Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Two Billionaire Philosophers: Soros and Gates

George Soros and Bill Gates are the most influential philosophers of the last three decades—with their philosophical thinking and the humanitarian work that they are doing in several nations, they are having a decisive impact on not only the financial industry (where Soros made his fortune) and the digital industry (where Gates made his fortune) but on the politics and culture of several nations. The last three decades are the only period in history when two billionaires, who didn’t have a giant military at their back, have managed to dominate the culture of the entire world by leveraging their wealth, reputation, and philosophical vision. In the philosophy of Soros and Gates, there is a kind of leftist utopianism, or the lust for an egalitarian society, that is reminiscent of the thinking of the Enlightenment philosophes and of Karl Marx. Soros believes that an egalitarian society, or a liberal welfare state, can be created by crushing traditionalism and nationalism. Gates believes that the digital technologies are the key to establishing a liberal welfare state; a digital supremacist, he is convinced that every problem that mankind faces has a digital solution, and he dreams of a world where the human population is a fraction of what it’s today and where almost everything gets done through the clean and green digital solutions. The political establishments in most nations are in awe of the wealth, technology, and egalitarian vision that Soros and Gates have come to symbolize; they are adored by the academics, the media, and the public—but I side with the small group of old-fashioned individuals who realize that the idealism of Soros and Gates is taking the world towards a climax that will be as brutal and sad as the climax of the Enlightenment philosophies (the French Revolution of 1789) and the climax of Marxist philosophies (the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917).


Muse Seeker said...

Good post, Anoop. I agree with your assessments of Soros and Gates. (They sound like a vaudeville team, but unfortunately their effects on our society have been far less innocuous and amusing.)

I like your sidebar quotes. Some of them are very important, and I wish more Objectivists took them to heart:

You: Philosophers are of two kinds: the “preachers of the truth” and the “seekers of the truth.” I am the second kind of philosopher — I am a seeker. [I like to share and thus "preach" what I have found in my seeking, but for the most part, I find trying to "convert" people to my way of thinking a huge diversion of my energy and passion.]

“The era which dares to claim that it is the most rebellious that has ever existed only offers a choice of various types of conformity. The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.” ~ Albert Camus [If you look at the two main wings of the Objectivist movement in this way, their inability to flourish and gain a wider beachhead in our culture starts to make a lot more sense.]

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise." ~ Benjamin Franklin [I think that there are many prominent and/or vocal Objectivists and libertarians who stubbornly cling to their hardened positions on politics and culture and philosophy, in the face of just the kind of factors Ben Franklin refers to. Which is why he, with all his flaws and warts, was a more admirable wise man than any of them will probably ever be.]

“The dogmatist is a more serious character than the utter skeptic. He is the dictator of cognition. He will put you down by main force. And he is no myth.” ~ Stephen C. Pepper [Amen to this. There are a number of "top dogs" in their little niches of the Objectivist and libertarian movements - some of them she-dogs, not all males - and they wield their "authority" and "credentials" like a sword, which unbeknownst to them is the consistency of barely congealed butter, not steel.]

“You know that I do not approach reasonable objections with the intention merely of refuting them, but that in thinking them over I always weave them into my judgments, and af­ford them the opportunity of overturning all my most cherished beliefs. I entertain the hope that by thus viewing my judgments impartially from the standpoint of others some third view that will improve upon my previous insight may be obtainable.” ~ Immanuel Kant [Of course, Kant will NEVER be credited as being a reasonable, flexible thinker, but instead a dogmatic, rigid, destroyer of reason and happiness.]

Roger E. Bissell, Muse-Seeker

Anoop Verma said...

Roger, Good points. I am glad that you like my sidebar quote selections. I think during the early days of their career Soros had good contributions to make to the world of finance and Bill Gates, of course, did phenomenally well in the world of computers. But after the 1990s, they have started using all their power and reputation to move the world towards a leftward direction. They really hate the world that has made their kind of success possible.