Glenn Beck's Ridiculous Misreading of George Soros Might Not Be As Inappropriate As Busting a 14-Year-Old's Balls for How He Behaved During the Holocaust, But It Still Sets Back the Cause of Human Understanding

I didn't watch Glenn Beck's three-part series on Hungarian-born currency speculator/philanthropist/amateur philosopher/late-in-life Democratic Party supporter George Soros, but I've read enough of the transcript, and know enough about the subject, to have a couple of thoughts.

First and foremostly, having lived in Soros' home town of Budapest for three years, plus another five in Prague and Bratislava (and an abortive, short-term attempt to "move" to Cuba), I have become convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt about this one thing: As a native son of the free world you can and damn well should cheer a person who acted bravely in the face of a pervasive and murderous totalitarian state, but with the exception of the monsters who willfully abused power there, you had better err massively on the side of reticence before casting negative judgment on the compromises that captive citizens made under a pressure we literally cannot fathom. This goes doubly for pubescent kids, and off the freakin' charts when it comes to a 14-year-old Jew in Jew-butchering Hungary in 1944 trying to stay alive. I would think that this would be a common-sense thing, but I am constantly surprised by how quickly people are willing to toss decency and basic rationality out the window when discussing a hate figure from the other team.

Some of what Beck said this week:

He even had to go around confiscating property of Jewish people.

Now, imagine you are Jewish and you have to go and confiscate the property of your fellow Jews. And you are pretending to not be a Jew and if anybody finds out, you're dead. He actually had to endure watching people sendoff to their eventual murders, watching people gathering their stuff, sending them off knowing that they were going to go to their death.

What does that do to somebody? How do you deal with that? How many years of therapy would somebody need after something like that?

This is where George — I think this is important — this is where George Soros first learned to pretend to be something other than who he was. He had to.

I am not blaming or questioning a 14-year-old or his parents for trying to keep him alive, trying to keep the family alive. I don't think anyone can understand what it must have been like to be Jewish in that scenario. Can you? Especially 14.

I don't want to question the 14-year-old. I would have, however, like to question the 80-year-old man who has never once said he regretted it. But more than that, he views it as the happiest year of his life — again, not my words, his words. Listen:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SOROS: It was actually probably the happiest year of my life, that year of German occupation. For me, it was a very positive experience. It's a sage (ph) thing because you see incredible suffering around you and the fact you are in considerable danger yourself. But you're 14 years old and you don't believe that it can actually touch you. You have a belief in yourself. You have a belief in your father. It's a very happy-making exhilarating experience.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe the Holocaust years like that. Maybe he's the most healthy man you've ever met. Maybe somehow or another he just got through it. [...]

It sure would be interesting to explore how this affected his feelings on Israel, which he does not support. He donates so much money to organizations that speak out against Israel. Some stick out more than others on the donations. But is there any connection there?

So Beck isn't blaming or questioning the 14-year-old, he just thinks that the 14-year-old's actions were worthy of regret, and quite possibly the source of later behaviors--including some directed at Israel--that are wrong-headed and dangerous. Glad we cleared that up!

Beck's critics are describing his characterizations of Soros' wartime activities as factually incorrect; scanning through these links I'm inclined to agree. But even if the descriptions were 100 percent accurate and proportional, I would find the passage above appalling on a basic human level. There is a palpable whiff of suggestion that 14-year-old George Soros not only enjoyed "helping send the Jews to the death camps" (another Beck formulation from this week), but that he still lights up with mirth at the thought of the idea six decades later, perhaps explaining why he hates Israel to this day. It is a hint and a nudge that the hunted teenage Jew might have been and maybe still is an anti-Semite. Not only are we passing over the only real emotional response appropriate for a 14-year-old Holocaust survivor--bottomless, uncomprehending sympathy for the traumas he and so many other children went through--we are passing negative judgment on his actions under fire, and using it as a Rosetta Stone to explain his darkly nefarious afterlife.

Beck didn't invent this stuff; Jackie Mason was calling Soros a "self-hating Jew" back in 2003, and the sins-of-the-14-year-old has been a persistent feature of the conspiratorial right for nearly a decade now. It would all be more convincing if, in the process, the conspiracists didn't get a whole bunch of other basic stuff about Soros dead wrong.

For instance:

Along with currencies, Soros also collapses regimes with his Open Society fund. He helped to fund the Velvet Revolution in Czech Republic, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, he also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, Yugoslavia. So what is his target now? Us, America.

Uh, what coup in Slovakia would that be? And no, cutting and pasting from the heavy breathers at DiscoverTheNetworks.org does not qualify as scientific here. And as positive a force as Soros has been in expanding civil society in places like the former Czechoslovakia (by doing such oogity-boogity stuff as teaching kids about Hayek), his role in the Velvet Revolution was just a wee bit less than decisive. You will search the many histories of that blessed human event in vain for any mention of his role, and not because he was a deliberately unseen "Puppet Master."

Beck goes on to get Soros' "Open Society" concept all wrong:

The next formulative step in Soros' life was college. Now, this is where he attended the London School of Economics. Now, this is the same school that Hayek was from. He wrote "Road to Serfdom." This is freedom fighter.

But it's also the school where the Fabian socialists hung out, a Fabian socialist university. You remember — the Fabian window we told you about. This is the famous English Fabian society. We took this picture — actually, Blair was standing here with it.

Fabian socialist — what are they doing? They're heating the world up in the fire that they, themselves are stoking. Why are they heating it up? Because they are about to hammer it and remold it nearer to the heart's desire.

Fabian socialists are the American progressives. It's the same thing. Heat the world up, cause the problems so the world heats up so you can remold it.

So which part of the London School of Economics does Soros favor? The Hayek side or the Fabian side? Which one?

This is where he learned about an open society — the Open Society Institute which is now his charitable arm. It sounds harmless on the outside. But, I mean, really — I mean, who doesn't want to be open?

But when you listen to him at the top of the hour and the beginning of the hour, we played that. Notice the logo behind him? That was his Open Society Institute. Can your institute bring in more foreign influence here in America?

What is an open society, really? Well, you saw it a moment ago. The world has a vote in Congress, but you also saw it in his father.

Soros — a world free of nationalities. It is a global replacement for our republic, for all the work our Founders did, that's old news. We must progress past it. We must have a new world order. It is a replacement for the republic.

Yeah, um, not quite. It really isn't hard to find out about the "Open Society" philosopher Karl Popper, the Austrian classical liberal who was the single biggest influence on George Soros. For example, right here on Soros' bio:

Before graduating from the London School of Economics in 1952, Soros studied Karl Popper's work in the philosophy of science as well as his critique of totalitarianism, The Open Society and Its Enemies, which maintains that no philosophy or ideology has the final word on the truth and that societies can only flourish when they allow for democratic governance, freedom of expression, a diverse range of opinion, and respect for individual rights.

Was Karl Popper a Fabian socialist? Here, let's ask someone who was reading Hayek long before Beck started popularizing him: the hardcore libertarian journalist/historian and Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty, in a 1994 obituary:

He was one of the major anti-authoritarians of our troubled century.

He was anti-authoritarian in his politics. In his 1945 two-volume work The Open Society and its Enemies, he explored and criticized with cogency and passion the totalitarian views of government and society inherent in the ideas of some of his philosophical predecessors, particularly Plato, Hegel, and Marx. [...]

Popper was not a doctrinaire libertarian. Though a long-time friend and correspondent of F.A. Hayek's, he embraced social safety nets and believed in the efficacy of what he called "piecemeal social engineering" to ameliorate social problems. But he did fight brave intellectual battles for greater freedom against the dominant trends in both political and scientific philosophy.

The spirit of free inquiry and an open society that Popper championed will go a long way toward ensuring that his often-expressed optimism about the future of freedom and civilization will be borne out.

Soros is a fascinating, deeply flawed, and (IMO) quite wrongheaded major actor on the world stage. He is also not hard to get a basic read on, since he writes books constantly and is forever talking about his own thought processes, life histories, and conclusions. You want to learn about this important figure? Go read a book. But not by Glenn Beck.

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  • ||

    Jesus, Matt. Shorten it a bit. The title and the post. Jesus.

  • Meany||

    Too many words hurt your widdle bwain?

  • Suki||

    It was an eloquent defense of Matt's desire to live between the legs of Soros rather than in Gaza. Bravo!

  • ||

    Leave it to Reason. Beck's facts on Soros really are not that controversial, Soros admits most of these things himself. Welch bends over backwards to find a small historical inaccuracy and uses it to debunk Beck's OPINION. Why not just argue against the opinion aspects of what Beck was trying to say?
    Also, if it could be proven there is an 80 year old protestant Czech still alive in New Jersey, that use to drive a delivery truck into a concentration camp, he would have his citizenship taken away and sent back to face a trial.

  • ||

    Soros is effed up. Beck is effed up.

    But not all of the time.

  • SIV||

    you had better err massively on the side of reticence before casting negative judgment on the compromises that captive citizens made under a pressure we literally cannot fathom.

    Tell this to Moynihan next time he goes off on John Demjanjuk.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Did they ever come to some conclusion about him?

  • SIV||

    Israel concluded he wasn't their concern.
    He was a Red Army POW who may have been in a SS unit at Sobibor. I doubt he volunteered for the Red Army, much less the SS.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Uncle Joe wasn't a big believer in a volunteer military.

    I remember Pat Buchanan defending him years ago, which made me immediately doubt the guy. I'm glad he's not being hounded anymore if he's not guilty of anything.

  • ||

    The US government's problem with Demjanjuk was not that he had been in a death camp but that he lied about it on his immigration and naturalization applications.

    Being a low level guard or othe functionary in a camp was not usually enough to bring war crimes charges. Originally Demjanjuk was accused of being a particualrly brutal guard at one of the camps but this seems to have been a case of mistaken identity.

    Whatever he did, I'm fairly certain that any reasonable statute of limitations has long since passed. Hounding an old and sick man like him at this point does not in any way serve the interests of justice.

  • ||

    [Releases Hitler from his basement]

    Just kidding. I figure they should lay off of Demjanjuk, too, since the evidence is so screwed up.

  • ||

    I was thinking of adding a sentence to the effect that I would not feel nearly so charitable if they found 120 year old Hitler in Argentina.

  • ||

    You should've added the sentence. Though my comment implies that Hitler is living in Tampa. In a basement, which would mean that he's likely living underwater.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Hey, Hitler should have known housing values could drop before he took out that subprime mortgage.

  • JoshINHB||

    The US government's problem with Demjanjuk was not that he had been in a death camp but that he lied about it on his immigration and naturalization applications.

    If only he had been an illegal undocumented Mexican immigrant the US government wouldn't give a shit about his lying.

  • DJ Drugs||

    Austrians in basements. Will it never end?

  • SIV||

    The Krauts still want to put him on trial for collaborating with them.

  • SIV||

    Michael Moynihan agrees with the former Nazis Krauts.

  • Jeffersonian||

    It's so hard to square Soros's excellent work in the old Eastern Bloc with his promotion of statism here. I don't get it.

  • Max||

    You don't get it becuase you're a fucking moron who has swallowed the Kool-Aid

  • Colin||

    From an expert on such matters.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Now THAT's the real Max! Welcome back, scumbag!!

  • ||

    Soros is no statist. He was apolitical most of his time here since he became a citizen in 1961.

    Soros is anti-fascist (with good reason) and that is why he turned against the GOP and Bush in 2003. He saw their mix of militarism, gung-ho nationalism, hyper-Christianity and antipathy toward civil and human rights as destructive to markets and democracy.

  • Jeffersonian||

    And so he promotes a philosophy that commands - at the point of a gun - that we use a certain type of light bulb, contribute to bankrupt retirement schemes, purchase health insurance, only manufacture cars that use a certain amount of fuel, etc.

    I think it was Huey Long that said, when asked of fascism would ever take hold in America, replied, "yeah, but they'll call it anti-fascism."

  • GROUPER||

    OMG THAT IS SLAVERY. CAN YOU NOT SEE IT? LIGHT BULBS = SLAVERY WITH A GUN. Booom.

  • Jeffersonian||

    It's the "privatize trash pickup" approach, Grouper. If you let the small things pass, you set the precedent for the big things.

  • EMp||

    Total bingo Jeffersonian. Soros wants the 2A neutered, if not completely done away with - which is reason enough for me to totally oppose his philanthropic investments.

    His involvement in financing the for profit University of Phoenix systems and donations to 'Norml' are more the reason for me to be warily puzzled about him on most things (re: jacking up the financial markets in the U.K.) and hesitantly admiring on a couple of other pursuits.... :-/

  • ||

    His involvement in the Univ of Phoenix is probably because it's a frigging cash cow. To bad it sucks as an institute of higher learning.

  • ||

    I've got to say that the current iteration of the Democrats seems closer to fascist in mindset than the GOP. Neither is close, of course, but the love of the state and the disregard of most individual rights is a bad start.

  • ||

    Soros and his Open Society Institute:

    The Mont Pelerin Society is an international organization composed of economists (including 8 nobel winners), philosophers, historians, intellectuals, business leaders, and others who favour classical liberalism. Its founders including Friedrich Hayek, Karl Popper, Ludwig von Mises, George Stigler and Milton Friedman.

    The society advocates freedom of expression, free market economic policies and the political values of an open society. (Wiki)

    Not a bad heritage.

    Of course I have a bias here.

  • ||

    Glenn Beck is not a credible journalist?

    I'm flabbergasted.

  • RyanXXX||

    So who should I be afraid of? George Soros or the Kochtopus?

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    I am more interested in knowing who would win in a bare knuckle boxing fight. Let the battle of the oligarchs begin!

  • cynical||

    Apparently the Kochtopus is running positive propaganda for Soros, so they must be in on it together. Illuminatus!

  • EMp||

    Don't laugh at that thought too quickly.... :-)

  • Steven||

    Extended quotation from the 60 Minutes transcript follows: ?When the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944, George Soros' father was a successful lawyer. He lived on an island in the Danube and liked to commute to work in a rowboat. But knowing there were problems ahead for the Jews, he decided to split his family up. He bought them forged papers and he bribed a government official to take 14-year-old George Soros in and swear that he was his Christian godson. But survival carried a heavy price tag. While hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were being shipped off to the death camps, George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his appointed rounds, confiscating property from the Jews.

    (Vintage footage of Jews walking in line; man dragging little boy in line)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) These are pictures from 1944 of what happened to George Soros' friends and neighbors.

    (Vintage footage of women and men with bags over their shoulders walking; crowd by a train)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) You're a Hungarian Jew...

    Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Mm-hmm.

    KROFT: (Voiceover) ...who escaped the Holocaust...

    (Vintage footage of women walking by train)

    Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Mm-hmm.

    (Vintage footage of people getting on train)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) ...by--by posing as a Christian.

    Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Right.

    (Vintage footage of women helping each other get on train; train door closing with people in boxcar)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.

    Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my character was made.

    KROFT: In what way?

    Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and--and anticipate events and when--when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a--a very personal experience of evil.

    KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

    Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

    KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

    Mr. SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.

    KROFT: I mean, that's--that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

    Mr. SOROS: Not--not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't--you don't see the connection. But it was--it created no--no problem at all.

    KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

    Mr. SOROS: No.

    KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?

    Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c--I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was--well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets--that if I weren't there--of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would--would--would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the--whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the--I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.? (George Soros, 60 Minutes interview transcript, December 20, 1998)

  • Cecil||

    Know who else confiscated property from the Jews? Oh, wait...

  • Pip||

    What gets me when I read this are two things:

    Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c--I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was--well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets--that if I weren't there--of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would--would--would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the--whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the--I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt

    And how some have said he shouldn't be held accountable because he was only 14. We often trie 14-year-olds as adults in this country, but for some reason Soros gets a pass.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    He does a lot of bad stuff now, but hiding your identity to avoid getting sent to a death camp is the right thing to do.

  • Zeb||

    Indeed. As long as he didn't kill anyone or denounce anyone himself, I can't hold any of it against him.

  • Suki||

    Because Matt helped confiscate Jewish property in the California wars!

  • JoshINHB||

    He comes across like a classic sociopath.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I can sympathize with the frightened 14 year-old put into a shitty position of doing something hideous or dying. I can't with the 80 year-old man who could feel some remorse for what he did without fear of reprisal. That tells me a lot.

  • The Gobbler||

    ^^THIS^^

  • Fluffy||

    You know what?

    Fuck you.

    That's the most immoral thing I've ever heard in my fucking life.

    People should not feel remorse for acts to which moral responsibility does not attach. Period.

    So if some Nazi points a gun at me and says, "Confiscate their property or you're dead," and I confiscate their property, guess what? I'm never feeling remorse. Ever. And if someone tells me I should feel remorse, fuck them.

  • ||

    He acts like that was the best thing he ever did. Big difference than being shaken and scared and regretting being a part of it. Some people have survivor's guilt. This turd has survivor's fondness. That's fucked up.

  • Fluffy||

    He says that entire time of his life was exciting.

    You know what? If we got sucked into 1984 and spent a year on the run hiding from the Thought Police, and we succeeded, I bet we'd think it was pretty fucking exciting.

  • ||

    Being on the run from the Thought Police is a bit different from palling around with them and saying things like, "that if I weren't there--of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would--would--would be taking it away anyhow."

    I understand the threat concept. And I understand that a 14 year old might be scared to defy the murderers--but Soros is 80, Hitler's dead, he doesn't seem to have any remorse.

    Worse, his defenders aren't pointing to things he's said/written that show his horror--they're calling people names for noticing that he doesn't seem to feel any.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I almost always agree with you and almost never with Fluffy but Sorros shouldn't feel remorse(for his early life anyway). If your options are either march to your death alongside the others or do what you have to do to hide your identity, you should do the latter. The guilt is on the ones who gave you that alternative.

  • Cyto||

    That's the part that sounds funny to me... he's spent the last number of years as a media manipulator behind the scenes, but he has this much of a tin ear? He could say the same thing slightly differently and diffuse the whole thing:
    "At the time I did what was required - hell, at 14 you don't even really think about mortality and danger, you just do what you are told. Sure, I've thought about those times since then and it was terrible what was happening to all of us. But at the time I didn't really think about any of that. In fact, my memories of being a child at the time are pretty happy. It is a strange juxtaposition, but I guess that's what being a child allows you..."

    (or words to that effect)

    In fact, this seems to be what supporters are ascribing to him, even though that's clearly not what he said or what he intended. His take is much more of a philosophy of moral responsibility - not media/image friendly at all. In fact, his take is not far removed from the stereotypical "just following orders" excuse.

  • ||

    ^^^Triple this^^^

  • ||

    I don't even know what you are triple thissing,
    these threaded comments can get complicated.

  • Jeffersonian||

    There were thousands of those forced into service of the Third Reich that did what they could to subvert, delay, obstruct or destroy the work they were compelled to do. That clearly does not include George Soros.

    I'm not saying he even had to engage in those subversive things at the tender age of 14. What I'm saying is that, with 60+ years of time to reflect on what he might have done, he doesn't even *consider* that he might have left some poor Jewish family with a few diamonds or a little gold to bribe their way out of Nazified territory. No, he'd do it all again to save his hide.

    So, if that's you, Fluff, fuck you right along with Soros. Go lick a boot.

  • Zeb||

    Oh, come on. He was a 14 YO kid following around his protector whose job it was to confiscate the property. He did not have the latitude or discretion to let some family keep some diamonds or something (and we don't know if Soros's benefactor did or did not do that himself, he clearly was sympathetic to the plight of the Jews).

  • Jeffersonian||

    As I said, I'm not condemning Soros for not resisting. I'm condemning him for, 60+ years later, not even recognizing that there was the *opportunity* to resist in even the smallest degree and lamenting that he missed such an opportunity and the resultant suffering it may have alleviated.

    Soros is perfectly fine with what he did, and did not, do. In that, he's a loathsome, morally squalid creep.

  • IceTrey||

    No one was "forced" to work for the Nazis. They all chose to. They could have said no. Yes it probably would have cost them their lives but at least they would not have encouraged evil. Think about how much shorter the war would have been if every single one of those people had refused to collaborate with the Nazis. Think about all the brave Allied soldiers who were killed by the munitions produced by those who chose work for the Nazis instead of choosing to stand up to them.

  • Spazmo||

    So why aren't you refusing to pay your taxes? You can say no. Yes it probably will cost you your freedom but at least you will not have encouraged evil.

  • Patrick S.||

    because there's a difference between paying taxes, which fund the military and many other programs that form the basis of our government, and working for nazis. you can make comparisons between our government and the nazis, but you'll just sound like a retard.

  • ||

    "People should not feel remorse for acts to which moral responsibility does not attach."

    I'm not sure that's the case. If I'm driving down the street, obeying the speed limit and all other traffic laws with all of my attention placed on the task of driving, and a small child darts out from between two parked cars and I run the kid over...

    ...I really don't have any moral responsibility, but jeez would I feel awful.

    That said a better argument is that anyone who had to go through what Soros did as a 14 year old should have a lot of latitude in how he squares that experience in his mind. Our brain will screw us over if we let it (hence stuff like suicide) and if taking that mental approach to his actions is what keeps him sane, he shouldn't necessarily have to do much explaining for it.

    And it's all ad hominem stuff anyway. There's plenty of stuff Soros has been and continues doing that's worth hammering him on, why dredge this stuff up?

  • waffles||

    You know what?

    Fuck you Fluffy.

    I am outraged that you are outraged at Jeffersonians outrage. The truth is only one of use can actually be outraged and the rest of us are feigning it. So which is it?

    I'm not saying Soros should feel remorse, he shouldn't for what he did. He should feel regret for what he had to do, not what he chose to. I have nothing truly of value to add. No hard feelings, just wanted to write, just wanted to type on the keyboard for a minute or so.

    Fuck you Fluffy.

    Get the picture?

  • Mike M.||

    So if some Nazi points a gun at me and says, "Confiscate their property or you're dead," and I confiscate their property, guess what? I'm never feeling remorse. Ever. And if someone tells me I should feel remorse, fuck them.

    Serious question, is there something that you wouldn't consider doing in order to save your own life?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Yes, there is a multitude of things I would not do.

  • Steve||

    Not exactly sure how smart or brave any one of us were at 14, but the point stands.

    I would feel quite horribly living with the guilt; spending the rest of my life trying to make up for it. Soros' actions do not seem to be of one who appreciates liberty.

  • ||

    Easy to say sitting at your keyboard, Mountain Dew and Totinos close at hand.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    It's a question that can't be answered into you're actually in that situations. It's very easy to induldge in fantasies of being Oscar Schindler from 60 years later in the comfort of an American home on Sunday. But statistical evidence indicates 98% of us would have done exactly what Soros did. Now you may be convinced you're an extraordinary and exceptional person and would have been among the 2%. But unless you've actually been in a sitation like this, it's hard to count that as anything other than ego.

  • ||

    I agree. It seems rather odd to not feel and express some remorse, even if it was totally out of your control. Sorry Fluffy, what people "should" feel in this sort of instance isn't necessarily logical, but it's human.

  • Another Day||

    Look, I think you're missing the key point that Soros didn't actually do anything "hideous". The "confiscating property" stuff you keep bringing up is actually based on a single incident, in which Soros doesn't seem to have done anything guilt-worthy: his guardian (Sandor Kiss, a government official who had been paid by Soros' father to pretend to be his godfather) was sent on a three day trip to assay the property of a wealthy Jewish family that had (wisely) fled the country. Soros went with, presumably because he'd have been in incredible danger alone in Budapest for three days. But he didn't help with the inventory (not that IMO that it would've been particularly terrible if he had), he was just there while it happened.

    Could he have interfered? I guess, but I wouldn't call it morally necessary to risk your life to maybe save someone's possessions.

    As for being happy and excited, well, spy-games and surviving in the face of manifest danger are presumably exciting, particularly when you're 14. More broadly, I can imagine that living through the motherfucking holocaust might be something you feel pretty good about, no matter your age.

  • cynical||

    "If I didn't do it, they'd just kill me and find someone else to do" sounds like the kind of rationalization that someone creates to protect themselves from extreme guilt and regret. So, in some sense, his denial of regret (rather, the specific way he phrases) suggests suppressed regret.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Wait, so you're saying Soros is a psychologically normal human being displaying sublimation and supression, normal psychological reactions to massive trauma? I'M SHOCKED!

  • Anonymous||

    Glenn Beck actually tells his viewers to NOT take his word for it; to do their own research (including learning about Soros in his own works). Pretty much what you said at the end of this article.

    It's hard to miss, Matt.

  • unhyphenatedconservative||

    Yeah but Matt didn't do the actual work of,you know, watching the Beck shows before criticizing them. Even if you were busy, Matt, it's called a DVR. Or maybe read more than "enough of the transcript."

  • lurker||

    So, let me get this straight, as long as Beck states, somewhere in his article, that his readers should do their own research, then it is OK and responsible for him to just print a bunch of obviously incorrect statements? Journalism is a lot easier than I thought!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: lurker,

    [... Is it] OK and responsible for him to just print a bunch of obviously incorrect statements?

    Are they?

  • lurker||

    I think that Mr. Welch did a pretty good job of documenting several inaccuracies!

  • ||

    Well, there you go then! Why bother to find out for yourself when you can rely on Matt to do your thinking for you, am I right?

  • lurker Barbie||

    Citical thinking is hard!

  • lurker||

    Stating that Welch's article documented several inaccuracies in Beck's program is not the same as relying on Welch to do my thinking - it just means that it would be redundant for me to list inaccuracies that Welch has already listed.

    If you can't find any inaccuracies in Beck's telecast even when Welch's article points them out to you, then it is not me who is having trouble thinking!

  • lurker||

    Correction - somewhere in his show (rather than article), and make (rather than print) incorrect statements.

    Looks like I applied Beckian standards to my previous post!

  • affenkopf||

    Glenn Beck actually tells his viewers to NOT take his word for it; to do their own research

    Alex Jones does the same. And?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Telling me to do my own research isn't a valid excuse for Beck failing to do his own research.

  • Tman||

    So Doherty lists some reasonable statements that Beck made about Soros-"I am not blaming or questioning a 14-year-old or his parents for trying to keep him alive, trying to keep the family alive. I don't think anyone can understand what it must have been like to be Jewish in that scenario. Can you? Especially 14."

    And then we read evidence that Soros has zero guilt for working with the Nazi's to save his own skin, even after all these years, and somehow Beck is the bad guy?

    I don't get it.

  • Pip||

    Fuck off, bitch.

  • Pip||

    That was for some guy commenting about The Commander. I guess they removed it.

    I'm with you, Tman.

    BTW, there is shit I did at 14 that I feel guilty about and I'm not anywhere near 80.

  • ||

    Just because Soros dumped a bag load of loot on Prop 19 in Kalifornia does not make him a good guy.

    Honest and open inquiry is a responsibility of Citizens of a "free society".

  • ||

    I have a hard time seeing what's ridiculous or misread in Beck's analysis. He says himself - as quoted here - that he's asking people to think about the adult man's reflections (or lack thereof) on the Hobson's choice faced by the teenager, not to condemn a kid trying to survive.

    And unless you're saying that the quote from Soros is fabricated, he's got some heavy-duty 'splainin' to do about why he calls it the best year of his life, and also why he says now that he doesn't regret it, because someone else would have done those things anyway.

    Soros may have done the lord's work in eastern europe, but he is doing the devil's work here. He doesn't get a pass for that because he lived through WW2, and especially not with his sociopathic attitude about it today.

  • Roman Polanski||

    Of course he gets a pass. Bad things once happened to him.

  • Colin||

    +1

  • Fluffy||

    Um, no, douche.

    If the 14 year old can not be judged because he faced a Hobson's choice, then on what fucking basis should we be angry at the 80 year old for not feeling remorse?

    And I can easily see why a young teenager living a secret identity along with his parent in order to evade a totalitarian state might find it exhilirating. I'm sure LOTS of French Resistance guys went around for decades later considering their resistance the best years of their lives.

  • ||

    Yeah ass-hat, but they were fucking resisting, not collaborating. Big fucking difference. How many Vichy look back on that time as the best of their life? Not many I'd wager.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I wouldn't say that. Darlan and a couple others were positively thrilled to be Hitler's butt-boys.

  • cynical||

    "then on what fucking basis should we be angry at the 80 year old for not feeling remorse?"

    Because feeling regret for the harm you caused others, even by accident or under duress, and sometimes even when it was just, is a trait common to most non-sociopaths?

    He doesn't have a moral obligation to feel guilt, it's just an indication that he's fucked in the head.

  • ||

    "I have a hard time seeing what's ridiculous or misread in Beck's analysis."

    Wow. To say that statement in regard to any of Beck's tirades is to admit to an IQ comparable to that of a potted plant. Soros's musings about his methods of survival, even if they reveal some deep dark truth about his psyche, still don't support the idea that he's plotting the overthrow of the U.S. government.

    My God, if Beck told you that progressives prowl the streets, eating children and tearing the heads off of puppies, I get the sense that you'd furl your brow, nod your head and pretend to think real hard about buying new "children and puppy insurance" from your friends at Goldline!

  • unhyphenatedconservative||

    But Soros likes legal drugs. Thus he is the great libertarian hope. And folks wonder why libertarians aren't a political force in America.

  • $||

    Drink?

  • ||

    Heavily.

  • ||

    1) can you imagine the response to all of this if Soros were funding conservative causes in this country?

    2) you might not blame a 14 year old for trying to survive, but you can blame an adult for not regretting being a part of it

  • Fake Name||

    What was the response to Benedict being a member of the Hitler Youth when he was 14?

  • Zeb||

    Same as this. Some people say that joining Hitler Youth is morally troublesome and he shouldn't be pope because of it and some people say that he just did what he had to and shouldn't be held accountable for it.

  • ||

    I'll bet Benedict doesn't say how much he enjoyed the experience, and that he expresses some regret about what he was forced to do.

  • Old Mexican||

    You want to learn about this important figure? Go read a book. But not by Glenn Beck.

    Couldn't be said better - by Beck himself.

    "Don't take MY word for it, look it up. Go read a book on Soros - there's plenty of those around."

    You are not saying anything new there, Matty...

  • C'mon man||

    ^THIS^ I think, Matt, that anyone who gets their "news/journalism" exclusively from Beck is probably a fucking retard.

    I actually caught a little bit of the program; the bulk of what I caught was Beck urging people to do their own homework, including reading Soros' books. So, for this, Beck should be commended.

    I used to listen to Beck's radio show a few years ago regularly because it was convenient. Sure, I've cringed at some of the stuff he's said, but he has always insisted on people educating themselves and "not taking his word for it."

    If more people were encouraged to try thinking for them-fucking-selves, we might get somewhere with a more free and open society. One of the reasons I frequent Reason more than any other site is because I appreciate the fact that you link to the information you are citing. The endless linking. Yeah, unfortunately, I'm a junkie like the rest of you motherfuckers. Oh, and I also like the gratuitous profanity tolerated here, the center of the "free minds and free markets" universe.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    I am trying to understand why all the Keyboard Kommander Konservatives want Soros to apologize for doing what it took to survive.

    Good for him, I say.

  • Tman||

    It's not even about apologizing, it's about the fact that Soros epresses zero remorse or guilt about the fact that he helped Nazi's. I don't expect him to try and atone for his sins, as I don't think he knew any better at 14, but after all this time he doesn't regret it at all, and actually talks about how it was one of the best parts of his life.

    You don't see anything wrong with this?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Somehow I don't see Francisco D'Anconia or Ragnar Danneskjold happily going about the dictates of the Central State and enthusing about how it was a real high point in their lives decades later. Randian??

  • Fluffy||

    Nope. You have the Rand citation exactly wrong.

    If the state demanded that John Galt pick one of his friends to be killed or they'd kill two of them [a Johnny's Choice instead of a Sophie's Choice] do you know what Galt would say about the moral nature of his action?

    He'd say that no matter what choice he made, no moral blame would attach to him whatsoever. All the moral blame would attach to the person forcing him to act under compulsion.

    So, yeah, John Galt would declare that he felt absolutely no remorse.

  • Cyto||

    I agree with your analysis, but I don't read Soros' reaction this way. He seems much more fatalistic about it. To him it isn't a dilemma of "do this bad thing or we'll kill you" or "do this bad thing or we'll do something worse" - his analysis seems to be "hey, they were gonna do it with or without me, so my involvement makes no difference".

  • Zeb||

    And that is true, no?

  • ||

    No it is not. If someone else would have done it, then Soros still had the choice not to. At age 14, and apparently stripped of his prewar social surrounding, I can give him a pass - barely - for failing to die a noble death instead of serving the Nazis. At age 80, he can go jump off a cliff if he thinks it's ok to blithely dismiss his actions

  • Jeffersonian||

    Wrong. At one point, Galt was told to say things he did not mean on a broacast, pistol to his back. What did he do, Fluff? Bend to the will of the State under threat? Or did he do what he was able under the circumstances to subvert that will?

  • ||

    But like I said with the above, isn't that the bitch with Sophie's Choice to begin with? It's not your fault but you're going to feel awful about doing it anyway. However, I don't blame Soros for any rationalization he makes to avoid having to deal with such emotions, particularly since we know what they did to Sophie.

  • Jeffersonian||

    There are worse things than dying.

  • ||

    I don't blame the 14 year old for being complicit in order to survive. I blame the 80 year old for not wishing he'd been responsible for good instead of bad.

    If I didn't shoot that dog, some other cop would have, so...eh.

  • Cyto||

    That does seem to accurately reflect his rationalization. I'm surprised that he doesn't just recognize it as a reasonable rationalization though.

    He doesn't say "look, I did what I had to. I'm not happy about it, but I did it to survive." To the contrary, he says "there was no ethical component to what I did because with or without me it would happen anyway." In fact, his justification to himself seems rooted more in the fact that the decisions were being made far up the chain of command than in the fact that he was under serious threat if he didn't do it. One gets the feeling that he would have been perfectly fine with what he did if there were no personal threat directed his way - the absolution comes from the fact that the decisions were made elsewhere. And this is clearly the current man's thinking, not projecting backward a lifetime to what he thought at the time.

  • Jeffersonian||

    He was only following orders, IOW.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm kind of confused too. For those of you who are outraged, how do you propose Soros should have handled the situation?

    I'm also not particularly troubled by his comment that it was the happiest year of his life. People often respond to unorthodox situations in unexpected ways.

  • Jeffersonian||

    And people with consciences often reflect on the evil they've done - voluntarily or involuntarily - and show an inkling of remorse. It's clear that Soros feels none of that. He seems perfectly fine with his compliance with his Nazi overlords.

    Morally bankrupt.

  • ||

    So anybody who rejects Kantian ethics is morally bankrupt? Our society recognizes duress as a defense to intentional crimes; I don't see what's wrong with an 80-year-old not regretting the fact that when he was 14 he did what he had to do to not get killed. I've heard many a veteran make that very statement.

  • ||

    No, no you haven't. That phrase, uttered by veterans, contains remorse, and sorrow.

    Soros isn't saying he did what he had to do to not get killed, he doesn't have to. He's referring to a time in his life when most would be terrified that they'd get found out as happy.

    SOROS: It was actually probably the happiest year of my life, that year of German occupation. For me, it was a very positive experience. It's a sage (ph) thing because you see incredible suffering around you and the fact you are in considerable danger yourself. But you're 14 years old and you don't believe that it can actually touch you. You have a belief in yourself. You have a belief in your father. It's a very happy-making exhilarating experience.

    Happy. Exhilarating. Positive.

    He has no remorse.

    And he should. How many Jews knew he was a Jew and kept their mouths shut? How many Jews died in the camps thinking that 'one got away'?

  • Jeffersonian||

    If Soros had a Nazi gun pointed at him 24/7 for the duration of his activities, there might be a point here. I doubt that's the case. I'm sure there was opportunity for obstruction, resistance, delay, non-conformance with the mission. It may have been a "do this or die" as a general condition, but doubtfully as an immediate and persistent threat.

    As I said before, Soros doesn't even entertain the possibility that he could have somehow subverted his loathsome mission, and thus repent that he failed to. No, his own existence justified a zealous carrying-out of his orders.

    Ethical pygmy.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, he could have done something, endangering the rest of his family and his benefactor who went out of his way to save his life.

  • ||

    Even if the rational thing was to do what he did and not try to subvert anything, the *human* thing at age 80 would be to feel and express some regret, and not talk about what a great time he had and make excuses for himself.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    He's a bad freakin guy, I'll give you that, and it's creepy that he's happy about it. But there's just no such thing as involuntary evil and remorse is not the right word for the way someone should feel after being forced to do something horrible. Hatred for the people who forced you would be right. Though, he doesn't seem to have that either.

  • Xenocles||

    How about doing the bare minimum required to get by, doing what he could behind the scenes to oppose the Nazis, and later, after a lifetime of reflection, expressing some measure of concern for the results of his actions rather than acting as if he were a cog in a machine?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Exactly.

    But apparently the continued existence of George Soros was too important to even consider the possibility.

    Revolting.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Ayn_Randian,

    I am trying to understand why all the Keyboard Kommander Konservatives want Soros to apologize for doing what it took to survive.

    Indeed, as it will not bring back all those people he helped despoil.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Personally, I'd like to hear more about the attempt to "move" to Cuba. WTF was that about?

  • ¢||

    You are not saying anything new there, Matty...

    Willfully dishonest Nazi apologia are new here, aren't they?

    I mean, I don't remember everything Sanchez and Weigel wrote, but I don't remember any straight-up pro-Nazi shit.
    New heights!

  • johnl||

    That's some headline Jeffe. An untweetable 210 bytes!

  • Xenocles||

    "First and foremostly, having lived in Soros' home town of Budapest for three years, plus another five in Prague and Bratislava (and an abortive, short-term attempt to "move" to Cuba), I have become convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt about this one thing: As a native son of the free world you can and damn well should cheer a person who acted bravely in the face of a pervasive and murderous totalitarian state, but with the exception of the monsters who willfully abused power there, you had better err massively on the side of reticence before casting negative judgment on the compromises that captive citizens made under a pressure we literally cannot fathom."

    Speaking of pubescence, this could use a period or two.

  • Xenocles||

    On topic, anyone who calls a year of Nazi occupation "the happiest year of [his] life" has some explaining to do. A lot of it, actually.

  • ||

    As a native son of the free world you can and damn well should cheer a person who acted bravely in the face of a pervasive and murderous totalitarian state, but with the exception of the monsters who willfully abused power there, you had better err massively on the side of reticence before casting negative judgment on the compromises that captive citizens made under a pressure we literally cannot fathom.

    So can we now stop beating up on young Joseph Ratzinger for having been drafted into an anti-aircraft unit, and before that for having been enrolled in the HJ without his consent?

  • ||

    Yes. But I still can't forgive him for being a catholic priest. That whole lot should be put on a rocket and fired into the Sun.

  • ||

    I wasn't aware there were any significant voices condemning Ratzinger for his wartime service.

    Most of the criticism I hear directed at the Pope seems to relate to his current doctrinal positions and his activities as a bishop with respect to the abuse scandal less than twenty years ago.

  • ||

    A fourteen year old essentially detatches from a traumatic situation, identifies with his potential abusers, and later denies feeling guilt about what he did. Seems to be pretty normal to me.

    Read the reactions of the losers in any war--many of them strongly dissassociate from any guilt for their roles, and talk about the excitement they felt when they were acting.

    Soros is no better than, or different from, many other people in the same situation. He is famous and rich, and that is why we get to know about his experiences. They were not all that unique.

  • ||

    Take your science and logic and GET OUT!

  • Jeffersonian||

    "Everyone does it" is neither science nor logic. It's the same rationalization Soros and his defenders are engaging in.

  • can't help myself||

    "They were not all that unique."

    Unique is a superlative. Something cannot be unique to a greater of lesser degree than something else. Something just is or isn't unique.

  • can't help myself||

    Brought to you by the guy who says "greater *of* lesser".

  • ||

    To be Fair to Glenn Beck he just played the words of George Soros and the dude have 10 Billions to put were his mouth his.

  • ||

    Popper was definitely a socialist up to the late 1930s and early 1940s when he began to read Hayek.

    It's not clear, however, how much of socialism Popper abandoned after that time -- he remained some form of a Social Democrats with big dollops of socialism mixed in the "piecemeal social engineering" soup.

  • ||

    Popper was definitely a socialist up to the late 1930s and early 1940s when he began to read Hayek.

    It's not clear, however, how much of socialism Popper abandoned after that time -- he remained some form of a Social Democrats with big dollops of socialism mixed in the "piecemeal social engineering" soup.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Cuba, eh?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I knew welch was a pinko!

  • alan||

    It was all for that Cause of Human Understanding.

  • ||

    Soros in his books and articles constantly attacks Friedrich Hayek and "the free market" -- his arguments however, don't show much if any familiarity with Hayek's work or with "free market" economics more generally.

  • ||

    Soros in his books and articles constantly attacks Friedrich Hayek and "the free market" -- his arguments however, don't show much if any familiarity with Hayek's work or with "free market" economics more generally.

  • ||

    You're a liar.

    Soros never attacks the free market. He attacks the nutjob free market "fundamentalists" who resist any rules for markets like capital standards, FASB, audit requirements, bankruptcy rules and other obstacles to total anarchy.

  • ||

    "shrike" = Troll

  • herp derp||

    touche

  • ||

    Many socialists believed that socialism was completely compatible with an "open society".

    Hayek argued against this, but I don't remember any place were Popper adopts Hayek's argument on this point.

    But it's been some time since I read my Popper.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You should read Popper's "Open Society and it's Enemies", both Volumes 1 and 2. Actually everyone who visits this website should, their outstanding books. The enemies in these books are the collectivists.

  • ||

    Many socialists believed that socialism was completely compatible with an "open society".

    Hayek argued against this, but I don't remember any place were Popper adopts Hayek's argument on this point.

    But it's been some time since I read my Popper.

  • RyanXXX||

    3 double-posts in a row, Mr. Ransom?

    Reminds me of Jimmy Two-Times from Goodfellas...."Ima go get the papers...get the papers"

  • alan||

    There was a Timmy Three Times, but he didn't last for very long for obvious reasons. By that third time, some hot tempered Guido is going to turn around and pop you with lead. You can't even blame them, really.

  • ||

    It's not my "comments" software.

  • George Soros||

    You try to live inside the shell of an eighty year old body and see if you have time or room for a conscience. For instance, I have not been able to shit for days. Plugged up like that hole in the Gulf. So desperate to shit I stuck a Milk Way bar up my ass. No, not one of those large one dollar bars, you offal. A tiny 2 by 4 they sell in fun packs around Halloween. Then the happiest thing that has ever happened in my life occurred. The candy bar melted, in my ass. It was a very happy-making exhilarating experience.

  • ||

    Victims of very violent crime often feel ashamed of their victimhood and often, believe it or not, too ashamed to take vengeance against the wicked who did it to them. It is a very hard path to balance the need to respect what being a victim of something so horrible means while at the same time finding the courage over the shame to make justice of the situation.

  • 3 inch spear head||

    14-year-old George Soros not only enjoyed "helping send the Jews to the death camps" (another Beck formulation from this week), but that he still lights up with mirth at the thought of the idea six decades later

    I blame the government.

  • theunknown||

    Soros sounds like a socialist by any stretch. You fools don't understand that socialism is a way-of-thinking that isn't comprehend-able to most.

  • JoshINHB||

    What they don't want to comprehend is that libertarianism is the same way of thinking that socialism is.

  • ||

    Who gives a fuck whether or not Soros regrets what he did when he was fourteen years old? Why hasn't Reason lifted a finger to point out some of the many things Soros has done to undermine a free America? Pro-pot doesn't even come close to funding the CAP.

  • ||

    The only thing that gets me is ...

    Why is it not equally appalling when Pope Benedict is accused of being a Nazi, just because he happened to be a member of the Hitler Youth, when at the time, it was required by law for him to be in the Hitler Youth.

    Somehow the rage is reserved for Beck's ridiculous accusations, but progressives get a free pass when it comes to distaining the "Nazi" Pope.

  • alan||

    François Mitterrand is a hero to many of those people and he lied about a non existent Resistance past to cover up his Vichy functionary past. Actually, that is much worse than either Pope Benedict or Soros.

  • ||

    I was listening to the Phil Hendrie show once, and he played a clip of Beck saying, on a segment for Fox News, that "We [the United States] bought Alaska in the 1950s." No one on that segment, at that moment, seemed to have even notice that. If you ask me, he sounds almost like Ed Schultz.

  • ||

    I suspect that was some kind of brain fart involving the date of Hawaiian statehood getting crossed with the 1860's Alaska purchase.

  • ||

    Right. He got a little fact wrong, therefore his whole worldview is completely wrong.

    If that were the case, libertarians would only get about 2% of the vote.

    Oh wait...

  • ||

    So, there should be no guilt for one's actions as a 14 year old once one attains the maturity and perspective to recognize the monstrosity that one helped perpetuate?

    What crack are you smoking, Matt? This story was also presented by Ezra Klein a few weeks ago, and it was also denied. I bought that denial and thought that the accusations were over the top, until I saw the old 60 minutes interview that Steven posts above.

    Sorry, but he has the mentality of a Kapo.

    As for being 'influenced' by Popper, since when does studying equal agreement? Should we put a tail on anybody that reads Mein Kampf?

    What aspects of "democratic governance, freedom of expression, a diverse range of opinion, and respect for individual rights" does Soros support when he funds organizations that undermine the integrity of elections, funds efforts to boycott and shutdown news outlets he disagrees with, funds smear merchants and character assassins, or funds efforts to strip away individual liberty for collectivist causes?

  • Deety||

    Erhm, Yeah...

    +1!

    I guess talking about fucking Nazis and the Holocaust is ALWAYS going to win though.

    I can't imagine that he could have ever envisioned something like the internet when he edited his daughter's journals for publication but I lay a good portion of the idiocy of current political debate squarely at Otto Frank's feet.

    There. I said it.

  • LateNightPoster||

    It's pretty fucking funny to read a bunch of Wikipedia Jockeys get up on their high horse to denounce the actions of a 14 year old Jew in Nazi Germany. I am sure you can relate enough to his life experiences to pass judgement, you being opressed all the fucking time too. Yeah, George, the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT anonymous posters of Reason's Hit and Run DEMAND you show some regret and humility for the compromises you made in a situation absolutely no one among us can comprehend! I want to lick your moral superiority...it takes so fresh.

  • SelfKnowledgeIsAGoodThing||

    It's pretty fucking amazing to read a typical blog poster get up on his soapbox as if his somehow different from everyone else who does it to defend someone he doesn't know with no more information at his disposal than the next blog poster. Instead of using his time to find out more about this matter, he mocks and denounces the very attempt to redress ignorance that he is too lazy to invest time into doing himself. Like a philistine he seems to believe research is somehow beneath his morally superior temperament.

    He is so sure that the only person who can tell you the value of Soros contribution to mankind and the morality of his actions is George Soros himself. However, his denunciations confusingly assign you moral blame in spite of expressing a belief system based on the subjectivity of value, at least for George Soros, but not you. Yeah, posters, the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT anonymous poster of Reason's Hit and Run DEMANDS other posters to shut the hell up when he disagrees with them!

    Fuck you LNP, fuck your misbegotten double-Y soul, and fuck the Frigidaire of a pussy that spawned you. I happen to agree that some here are assigning more blame than is reasonable given the circumstance, but you are such a fucking twat about it, you only do that argumentative point a disservice by your unaware holier than thou rant.

  • LateNightPoster||

    I am really impressed by your response. You use really big words! You even spell checked it! Thanks for the response. Way to read way more into it than I ever, ever intended. Honestly though, you have a point, but I really did not intend to denounce other posters for their moral judgments per se. I merely meant to mock them, as you rightly point out (though obtusely), for their self-seriousness.

    I do really like being denounced for my inability to spend time attempting to "redress ignorance" from some overachieving undergrad prick like you. Really though, do you think a bunch of anonymous comments on a blog post have any consequence or purpose whatsoever? I realize the hypocritical stance in that I am doing the same thing at this very moment, of course. Ah well, regardless, I hope you get laid or something tonight. And please use your excellent language skills to do something productive, work wise (seriously).

  • NoStar||

    "You want to learn about this important figure? Go read a book. But not by Glenn Beck." Matt Welch

    "Don't take my word on it. Do your own research." Glenn Beck

    Matt, you give the same advice as Beck. That makes you as messed up as you say he is.

    Here is truth: Soros uses the many foundations and non profit orgs he funds to advocate big government entitlement spending that puts a country into debt. Then he bets that the currency will fail.

    In my view that makes him an evil puppet master and a spooky dude.

  • JoshINHB||

    To summarize;

    Former(?) socialist writer working for crony capitalists defends NAZI collaborator by attacking popular promoter of libertarian ideas.

  • ||

    Ruper Murdoch's father went to the London School of Economics slash Fabian Socialist U. Would Murdoch let Beck say stuff about LSE on the air if it weren't true?
    A: Yes, he doesn't watch Fox News, any more than he watches Sons of Anarchy (on FX) or reruns of Married With Children (a Fox show).

    Some free-market thinkers and lots of non-socialist economists/politicians went there as well.
    This would be like assuming that everyone who goes to Harvard must be a Puritan--a perfectly logical conclusion in Beck's blackboard conspiracy universe.

    As for Soros, he claims that he is for free markets, by which he really means freer-than-communist markets, or, the kind of regulated markets we have in the U.S. Which sucks, yes, but is a far cry from communism or socialism. And he's nowhere close to a fascist unless you consider tax-collecting to be fascist, in which case the entire surface of the Earth is populated by fascists.

    Soros never confiscated any property. He went with his uncle and WATCHED while his uncle confiscated property, sort of like a take-your-kid-pretending-to-be-not-a-Jew to work day, mostly because they were afraid if they were separated, he'd get caught/trapped and sent to a concentration camp.
    Adults and not adolescents were tasked by the Nazi regime to confiscate Jewish goods.

    If Soros had refused and said "I'm not going to do this [i.e., watch or maybe help carry a couch]" not one thing would have been different for one Jew in Hungary during WW II...except for a Jew named George Soros, who would probably be dead. That's why he feels no guilt--because he didn't DO anything; he wasn't an instrument of the Nazi will any more than a kid who visits his dad's architectural firm is an architect. The father says "Son, take these blueprints and drop them in that box over there for me" and the son says "Okay, dad!" and does it--if that kid hadn't shown up to work that day, the dad would obviously have simply done it himself. It's make-work just to make it seem like the kid is involved. In this case, not so he can get out of school for a day, but so he can keep out of concentration camps.

    It worked. He's alive. He's rich. He went on to work tirelessly to topple Nazi-like (albeit fascist/communist) regimes in Eastern Europe. Why the hell would he have any regrets? Did he enjoy it? Yeah, of course, he got to travel around the country doing nothing and acting busy on take-your-secret-Jewish-nephew to work day...a day that went on forever.

  • None||

    Glad I read this far down the thread.

  • ||

    My mother is a German and lived during WWII and if she was alive today I'd be asking her if the Nazi's were so smart why didn't they burn this asshole first to save us WASP's the trouble!!!!

  • jacob||

    +1

  • seanrude||

    Mick Jagger went to the London School of Economics. Ergo, George Soros has Sympathy for the Devil.

  • Apostate Jew||

    When is Beck going to realize that the Protestants are just using him? They'll turn on the LDS just as soon as they're done with us and the Catholics.

  • hmm||

    You want to learn about this important figure? Go read a book.

    I have. I can report back that while Beck is a hyperbole ridden clown, Soros is a fucking douche nozzle of epic proportions. Couple his books with his self serving rent seeking at the cost of citizens all over the world and you have one evil (and I don't use that lightly) mother fucker.

  • TheOtherSomeGuy||

    I don't give a dang about what he did at 14 or how he feels about it today.

    What is important is that the guy is openly stating that the US is the major obstacle in the way of his Open Society and that he wants to bring down the dollar.

    'Nuff said for me. The guy wants to take America down. He's a bad guy.

  • Beck's fan||

    >>>Beck's critics are describing his characterizations of Soros' wartime activities as factually incorrect; scanning through these links I'm inclined to agree.

    I scanned them and did not find anithing factual. Anti-first- ammendement rants laced with Jewish supremacism: You are not holly enough to talk about this subject. Leave it to holly Jews to discuss these matters. I wonder how many new and real antisemites those attacks on freedom of speach by jewish leaders will create.

    >>But even if the descriptions were 100 percent accurate and proportional, I would find the passage above appalling on a basic human level. There is a palpable whiff of suggestion that 14-year-old George Soros not only enjoyed "helping send the Jews to the death camps" (another Beck formulation from this week), but that he still lights up with mirth at the thought of the idea six decades later, perhaps explaining why he hates Israel to this day.

    Beck did not suggest that Soros hates Israel. The big point you missed is that Soros acknowledged the days of Nazi occupation as happiest days of his life. This is strange and unusual. But, it does not necessary suggest that he hate Jews

    >>> It is a hint and a nudge that the hunted teenage Jew might have been and maybe still is an anti-Semite.

    No, it is a hint that Soros likes risk and he is too different from other Jews who survived holocaust

  • ||

    Try as you may to distort the truth through your progressive colored eyes but only 33% of you exist because we have let you up to now. The new revolution is coming to get your type and repay you for what you condone for a 14 year old becoming a traitor and murder to his people in exchange for his pitiful life. I am only one of millions who will revenge his lack of honor.

  • Tony Cooke||

    I didn't watch Glenn Beck's three-part series...

    No you didn't, hence your response is a complete nonsense.

  • ||

    It is the ultimate in laziness to not even bother to watch a show you are critiquing. I didn't watch Avatar but read parts of the script and know a little about environmentalism and UFOs...therefore I am qualified to write a critique of the movie and you, the dumb readers, should respect my opinion.

    Your editors should be fired for supporting your laziness.

  • ||

    I didn't really READ Matt Welch's November 12, 2010 article on the the Glenn Beck 3 part series he didn't watch. However, I can pretty much guarantee from not reading his articles on things he doesn't know anything about in the past, that it is the typical left wing /socialist / utopian drivel defending Soros that libs usually throw around without knowing anything about reality outside their New York, Boston, LA or other Utopian cubicles.

  • ||

    Hmmmmmm....I, too, believe that Welch has gone off the deep end here. While I do not follow Beck [ except from what I read or hear by the "all knowing" writing and talking heads many of whom seem to have a diametrically opposing arrogance of ignorance and bias], I would have to say the criticisms here evidenced by Welch are pretty thin. If I only knew what he has proffered in this column... the information presented seems pretty damning of Soros in Soros' own words.

    I went to the links in the Welch article and found their opinions rather lame as well...basically indicating that if someone went through the Holocaust, no matter what part they played in it or however actually culpable they may have been, nobody, especially a non Jew, should be able to say, or have the "audacity" to say, anything against them. Being that we live in a free society with first amendment rights still, hopefully, intact, means you have the right to be wrong. Beck, from what I can see, is giving food for thought, allowing us to decide, not having some taboo that allows us not to even think about the situation and thereby allowing others to decide for us. I would say if you have opposing evidence, show that, don't tell there is some "off limits" zone. That makes me begin to suspect the people advocating such do not have a real argument.

    Oh, and shame on this Reason site... it seemingly only has a place to vote the article "thumbs up"? What is that all about? Surely it could not be considered REASON-able.

  • ||

    Oops, sorry, one other thing. Maybe someone knowledgeable can answer this for me as I do not know.

    If a Jewish person converts to being a Catholic, are they still considered to be Jewish? If they are not still considered to be Jewish with this conversion, would someone who has converted to being an atheist still be considered Jewish [ as with Soros ]? And if so, can you define the nuance of how that is so? Again, just wondering really, as I sincerely do not know the answer.

  • WasabiPeas||

    Orthodox Jews say if your mom is a Jew, then you are a Jew.

  • ||

    Interesting, thanks.

  • Hired Mind||

    Sorry Matt, but after "I didn't see [the subject of the article to follow]," (and "first and formostly"), I knew I should quit reading.

    But let me tell you everything that's wrong with this article, even though I didn't read it: the author didn't see the subject of the article. I would say more, but I didn't read the article. And I'm a responsible, Reasonable adult, and so I won't comment further on an article I didn't actually read. If I did that, then people would be less likely to believe anything that I had to say in the future. And seeing as I have aspirations of becoming a journalist or writer some day, I don't want to do anything that would damage my credibility.

  • ||

    Popper thought Communism was nonfalsifiable and therefore unscientific.

    Now that Communism has been falsified, we should take care of the other damage Popper has caused.

  • ||

    Hello, how can you comment on something you did not see? How can you base your comments on what others say about the series? If you had watched the entire series, you would have seen and heard Spooky Dude incriminate himself over and over again. You lefties always think that the righties have nothing to say that is important, even when they give you hard facts you say that they are spreading falsehoods. Instead of incorrectly interpreting someones footnotes, I would read and study the Spooky Dude yourself, he actually has written books that support Beck's program. I guess you think that Soros is an OK guy? Then why don't you and him go somewhere and play politics together.

  • ||

    So Welch... looks like the end of posting and I am sure you have gone on to other, possibly even more lame, items. But, from my estimation, I would have to say the vast majority of the posters here logically disagreed with your very weakly argued viewpoint... and understandably so. If you do not know of what you speak, you should also not write about it. Opinions are only as good as the substance behind them... and yours were incredibly feeble, sorry to say. I am sure your editors love the controversy you have stirred here, however your credibility, and that of Reason, has gone down precipitously with this poorly thought [ in other words, not reasoned ] epistle. And, why do you write about this except for the fact that maybe you do not have anything more important to say?

    Again, I do not follow Beck, but from what is known of the two, I side with him over the grand money manipulator himself, the guy who is trying to help "fundamentally" change this country into something most of us would definitely not want or want our children and grandchildren to have to suffer through.

    And, if you do not like it here, why do you stay? I say that as you seem to take real pride when you write of living in/experiencing Eastern Europe and an abortive attempt to live in Cuba. I, too, have lived out of country, in Chile, at the end of the Pinochet era, as well as in Ecuador. And I am always happy that I can return here to the good ole US of A. It is really too bad that you were not allowed to go/stay in Cuba... maybe your loss as well as ours, apparently. Fidel not want you? And why not, now that might be the interesting story. Maybe it is referenced elsewhere, but I just started reading this site... and do not know if I will continue if other articles are written so hastily that that the only worth they have is in the posts that they generate.

  • ||

    Being raised in the jewish faith I have distaste and absolute hatred for this war criminal.Soros, was a young man and was of the age of responsibility according to talmudic law. As such, he should be tried for war crimes and collaboration. He did not have to take part in this evil.

  • ||

    Mr Welch you say do not read a book by Glenn Beck on George Soros - well that is easy as Mr Beck has never written a book about Mr Soros. If you have a problem with a book that Mr Beck has written (and are not just engaged in Beck bashing - in order to please the left) then please explain what your specific problem is.

    As for George Soros - I do not need Glenn Beck to tell me the man is no good. The books Mr Soros has himself written tell me that - for example he attacks Hayek and supports Central Bank credit money expansion.

    By the way Karl Popper (who Soros claims as a mentor) was a friend of Hayek - and would never have supported this "create more money and we will all be rich" drivil. I think that Mr Soros does not really believe this nonsense himself - his is just spreading it to help in his plans to destroy the United States (a nation for which he has a fanatical hatred).

    But what I do need Glenn Beck for is to tell me exactly what groups Mr Soros is putting money into (either directly or via the Tides Foundation).

    Like Karl Marx before him, George Soros hates Jews (even though he is of Jewish ancestry) and Mr Soros funds organizations in the Middle East dedicated to wipeing Israel off the map.

    In the United States Mr Soros funds organizations that employ many Marxists (so much for his pose of being an "anti totalitarian"), and are dedicated to "world governance" - i.e. a future where there would be no freedom anywhere (no where to run to) where life could be summed up as a boot comming down upon a human face - for ever.

    This is almost the exact opposite of what Karl Popper meant by the "Open Society".

  • ||

    Mr Welsh you also seem to not get the point about the family of Mr Soros - for example the mother who hated Jews (even though she was Jewish) and the father who was so obessed with dreams of world government that he created names for his family in a made up world language.

    Mr Soros coud have changed his name back (or sought to investigate his Jewish roots - in order to see if Judaism really was just the silly nonsense his parents taught him it was), but he choose not to.

    You also totally ignore the facts that George Soros funds various anti Israeli groups (including in the Middle East) and that he funds many Marxist employing groups in the United States.

    These facts (and they are facts) would lead any reasonable person to the conclusion that Glenn Beck is correct - and you are wrong.

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