubišová was alleged pornography – the photographs were edited fakes, however.) There's really no qualitative difference between the situations. I must add that in both situations, the "firing" is also blamed on some foreign subjects (in Moscow or Silicon Valley) but they have important domestic allies.
(The post-1970 life of Marta Kubišová has amazing. She went through a miscarriage, the clinical death that accompanied a subsequent surgery, attempts to make living by gluing plastic bags, emigration of her husband to the U.S., another wedding, signature under Charter 77 and the escalated prosecution, another, successful birth, publication of an album in Sweden. When she could return to music in 1989, she was more tired than e.g. Helena Vondráčková who spent the years 1968-1989 under the continued Sun of the pop music, tainted by Leonid Brezhnev's flavors.)
Also, the Little Brother quickly became an influential YouTuber etc. He's very polite, balanced, and poetic etc. The number of fans grew substantially. Some objective numbers do indicate that he is analogous to Kubišová in his talent. But even if this comparison of talents weren't quite accurate, surely even the people whose talent is smaller than Kubišová's musical talent should have civil rights, right? And surely a random Soros activist-troll shouldn't have the power to issue "the only objective truth" about which other Czech citizens are talented and which are not.
I think that the censorship of the likes of Little Brother by Facebook now; and the censorship of the likes of Marta Kubišová after 1968 are so obviously analogous to each other that this analogy has nothing to do with any ideology. You must be just a plain dishonest jerk to deny the similarity. In both cases, some technicalities were mentioned as "official explanations" why the people lost their influential jobs. A wood block in a Prague concert hall belonged to Leonid Brezhnev or a Brigade of the Socialist Labor that just didn't want Kubišová to sing, and that's why she couldn't sing. And now, it's extremely important that Facebook may enforce its private ownership by being devoured by far left activist moderators who simply can't resist to remove some content that they consider an inconvenient truth.
These excuses referring to the "private ownership" are just so stupid, especially according to anyone who actually remembers or knows anything about the communist methods between 1968 and 1989. Lame excuses like that were totally omnipresent. Almost all the people who were associated with some politically inconvenient views or acts were officially fired for reasons that had nothing to do with the ideology. Except that everyone who wanted to know knew that politics was the actual reason. It's exactly the same now. These Soros trolls play a game in which they want to pretend that some petty detailed interpretations of Facebook's ownership of the user data are the actual reason why all these people are being censored. But everyone who is sane knows that the actual reasons are political – and can take place because a certain political movement has acquired the actual power over Facebook and similar companies.
The real question is what is more important and fundamental: the de facto freedom of speech in the platforms that became almost necessary for someone to be heard by many other people (who are willing to listen) today? Or the rights of some unknown moderators to delete whatever they want because this "right to delete" is interpreted as the shareholders' ownership rights? This link is crazy by itself – the shareholders have almost no power over the moderators so the whole explanation of the "right to censor" by the private ownership is one huge deception. Smaller shareholders have no influence at all and even the largest shareholders including Zuckerberg himself are being constantly threatened by Democrats and NGO saboteurs etc. It's ludicrous to say that the censorship decisions are his own – and therefore a manifestation of the private ownership.
Clearly, the freedom to express political opinions is more fundamental than the "rights" of the moderators to direct the political discussions at a platform that accidentally became so important – for purely technical reasons. In the same way, the disappearance of Marta Kubišová from radios etc. was more important than some ownership of a wood block in a concert hall? How can someone deny this comparison of importance? And the answer is that the Popper-Soros school of thoughts is all about the denial of similar comparisons. It's all about the dogmas that cannot be discussed at all.
Finally, falsifiability. So these intellectually mediocre Popperazzi ideologues – which are just another branch of this bizarre superficially free, in reality totally totalitarian way of thinking – promote the falsifiability to another dogma that stands above everything else. Just like you shouldn't question that millions of Africans must be flowing to Europe; and the censorship must proceed at full steam because the unhinged, filthy, far left moderators who are almost broke have been successfully identified with the Facebook shareholders; you mustn't question that "everything in science has to be falsifiable".
Like always, this principle is interpreted in the strongest possible way. In particular, when something is evaluated as "unfalsifiable", everyone is obliged to stop thinking about it immediately. None of the Popperazzi have done any actual nontrivial, successful research in theoretical physics. Everyone who has done some real theoretical physics knows that the rule to "stop thinking immediately because of the arbitrary criterion" is absolutely incompatible with any progress in theoretical physics. Einstein had to fight with vaguely defined ideas about gravity and relativity that had no clear experimental tests for a decade – before he could generalize the special theory of relativity into the general theory of relativity.
This is really a rule, not an exception. Deep enough theoretical physics research does mean to carefully think about ideas for many years or decades, ideas that come with no particular realistic way to test them throughout this whole time. Everyone who advocates "falsifiability" in the strong sense, as a principle that one should "stop thinking immediately" unless he has a plan to test the ideas, is just a flabbergasting moron, much like the aforementioned morons who want to allow unlimited censorship by moderator-trolls everywhere, who want to abolish the borders in the whole world, who want to tear skin from all humans, who demand all non-racists to eat insects or have sex with a can of earthworms because these earthworms consented.
All these examples – and many others – share some basic pathologies in the thinking or in the absence of thinking: the inability to look at other, often far more important arguments, principles and considerations; the inability or the lack of desire to compare situations or the people and see that they're the same or one is even much more obvious than the other; the general fanaticism about some theses that are promoted to dogmas; and the unlimited hypocrisy accompanied with unlimited exceptions for the "prophets" of the new ideology and the "chosen ones".
It's ironic that Karl Popper was also framed as a critic of neo-Marxism (and the Frankfurt School etc.) which he considered "unscientific", like many other things. But given the Soros and other links, it makes quite some sense to consider Popper the father of the real-world neo-Marxism.
Karl Popper hasn't advocated these pathologies this explicitly but I think it's right to say that they really follow from his way of writing about these matters. His texts could have looked nice to someone but we're seeing their implications for the real world now.