When one reads Soros, one gets stunned. His concepts of fallibility, reflexivity of market, and open society, awe the readers with their intricacies. His massive fame (or infamy) and his clear distinction of influence and life make Soros one of the most interesting practitioners to read about. Not saying he would be the best person to interact with in real life – I have not met him in person, have you? By reading his work, one can see some of his thinking and thought-changing power.
Fallibility lays the ground stone of his theory. Because we are all humans, we err. The fundamental truth is that investors make mistakes, politicians are imperfect, and there is destined to have a gap between reality and perfection.
Reflexivity checks the second box for his theory. When individuals, like you and I, are reading, writing, or observing the market, we have the power to create changes. This power to change essentially gives us power to correct our mistakes. When we modify the errors we made, we allow the reality to approach to the inalienable truth.Since humans flaw and self-criticise, we need an open society that allows the maximum amount of social mobility. To ensure social mobility, every individual-to-community relationship is subject to the concept of social contract. One can enter or quit freely without incurring too many frictions. Henceforth, if one finds his or her entry to a group a mistake, he or she can exit such group freely and correct the formerly wrong decision to this individual. In addition, the protection of minorities is vital.
Lastly, close societies like communism and feudalism that aim to establish a hero are outdated. Close societies are built upon past experiences and imperfect laws. Because their closeness, they allow the past mistakes to be accumulated and they are not forward-looking but backward-inducting. Remember we talked about fallibility and reflexivity? Without a system that ensure criticism, a country or an individual can never improve.
Freedom, democracy, and criticism can counter such backwardness. Last condition but the most important of all is the conditionality of democracy. Democracy is not to be taken for granted. It is a jointly held belief that needs consistent recognition and protection.
Soros draws examples from his previous experiences as a Jew in Nazis-controlled Hungary, as an expat in London, and as a mogul after his immigration to the US. He rose to fame as an outsider, nobody, and minority, as the foreigner that speaks with accent. The contradictive facts add to his mystery and the mysterious power. In close societies and former Soviet blocs, many portraited him as the evil speculator and “big shorter” that brought down the regime of a country. Using his word, speculators should just speculate but he made a reflexivity difference.
There are a lot more about him from his writing. The controversial Open Society Foundation, his thought on the competitive nature of every human relationship, and his support of closer investigation into the topic of death. Soros’s writings are abstract, dark, pessimistic, yet central to human nature. Many read him as the fame king of money or the far-left billionaire with elusive power. For me, his writings introduced me to the world of Open Society and minority protection. It is a way of thinking – called philosophy in another term.
Source: Soros on Soros – George Soros.
*article does not represent Zhu’s political opinion. The article only presents my metaphysical analysis on the book written by Soros.
In 2016, I plunged into the work of Soros: his history, his philosophy, his stories. I missed classes for his quasi-philosophical world. However, many also call Soros’ work fallacious, so I will encourage the audience to read comprehensively and of others’ works. Around the same year, I quitted from a former finance career. As much as everyone would fantasise about how Soros made $1billion in one night (the battle of British Pounds), I also found my fervour on this financial alchemist faded as my entanglement with financial field lessened. Afterwards, during American presidential election, a few of my pro-Trump friends found Soros obscure and dangerous. Open border theory, in a time when cross-border tumults ruled, seemed crazy and scary. Later on, the Republicans often counter-attacked the attacks from Democrats by pointing out that these efforts are incensed by Hilary Clinton and the Soros empire behind. Arguments are especially seen in recent Kavanaugh nomination. After all, opening the border for some means giving the treasured land to terrorists and unwanted immigrants. The pessimistic attitude of Soros makes him unattractive and even spooky in the public eyes. I also do not find him charming in any sense. However, certain things philosopher Karl Popper and Soros mentioned, such as the idea of a more connected world, makes me ponder at some points. Anyhow, Soros, presented as he is, dry, but intriguing, still continues to allude scholars and practitioners, who by large may have been alluded by the legendary and monetary glamour of his career.
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