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 and his clear distinction of fame 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 haven’t, have you? Reading, generates the thought-changing power.
Fallibility laid 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 reality is destined to have a gap with the perfection.
Reflexivity checked 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 the ultimate 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 is a mistake, he or she can exit such group freely and correct the formerly wrong decision. 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Lastly, close societies like communism and feudalism that aim to establish a hero are outdated.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, one 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 belief that needs consistent recognition and protection.
Soros drew his examples from his previous experiences in Nazis-controlled Hungary, expat past in London, and immigration to the US. He rose to fame as an outsider, nobody, and minority (as the foreigner who is still accented in the US). The contradictive fact adds to his mystery and the mysterious power. In close societies and former Soviet blocs, many portaited him as the evil speculator and “big shorter” that brought down a 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, and 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.
Re-edit (13/10/17): Last summer this time and the several months leading up to the time, I was reading Soros: his history, his philosophy, his recent well-being. I missed classes for it and just plunged into the quasi-philosophical world. On top of many other things, I quitted investment banking (before I went in) from there. As much as everyone would fantasize 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 mysterious and dangerous. Open border theory, in a time when cross-border tumults ruled, seemed out-reach and scary. The pessimistic attitude of Soros also made him unattractive and even spooky in the public eyes. I also did not find him charming in any sense. However, what Karl Popper and Soros had mentioned, i.e., the idea of more connected world, made me ponder at some points. Anyhow, Soros, presented as he is, dry, but intriguing, may also inspire some, who are alluded by the legendary and monetary glamour of a dark-thinking man.