Daniel Bessner wrote a detailed and deep examination of my philosophy and actions throughout life (as George Soros thinks a long time to read, July 6), but his self esteem suffers a fatal flaw – set a misconception about the beliefs and convictions that underlie this philosophy and these actions.
Bessner says that I believe “the necessary connection between capitalism and cosmopolitanism,” that I believe “a free society depends on a free (albeit regulated) market.” Further, he claims that my “class position has made [me] can achieve the radical reform needed to lead the world [I wish]”.
On the contrary, I was a passionate critic of market fundamentalism, at least since I first discussed the phenomenon in my essay the capitalist threat in the Atlantic monthly about 20 years ago. In addition, I was a strong supporter of what Bessner calls “radical reform” that may lead to a better world that I and many other desires – for example, I would like to cite as an example the posts I made regarding reforms after the financial crisis of 2008. Who comments will see that my suggestions were far from the mainstream “center-left” approach, which ultimately prevailed. In the same vein, with regard to Eastern Europe after 1989, Bessner writes: “It was more than a lack of political will, which is bounded to the West at this point. In the era of “shock therapy”, the Western capital not flocking to Eastern Europe – but this capital was invested mainly in the private sector, in contrast to democratic institutions or grass-roots communities that helped kleptocrats and anti-Democrats, to seize and hold power.” I agree. But Bessner continues: “Soros has identified the key problem, but I couldn’t understand what the logic of capitalism, which emphasized profit above all else, will inevitably undermine its democratic project. He remained too wedded to the system he won.” On the contrary, my intervention was wholly in support of “democratic institutions and grassroots community”, and I have urged other countries, including the government, for me this approach.
In addition, Bessner the conclusion that my status “as a member of the Hyper-elite and [my] belief that, for all its hiccups, the story is moving in the right direction was made [me] may consider all the ideological barriers that stood in the way of [my] internationalism” is unfounded. I don’t think I’ve ever expressed optimism that history is moving in the right direction. Martin Luther king famously said “the arc of the moral Universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I am much less optimistic, which is why I spent my life actively trying to bend the arc in the positive direction. However, realizing that I’m biased assessment of my entire life, I submit it to the judgment of history.
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