The so-called “antifascist” movement in America today bears a strange resemblance to the very fascism it purports to combat. When we see masked Antifa protesters in black, carrying weapons, disrupting public events and blocking speakers from campus, this looks more like fascism than its opposite. The close relationship between self-styled antifascism and fascism itself can be seen in some little-known aspects of one of Antifa’s main financial sponsors, George Soros.
The Hungarian-born Soros became a billionaire through shrewd global investments and currency manipulation; his Quantum Fund is one of the world’s first private hedge funds. Soros is the main funder of some 200 leftist groups, including Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org, and Black Lives Matter.
Soros also backs self-proclaimed antifascist groups—this year the Soros-backed group Alliance for Global Justice gave $50,000 to the militant thugs associated with the group Refuse Fascism.
Soros doesn’t merely fund activism; he also funds disruptive violence. Essentially his costumed baton-wielding squadrons amount to a private army: he has created a militia of paid thugs similar to the Italian Blackshirts and the Nazi Brownshirts. Soros’ strategy is to launch dozens, even hundreds, of groups and then see which ones deliver the goods. Borrowing from the field of venture capitalism, my term for what Soros does is venture thuggery, operating through paid protesters.
The paid protester is something of a new phenomenon in American politics. In the 1960s we had protesters on the left, even violent ones, but they weren’t being rented out by the hour. Soros’ groups, by contrast, advertise for disrupters and looters. On one ad I saw on Craigslist, protesters are promised $15 an hour to cause trouble. This way leftists can not only indulge their violent streaks in the fantasy they are fighting Hitler; they can also be paid for their Brownshirt thuggery.
It may seem crude, even insensitive, for me to use such language in talking about Soros, who is Jewish and who was after all a refugee from Nazism. Soros loves to play the Nazi card, as when in the aftermath of 9/11 he flayed President Bush’s attorney general John Ashcroft for questioning the patriotism of its critics—a tactic that Soros likened to the Nazis. “It reminded me of Germany under the Nazis,” Soros said. “It was the kind of talk that Goebbels used to use to line the Germans up. I remember, I was thirteen or fourteen. It was the same kind of propaganda.”
This reference to his youth makes the transcript of a 1998 CBS Sixty Minutes interview with Soros especially revealing. Here is what Soros told interviewer Steve Kroft about those fateful days in Hitler’s Germany.
Kroft: You’re a Hungarian Jew.
Kroft: …who escaped the Holocaust.
Kroft: …by—by posing as a Christian.
Kroft: And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.
Soros: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that’s when my character was made.
Kroft: In what way?
Soros: That one should think ahead. One should understand and anticipate events when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean—it was a very personal experience of evil.
Kroft: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.
Soros: Yes. Yes.
Kroft: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.
Soros: Yes. That’s right. Yes.
Kroft: I mean, that’s—that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?
Soros: Not—not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t—you don’t see the connection. But it was—it created no, no problem at all.
Kroft: No feeling of guilt.
Kroft: For example, that “I’m Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.’ None of that?
Soros: Well, of course I, I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was not sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was—well, actually in a funny way, it’s just like in markets—that if I weren’t there, of course I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would—would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the—whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the—I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.
What interests me here is not what young Soros did—I’m not going to attach much weight to the moral conduct of a 14-year-old—but rather how the mature Soros retroactively interprets his previous actions as a collection boy for Hitler. Evidently, Soros believes that accompanying an official from a fascist government that is collaborating with the Nazis for the purpose of serving confiscation notices to Jews to steal their property and possessions is not something to feel guilt or regret about.
Why? Because just like a market transaction, the outcome would have happened anyway. Soros’ comment reminds me of the incident involving the notorious Nazi doctor at Auschwitz, Josef Mengele. Mengele’s son Rolf visited him in South America after the war and confronted Mengele with his crimes.
Mengele insisted he did nothing wrong. He was not responsible for what happened at Auschwitz, he said, because the captives there had already been marked for death. So here we have Soros mounting what may be termed the Mengele Defense, and getting away with it.
Soros reflects the type of base amoralism that is more characteristic of fascism and Nazism than of the forces that defeated fascism and Nazism. His anti-fascist pose camouflages deep affinities between Soros and the Nazis, in the same way that antifascist groups today closely resemble the Blackshirts of fascist Italy and the Brownshirts of Nazi Germany. Soros and the left’s self-styled antifascism is a fraud because there are no fascists they are fighting. The only fascism that is recognizable in their actions is their own.
Dinesh D’Souza’s new book The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left is published by Regnery.