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January 20, 2019 12:26 PM   Subscribe

"The Plot Against George Soros." Hannes Grassegger (Twitter) describes how two American political consultants launched an anti-Soros campaign, and how it then went viral. (SLBuzzfeed; originally appeared in German and with some differences)
posted by doctornemo (20 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
SLBuzzfeed; originally appeared in German

I think the playbook the political consultants used originally appeared in German, too.
posted by duffell at 12:50 PM on January 20 [40 favorites]


Christ, what a pair of assholes.
posted by chavenet at 1:01 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


They got a little push from Facebook, of course.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]




This article tells much too neat a story. I was really gripped by it as I read it, but it left an uncomfortable aftertaste.

It skates past the opprobrium heaped on George Soros for years and years prior. I’m perfectly willing to believe the limited claim that the two political consultants mentioned in the article helped make Soros a figure of hate in Hungary.

But the reason this hate caught on in the wider world was because Soros had long been despised, especially in England, for making money from the collapse of the pound in 1992. He was routinely referred to as “the man who broke the pound”.

That the article barely touches on that, while going into great detail on the politcal consulting careers of Birnbaum an Finkelstein, makes the article come awfully close to blaming antisemitism on a pair of Jewish men.
posted by Kattullus at 3:12 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Why do they hate palindromes?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:23 PM on January 20


George Soros is not a Nazi, explained

Real world George Soros appears to be just a regular shitty rich dude, given to doing the occasional shitty thing like all rich dudes, though more center right than todays crop of billionaires who all seem to be libertarians or fascists. Anyway, there's probably plenty of bad things you can legitimately say about him, what makes his role in this interesting is not him being some neoliberal mover and shaker, but the insane and bizarre conspiracy theories that circle around him, and that make his name popping up in conversation a warning that you might be talking to a neo-nazi. That appears to be what these dudes have been building up.
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]




Here in the US, Soros was a darling of the right (esp. libertarians) in the 80s and 90s because of his a) definitely being a shitty capitalist and b) being extremely anti-communist back when that mattered a whole lot. Source: my family are and were pretty hardcore into that scene to the extent that I attended Institute for Humane Studies summer programs for teens circa 1992. So, from my perspective, this about face has been wild to watch
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:40 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


But the reason this hate caught on in the wider world was because Soros had long been despised, especially in England, for making money from the collapse of the pound in 1992. He was routinely referred to as “the man who broke the pound”.

Seriously? People actually cared about that in particular, as opposed to the stunts pulled by the other billionaires at the time? I'm sorry, but i have to see a deeper, more antisemitic motive to singling Soros out.
posted by happyroach at 6:21 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Not to encourage any “national SOCIALISM is actually left wing” nonsense, but there’s a pseudo-anticapitalist to fascism, in that they’ll be against SOME capitalists, as an “elite” who as the root cause of all problems etc... and they’ll often be in favour of socialist style redistribution schemes but again only from SOME people.

I'm sorry, but i have to see a deeper, more antisemitic motive to singling Soros out.

Other scapegoats will do, but that’s an old and convenient one, yeah.
posted by Artw at 7:59 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


He was routinely referred to as “the man who broke the pound”.

yea and also in Malaysia in 1998 during the Asian Financial Crisis. The UK backstory could explain why that meme got traction in our anglophilic, UK-facing circles though. Oh, that and the antisemitism. (ironically of course, the main person doing this, Mahathir, later professed friendship with Soros)
posted by cendawanita at 9:31 PM on January 20


I bet you guys can’t guess which country nazis fixate on when it comes to alleged damage George Soros has done to it.
posted by Artw at 10:02 PM on January 20


Not to encourage any “national SOCIALISM is actually left wing” nonsense, but there’s a pseudo-anticapitalist to fascism, in that they’ll be against SOME capitalists, as an “elite” who as the root cause of all problems etc... and they’ll often be in favour of socialist style redistribution schemes but again only from SOME people.

The old saying was "anti-semitism is the socialism of fools," though "the class-consciousness of fools" is more appropriate IMO.
posted by atoxyl at 4:16 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


But the reason this hate caught on in the wider world was because Soros had long been despised, especially in England, for making money from the collapse of the pound in 1992. He was routinely referred to as “the man who broke the pound”.

Funny how people don't have the same hate-on for Warren Buffet and his massive profiteering of the 2008 collapse. I wonder what the difference between him and Soros is? (I don't actually because I know what the difference is).
posted by srboisvert at 6:38 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Just to be clear, I wasn’t suggesting that the hate against George Soros in the 1990s and early 2000s wasn’t antisemitic, what I objected to was the posted article’s scapegoating of two Jewish men.
posted by Kattullus at 10:17 PM on January 21


Not sure if you are saying they didn't stoke conspiracies against him or that it was innocent conspiracy mongering free of antisemitism?
posted by Artw at 10:50 PM on January 21


No, I was saying that if they lit the bonfire, other people gathered the wood into a pile and poured the lighter fluid.

That said, I’m not sure they lit the fire, because there’s a long and depressing tradition of people blaming antisemitism on the actions of Jewish people, so I’m going to be reflexively skeptical of any article that has that, or a variation of that, as it’s thesis.
posted by Kattullus at 12:02 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]




They all go on the list.
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


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