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During the recent years I have heard now and then about George Soros being demonized in several public speeches of some politicians from various countries. This article catches some of these declarations:

  • US (Donald Trump / Roger Stone)

Donald Trump ruled that Americans protesting against him were “professional” agitators. Roger Stone, who has worked for the filthy wing of the right since Nixon’s day, followed up by announcing he had discovered the agitators were “paid for” by none other than Soros.

Republican senators are now trying to persuade the Trump administration to cut support for Soros’s campaign to promote democracy and human rights in eastern Europe.

  • Macedonia (Nikola Gruevski)

[...] has called for a “de-Sorosisation” of society

  • Hungary - (Viktor Orbán)

[..] self-proclaimed illiberal democracy is threatening the Soros-funded Central European University.

  • Romania (various TV channels, some political leaders)

Romania’s socialist elite imitates Trump and claims Soros pays citizens to take to the streets to demonstrate against corruption.

As a funny side note, a reporter even claimed that dogs were payed by Soros and the TV channel was fined for this.

Another article completes the list of countries:

  • Poland (Krystyna Pawlowicz)

called him the “most dangerous man in the world” on Radio Maryja, a Catholic broadcaster. She said his foundations “finance anti-Christian and anti-national activities.”

He got in trouble in Israel:

ISRAEL has voiced its support for the Hungary poster campaign targetting financier George Soros claiming he "undermines” the nation’s government.

George Soros's activity seems to be mostly related to promoting transparency, free elections, free speech and a free press. None of these things seems bad for any reasonable person. Also, he is quite old and his figure hardly inspires fear to anyone.

Question: why does George Soros is demonized in so many countries?

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    When you say that his activity is aimed at "promoting transparency, free elections, free speech and a free press", you seem to suggest that he is neutral and not taking sides in politics. I don't know much about Soros political activities other than numerous claims that he supports left causes. The claims could be one sided, of course. But to view it from the opposite side of the political divide, would Soros have supported the revelation of Clinton's emails (in the interest of transparency) made by Wikileaks? – grovkin Jun 6 '18 at 6:31
  • There are obviously people who oppose transparency, free elections, free speech and a free press so why the question? – liftarn Jun 7 '18 at 6:58
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    @liftarn Because Soros isn't simply opposed because of his ideas, he is demonized (literally, in some cases). Sure, there is opposition to almost any idea, but the Soros situations seems... unique in some way. This is a valid question. – BradC Jun 7 '18 at 15:26
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George Soros's activity seems to be mostly related to promoting transparency, free elections, free speech and a free press.

George Soros has other things that he supports. For example, he supports switching from oil and coal to natural gas and renewables, which those supporting oil and coal find annoying. Soros also owns natural gas reserves and production facilities.

Soros opposed the Iraq war. Soros favors same sex marriage and related issues. He's pro-choice (i.e. favors legal abortion). Soros is for drug legalization. Soros has his own take on environmental issues (natural gas good). He believes in a high tax and spending government. We can argue about whether his positions are correct, but they aren't simply about transparency, free elections, free speech, and a free press. He takes distinctly liberal positions on many other issues.

The conservative view of George Soros.

Soros is the twelfth largest contributor to political campaigns in the United States, and his contributions go exclusively to Democrats/liberals (in the US sense).

I'm not as aware of what he does internationally (outside the US), but some of the same issues exist. For example, the Polish example refers to "anti-Christian" views. Those are probably legalized abortion, same sex marriage, and similar positions.

Soros on Israel:

...his Open Society Foundations began an ambitious project in 2009 to persuade Europe and the U.S. to "hold Israel accountable" for violations of international law.

Unsurprisingly, Israel doesn't much think that it needs to be held accountable for its actions. It is of the opinion that it is Palestinian actions that are the problem. From that perspective, the Soros project is making life harder for the Israelis without applying the same standards to the Palestinians.

Macedonia, Hungary, and Romania may have their own reasons. Or maybe those politicians are against transparency and freedom on their face. The given quotes don't tell us one way or the other.

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    In Hungary it is about immigration (George Soros earmarks 500 million for migrants and refugees), and that puts him directly in clash with Victor Orban policies. – SJuan76 Jul 13 '17 at 18:23
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    In Romania's case, I am pretty sure that most politicians are against transparency and having a liberal democracy. Most probably, the same applies in various degrees in other Eastern European countries – Alexei Jul 13 '17 at 19:33
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    @Alexei - most politicians are against transparency. Fixed that for you. – user4012 Jul 14 '17 at 15:04
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    Minor nitpick: i'm not sure "Conservapedia" is "conservative view" of anything, as far as being representative. A couple of time I ended up on it, I was distinctly unimpressed with the quality. – user4012 Jul 14 '17 at 15:06
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    Useful primer on the far left groups funded by Soros, at least in part: discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 – K Dog Jun 7 '18 at 16:44
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Note that this question is asking why Soros is demonized, not just why some people object to his policies. The two are related but not identical.

There are many layers of objections to Soros, his policies, and his legacy; much of it legitimate, some of it exaggerated, some of it entirely fictitious.

There is a long and complex history here, you can't just focus on a few recent issues, or just focus on his activities within the US (which are relatively recent, compared to his activities in Europe).

A few pieces that attempt to dig into that wider history:

I'd recommend listening to that 18-minute podcast, it is an excellent primer.

You first have to understand the dramatic change in how he was viewed across Eastern Europe (summarized from the articles above):

  • In the 1980s and 90s, Soros' philanthropic organization ("Open Society") was very active in Soros' home country of Hungary and across Eastern Europe, contributing generously to causes that promoted Western and democratic ideas, including universities, funding NGOs, and student grants.
  • Into the early 2000s, he continued to support pro-democracy efforts, and was supportive of the Baltic states joining the EU. Some of the organizations he helped fund were involved in the eventual overthrow of the autocratic governments of Georgia and Ukraine.
  • The global economic crisis, which started in 2008, started to create doubt in Eastern Europe about their involvement in the EU and Western ideals, and over the next few years, politics started to shift.
  • Soros became a symbol of Western interference, first implicitly, and later explicitly, by right-wing politicians that were returning to power in these Eastern European countries.

As mentioned by @sjoerd in the comments, Soros' position advocating open borders and free immigration among the EU nations are an unpopular view with many groups.

Yes, there is more history than this, for example Soros is blamed for "breaking the Bank of England", because he "shorted" the pound sterling in the exchange market and profited when the pound was withdrawn from the ERM.

Yes, Soros has contributed to liberal groups in the US as well, including groups that opposed Bush' 2004 re-election effort.

But does he deserve this reputation any more than other wealthy financiers with political interest like, say, the Koch brothers, on the right? That is hard to compare, since much more of the Koch brothers' contributions consist of "soft money", which doesn't have to disclose its donors. It seems, if nothing else, that at least Soros is more transparent about the causes he supports.

The bottom line: clearly there are many legitimate reasons that people in many countries disagree with or oppose his policies, but my contention is that those differences of opinion are insufficient to explain the virulent and conspiracy-theory-laden nature of the opposition against him.

EDIT: Placeholder here to better explain and justify why it is reasonable to conclude that a certain portion of the demonizing of Soros (as asked by the original question) is related to anti-Semitism.

A few links that support that contention:

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    +1. Excellent necromancer answer. – Alexei Jun 6 '18 at 20:14
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    -1 for the strawman in the postscript. He's not the face of some conspiracy theory. He's the face of NGOs pushing for Open Borders and Free Immigration. That's not a conspiracy theory. – Sjoerd Jun 6 '18 at 22:47
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    I don't know if this answer is more offensive because it is highly antisemitic or because it brazenly tries to demonize the right-wing political side of discussion as antisemitic. Soros gets just as much, not more, blame for his political activities as the Koch brothers. The fact that he is Jewish does not create a carte blanche to paint all of his critics as antisemitic. And claiming that his positions are a reflection of his being Jewish is antisemitic in itself. It paints all Jews in a light which many of them find alien. – grovkin Jun 7 '18 at 0:38
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    @grovkin "claiming that his positions are a reflection of his being Jewish" Where does the answer claim that? – dasdingonesin Jun 7 '18 at 10:08
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    @Sjoerd "He's not the face of some conspiracy theory" He's apparently the face of uncountable conspiracy theories (google "soros rothschild"). At least one author seems to agree that antisemitism plays an essential role in those theories: "Shane Burley [...] argued that Soros conspiracy theories have proven "durable" in the face of years of fact-checking and debunking because "they have a core that has survived for years and years, and that core is anti-Semitism"." The Soros Obsession – dasdingonesin Jun 7 '18 at 14:58
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One reason to dislike Soros is how he makes his money. He's a currency manipulator, which means he is a very wealthy opportunist: he skims money from countries and people indirectly while returning nothing of value. Look what he did with The British Pound. And who did he help with that bit of manipulation? No one but himself. For sure, he didn't do the British people any good.

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    "while returning nothing of value" - this seems to be significantly more than nothing. – Alexei Jul 13 '17 at 19:36
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    @Alexei: Soros has made billions off of currency manipulation, which bleeds people and countries in misfortune. Maybe he has done some good with some of that money, but that does not change the fact that his primary source of income is as a leech. – tj1000 Jul 13 '17 at 21:04
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    Speculators increase liquidity in markets. There are two sides to every transaction: a buyer and a seller. The existence of speculators increases the numbers of buyers/sellers in the market, making it easier for e.g. long-term investors to liquidate their position (as someone else is always willing to trade with them, hoping to make a profit off price fluctuations). The British economy took a beating for it, but it came back stronger, as it was forced to abandon its excess interest and high inflation. – C. Helling Jun 6 '18 at 15:02
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    Just because it's hard to understand the value of what some people do, it doesn't mean that the value isn't there. Currency traders make international trade more efficient and allow for relative currency values to better reflect purchasability of the currencies. Inefficient markets are always worse for people who spend money in those markets. So by making it more efficient, traders do create value. – grovkin Jun 7 '18 at 0:40
  • @tj1000 Soros has made billions off of currency manipulation Why manipulation? That sounds like something borderline illegal. Wasn't that just normal currency trading? Just asking, I'm not informed about the subject. – SantiBailors Jun 9 '18 at 12:31
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This question is difficult to answer conclusively because 100 different people would probably give you 100 different answers. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he is the perfect embodiment of so-called "liberal elitism." A common argument used by liberals is that policies like low corporate taxes and high military spending are championed only by wealthy plutocrats whereas support for progressive causes comes from grassroots lobbying efforts. The very existence of George Soros serves to rebut that claim.

  • Yes, because clearly people make blanket statements like "ALL support for progressive causes comes SOLELY from grassroots lobbying efforts", and the very existence of a single exception to this blanket statement is devastating to such an argument. This answer doesn't contribute anything of value. – C. Helling Jun 7 '18 at 14:44
  • Yes, because no people ever make blanket statements. – AffableAmbler Jun 7 '18 at 15:55
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    My point is that you're arguing a straw man. – C. Helling Jun 7 '18 at 15:57
  • @C.Helling I'm not sure what argument you think I'm making. The question is "Why is George Soros demonized" and I honestly believe this is the answer. Progressive activists (rightfully) call about big money groups for interfering in the democratic process (Lockheed Martin, Exxon Mobil, the Koch Brothers, etc. etc.) and their response is often "yeah, well, George Soros." If you don't believe me, search Google News for George Soros and you'll find dozens of articles from conservative media outlets complaining about how he purportedly uses his money to influence elections. – AffableAmbler Jun 7 '18 at 20:48
  • Again, I'm not saying it's a valid reason for demonetization, only that it's a reason. – AffableAmbler Jun 7 '18 at 20:49

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