Why Right-Wing Nationalists Hate George Soros
For the past decade, Nationalist ideologies have been on the rise, with the “populist right-wing” Nationalists in the Western sphere being able to insert themselves into mainstream culture and politics, making considerable gains with the election of Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, and Brexit. The most extreme identitarian and racist groups spousing ethno nationalist discourse have used these results to also claim success even though there are sensible differences between these groups and the aforementioned Nationalists (a group that roughly includes the populist and national conservative right) and the Left-leaning nationalists with a progressive agenda. These different groups do not exactly see eye to eye, considering the others to be either weak, or unnecessarily extreme. However, if one is to ask a right-wing nationalist, regardless of their particular political agendas, what their thoughts are on George Soros, the likely response is that he is considered enemy number one. In this article, I will be breaking down the reasons as to why Right-Wing Nationalists hate George Soros.
Soros’s wealth and ancestry (Jewish) immediately does not grant him any popularity within the racist and anti-Semitic groups that compose the identitarian wings of Nationalism. Anti-Semitism, however, is not bound to that specific area of the political compass, with a few recent cases of anti-Semitism deriving from politicians associated with ideologies unrelated to Nationalism. Furthermore, Mr. Soros is an atheist who has been somewhat disassociated with his Jewish roots throughout his whole life; with some reporting that he grew up in an anti-Semitic household, and most importantly, with Soros claiming to have no remorse over carting off stolen possessions from Hungarian Jewish men, women and children who had been taken to concentration camps during the 40’s. When it comes to Zionism, Soros’s opinion is “I don't deny the Jews their right to a national existence — but I don't want to be part of it”. Therefore, it is safe to say that Soros has gone above and beyond to disassociate himself from Jews and Judaism. While the point behind anti-Semitism is still important to take into consideration, and while it may be enough to cause hate amongst racist groups, it is not the main factor for the hate that Nationalists have for Soros.
Business and Investments
Mr. Soros is one of the richest men in the world, having played the financial markets in a way which would make any lover of capitalist ideologies proud. With a net worth of over 8 billion dollars and owning a significant amount of shares in 170 very reputable companies (T-Mobile, Disney, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard, Citigroup amongst many others) . Soros is also known for being one of the speculators (if not the main speculator) behind the collapse in the value of the pound in 1992, with him and other speculators taking up short positions against the pound (which means selling it expecting its price to go down), causing its devaluation. This would eventually force the UK to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism due to the fact that its currency fell beyond a limit imposed by the ERM. It is reported that Soros will have made over a billion dollars from this trade alone, and is still known to this day as the man who “broke the Bank of England”.
There is also extensive history of political involvement by Soros, most important through his investments. A few relevant examples would be investments on Democratic Party campaigns in the United States in various elections, with a recent example being that of the Clinton campaign and the financing of various progressive groups and agendas through an organization that he runs, Open Society Foundations. If one was to list all of the investments made by Soros or OSF in attempts to influence societies across the world to take on a more progressive agenda, and influence outcomes of elections, that would perhaps be enough material for an article by itself, but Soros’s influence is such that in the current political climate, Nationalists are actively looking out for any move he makes, and are quick to jump to any conclusion that may even remotely associate Soros with the Black Lives Matter protests, with the recent conspiracy theories about him claiming he owns groups such as Antifa and BLM.
States That Consider Him a Threat
While there are a plethora of conspiracy theories backed by not much beyond wild assumptions regarding Soros at the short distance of just one google search, the threat he poses to national conservative/ authoritarian states is evident on the simple fact that Open Society Foundations and Soros himself have been banned from conducting their business in countries such as Turkey, the Philippines, Pakistan and most relevant, Poland Russia and his native country of Hungary. The latter three are states led by either authoritarians or national conservatives who clearly consider Soros to be enough of a valid threat to justify his ban in the name of national security. In the case of Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made it a priority to limit Soros’s influence as much as possible, starting with the forceful removal of OSF from Budapest (they are now based in Berlin). The crackdown on NGO’s and think tanks made by the Hungarian government was made in the name of combating organizations that incentivize illegal immigration.
To fully grasp the hostile attitude right-wing nationalists have towards Soros it is necessary to be aware of how much of a threat he is perceived to be. Whenever a national conservative/right-wing authoritarian figure decides to ban Soros from conducting its business within the country he leads, the level of suspicion rises and the perception of Mr. Soros as an evil force controlling all branches of government and culture through his investments is normalized, and thus it is understandable why right-wing Nationalists feel threatened by him.
George Soros has many characteristics and contradictions that could help justify negative opinions about him in the realm of right-wing nationalist ideologies. From anti-Semitic attacks against him carried out by racist groups due to his ancestry, or claims from the moderates that he is himself an anti-Semite for disassociating himself from other Jews, to a successful capitalist who has used speculation to his personal benefit but who also happens to be a democratic socialist with a keen interest in furthering a progressive agenda, George Soros’s contradictions make him an easy figure to detest due to the simple fact one is bound to find something in him that they might find disagreeable at best or immoral at worst (depending on which ideological lenses he is analysed through).
As far as right-wing nationalism goes, and specifically demonstrated by the actions of the PM of his country Viktor Orban, Soros is seen as a threat due to the simple fact that he is one of the most powerful men in the world with a history of showing to be able to meddle in state affairs if he does so wish (with him ‘breaking’ the Bank of England in 1992 being the perfect example). Not only does Soros have enough power and influence to further societal agendas, he also has a history of forcing governments to change their strategies in order to adapt to a financial problem he caused. The most cherished idea in Nationalist ideologies is that the Nation State’s sovereignty should remain intact and pure, and the existence of figures like Mr. Soros cause a very uneasy environment of suspicion. Not only that, but his history of financing and supporting progressive causes, allied with his overwhelming influence, is not only the reason why some states have taken steps to protect themselves from him, but also the main reason why Nationalists hate George Soros, for he is someone who is willing and able to deal significant damage to their cause.