“… Ideologies which claim to be in possession of the ultimate truth are making a false claim. Therefore they can be imposed on society only by force. … Popper proposed a more attractive form of social organisation, an open society …”
Soros is an ideologue, just like his “communist, fascist, and national socialist” counterparts. (To various degrees, everyone has an ideology — an articulation of ones desires as a framework for how the world ought to be). The subjective basis of an open society being “more attractive” is Soros’ ideological foundation. This is his unverifiable ideological basis to be enacted by force. This is because he is either implicitly making the “ultimate truth” claim that an open society is more attractive, or that his preference for an open society is nothing more than a personal opinion, not worth “imposing on society by force.” Since, the Open Society Foundation is clearly imposing its will on society by force, we can assume the former, and criticise Soros by his own logic.
“… an open society in which people are free ...”
Free? Freedom in what context? There is no such state as absolute freedom in this reality. This is due to the nature of competing wills in a world of limited resources: every being seeks to expand its own power. One will eventually butt heads against a neighbour, and resolution is achieved by limiting ones own actions or limiting ones neighbours. Freedom means, “the freedom to do X until that freedom is taken away.” Who then, creates the space in which the ability to do X is allowed, who grants “rights to do X” by their leave? It is the sovereign, whether an individual, or a state. So if there must be a sovereign for there to be freedom, then there is a context; freedom within constraints. Soros is incoherent when he advocates for freedom without context. It is not possible in a world where many minds desire few things.
What follows is that freedom for all would require a sovereign over all. This is paradoxical because freedom does not tend to be understood as complicit servitude of a benign master. When we speak of freedom, we are speaking of the freedom from X, Y, or Z, and hence we are speaking of rights.
If there are to be rights, they must be enforced, by some agency large enough to enforce them without hindrance. The state, naturally. The more rights we discover, acknowledge, and demand enforcement of, the more powerful and unhindered the state must be.Adam Katz, “Power and Paradox“.
Since this is the nature of freedom, the way of the world, it is not to be resented, but to be understood, and accepted. It is a social mechanism of restraint to work within. Let’s examine this closer. If one is sovereign over oneself, i.e. one is a truly sovereign individual (an almost infeasible situation), then 1) one agrees wholeheartedly with the ruler (oneself), 2) our desires are congruent with the sovereign’s, and 3) there are no constraints upon ones actions: one has complete freedom. In this scenario, we are restricted only by natural laws, not by any other social beings.
As our sovereignty is ceded to other beings, our individual desires begin to diverge to some degree from that of the sovereign, as no two conscious agents possess the exact same will. Even ones’ own family have similar but incongruent desires, which, even if small compared to a stranger from a strange land, begin to introduce restrictions upon our freedom. So for example, as children, our freedom is limited by the sovereignty of our parents. Our parents, who have (physical) power over us, force us to go to school, or brush our teeth. These restrictions arise from the difference between the wills of children and parents. The restrictions of freedom also rely on the physical ability of parents to enforce constrains upon their children.
The restraints upon any person is not always due to good-will: sometimes the restraint upon our freedom comes from those that are not concerned with our well-being. Since people are not equal, everyone has fundamentally different wills, consciousness, abilities, desires, and starting points. As a result, they come into competition in a world of scarce resources. We may ‘agree to disagree’ to some extent, but eventually the tension which grows between members of a community reaches snapping point. This process becomes inevitable when the sovereign’s rules do not stay in alignment with his subjects’ desires. The degree to which this manifests as tangible hostility and physical violence is something we, in the 21st Century, are seeing at an accelerating pace. For example, see the growing resentment of progressives, represented by the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA (and around the world), towards the establishment (especially white privileged males). This discordance between the desires of the mob and the established power centre results in revolution to enthrone a new sovereign (or alter the nature of the existing one to be more progressive).
Hence, there is a fundamental error in the Soros’ assumption that different people can or should live together. Unless everyone can be made the want the same things (at least to a sufficient degree), there will be an exponential difficulty in creating a global market or “free” individuals — there will be reactionaries.
One resolution to the reality of different communities, of competing desires in a world of limited resources, is for groups with a shared set of values, to live together — to the exclusion of others. Forcing everyone to live together would require a supreme sovereign, imposing excessive restrictions on each person, so that no one person’s desires impinged upon any other’s. Again, since there is a lot of natural diversity in this world, this would require a lot of restriction. The extent that each sovereign nation, would allow different views (foreigners of spirit) into their realm, would remain their prerogative. Within each community, the process of discordant views begins again, recursively, all the way down to the individual level of interaction in society. The difference being, that by the time we reach have separate “nations,” we are avoiding physical violence, and the community is maintained.
Whether Soros is sincere in his ideological foundations, or whether he is just misguided, what seems clear is that he:
- Misunderstands that ideology is based on subjective preferences, asserted by those with a will and the power to enact them.
- Fails to see that force used by “communists, fascists, and national socialists” is qualitatively the same as the force his own Open Society Foundation uses to enact his will;
- Ignores the tribal nature of human nature. He doesn’t think people are fundamentally composed of groups of self-identified friends and enemies.
- Down plays the necessity of a powerful global government to enshrine global “freedom.”
- Assumes that large groups of people with diverse abilities, desires, goals, and spirits, can live together in harmony, either naturally, or without an unacceptable amount of restrictions.