George Soros founded the Open Society Fund to liberate the oppressed, open societies and promote critical thinking and action. Mr. Soros lived through Nazi and communist oppression, but according to his article in The Atlantic, “The Capitalist Threat” he feels it is the threat of capitalism and the laissez faire capitalist markets that are endangering his vision for a universal open society (1). George Soros’s unorthodox ideas and initiatives have led to the demonization of his practices and foundations.
George Soros established the Open Society Fund (OSF) in 1979. The organizations first major endowment was toward scholarships for South African students. However, Soros admitted that the apartheid system in South Africa made it impossible to help young black children. In October of 2017, Soros announced he had donated over $18 billion over the past several years to non profit organizations and institutions around the world through Open Society Fund. The Open Society Fund is now the second largest charitable foundation in the world behind the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation.
The recent trend among Americans and the world is to blame the wealthy for the state of the world’s economy. The financially elite class is under suspicion for having a great amount of influence and ability to generate followers and initiate political movements. However, many believe that philanthropists such as Soros can eliminate corruption and oppression with their foundations and wealth. Tyrants and corrupt officials thrive on propaganda and the country’s lack of knowledge and education. It is fear that their reign may soon end that makes them blame philanthropists. Tyrants and oppressive leaders are not just present in developing nations, but everywhere. Large corporations, individuals, and governments try to control others using false education and oppression. OSF attempts to open societies and liberate the oppressed.
Open Society Fund operates in over 100 countries and has 20 boards of directors. The large number of boards ensures that the foundations is functioning on a “think local” system. This enables the OSF to adapt and learn from the local communities in order to modify its techniques and strategies.
George Soros can be credited with influencing the smooth transition of communism to democracy Hungary and Eastern Europe during the 1980’s and 90’s. Soros was born in Hungary and survived the Nazi occupation. At the young age of 17, George emigrated to England where he earned his bachelor’s and masters degrees in in Philosophy from London School of Economics. His first few jobs as a salesmen were tough, but eventually Soros got a banking job that would propel his career.
In 1969, George started his first hedge fund, Double Eagle and then his second, Soros Fund Management shortly after. After a few years of building contacts and clients the Soros Fund Management managed $12 million in assets in 2011, it managed over $25 billion.
Growing up in Nazi occupied Hungary, George was interested in philanthropy and open societies at a young age. His foundation has many initiatives from eradicating poverty to increasing corporate and government transparency. George Soros believes proper education is the cornerstone of changing and improving the world.
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