George Reisman Answers George Soros

Socialist billionaire George Soros has invested tens of millions of dollars to help influence the 2004 presidential election. A vocal critic free markets, he now helps lead (and fund) American liberals’ campaign to bring more socialism to the United States.

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear one of capitalism’s most consistent defenders take him on head-first? George Reisman, author of the seminal Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, does just this in an essay for the Ludwig von Mises Institute titled “Is Laissez-Faire a Threat to Freedom? An Answer to George Soros.”

The essay begins:

Back in 1997, George Soros, a multibillionaire stock and commodities speculator, wrote an essay titled “The Capitalist Threat” (The Atlantic Monthly, February1997. The essential substance of this essay is the claim that the main contemporary threat to a free society is a fully free society–i.e., a society of laissez-faire capitalism. It is a claim that has grown more prominent in the years since his article first appeared.

The obviously self-contradictory nature of this claim may have escaped Soros because he does not use the term “free society,” but the ambiguous expression “open society.” Yet is clear that insofar as the “open society” is to be considered as something desirable, it represents a free society, as when Soros writes: “The Declaration of Independence may be taken as a pretty good approximation of the principles of an open society….”

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