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Soros article "The Capitalist Threa

Reply-To: Euro-Burmanet tel 33 1 43 29 32 44 <http!//www-uvi.eunet.fr/@igc.org>
Subject: Soros article "The Capitalist Threat"

Dear Burma Readers,

" George Soros has turned heretic. " So begins the story in the
International Herald Tribune, a story on George Soros "Capitalism's King
Spies Evil in Market-Mad Realm, written for the IHT by Erik Ipsen. 

The story comes on the note of an 7000 word article by George Soros "
The Capitalist Threat " appears in the Atlantic Monthly. If it is not
yet on the net, would someone please post it?

I must say, given the important contribution that he has made to The
Burma Project, that it is most important comes not too early for the
debate over corporate wealth and corporate ethics and responsability in
the wake of increasing problems affecting freedom in society and
economic development in the world for global survival.

These subjects are the backbone of UVI.net <http://www.uvi-eunet.fr> . 

And Euro-Burma-Net. <http://www.uvi-eunet.fr/asia.euro-burma> .

For the record, George Soros is making himself clear on issues vital to
our society. And we applaud him for it. 

If only others of power, wealth and influence would do the same.  The
world is shaking with the tremors of revolt, from South Korea, Peru,
Serbie, Burma, Zaire - and George Soros is not indifferent to the
international voices of freedom which refused to be crushed under the
heel of capitalism, economic theories, corporate stratgies and
international finance institutions. The call is not only from the
masses, but from their leaders. His words are not made of stone.They are
backed by very real contributions, and solid will.

I always wonder why there are not more people like him. 

The IHT story follows. Metta,

Dawn Star
"Capitalism's King Spies Evil in Market-Mad Realm", by Erik Ipsen

London -- George Soros has turned heretic. 
In a lengthy article, the financier now charges that the very system
that brought him his billions, and is now embraced around the world as
the preferred path to prosperity, theatens to undermine free and open
societies everywhere.

" I have made a fortune on the internatinoal financial markets, and yet
I now fear that the untrammeled intensification of laissez-faire
capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is
endagering our open and democratic society, " Mr. Soros wrote in a 7,000
word article as short on mea culpas as it is long on dire predictions. 

The article, titled "The Capitalist Threat ", and which an aide
describes as a " culmination of Mr. Soros' thinking ", appears in
editions of  The Atlantic Monthly this week. The ungarian-born
financier, most famous for a string of hugely lucrative bets taken by
his $10 billion Quantum hedge fund in currrency markets, said flatly
that capitalism had now replaced communism as the gravest threat to open
societies. Mr. Soros, own most infamous bets helped push the British
pound out the European currency grid in 1992.

Mr. Soros said that his love of open societies stemmed in part from his
experience of totalitarian rule by both Nazis qnd Communists in Hungary
of  his youth. Both those dogmas, he notes, are easily proved false and

What distresses him now is a growing global fealty to what he terms the
"magic of the marketplace ". Is that that, he argues, that has thrown
open the door to everything from an elevation of  self-interest, over
the common good to the establishment of money as the true measure of all

" What used to be a medium of exchange has usurped the place of
fundamental values, " he wrote. " Being successful is not identical with
being. "

Even Adam Smith, noted Mr. Soros, beleived in more than the "invisible
hand" of market forces, marrying his economic theory with a deep-seated
moral code. Mr. Soros dates his conversion to morality over mammon to
1979, and only to when he admits he had made more money than he had any
conceivable need of. At that affluent juncture in his life the financier
set up his Open Society Fund.

Soros charities under that umbrella organization now operate in 25
countries and have spent tens of millions of Mr. Soros' market winnings
in aid of fostering democratic institutions, particularly  in Eastern
Europe. In those charitable undertakings, and now in his fulminations
against the very system that has brought him his fortune, Mr. Soros has
had one the biggest and most public changes of heart since the name of
the great gunpowder magnate, Alfred Nobel, became inextrcably linked
with a prize to foster peace.

What troubles Mr. Soros most is that today's markets idolatry threatens
to depart from the realm of the merely distatesful into that of the
downright dangerous in several areas. He notes, for instance, that the
same benighted markets that bring prosperity have in the past repeatedly
crashed, sending ripples of destitution racingacross the landscape and
creating the conditions for a totalitarian backlash.

He also notes that laissez-faire systems today have an increasing bias
toward income inequality and toward the social tension that may
generate. By defining government  intervenion as the "ultimate evil,"
Mr. Soros wrote, " laissez-faire ideology has effectively banished
income or wealth redistribution. "

That tendancy of governments to sit on their pocketbooks rather than
opening them, brings up the point that appears to be wellspring for Mr.
Soros's article: the lack of financial support from Western government
for the rebuilding of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The conseqences have been grave. In Russia, he charges, Communist bosses
have now been succeeded in power by  by " robber " capitalists in a
system grown so unbalanced that Russians may well turn to a "
charismatic leader promising national revival at the cost of civil
liberties. "