At Davos, George Soros Attacks PM Modi’s ‘Frightening’ Nationalism

At Davos, George Soros attacked right-wing authoritarian leaders like Trump, Modi; drew attention to climate change.

3 min read
Billionaire-philanthropist George Soros at the World Economic Forum.

American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros openly criticised Prime Minister Modi, on Thursday, 23 January, for creating a “Hindu nationalist state” during his address at the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos.

In his speech at the World Economic Forum, Soros touched on a range of issues, including the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, the pressing problem of climate change, and manipulation of platforms including Facebook for political usage.

“Nationalism, far from being reversed, made further headway. The biggest and most frightening setback occurred in India where a democratically elected Narendra Modi is creating a Hindu nationalist state, imposing punitive measures on Kashmir, a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and threatening to deprive millions of Muslims of their citizenship.”
George Soros

Successful Dictatorships

Soros added, “The strongest powers – the US, China and Russia remained in the hands of would-be or actual dictators, and the ranks of authoritarian rulers continued to grow, attacking various leaders for their extreme and divisive policies. Calling out US President Donald Trump he said, “President Trump is a con man and the ultimate narcissist who wants the world to revolve around him. When his fantasy of becoming president came true, his narcissism developed a pathological dimension. Indeed, he has transgressed the limits imposed on the presidency by the Constitution and has been impeached for it.”

The overheated economy of the US, according to Soros, has come at the wrong time as Trump gears up for re-election in 2020. About China’s Xi Jinping, Soros said he has been using artificial intelligence to control the nation’s populace.

“The greatest shortcoming of dictatorships is that when they are successful, they don’t know when or how to stop being repressive. They lack the checks and balances that give democracies a degree of stability. As a result, the oppressed revolt. We see this happening today all around the world.”

You can watch the entire session here.

Transformational Moment in History

Soros’s comments come at a time when activists are increasingly calling out heads of government to not infringe upon citizens’ rights and freedoms. The philanthropist, who regularly donates to NGOs and liberal causes, said that “once lost, personal autonomy would be difficult to recover.”

“We live at a transformational moment in history. The survival of open societies is endangered and we face an even greater crisis: climate change,” said the philanthropist. At Davos, climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg had also previously advocated for increased efforts to counter the issue, and Soros also pushed for more active policies to improve the situation.


Education Is the Best Hope

“Taking into account the climate emergency and worldwide unrest, it’s not an exaggeration to say that 2020 and the next few years will determine not only the fate of Xi and Trump, but also the fate of the world,” Soros said in his speech.

Announcing his commitment to change, he pledged $1 billion to his newly created international university network, named the Open Society University Network (OSUN). Saying that education is one of the main ways to counter the problems of the world, Soros called upon other philanthropists to contribute as well. “We can’t build a global network on our own,” said Soros. “I hope that those who share this vision will join us in making it a reality.”

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