The Open Society and its new enemies
George Soros, financial wizard and philanthropist, has written a fierce
but thoughtful critique of Bush administration policies and those who
“A dominant faction within the Bush administration believes that
international relations are relations of power. Because we are unquestionably
the most powerful, they claim, we have earned the right to impose our will
on the rest of the world.
This position is enshrined in the Bush doctrine that was first enunciated
in the president's speech at West Point in June 2002 and then incorporated
in the National Security Strategy last September.
The Bush doctrine is built on two pillars: First, the United States will do everything
in its power to maintain its unquestioned military supremacy, and second, the
United States arrogates the right to preemptive action. Taken together, these two
pillars support two classes of sovereignty: the sovereignty of the United States,
which takes precedence over international treaties and obligations, and the sovereignty
of all other states, which is subject to the Bush doctrine. This is reminiscent of
George Orwell's "Animal Farm": All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.”
Soros follows the thinking of philosopher Karl R. Popper in advocating the ideals of
an “open society.” Now he sees the open society threatened by the nation that was
once its best hope.
Soros' essay originally appeared in The American Prospect.