George Soros

Happy Birthday Mr. Soros!

On his birthday, I thought I would share a few more gems from his ‘Age of Fallibility’. This post here highlights Soros’ cutting insights into the Dream Bubbles of our modern life heralding the importance of embracing failure (‘our understanding is imperfect and there is a reality beyond our will’).

“Open society is built on the recognition that our understanding is imperfect and there is a reality beyond our will…This insight has been lacking in America. We have been pursuing success without much concern for the truth. As a result, we have become a feel-good society, unwilling to confront unpleasant realities. We want our elected leaders to make us feel good instead of telling us the truth. The outcome endangers not only our open society but our dominant position in the world.”

“How can the public be convinced that under this [Bush] administration the country has embarked on a disastrous course? The message is simple: America cannot remain powerful and prosperous as a feel-good society. We must learn to confront unpleasant realities if we want to remain leaders in the world. Will any politician stand up and deliver the message? And if there is such a politician, will the public listen?”

Curiously, the words were written in the wake of the invasion of Iraq decrying America’s naive use of force to try to reinforce a ‘feel good’ society rather than face harsh realities. Some eerie parallels with thugs and yobs looting across England resulting to violence and destruction in order to feel good, but as many offenders are now discovering, at a large long term cost.