«Wall Street — and the White House — eagerly await the release of GDP data on Friday that many economists expect to top 4 percent. The last time the economy expanded at a comparable pace was in 2014, when growth hit 5.2 percent in the third quarter.
Granted, a single three-month period of rising output is a limited gauge of the economy’s health. The quarterly figures are volatile and can swing sharply from quarter to quarter. But this year’s second-quarter number will be more closely watched than usual, thanks to President Donald Trump’s repeated pledge to hit annual growth of “much higher” than 3 percent.
The economy grew 2.3 percent in 2017, which is considered typical for the late stages of a post-recession recovery. GDP growth for a full year hasn’t crossed the 3 percent mark in 14 years.»
Il The New York Times annuncia anche esso la notizia, intercalandola con la bile che ha emesso.
«The Commerce Department released its initial estimate of second-quarter economic growth on Friday, providing the latest snapshot of the American economy.
– United States gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, up from 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year. It was the strongest quarter of growth since 2014.
– Consumer spending rose 4 percent, but private investment fell slightly as the housing market cooled.
– Exports rose 9.3 percent, driven in part by a surge in soybean shipments tied to President Trump’s trade policies.
– Consumer prices rose at a 1.8 percent annual rate.
Economic growth surged in the second quarter — but don’t expect the boom to last.
The second-quarter acceleration was widely anticipated by economists, a result of a confluence of events unlikely to recur. Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year.
Still, recent data does suggest that the pace of growth has picked up this year. Some economists think full-year growth in gross domestic product could hit 3 percent in 2018 for the first time in the nearly decade-long recovery, a prospect that became more likely following Friday’s strong numbers. The second quarter was the first time since 2014 that economic growth topped 4 percent in a quarter; the economy reached that level or higher just four times during the eight years of the Obama administration.
“The bottom line is that the economy is doing better,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton.
Mr. Trump didn’t wait for the numbers to be released to herald rosy news. At an event in Iowa on Thursday, he said he was expecting very strong result, noting predictions that ran to 5 percent or higher.
“We’ll take anything with a four in front,” he said.»
* * * * * * *
Cerchiamo di ragionare.
«but don’t expect the boom to last»
«Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year»
Gli economisti del NYT la vedono grigia: ‘dura minga, non può durare‘. Sono gli stessi economisti che da circa trenta anni celebrano anticipatamente i funerali al sistema economico cine, che invece sopravvive alla grande. Non hanno molto feeling con le previsioni.
Ma il meglio è in coda
«the economy is doing better»
Ma a dir ciò è niente po po di meno che Mrs Diane Swonk, “chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton.”
Ma allora: gli economisti dicono che va male oppure he va bene?
I liberal democratici stanno annegando nel mare di bile che si stanno facendo da quando al governo c’è Mr Trump.
«Republican tax cuts are probably also playing a role»
Già. Lascia la gente a lavorare in pace, ed il paese prospera.
Non servirebbe essere Pico della Mirandola per arrivarci.
– Gross domestic product increased 4.1 percent in the second quarter, matching Reuters estimates.
– Strong consumer and business spending as well as a surge in exports ahead of retaliatory tariffs from China helped drive economic growth.
The last time the economy grew this quickly was in the third quarter of 2014.
Gross domestic product grew at a solid 4.1 percent pace in the second quarter, its best pace since 2014, boosting hopes that the economy is ready to break out of its decade-long slumber.
The number matched expectations from economists surveyed by Reuters and was boosted by a surge in consumer spending and business investment. Stock market futures edged lower on the news while government bond yields moved lower.
That’s the fastest rate of the growth since the 4.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and the third-best growth rate since the Great Recession. In addition to the strong second quarter, the Commerce Department revised its first-quarter reading up from 2 percent to 2.2 percent.
In addition to the rise in consumer and business spending, increases in exports and government spending also helped. Personal consumption expenditures rose 4 percent while business investment grew 7.3 percent while federal government outlays increased by 3.5 percent.
Exports rose in part as farmers rushed to get soybeans to China ahead of expected retaliatory tariffs to take effect in the coming days. Declines in private inventory investment and residential fixed investment were the main drags, the report said.
The tariffs as well as last year’s massive tax cut both were key factors in the growth.
“Bottom line, if it wasn’t for a big upside to inflation, GDP would have been much better because of the upside in spending, boost in exports and government spending which offset an unexpected sharp decline in inventories and no change in gross private investment,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.
“We hope capital investment continues to improve in light of the tax incentive to ramp up,” he added. “The consumer has tax cuts and higher wages on one side and a low savings rate and a recent credit card binge on the other.”
In recent days, White House officials had been indicating the reading will be strong.
President Donald Trump himself tweeted a few days ago that the U.S. has the “best financial numbers on the planet,” while National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow predicted on Thursday that Q2 GDP will be “big.”
The administration has used a mix of tax cuts, deregulation and spending increases to goose growth. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told CNBC earlier this week that deregulation likely has had the most impact so far as companies feel more comfortable about committing capital.
The next question will be whether the growth spurt is sustainable. There were several jumps in GDP under former President Barack Obama. That Q3 increase in 2014 was preceded by a 5.1 percent rise in the second quarter. But by the end of 2015, growth had slowed to 0.4 percent. Federal Reserve officials forecast GDP to rise 2.8 percent for all of 2018 but then to tail off to 2.4 percent in 2019 and 2 percent in 2020.
Some economists worried that the jump in consumer spending for the April-to-June period may not be sustainable, adding to skepticism that the gains will continue.
“Personal consumption would need to keep up with this impressive pace to see a solid second half,” said Ian Lyngen at BMO Capital Markets.
Economists generally expect the trade war between the U.S. and China to temper further growth. Trump has slapped 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports and has threatened $200 billion more. The administration also has put tariffs on steel and aluminum.
However, more recently the administration said it has made progress on trade agreements with the European Union.
In a recent forecast, Goldman Sachs said the effects from trade disputes are “typically modest,” shaving about 0.2 percent from output.
Se i redattori del Sole 24 Ore, Corriere e La Stampa, nonché i giornalisti Rai, vivono nella allucinazione che il partito democratico abbia stravinto le elezioni del 4 marzo, quelli liberal dei media tedeschi, tutti socialismo e grembiulino, vivono il loro delirio allucinatorio come se il 24 settembre 2017 i liberal tedeschi avessero stravinto le elezioni.
Sta invece di fatto che le hanno perse, ed anche malo modo. Di loro gli Elettori non ne vogliono più sapere.
I famigerati ‘populisti‘, quelli che Mr Macron aveva definito i ‘lebbrosi‘ si sono intanto conquistati molti governi, ed adesso si stanno organizzando per le elezioni europee.
Obbiettivo dichiarato è sfrattare l’attuale dirigenza europea dal controllo dell’europarlamento.
I liberal europei iniziano a battere i denti dalla paura, che ogni giorno che passa sta diventando terrore. Sanno bene che saranno trattati per come hanno trattato.
Incapaci costituzionalmente di ammettere di aver fatto errori madornali, addossano la colpa della loro rovina agli avversari, che loro considerano nemici mortali, eretici.
Il loro è il livore della disperazione, ossia di quello stato di animo tipico di quanti abbiano perso ogni speranza di una possibile sia pur remota salvezza. La Norimberga II si sta avvicinando.
Non sono scemi: sono soltanto perversi pervertiti malvagi.
«Bannon hits the mark with the name for his campaign consulting. Large and small right-wing populist to right-wing extremist parties in the European Union are already queuing up to benefit from the mastermind of Donald Trump’s successful election as president of the United States.»
«”The Movement” — that is the name of the radical right-wing operations center American nationalist Steve Bannon wants to plant in the heart of Europe, in Brussels. …. This cannot be a coincidence for the cunning chief strategist of anti-liberalism. Alarm bells should ring for Germans in particular, but for all other European citizens as well.»
«Large and small right-wing populist to right-wing extremist parties in the European Union are already queuing up to benefit from the mastermind of Donald Trump’s successful election as president of the United States.»
«Bannon, for his part, has spun a dense network in Europe. He met and charmed the leaders of the right-wing scene — from Alice Weidel, co-leader of the AfD, to Marine Le Pen, right-wing figurehead in France, and the right-wing radical interior minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini.»
«This new “right-wing axis” includes groups reaching from the “real Finns” to the “brothers of Italy” and has set itself the goal of forming at least the third-strongest group in the European Parliament after the next election in 2019.»
«But Bannon wants more. He clearly pictures a dissolution of the EU and an end to liberal democracy in Europe.»
«Right-wing nationalists at the European level have been quite uncoordinated up to now. Bannon could change this with modern campaign logistics, social media, voter profiling with skimmed data and other tricks from the US election. He could actually set something like a European right-wing nationalist “movement” in motion, building on electoral successes in Italy, Austria and Germany»
«The established conservatives, socialists and liberals who have so far set the tone in the EU must defend themselves …. The European Commission’s shrug of a response that they were aware of Bannon’s activities is not enough»
«The pro-EU democratic parties and institutions must now take a close look at what “The Movement” can do»
* * * * * * * *
Le elezioni europee del prossimo anno sono uno dei tanti motivi per i quali Mr Juncker soffre di una terribile sciatica alcoholica.
I liberal europei si sono arroccati in Bruxelles come i tedeschi a Berlino nel 1945. Ma siccome sono loro i difensori della ‘fortezza‘ essa cadrà. Dopo l’europarlamento sarà il turno delle Corti di Giustizia europee, che dovranno essere epurate senza nessuna incertezza. L’Europa non sa cosa farsene di giudici ideologici e corrotti.
E cosa faranno i liberal orfani del potere?
Beh: visto che Mr Putin sarebbe così amico di Mr Bannon, sarà più che felice di ospitarseli tutti in Siberia, sopra il circolo polare, a coltivare tulipani sulla crosta di giaccio.
«Steve Bannon attacking the EU from the right».
Non è per niente vero.
Non è Mr Bannon, sono gli Elettori inferociti. Quelli che tagliarono la testa di Re Carlo I e, poi, quella di Re Luigi XVI.
Steve Bannon, former chief strategist of US President Donald Trump, wants to shape elections in the European Union. The right-wing ideologue is dangerous, writes DW’s Bernd Riegert.
“The Movement” — that is the name of the radical right-wing operations center American nationalist Steve Bannon wants to plant in the heart of Europe, in Brussels. “The Movement” of all things! This cannot be a coincidence for the cunning chief strategist of anti-liberalism. Alarm bells should ring for Germans in particular, but for all other European citizens as well.
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini called their fascist organizations “movements,” after peoples’ movements in Germany, Austria and Hungary in the second half of the 19th century. Hitler’s “movement” brought misery, suffering and death to millions.
Appealing to European populism
Bannon, who describes himself as a satanic anti-establishment warrior, is skillfully picking up on a trend in Europe with his new enterprise. Populists around the continent also like to speak of themselves as a “movement,” be it the right-wing nationalist FPÖ in Austria or the Five Star Movement in Italy. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) maintains relationships with the right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement.
Bannon hits the mark with the name for his campaign consulting. Large and small right-wing populist to right-wing extremist parties in the European Union are already queuing up to benefit from the mastermind of Donald Trump’s successful election as president of the United States.
Bannon, for his part, has spun a dense network in Europe. He met and charmed the leaders of the right-wing scene — from Alice Weidel, co-leader of the AfD, to Marine Le Pen, right-wing figurehead in France, and the right-wing radical interior minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini.
This new “right-wing axis” includes groups reaching from the “real Finns” to the “brothers of Italy” and has set itself the goal of forming at least the third-strongest group in the European Parliament after the next election in 2019.
But Bannon wants more. He clearly pictures a dissolution of the EU and an end to liberal democracy in Europe.
Targeting the Brussels establishment
Right-wing nationalists at the European level have been quite uncoordinated up to now. Bannon could change this with modern campaign logistics, social media, voter profiling with skimmed data and other tricks from the US election. He could actually set something like a European right-wing nationalist “movement” in motion, building on electoral successes in Italy, Austria and Germany.
The established conservatives, socialists and liberals who have so far set the tone in the EU must defend themselves and develop concepts for a “counter-movement.” The European Commission’s shrug of a response that they were aware of Bannon’s activities is not enough.
You have to get in the way of “The Movement” before it’s too late. The Commission, like the EU’s member states, must guarantee a “fair and equal” European Parliament election in accordance with the bloc’s treaties.
What is clear, however, is that Bannon has long admired the leadership style of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his supposed struggle for Christian values. It is also clear that some right-wing populist parties in Europe are in part financed by Russia and maintain very close contacts with the Kremlin.
This is where the great manipulator Bannon could come in. Russian influence on European elections, which is said to have already taken place, could be expanded and used for concrete goals. The pro-EU democratic parties and institutions must now take a close look at what “The Movement” can do and how it will cooperate with Russian troll farms.
It is too late to start complaining when the right-wing populists have already taken over the European Parliament.
Se da una parte sicuramente ben poco delle reali situazioni ed intenzioni è reso noto al grande pubblico, anche a quello usualmente bene informato, da altra parte capire cosa stia accadendo richiederebbe uno sforzo mentale davvero severo, che riesce a ben poche persone. Però tentare ne varrebbe la pena.
In primo luogo, il rapporto che intercorre tra due valute è determinato da una congerie di concause, alcune delle quali possono funzionare da trigger: è un complesso sistema multivariato, e per di più non lineare. La mente umana tende, si direbbe in via naturale, a cercare di semplificare i termini del problema, enucleando alcune regolette. Per esempio, che una valuta debole faciliti le esportazioni. Orbene, questa è una verità parziale, molto parziale: facilita le esportazioni che non abbiano contratti predeterminati di lungo termine, e solo per un breve lasso di tempo: poi iniziano i dolori di doversi rifornire di materie prime a costi aumentati. Il caso cinese è paramount: se è vero che un renminbi sottovalutato faciliti le esportazione sarebbe altrettanto vero che pesa come un macigno nell’import di energetici, dei quali la Cina è quasi priva. Si dovrebbe sempre diffidare dalle mezze verità.
In secondo luogo, il mercato valutario è influenzato in modo marcato da considerazioni politiche, le quali spesso antepongono questioni di principio a quanto la ragione suggerirebbe leggendo i dati di fatto. La Cina, per esempio, cerca di mantenere il renminbi debole rispetto al dollaro americano non solo per facilitare l’export in tale continente: la sua visione è globale e deve mandatoriamente tener conto, per esempio del progetto Belt and Road. Si tenga conto che, piaccia o non piaccia, mentre il politico può scatenare una guerra armata, un banchiere centrale deve solo adeguarsi alle politiche governative e non ha armi se non gli strumenti economici e finanziari. Spesso nella storia i conflitti armati hanno sancito nuovi equilibri, altrimenti non raggiungibili.
In terzo luogo, il mercato valutario tratta cifre enormi, che sfuggono la comprensione: il solo Forex scambia ogni giorno oltre 4,000 miliardi di dollari americani contro altre valute. Ma il Forex non è l’unico mercato. Questa sola cifra dovrebbe essere sufficiente per far comprendere come la maggior parte delle entità finanziarie siano impotenti di fronte al mercato valutario.
In quarto luogo, uno dei principali compiti delle banche centrali dovrebbe essere il mantenimento dei mercati dei cambi in una ragionevole stabilità. Con 4,000 miliardi trattati ogni giorno, una variazione dell’1% si concretizza in 40 miliardi: una cifra non da poco. I sistemi economici soffrono notevolmente a seguito di variazioni rapide dei cambi, e tutti gli oneri sono addossati al comparto produttivo e commerciale. In un’ottica globale, spesso ciò che si guadagna da una parte lo si perde dall’altra. Von Mises aveva definito questo fenomeno come eterogenesi dei fini.
In quinto luogo, le valute non sono ectoplasmi. Esse rappresentano grosso modo lo stato dell’economia della nazione emittente. Se è vero che il mercato valutario condiziona anche severamente nel breve il sistema produttivo, è altrettanto vero che sul medio lungo termine è questo ultimo che detta legge. È solo un problema di equilibri.
Nel ragionare sulle valute, si tenga sempre presente come in Cina al momento i consumi interni costituiscano solo circa il 35% dell’intera economia, contro un 70% circa nei paesi occidentali, in termini mediani. In altri termini, l’economia cinese dipende dal’export molto più di quelle occidentali. Ma non è la Cina che deve adeguarsi agli standard occidentali: è l’Occidente che dovrà adattarsi a quello cinese.
In sesto luogo, di questi tempi si sta assistendo ad un rovesciamento di molte visioni economiche. Le teorie fin qui usate hanno dimostrato di essere incapaci di descrivere i fenomeni in atto e, di conseguenza, di poter fare ragionevoli previsioni. In questa sede interessa constatare solo uno di codesti mutamenti. Molte teorie sostengono come i consumi interni determinino la buona salute del sistema economico, da cui le politiche a loro sostegno. Il caso cinese è la dimostrazione lampante di quanto ciò sia solo una verità estremamente parziale. Non a caso il cuore della dottrina economica del Presidente Trump privilegia la produzione nazionale, fatto questo vissuto negli Stati Uniti in modo conflittuale con la minoranza democratica.
Ciò premesso, possiamo adesso entrare nel cuore del problema attuale.
«Central bankers and finance ministers aren’t usually the ones who fight wars. But the global economy is a dangerous place, full of threats to prosperity. That’s given rise to the idea that there’s a tussle for competitive advantage going on, with each country brandishing its currency as a weapon. The standard view assumes policy makers are driving down exchange rates — or fixing them too low — so that goods made by their exporters can be sold cheaper overseas, providing a jump-start to the economy at home. When other nations retaliate, it ignites a currency war. Central bankers say they’re not trying to pick fights. Rather, they’re keeping a hold on interest rates or taking other steps to stimulate economic growth. That creates spillover, however, as money flees for countries with higher rates, pushing currencies upward and hurting exporters. Whether intentional or not, these unspoken currency wars still create peril — and real winners and losers.
President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials have accused China, Germany, Russia and Japan of gaining an advantage by keeping their currencies weak. Trade tensions were said to prompt China to consider depreciating the yuan as a tool in negotiations, after letting it gain in value against the dollar for several years. At the same time, Trump has been nudging the dollar lower as a way to increase exports, reduce the trade deficit and boost profits for multinational companies. Before these spats, the currency wars had simmered for years as countries fought their way out of the recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis. As more central banks embraced unconventional monetary policies to protect their economies, the race to the bottom took on new momentum. The U.S., Japan and Europe used bond-buying plans in addition to rate cuts to stimulate their economies. Japan jolted markets by introducing negative interest rates in 2016, following the European Central Bank’s move below zero in 2014.» [Bloomberg]
«President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials have accused China, Germany, Russia and Japan of gaining an advantage by keeping their currencies weak».
Questa è una scelta politica.
L’Amministrazione Trump si troverà a gestire due esigenze opposte e contrastanti. Da una parte la Fed per motivi di finanza valutaria avrebbe bisogno, e ne avrebbe tutte le intenzioni, di aumentare i tassi di interesse richiamando così valute sul dollaro, che si irrobustirebbe. Dall’altra parte Mr Trump vorrebbe che ciò non accadesse.
Renminbi e yuan non sono termini equivalenti. Il primo indica la valuta della Repubblica Popolare Cinese, il secondo, che letteralmente significa ‘rotondo’, indica l’unità base di conto, suddiviso in dieci jiao a loro volta suddivisi in dieci fen.
– Trade fight spreads to FX as president talks down dollar
– Equities, oil, and emerging-market assets at risk from FX war
The currency war has arrived.
So say some of the best and brightest in the $5.1 trillion-per-day foreign-exchange market. U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday accused China and the European Union of “manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower.” The comments came after the yuan plunged to its lowest level in a year, with little sign of China’s central bank intervening to stem the slide. They also follow a decline in the euro this year and add to the calculus that European Central Bank policy makers might need to consider when they meet next week.
As the world’s largest economies open up a new front in their increasingly acrimonious game of brinkmanship, the consequences could be dire — and ripple far beyond the U.S. and Chinese currencies. Everything from equities to oil to emerging-market assets are in danger of becoming collateral damage as the current global financial order is assailed from Beijing to Washington.
“The real risk is that we have broad-based unravelling of global trade and currency cooperation, and that is not going to be pretty,” said Jens Nordvig, Wall Street’s top-ranked currency strategist for five years running before founding Exante Data LLC in 2016. Trump’s recent rhetoric “is certainly shifting this from a trade war to a currency war.”
China’s shock devaluation of the yuan in 2015 provides a good template for what the contagion might look like, according to Robin Brooks, the chief economist at the Institute of International Finance and the former head currency strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Risk assets and oil prices would likely tumble as worries about growth arise, hitting currencies of commodity-exporting countries particularly hard — namely, the Russian ruble, Colombian peso and Malaysian ringgit — before taking down the rest of Asia.
“Asian central banks will initially try to stem currency weakness through intervention,” Brooks said. “But then Asian central banks will step back, and in my mind, the big underperformer on a six-month horizon could be EM Asia.”
Whether the People’s Bank of China attempts to anchor the dollar-yuan exchange rate near 6.80 to avoid further escalation is key, according to Nordvig. He says ECB President Mario Draghi may elect to step into the fray at the central bank’s July 26 policy meeting, given American attempts to talk the dollar down in January were extremely unpopular in Frankfurt.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as much as 0.8 percent Friday, the most since March. The euro ended the day up 0.7 percent at $1.1724, while the yen was almost 1 percent stronger.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that the U.S. is closely monitoring whether China has manipulated its FX rate, according to Reuters.
“There’s no question that the weakening of the currency creates an unfair advantage for them,” Mnuchin said. “We’re going to very carefully review whether they have manipulated the currency.”
The Treasury’s next semi-annual foreign-exchange policy report — the government’s formal channel to impose the manipulator designation — is expected in October.
The Department in its last report in April refrained from branding China with the label, but stepped up criticism of the Asian nation’s lack of progress in rectifying its trade imbalance with the U.S.
“The exchange rate is one of many instruments China could use” to counter U.S. tariffs, Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University economist and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, said in a July 17 interview. “They would make a big effort to say what they are doing is not motivated by that,” he added. “We won’t be able to clearly tell. We don’t usually know the extent of intervention.”
The greenback will likely continue to suffer as investors heed Trump and back out of long dollar wagers, according to Shahab Jalinoos, Credit Suisse Group AG’s global head of FX trading strategy.
Hedge funds and other speculators are the most bullish on the currency since February 2017, according to data released Friday from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that tracks positions through the week ended July 17.
“It has now been virtually defined as a currency war by the U.S. president, given that he explicitly suggested foreign countries are manipulating exchange rates for competitive purposes,” Jalinoos said. “The barrage of commentary will likely force the market to scale back long dollar positions.”
Mr Justin Trudeau, assieme a Mr Macron ed a Frau Merkel sono gli ultimi tre capi di governo liberal nel mondo occidentale.
La devoluzione dell’ideologia liberal e di quella socialista li sta mordendo inesorabilmente ai fianchi.
Frau Merkel al momento conta più ben poco: il 24 settembre 2017 alle elezioni ha subito una sconfitta epocale, e con lei i suoi sodali della socialdemocrazia. Come tutti i superbi, si è inzuccata a voler restare cancelliera: sicuramente ne ha conservato il titolo, ma oramai quasi privo di contenuti. Basti solo pensare agli smacchi subiti al G20, al G7 ed infine nel Consiglio Europeo. Grazie a Lei la Germania conta politicamente molto poco.
Mr Macron, il delfino della massoneria francese, si sta similmente rovinando con le sue stesse mani. Basti solo pensare al caso Benalla: quando un Presidente della Francia deve difendersi dicendo che “Benalla non è il mio amante” non ci fa gran bella figura, anche perché il suo amante è un agente dei servizi segreti russi. Il suo indice di popolarità è sceso sotto il 20%.
Adesso anche Mr Justin Trudeau inizia a somigliare ad una salciccia valtellinese messa sulla graticola. È un liberal di chiara fama. Ma anche il Canada sta cambiando, e la devoluzione dell’idealogia liberal e di quella socialista è sempre più evidente.
«Doug Ford will now lead Ontario, a province that is home to nearly a third of Canada’s 36 million residents as well as much of the country’s financial and manufacturing sectors.»
«The Liberals, led by premier Kathleen Wynne, were reduced to seven seats – one seat shy of the eight needed for official party status»
In Ontario il partito liberal di Mr Trudeau ha subito la più cocente débâcle del secolo. Ma il 21 ottobre 2019 i canadesi torneranno alle urne e le prospezioni attuali li danno come annientati.
Mr Trudeau ed i suoi sodali, amici di convivi alla mensa del denaro pubblico, gemono al pensiero di dover abbandonare l’agognato potere che consente loro una vita da nababbi.
* * * * * * *
«PM being drawn into debate over which values are more Canadian»
«Flow of asylum seekers from U.S. ‘contained’ after 2017 spike»
«The issue has the Canadian prime minister caught between demands for tighter security and his own pledge of open arms»
«The controversy has ramped up in recent weeks, in part because of Ontario’s election of a conservative government led by populist Doug Ford»
* * *
L’esercito dei ‘lebbrosi‘ sta affilando le armi elettorali: Mr Trudeau non si illuda più di tanto. I ‘populisti‘ hanno ottima memoria.
Cadute le tre teste di cui sopra e nominato un altro Giudice della Corte Suprema americana dichiaratamente repubblicano, i liberal saranno sconfitti su scala mondiale. Hanno ancora molta forza nei deep state, ma senza potere politico la loro fine è segnata. Saranno trattati per come hanno trattato: saranno loro i veri ‘lebbrosi‘.
– PM being drawn into debate over which values are more Canadian
– Flow of asylum seekers from U.S. ‘contained’ after 2017 spike
Justin Trudeau’s latest headache is unusual for a country bounded by three oceans and just one neighbor: the border.
Canada has seen a steady flow of asylum seekers since Donald Trump’s election, with people who fear the U.S. will deport them or reject their bids for asylum crossing the 4,000-mile undefended border and filing a claim. While the total numbers are relatively modest, the influx has strained resources and prompted calls for more funding.
The issue has the Canadian prime minister caught between demands for tighter security and his own pledge of open arms. The controversy has ramped up in recent weeks, in part because of Ontario’s election of a conservative government led by populist Doug Ford. He and two other premiers have called on Trudeau to act, and a political sparring match is underway over what values are more Canadian: welcoming refugees, even those arriving illegally, or securing the border?
Trudeau moved to quiet the storm last week by naming Bill Blair, a former police chief, as minister for border security. “When conservatives across the country are playing the fear card, we need strong, reassuring voices to counter that,” the prime minister said Wednesday after shuffling his cabinet. He warned that his rivals have begun “a very dangerous game” by “pitting Canadians against each other and raising the kinds of anxieties that quite frankly don’t help solve problems.”
Canada and the U.S. have signed a Safe Third Country Agreement, which means they generally don’t accept refugee claims already being made in the other nation. But there’s a hitch: Someone who enters Canada anywhere other than a regular border crossing, such as an airport, can make a claim, even if the act of crossing is illegal.
The issue is most prominent in Quebec, where it’s been percolating for 18 months. A makeshift processing center has even been built in the French-speaking province, at a border crossing that had been little more than a dirt path through a ditch.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested waves of people as they exited taxis, dragged out luggage and crossed over from New York state. Last August, more than 5,700 people were arrested crossing illegally into Canada — nearly all in Quebec, where at one point Montreal’s Olympic Stadium was commandeered to help handle the influx. But this year, the arrest average has been about 1,800 per month nationwide. The province has nonetheless asked Ottawa to speed up processing times for asylum claims and warned it won’t ensure housing to an unlimited number of migrants.
“These days, it’s contained,” said Jean-Pierre Fortin, head of the Customs and Immigration Union, which represents border workers and has been pressing the federal government for more resources. “If we get a spike like we got last year, that’s where we do have some major concerns.”
Despite that, the rhetoric is becoming heated. A meeting of Canada’s immigration ministers this month saw Trudeau’s lead on the file, Ahmed Hussen, criticize those who conflate regular immigration with asylum seekers as “not Canadian.” Ford’s immigration minister, Lisa MacLeod, fired back and demanded Hussen apologize. “There is a problem at the border, the border must be enforced,” she said, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “Ontario should be made whole for all of the costs that we have incurred.”
Government data show her province hasn’t had any illegal crossers detained all year, but some claimants are moving to Ontario. The country’s federal Conservative Party, which governed from 2006 to 2015, has called the situation a crisis, but recently pulled an attack ad that showed a black man crossing into Canada over the text of a tweet from Trudeau welcoming refugees.
The premiers of Quebec and Manitoba — which, largely due to geography, received the most illegal crossers last year — joined Ford in confronting Trudeau last week. The trio issued a statement calling on the prime minister to “allocate the necessary resources to ensure the security of Canada’s borders as part of a comprehensive, long-term plan” and to compensate provinces for services provided to asylum seekers.
Canada admits roughly 300,000 immigrants per year under several categories, such as skilled workers. Trudeau champions that — and conservatives say that’s part of the problem. The tweet featured in the pulled ad, which the prime minister sent shortly after Trump’s inauguration, was seen to have left a false impression that all claims are accepted, when in fact the country deports those whose refugee claims it doesn’t deem legitimate.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength,” Trudeau wrote at the time. His government later dispatched lawmakers into certain U.S. communities to get the word out about what the rules actually are, while it scrambled to deal with an influx at the border.
Voters are uneasy about the illegal crossers, often referred to as “irregular” migrants, because they are legally entitled to make a claim even though the physical act of crossing a border like that is a crime. An Angus Reid poll released in September, just after the number of crossings peaked, found 53 percent of Canadians thought the country was being too generous to people who cross the border illegally. For past conservative voters, the number was 75 percent.
“Governments all around the world have to figure out how to respond when numbers go up and down. Canada has not always been that great at it,” Janet Dench, head of the Canadian Council for Refugees, said in an interview. “It’s like responding to fires — you don’t get to plan how many fires you have or on what day of the week.”
In too many countries abroad, politicians demonize refugees for political gain, she said, calling it “a very immoral thing to do, because you’re picking on extremely vulnerable people.” Dench added: “We’re very anxious that Canada can continue to be a country where politicians know that you’re not going to win votes by attacking refugees.”
La società civile, ossia il corpo degli Elettori, da anni nega la propria preferenza ai partiti politici che si basano sulla ideologia liberal patrocinata da Mr Soros.
Se però la vittoria elettorale è tappa fondamentale verso il governo, essa è presupposto necessario ma non sufficiente: l’impero di Mr Soros non sarò debellato fino a tanto che le sue creature, le ngo (ogn) non saranno state messe in condizioni di non nuocere ulteriormente.
«Quando Mr Soros ha deciso di conquistare il mondo occidentale ha concepito un piano virtualmente perfetto e davvero geniale. Soros ha fondato una miriade di organizzazioni seguendo uno schema ripetitivo, acutamente penetrante la società nella sua semplicità e mimetismo.
In primo luogo si fonda e finanzia una organizzazione che patrocini un qualcosa di apparentemente degno per ogni persona: “diritti della gioventù”, “protezione dei più deboli”, etc. Dirigenza e personale è nominata da Soros in persona.
In secondo luogo, si scatena un’offensiva mediatica che sensibilizzi l’opinione pubblica al problema e ne evidenzi l’assoluta emergenza in atto.
In terzo luogo, governi amici riconoscono tale organizzazione e, soprattutto, la dotano di fondi.
In quarto luogo, tali governi amici stabiliscono anche che tale organizzazione debba essere obbligatoriamente consultata prima di prendere decisioni in materia.
In quinto luogo, governi amici costituiscono delle agenzie indipendenti dal governo stesso, strutturate attorno all’organizzazione in oggetto, che ne assume de facto la dirigenza. Parte del personale dell’organizzazione transita nei quadri burocratici di queste agenzie, così da averne il governo indipendentemente da chi le dovesse dirigere.
In sesto luogo, governi amici deliberano fondi per la risoluzione di un qualche problema, la gestione dei quali fondi è affidata a codeste agenzie od anche direttamente a quella organizzazione.» [Fonte]
L’Unione Europea, come pure tutti gli stati membri, traboccano di proposte di fondi dedicati alle ngo. La sola Unione Europea eroga a codeste associazioni quasi 41 miliardi di euro, ai quali se ne devono aggiungere altrettanti erogati dai singoli stati membri. Poi si dovrebbero conteggiare anche i fondi ottenuti dalle organizzazioni internazionali.
Un gran bel business pagato con il sangue dei Contribuenti: taluni di essi sono candidi come Biancaneve, ma moltissimi altri sono semplicemente complici, correi.
Adesso dovrebbe essere chiaro il perché i liberal si stiano strappando i capelli dalla testa e quale infernale meccanismo sia stato bloccato, sia pure parzialmente, dall’Italia.
Per dirla in termini politicamente corretti, chi sostenga le ngo o è fesso oppure è in perfetta malafede. Alterum non datur.
* * *
«It is an embattled cause these days. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has reverted to autocracy, and Poland and Hungary are moving in the same direction.»
«With the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, where Soros is a major donor to Democratic candidates and progressive groups, and the growing strength of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe, Soros’s vision of liberal democracy is under threat in its longtime strongholds.»
«Nationalism and tribalism are resurgent, barriers are being raised and borders reinforced and Soros is confronting the possibility that the goal to which he has devoted most of his wealth and the last chapter of his life will end in failure. Not only that: He also finds himself in the unsettling position of being the designated villain of this anti-globalization backlash, his Judaism and career in finance rendering him a made-to-order phantasm for reactionaries worldwide.»
«“I’m standing for principles whether I win or lose,” Soros told me this spring. But, he went on, “unfortunately, I’m losing too much in too many places right now.”»
* * * * * * *
Lasciamo il Lettore alla compitazione di questo mastodontico editoriale del The New York Times, giornale da sempre liberal democratico di specchiatissima fede. Gli articolisti tutto le mattine accendono i ceri degli altarini eretti a Mr Soros, poi si mettono il grembulino a vanno in loggia a prendere gli ordini. Scrivono un politicamente corretto ineccepibile. Poi passano in banca a prelevare l’emolumento.
Il loro punto di vista è della massima importanza per cercare di comprendere i loro moduli mentali.
His enemies paint him as all-powerful, but the billionaire philanthropist believes that his political legacy has never been in greater jeopardy.
On a clammy Tuesday morning in Paris at the end of May, George Soros, the world’s second-most-vilified New York billionaire (but worth many billions more than the other one), addressed the European Council on Foreign Relations, an organization he helped found a decade ago. Described by the woman who introduced him as a “European at heart,” the Hungarian-born Soros, who made his fortune running a hedge fund and is now a full-time philanthropist, political activist and freelance statesman, was there to share his thoughts on salvaging the European Union.
Wearing a dark suit, tieless and with the collar of his blue shirt outside the lapel of his jacket, Soros took the stage with the determined stride of an 87-year-old who still plays tennis a few times a week. But there were some concessions to age. He gave his speech sitting down and used a desk lamp to illuminate the text. (In fairness, the hotel conference room hosting the event was morosely dark.) He turned the pages with his right hand while keeping his left hand on his left knee, as if propping himself up. There were moments when he seemed on the verge of losing his place, although he never did.
In person, Soros is quite charming, with a wry sense of humor. But his writings — he has published 14 books — and speeches can be a little wooden, and this occasion was no exception. He barely acknowledged the audience, which included the president of Serbia and the prime minister of Albania, except to say, “I think this is the right place to discuss how to save Europe.” But apart from urging the European Union to direct more aid to Africa, which he said would ameliorate the refugee crisis that has led to so much of the recent political upheaval in Europe, his remarks were more descriptive than prescriptive. The European Union, he said, faced an “existential crisis.”
Briefly touching on Europe’s economic outlook, he said, “We may be heading for another major financial crisis.” Partly in response to his warning, the Dow fell nearly 400 points that day. Soros is generally considered the greatest speculator Wall Street has known, and though he stopped managing other people’s money years ago, the reaction was a real-time display of his continued ability to move markets. The attention given to that comment also underscored, in a subtle way, an enduring frustration of his life: His financial thoughts still tend to carry more weight than his political reflections.
Yet the political realm is where Soros has made his most audacious wager. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, he poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the former Soviet-bloc countries to promote civil society and liberal democracy. It was a one-man Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe, a private initiative without historical precedent. It was also a gamble that a part of the world that had mostly known tyranny would embrace ideas like government accountability and ethnic tolerance. In London in the 1950s, Soros was a student of the expatriated Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, who championed the notion of an “open society,” in which individual liberty, pluralism and free inquiry prevailed. Popper’s concept became Soros’s cause.
It is an embattled cause these days. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has reverted to autocracy, and Poland and Hungary are moving in the same direction. With the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, where Soros is a major donor to Democratic candidates and progressive groups, and the growing strength of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe, Soros’s vision of liberal democracy is under threat in its longtime strongholds. Nationalism and tribalism are resurgent, barriers are being raised and borders reinforced and Soros is confronting the possibility that the goal to which he has devoted most of his wealth and the last chapter of his life will end in failure. Not only that: He also finds himself in the unsettling position of being the designated villain of this anti-globalization backlash, his Judaism and career in finance rendering him a made-to-order phantasm for reactionaries worldwide. “I’m standing for principles whether I win or lose,” Soros told me this spring. But, he went on, “unfortunately, I’m losing too much in too many places right now.”
The night before his speech in Paris, I had dinner with Soros in his suite at the Bristol Hotel, where he usually stays — and one of the city’s most elegant addresses, conveniently located just up the street from the Elysées Palace (although on this trip Soros had no plans to see France’s president, Emanuel Macron, whom he knows and admires). An aide took me up to the suite and ushered me into the dining room, where Soros was already seated at the table with his wife, Tamiko (Soros has been married three times and has five children — though that is where the similarities to Donald Trump end). It was after 8:30, but he seemed eager for conversation. He spoke slowly, in a still-thick Hungarian accent, moving his cupped hand in a semicircle as if summoning his words. As we talked over a first course of tomato-and-avocado salad, a thunderstorm swept across Paris, rattling the windows. One especially violent thunderclap struck as we were discussing Russia. “That’s Putin,” another aide joked. In 2015, Putin expelled Soros’s philanthropic organization, the Open Society Foundations, from Russia, claiming it was a security threat, and Russian state media churn out a steady flow of anti-Soros content. (At a recent joint press conference with Trump in Helsinki, Putin spoke scornfully of Soros.)
Paris was the first stop for Soros on a monthlong spring trip to Europe. He normally would have visited Budapest, but not this time. Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, a former Soros protégé, was re-elected in April after running a campaign in which he effectively made Soros his opponent. Orban accused Soros, who is an American citizen, of plotting to overwhelm Hungary with Muslim immigrants in order to undermine its Christian heritage. He attacked Soros during campaign rallies, and his government plastered the country with anti-Soros billboards. In the aftermath of the election, the O.S.F. announced that it was closing its Budapest office because of concerns for the safety of its employees. The fate of the Soros-founded Central European University, based in Budapest, was also in doubt.
Soros said he couldn’t visit Hungary under present circumstances: “It would be toxic,” he said. He told me that Orban’s campaign was “a big disappointment,” but quickly added, “I think I must be doing something right to look at who my enemies are.” Last autumn, he signaled that same sense of defiance when he announced that he was in the process of transferring the bulk of his remaining wealth, $18 billion in total at the time, to the O.S.F. That will potentially make it the second-largest philanthropic organization in the United States, in assets, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is already a sprawling entity, with some 1,800 employees in 35 countries, a global advisory board, eight regional boards and 17 issue-oriented boards. Its annual budget of around $1 billion finances projects in education, public health, independent media, immigration and criminal-justice reform and other areas. Organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are among its grantees.
Soros originally planned to close the O.S.F. in 2010. He didn’t want it to outlive him, because he feared it might then lose its dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit. But he changed his mind when he realized that, as he put it, “I had more money than I can realistically or usefully spend in my lifetime.” He also saw that, with liberal values and civil society fragile in so many places, the O.S.F.’s work was becoming ever more essential. “I found a mission, a niche, that I felt could be carried on,” he said as we finished dinner.
A few minutes later came an unexpected reminder of what he and the O.S.F. are up against. A Soros aide and I took the elevator back down together, and when we stepped into the Bristol’s lobby, we found ourselves in the middle of a reception line that stretched the length of the room. It had formed there to greet one of Africa’s longest-serving autocrats, Denis Sassou Nguesso, the president of the Republic of Congo. The next day, a few hours after Soros spoke to the European Council on Foreign Relations, Roseanne Barr went on a Twitter rant that served as a vivid demonstration of what he is up against personally. Soros was maneuvering to bring about “the overthrow of us constitutional republic,” Barr tweeted. She also claimed that Soros, a Holocaust survivor, had actually been a Nazi. Among those who retweeted the Nazi gibe was Donald Trump Jr.
According to Soros, 1944 was the formative year of his life. The Nazis invaded Hungary and immediately began deporting Jews. To save his family, his father, Tivadar Soros, a lawyer, obtained false identities for George, who was then 13, and his older brother, Paul. One day, George was ordered to deliver summonses on behalf of the Jewish Council. Tivadar, recognizing that they were essentially deportation notices, instructed his son to tell the recipients not to heed them. Soon after, Tivadar arranged for Paul to move into a rented room and sent George to live with a Hungarian agricultural official, who passed him off as his Christian godson. The official’s job included taking inventory of a confiscated Jewish-owned property; he took George with him. These episodes have become the basis for the claim that George was a Nazi collaborator. In fact, though, there is no credible evidence that he collaborated with or was sympathetic to the Nazis. George, his brother and his parents all survived the war. Soros says that he came out of the experience with a strong defiant streak, a contempt for tribalism and a propensity to side with the oppressed.
In 1946, as Communists were rising to power in Hungary, Soros fled to England. He earned a degree from the London School of Economics, where Karl Popper was a professor. In 1945, Popper published a political treatise, “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” a fierce assault on totalitarianism, in both its fascist and Marxist forms, and a ringing defense of liberal democracy. Soros left Popper’s classroom with not only the idea that would later animate his philanthropy but also the desire to live a life of the mind. He had to make money first, though. When he moved to New York in 1956 to take a job on Wall Street, his goal, he told me, was to sock away $100,000 in five years, which would allow him to quit finance and turn to scholarly pursuits. But instead, he quipped during our dinner, “I overperformed.”
In 1969, Soros formed what would become the Quantum Fund. It was one of a new breed of investment vehicles known as hedge funds, which catered to institutional investors and wealthy individuals and which used leverage — borrowed money — to make huge bets on stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities. Quantum was wildly successful from its start, delivering 40 percent annual returns. Soros would later attribute his knack for playing the markets to what he called his “theory of reflexivity” — basically, the idea that people’s biases and perceptions can move prices in directions that don’t accord with the underlying reality. Soros claimed his strength as an investor was in recognizing and acting on what he referred to as “far from equilibrium” moments. (His oldest son, Robert, once claimed the “reflexivity” explanation was bunk; he said the tip-off for his father that the market was nearing a major move was when his bad back flared up.)
‘I think I must be doing something right to look at who my enemies are.’
By the late 1970s, Soros had become a very wealthy man. Now he had the means to make himself an agent of history. He was frank about his ambition, though also self-deprecating. As he wrote in his 1991 book, “Underwriting Democracy”: “I was a confirmed egoist but I considered the pursuit of self-interest as too narrow a base for my rather inflated self. If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me into trouble. But when I had made my way in the world I wanted to indulge my fantasies to the extent that I could afford.”
He decided that his goal would be opening closed societies. He created a philanthropic organization, then called the Open Society Fund, in 1979 and began sponsoring college scholarships for black South African students. But he soon turned his attention to Eastern Europe, where he started financing dissident groups. He funneled money to the Solidarity strikers in Poland in 1981 and to Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. In one especially ingenious move, he sent hundreds of Xerox copiers to Hungary to make it easier for underground publications to disseminate their newsletters. In the late 1980s, he provided dozens of Eastern European students with scholarships to study in the West, with the aim of fostering a generation of liberal democratic leaders. One of those students was Viktor Orban, who studied civil society at Oxford. From his Manhattan trading desk, Soros became a strange sort of expat anticommunist revolutionary.
In the meantime, Quantum grew into a multibillion-dollar colossus. Soros made his most famous trade in 1992, when he bet against the British pound. The currency was vulnerable because it had been pegged at what seemed an unsustainably high rate against the German mark; with Britain in recession, Soros reasoned, the British government would ultimately choose to see the pound devalued rather than maintain the high interest rates needed to defend it from speculative investors. Soros’s terse command to his head trader, Stanley Druckenmiller, was to “go for the jugular.” Druckenmiller did, and on Wednesday, Sept. 16 — Black Wednesday, as it came to be known — the Bank of England stopped trying to prop up the pound’s value. It promptly sank against the mark, falling out of Europe’s Exchange Rate Mechanism and dealing a setback to the push for greater European integration. The sterling crisis turned hedge funds into the glamorous rogues of finance and demonstrated the punitive power that they could wield against policymakers in a world of free-flowing capital. The trade made $1.5 billion for Quantum, and Soros, whom the British tabloids dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England,” became a household name.
By then, the Soviet empire had collapsed, and Soros was devoting huge sums of his own money to try to smooth its transition from Communist rule. For example, he donated $100 million to support Russian scientists and keep them from selling their services to countries hostile to the West; he spent $250 million on a program to revise Russian textbooks and train teachers to promote critical thinking. While the era was one of Western triumphalism, when it was widely assumed that Russia and other newly freed countries would inevitably embrace liberal democracy — a view most famously expressed in Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 essay, “The End of History” — Soros did not share that certitude. This part of the world had little tradition of civil society and liberal democracy, and in his view these needed to be nurtured if the region was to avoid backsliding into autocracy. “I generally have a bias to see the darkest potential,” he told me. “It is something that I have practiced in the financial markets to very good effect, and I have transferred it to politics.”
During the 1990s, Soros toggled between his day job and his philanthropy, and it was not always easy to disentangle his dual roles. For a time, Quantum and O.S.F. were run out of the same offices. In December 1992, three months after his bet against the British pound, Soros announced a $50 million donation to build a water-treatment facility in war-ravaged Sarajevo, and it was hard not to see that money as having been sucked straight from the British treasury. Soros once described his bifurcated existence rather graphically, writing that he “felt like a giant digestive tract, taking in money at one end and pushing it out at the other.”
If that was the case, indigestion was inevitable, and it came in 1997, when Quantum was at the center of a speculative attack on the Thai baht. The episode was a nearly identical reprise of what happened to the British pound. (Quantum made roughly $750 million this time.) There was one critical difference, however: While Britain was a major industrialized country that ultimately had little trouble absorbing the blow to its currency, Thailand was an emerging economy for which the consequences were devastating. Economic output plunged, banks and businesses folded and huge numbers of people were thrown out of work. The baht crisis rippled into other Asian economies. Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, called Soros and other speculators “unscrupulous profiteers” whose immoral work served no social value. Soros publicly rejected the criticism, but when investors took aim at the Indonesian rupiah in the fall of 1997, Quantum was not among them. Nor did it join other hedge funds when they targeted the Russian ruble the following year. Having already invested hundreds of millions of dollars trying to stabilize Russia, Soros would have been undercutting his own work by betting against the Russian currency. He ended up taking a $400 million loss.
“That was where the crossroads between the philanthropist and the investor became difficult,” says Rob Johnson, a longtime Soros associate who worked as a portfolio manager at Quantum in the 1990s. But by then, according to Johnson, the only reason that Soros was still running a hedge fund was to generate more money for his causes.
In a speech to students and faculty at Moldova University in 1994, Soros described in strikingly personal terms why he became a political philanthropist. His objective, he said, was to make Hungary “a country from which I wouldn’t want to emigrate.” To that end, he showered Hungary with money and resources in the years after the Berlin Wall fell. In the early 1990s, the O.S.F. gave $5 million to a program that offered free breakfasts to Hungarian schoolchildren. It spent millions to modernize Hungary’s health care system. In all, Soros has funded around $400 million worth of projects in Hungary since 1989 — and that figure doesn’t include the initial $250 million that he gave to endow Central European University, which opened in Prague in 1991, moved to Budapest two years later and has since graduated more than 14,000 students drawn from across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Soros also cultivated a number of young activists he believed could advance his dream of remaking Hungary as a place he would never again feel compelled to leave. Among them was Viktor Orban, a bright, charismatic student who was ardently pro-democracy, or so it seemed. In addition to providing Orban with a scholarship at Oxford, Soros donated money to Fidesz (the Alliance of Young Democrats), a student organization that Orban helped found and that evolved into his political party.
ut during the 1990s, Orban drifted to the right. Elected prime minister in 1998, he governed as a mainstream conservative, emphasizing patriotism and traditional values. Outwardly, he remained pro-Western. Under his leadership, Hungary entered NATO, and he also laid the groundwork for its admission to the European Union. But a shock defeat in the 2002 election seemed to radicalize Orban. When he reclaimed the prime minister’s office in 2009, he began ruthlessly consolidating power. He packed the courts with Fidesz loyalists, and various independent media were bought out by Orban supporters. At the same time, he turned away from the West and drew close to Vladimir Putin. Orban was re-elected in 2014. The following year, the European refugee crisis hit. Tens of thousands of refugees passed through the Balkans and arrived on Hungary’s border. Orban’s government erected a 109-mile fence in order to keep them out, and it later refused to comply with a European Union quota plan that would have required it to take in asylum-seekers.
Groups that received financial support from the O.S.F. were providing assistance to the refugees massed along Hungary’s border, and this became a pretext for Orban’s war on Soros. The Hungarian Parliament enacted legislation requiring NGOs to register with the government and disclose foreign sources of income above a certain threshold; it passed a bill that would have stripped Central European University of the right to award diplomas in Hungary. Orban’s government introduced what it called the “Stop Soros” bill making it a crime to assist illegal immigrants. (Parliament passed the bill last month.)
In one campaign rally in Budapest, Orban referred to Soros as “Uncle George,” telling tens of thousands of supporters that “we are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world.” Along with the fiery speeches, there were the billboards, which featured a picture of a smiling Soros and the message, “Let’s not let George Soros have the last laugh.” The laughing Jew had been a trope of Nazi propaganda, but Orban denied that the billboards were anti-Semitic.
Orban’s coalition won 49 percent of the vote, enough to give it a supermajority in Parliament. But the anti-Soros campaign didn’t end with the election. Days after the vote, a magazine owned by a pro-Orban businesswoman published the names of more than 200 people in Hungary that it claimed were Soros “mercenaries.” The list included representatives of human rights groups, anticorruption watchdogs and Central European University faculty members and administrators. In mid-May, the O.S.F. announced that it was closing its Budapest office, which was responsible for almost half its international grants. Patrick Gaspard, the O.S.F.’s president, says that the language and imagery Orban used to go after Soros was “nothing short of violent” and that the Hungarian prime minister’s threat to turn the country’s intelligence services on the O.S.F. made it impossible to remain in Budapest. “I have the habit of taking autocrats at their word,” Gaspard says. “We have to protect the security of our staff and of our data.” The office is relocating to Berlin.
In recent years, governments throughout Eastern Europe have attacked Soros. But why Orban, personally popular and facing hopelessly divided opponents, chose to make Soros-bashing the centerpiece of his campaign puzzled many observers. Orban “is extremely successful,” Michael Ignatieff, the president of Central European University and the former leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, told me in London in April. “He’s a much better politician than any of his opposition. He has intelligence and charm. He’s funny and reads a room well. What’s crazy is that he feels he needs to delegitimize Soros in order to win an election.” Some observers offered a psychological explanation: Noting that Orban had had a turbulent relationship with his own father and a tendency to chafe under authority, they suggested that bludgeoning Soros was a form of patricide, a way of slaying his political godfather. But Thomas Carothers, a senior vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that Soros was simply a useful cudgel for Orban. Civic groups were the last source of potential opposition, he says, and because some of them were backed by the O.S.F., going after Soros was a way to undermine their credibility. “Strongman leaders want to de-universalize human rights and civic liberties,” says Carothers, who has served on various O.S.F. advisory boards. “It is much harder for Orban to say that he rejects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is much easier to say, ‘I push back against this intrusive man sitting in New York.’ Soros is a very convenient bogeyman.”
‘I’m opposed to the extreme left. It should stop trying to keep up with the extremists on the right.’
Given that Orban ran and won on a xenophobic platform, it seems fair to wonder if Soros’s work in Hungary — and in much of Eastern Europe — was doomed from the start. With Putinism and Orbanism on the rise and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, there is renewed debate about the import of the events of 1989 and whether Russians, Poles and Hungarians really intended to embrace the full menu of Western liberal values. Francis Fukuyama is among those who have doubts today. “There’s now a lot of evidence that a lot of that turn toward liberal democracy in the early days, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, really was driven by a kind of educated, very pro-Western elite,” he told me recently. But less-educated people who lived outside large urban areas “didn’t really buy into liberalism, this idea that you could actually have a multiracial, multiethnic society where all these traditional communal values would have to give way to gay marriage and immigrants and all this stuff. That they definitely did not buy into.”
But Fukuyama went on to say that it takes events and skillful manipulators to rouse the forces of intolerance. In Hungary, the global financial crisis and the refugee crisis were the fuses, and Orban proved very adept at providing the spark. Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O.S.F., made a similar observation. He said resentment of the European Union, which came to be seen as an “emasculating force of Hungarian identity,” as he put it, coupled with economic anxiety, left Hungarians receptive to Orban’s appeal. “Hungarians are not irredeemably racist,” Benardo said. “Ethnic entrepreneurs like Orban play upon the darkest fears of people to produce political support and an us-versus-them mentality.”
In contrast to Benardo, my grandfather was not a social scientist. But like Soros, he was a Hungarian-born Jew who ended up in the United States, and he believed that anti-Semitism was a habit of mind that Hungarians would never kick. He admired Soros, but thought he was wasting his money in Hungary. When I told Soros about my grandfather, he smiled and shook his head knowingly. He said that his brother, a shipping magnate, had felt the same way. Soros did not.
“I don’t blame the Hungarian people at all,” he said. “In fact, I admire them for their willingness to stand up to oppression and to fight for their freedom.” He added: “We have to distinguish between the people and the government.”
He then told me a story from 1944, about a Nazi officer his father met in a cafe. During the course of the conversation, the officer quietly admitted to misgivings about the orders he was obliged to carry out. His father, a Jew in hiding and virulently opposed to the Nazis, tried to comfort the officer, telling him that it was a difficult situation. Throughout his life, the elder Soros shared this story to make the point that circumstances matter and that how people act isn’t necessarily how they feel, a lesson that his son was now applying to Orban’s Hungary. I asked him if he expected to visit Hungary again in his lifetime. “I hope so,” he said, but without much conviction.
Two weeks later, President Trump called Orban to congratulate him on his re-election.
Soros became a major political donor in the United States during George W. Bush’s presidency. Angered by what he saw as an effort by the Bush administration to use the war on terror to stoke fear and stifle dissent, he began donating vast sums to Democratic candidates and progressive causes. He helped fund the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, as well as MoveOn.org, and spent more than $20 million backing John Kerry’s unsuccessful bid to deny Bush a second term. In addition to being a generous donor, he was an outspoken one. He accused the Bush administration of employing Nazi propaganda techniques, and later said that the United States would need to undergo “a certain de-Nazification process” after Bush left office.
Soros was an early backer of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. In Paris, Soros told me that Obama was “actually my greatest disappointment.” Prompted by an aide, he immediately qualified himself, saying that he hadn’t been disappointed by Obama’s presidency but felt let down on a professional level. While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out.
After Obama was elected, “he closed the door on me,” Soros said. “He made one phone call thanking me for my support, which was meant to last for five minutes, and I engaged him, and he had to spend another three minutes with me, so I dragged it out to eight minutes.” He suggested that he had fallen victim to an Obama personality trait. “He was someone who was known from the time when he was competing for the editorship of The Harvard Law Review to take his supporters for granted and to woo his opponents,” Soros said.
During the 2016 election cycle, Soros contributed more than $25 million to Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates and causes. While he had foreseen the possibility of a Trump-like figure emerging (“The American public has proven remarkably susceptible to the manipulation of truth, which increasingly dominates the country’s political discourse,” he wrote in The Guardian in 2007), he was as surprised as everyone else that the Trump-like figure turned out to be Donald Trump. Soros told me that he had known Trump casually and had even socialized with him (about 30 years ago, a friend of Soros’s dated one of Trump’s senior people, and they all went out for dinner a few times). “I had no idea he had any political ambition,” Soros said. Trump had tried to coax him into becoming the lead tenant in one of his commercial buildings, he said. “I told him I couldn’t afford it,” Soros recalled with a chuckle.
He said that he had been “very afraid” that Trump would “blow up the world rather than suffer a setback to his narcissism” but was pleased that the president’s ego had instead led him to reach out to North Korea. “I think the danger of nuclear war has been greatly reduced, and that’s a big relief.” In his annual state-of-the-world speech in Davos this year, Soros said Trump “would like to establish a mafia state, but he can’t, because the Constitution, other institutions and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.” He also characterized Trump as a “purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner,” and predicted a Democratic landslide in the 2018 midterm elections. Five months on, he was sticking by those predictions. “For every Trump follower who follows Trump through thick and thin, there is more than one Trump enemy who will be more intent, more determined,” Soros told me. He is doing his part to shorten the Trump era: In advance of the midterm elections, Soros has so far contributed at least $15 million to support Democratic candidates and causes.
Asked if he would support Bernie Sanders if the Vermont senator won the Democratic nomination in 2020, Soros said it was too soon to say. He expressed displeasure with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, another possible candidate, over her role in ousting Al Franken from Congress: “She was using #MeToo to promote herself.” He said his main goal as a political activist was to see a return to bipartisanship, a surprising claim in light of his lavish support for the Democrats. It was the extremism of the Republican Party that had prompted him to become a major Democratic donor, he said; he wanted the Republican Party to reform itself into a more moderate party. He said he was not especially partisan himself: “I don’t particularly want to be a Democrat.” He spoke of his respect for John McCain. He even said he would be inclined to give financial support to moderate Republicans like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, although he quickly walked back that comment: “I shouldn’t say that. That would hurt them.” And while the Republicans had made bipartisanship impossible, he didn’t want to see the Democrats become more ideologically rigid and confrontational.
If Soros views his relationship with the Democratic Party as mostly transactional, for some Democrats the feeling appears to be mutual. While his money is welcome and needed, there seems to be a certain ambivalence about Soros within Democratic circles. It is partly because of his outspokenness. As Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a longtime Democratic strategist, puts it, “The best donors are silent donors; not talking is good.” A bigger issue is that the Democratic Party remains committed to campaign-finance reform and abhors the effect that the Citizens United decision has had on American politics. That 2010 Supreme Court ruling gave billionaires like Soros the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Kamarck says that in the post-Citizens United world, Democrats “can’t unilaterally disarm” and spurn donations from plutocrats like Soros, but they are conflicted about billionaire donors in a way that the Republicans are not.
Although Soros is squarely on the left on many issues — he supports a single-payer health care system and is a longtime advocate of criminal-justice reform — some on the left have long been dubious of him. In the 1990s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda (mass privatization, for example) on Eastern Europe. For some critics, Soros’s Wall Street background has always been a mark against him. There is also discomfort with his philanthropy — not its goals, certainly, but what it is seen to represent. Soros is at the vanguard of what has come to be known as “philanthrocapitalism,” essentially large-scale social investing by billionaires like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Soros. (Last year Forbes magazine ranked Soros the 20th-richest American.) To those who object, this represents the privatization of social policy and, through the substantial tax benefits that charitable donations receive, it deprives the public sector of money that could be used to promote social welfare.
When I asked Soros to describe himself ideologically, he laughed. “My ideology is nonideological,” he said. “I’m in the club of nonclubs.” When I suggested that “center-left” might characterize his views, he demurred; he said it wasn’t clear where he stood now because the left had moved further left, a development that did not please him. “I’m opposed to the extreme left,” he said. “It should stop trying to keep up with the extremists on the right.”
One morning in Paris, I had coffee with Alex Soros, who is 32 and the second-youngest of George’s five children. Bespectacled, wiry and careful with his words, he had recently earned a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and was now running his own philanthropy while also working with the O.S.F. He was a little groggy, having been up late the night before writing an op-ed for The Daily News rebutting Roseanne Barr’s Nazi tweet. (His father’s lawyers also filed a cease-and-desist order against Barr; she issued an apology two weeks later.) When the caffeine finally kicked in, Alex told me that for many years, his father had not been eager to advertise his Judaism because “this was something he was almost killed for.” But he had always “identified firstly as a Jew,” and his philanthropy was ultimately an expression of his Jewish identity, in that he felt a solidarity with other minority groups and also because he recognized that a Jew could only truly be safe in a world in which all minorities were protected. Explaining his father’s motives, he said, “The reason you fight for an open society is because that’s the only society that you can live in, as a Jew — unless you become a nationalist and only fight for your own rights in your own state.”
But Soros’s Jewish identity, coupled with his status as a Wall Street billionaire, gave those disinclined to support his agenda an easy means to foment suspicion and resentment, and from the moment that he became involved in Eastern Europe, he was confronted with anti-Semitism. The dog-whistling has not abated with time; some would argue that anti-Semitism directed at Soros has become, at least under Orban, a state-sponsored contagion. But it has also lately taken some bizarre twists. Last year, a son of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, posted an anti-Semitic cartoon of Soros on his Facebook page. (Netanyahu has frequently disparaged Soros because of his financial support for groups critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.) And, of course, Soros is also routinely accused of having been a Nazi.
Anti-Soros sentiment is a more recent phenomenon in the United States. Soros became a focal point of right-wing vitriol when he started contributing to the Democrats. In an appearance on Fox News in 2004, Dennis Hastert, who was at the time the speaker of the House, suggested that Soros was involved with drug cartels, telling Chris Wallace that “I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where — if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from.” The effort to demonize Soros has been unrelenting and quite successful. In suggesting that Soros was plotting a coup against the American government, Roseanne Barr was repeating a claim made by, among others, Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who had posted a meme on her Facebook page suggesting that Soros was conspiring to topple President Trump and “our constitutional republic.”
Soros is regularly portrayed as the deus ex machina of American politics, a vast left-wing conspiracy unto himself. His wily hand — and wallet — have been blamed for the national-anthem protests in the N.F.L.; the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.; and the violence in Charlottesville. On Twitter, Soros haters trace virtually every national trauma, as well as every setback for conservatives, to him, or anything with the flimsiest connection to him. This stuff isn’t confined to the digital fringes either. The claim about Charlottesville, for instance, was leveled by Paul Gosar, a Republican member of Congress. After news broke of a sex scandal involving the former governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens, that state’s Republican Party issued a statement claiming that he had fallen victim to a “political hit job” orchestrated by Soros.
At this point, it is fair to say that “Soros” has eclipsed even “Hillary” as a trigger for a certain large subset of Republicans and conservatives. In April, conservative media outlets reported that Kimba Wood, the judge presiding over the case of President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, had officiated at Soros’s third wedding, in 2013. None of them attempted to explain why this was a problem; it was apparently self-evident. In 2014, Mark Malloch-Brown, a former United Nations deputy secretary general and a longtime Soros protégé, became head of a company called Smartmatic, which specializes in electronic voting technology. Soros obsessives eventually seized on this as proof that he was now intent on manipulating election outcomes. In response, the company felt obliged to post a disclaimer on its website stating that Soros had no stake in Smartmatic and that its technology was not used during the 2016 United States presidential election. When I spoke with Malloch-Brown, he told me that this was the price of being associated in any way with Soros. “It’s a badge I wear with honor,” he said, “but it attaches to everything I do.”
Much of what is said about Soros on Facebook, Twitter and in right-wing media outlets is not overtly anti-Semitic, and it is possible that some of the people pushing these views are not even aware that he is Jewish. But the echoes are there. Glenn Beck used his show on Fox to peddle wild conspiracy theories about Soros. In 2010, he aired a multipart special called “George Soros: The Puppet Master,” which was widely condemned for its anti-Semitic overtones, beginning with its title (the Jew as puppet master, pulling the strings of humanity, is another age-old anti-Semitic trope). In recent years, the so-called alt-right has become a key driver of Soros paranoia. Breitbart portrays him as an arch-“globalist” who backs unrestricted immigration and a border-free world. (Neither claim is true.) Soros was one of the prominent Jews featured in the last ad of Trump’s 2016 campaign, which many regarded as anti-Semitic. Steve Bannon, formerly the head of Breitbart, led Trump’s campaign at the time. On a trip to Europe in March, Bannon lauded Viktor Orban as a “hero” and “the most significant guy on the scene today.”
Although the broadsides at Soros are often highly suggestive, the people behind them are usually careful to maintain a degree of deniability when it comes to the question of anti-Semitism. But not always. On his radio show last year, Alex Jones, who runs the conspiracy website Infowars, told listeners, “there is undoubtedly a Jewish mafia” and that it was headed by Soros. Offering the same twist that would later appear in Roseanne Barr’s tweet, Jones said that “one of the biggest enemies of Jews was the Jewish mafia” and that Soros was “out to get Jews.”
At this point, ‘Soros’ has eclipsed even ‘Hillary’ as a trigger for a large subset of Republicans and conservatives.
Britain’s vote in 2016 to leave the E.U. was a personal blow to Soros, an Anglophile but also a staunch supporter of European integration. Afterward, he donated more than $500,000 to a group called Best for Britain, led by Malloch-Brown, that plans to push for a second referendum to undo Brexit. In a tart response, Norman Lamont, who was chancellor of the Exchequer during the 1992 pound-devaluation crisis and, as such, the person on the losing end of Soros’s most celebrated trade, told a reporter, “George Soros is a brilliant financier, but he should stick to finance and stay out of British politics.”
In April, I met with Lamont. Now a member of the House of Lords and an ardent Brexit supporter, he insisted that he bore no ill will toward Soros because of Black Wednesday. But he regarded Brexit as a domestic political matter in which foreign money should play no part. That Soros had a home and office in London was irrelevant. “He can’t vote here,” Lamont said. In his view, Soros’s effort to get a do-over vote was undermining British democracy. “I think there would be incredible disillusionment with the political process if this vote was annulled,” he said.
During my dinner with Soros, I pointed out that some political observers drew a straight line from Black Wednesday to Brexit, in that the 1992 crisis strengthened the position of the Euroskeptics in Britain’s Conservative Party, the faction that ultimately pushed for and prevailed on the vote to leave the European Union. I asked Soros what he would say to a Brexit supporter puzzled by his seemingly contradictory roles in Black Wednesday and Brexit. His reply suggested he thought the answer was obvious. “This is the difference between my engagement in the markets, where my only interest is to get it right and make money, and my political engagement, where I stand for what I really believe in,” he said.
It is a comment that gets to the heart of the Soros conundrum. Even if you concede that policymakers are ultimately to blame for the income inequality that has fueled so much of the current backlash against globalization, the financial sector has had a major role in worsening it, and hedge-fund titans like Soros are powerful symbols of that inequality. And while Soros has written very candidly and persuasively about the pitfalls of casino capitalism — most notably in a 1997 Atlantic essay, subsequently expanded into a book called “The Crisis of Global Capitalism,” in which he acknowledged the destabilizing effect of financial markets — that doesn’t make him any less of a symbol. When pressed, Soros has said that if he hadn’t gone after the British pound or the Thai baht, someone else would have. That is unquestionably true (and in fact, Quantum was not the only hedge fund targeting those currencies). But that is not a particularly satisfying answer, and certainly not after the Great Recession, in which investment banks and hedge funds played such a destructive role. The industry that made him a billionaire contributed significantly to the circumstances that now imperil what Soros the philanthropist has tried to achieve.
On the other hand, if Soros’s riches had gone to someone else, would that person have put the money to the same use? It might have gone to a noble cause, but almost certainly not to something as ambitious and quixotic — or as dangerous — as the promotion of liberal values and democracy. (As Putin and Orban have shown, independent civil society is inevitably regarded as oppositional by governments that don’t want their powers checked.) Most plutocrats measure progress in numbers, but the kind of work that Soros, through the O.S.F., has done generally defies quantification. And as Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O.S.F., noted when we spoke a few months ago, that work can be unpopular in the countries where it is done.
Soros’s efforts on behalf of one group in particular, the Roma, seem especially germane right now. In June, the new Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, the head of the far-right League party, commissioned a census of the country’s Roma. As an “answer to the Roma question,” as he menacingly phrased it, Salvini vowed to expel all non-Italian Roma and added, “Unfortunately, we will have to keep the Italian Roma.” Even in the age of Trump, his words were shocking, but he has refused to disavow them or back down. Improving the status of Europe’s estimated 10 to 12 million Roma has been a major priority for Soros and the O.S.F. since the early 1990s. The organization has contributed more than $300 million to projects combating discrimination against the Roma and providing them with greater education, employment and civic opportunities. It is a struggle because anti-Roma sentiment remains a potent force, a reality underscored by Salvini’s actions and statements. Given the political currents in Europe, this is another battle that Soros may well be losing. Salvini’s popularity has soared.
But it is also a clarifying battle. Setting aside all of the complications that come with being George Soros, would you rather live in the world that he has tried to create, or in the world that Salvini and Orban (and, for that matter, Trump) seem to be pushing us toward? In the aftermath of the Great Recession, it can certainly be argued that how Soros earned his money, and the fact that he accumulated such wealth, ought to carry more moral opprobrium in 2018 than maybe it did in 2008. But there is also a case to be made that in the present moment, with its echoes of the 1930s, how he amassed his fortune matters a lot less than what he has chosen to do with it.
There have been mistakes; by his own admission, Soros erred in championing Mikheil Saakashvili, the mercurial former president of Georgia, and also became too directly involved in the country’s politics in the early 2000s. He clearly misjudged Orban. But as Victoria Nuland, a former American diplomat who worked for both Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton, put it when I spoke to her recently, “George is a freedom fighter.”
On the morning of July 5, I visited Soros at his home in the Hamptons. He had returned from Europe the week before and was spending the rest of the summer at El Mirador, as his Mediterranean-style villa is known. For years, Soros has used the 10-bedroom, 15,000-square-foot complex as a salon of sorts, entertaining a revolving cast of writers, academics and political activists. Back in the day, Soros could often be found playing chess outside with dissidents from Eastern Europe.
A household employee showed me to a table in the dining room and offered me some ginger tea: “a specialty of the house.” A few minutes later, Soros walked in. He was dressed in a white linen shirt, dark trousers and sandals. He hadn’t been on the tennis court that morning; he was busy with phone calls instead.
In the five weeks since I had seen Soros in Paris, the Trump administration had slapped new trade sanctions on China and imposed tariffs on goods from Canada and the European Union. I asked why the markets and the broader economy were holding up so well in the face of a possible global trade war, the breakdown of the trans-Atlantic alliance and the political turmoil in Washington. Soros said these developments would eventually drag down the market, but he couldn’t say when. “I’ve lost my capacity to anticipate the markets,” he said, adding with a smile, “I’m an amateur now.” It was like hearing Roger Federer saying he had lost his touch around the net. Soros claimed that because the financial world was no longer his main focus, he was unable to time the markets the way that he used to. Politics now commanded his attention.
Soros was in a reflective mood. He said democracy was in trouble because in many countries it had become sclerotic, insufficiently responsive to the public’s needs. “It’s losing out,” he said. Illiberal democracy, of the sort that Orban had fashioned in Hungary, was proving to be “more effective,” for the time being at least. The new-age autocrats had shown themselves to be particularly cunning in going after civil society as a means of consolidating their power. “It’s a less abrasive way of exercising control than actually killing people who disagree with you,” he said.
It had become clear to him that his mentor and inspiration, Karl Popper, had been wrong in one critical respect. In a democratic society, politics wasn’t ultimately a quest to arrive at the truth; it was about gaining and holding power and manipulating public sentiment in order to do that. “He was a philosopher of science, and science is a search for reality,” Soros said. “He did not understand politics. In politics, you are spinning the truth, not discovering it.” I asked what Popper, who died in 1994, had thought of his political philanthropy. “He was very supportive, which means he didn’t take me seriously,” Soros said, laughing. “I don’t think Popper would be so happy with my current position, because I’m critical of him.”
Soros acknowledged that he had said things in the past that he now regretted — not necessarily the sentiments, but the way he had expressed them. Referring to the Nazi comments that he made during the Bush years, he said, “That was probably a mistake.” He told me that he was now choosing his words more cautiously, eschewing comparisons to the Third Reich and the use of the word “fascism” to describe political conditions in the United States and Europe.
In Paris, Alex Soros had told me that his father, while an excellent parent, had been emotionally distant. It was, he said, a defense mechanism born of his wartime experience: “To be emotional, to give off emotion, could be a sign of vulnerability.” But he said his father had started to open up in recent years.
As my conversation with Soros in Southampton drew to a close, I thought I picked up a little vulnerability. He was talking about his wealth and the opportunities it had given him. “For me, money represents freedom and not power,” he said. For a long time, money had given him the freedom to do and say what he pleased, and also the freedom not to care what other people said and thought about him. But he conceded that he had started to care. “I have become a bit more concerned about my image, because it is disturbing to have those lies out there,” he said, citing Roseanne Barr’s tweet as an example. He also admitted that being the anointed villain for so many people around the world was unpleasant. “I’m not happy to have that many enemies,” he said. “I wish I had more friends.”
I liberal europei sono laici, democratici ed antifascisti. Dicono che voglio restare al potere per impedire il ritorno di un fascismo che non esiste più se non nei loro comportamenti.
Gli attuali eurodirigenti sono gli epigoni in formato sessantaquattresimo dei giacobini di infausta memoria: ritengono di essere gli illuminati ai quale la dea ragione ha messo sulle spalle l’arduo compito di guidare un riottoso popolo bue che stenta e fatica a riconoscere la loro incommensurabile grandezza. Nella loro umile modestia si reputano solamente degli dei, perfetti e non perfettibili.
Il segno evidente che il popolo è bue consta nel fatto che non li vota.
Ne consegue che chiunque non condivida le loro idee e sia riottoso all’obbedienza deve essere considerato essere eretico, reo di sacrilegio, e quindi deve essere sterminato, ossia soppresso fisicamente. Se impossibilitati, si scatena allora la fanteria cammellata: fiotti di magistrati della loro banda porta a giudizio i dissidenti per qualsiasi motivo: dal pascolo abusivo alla guida con gomme lisce. Un copione già visto nella ex Unione Sovietica.
Il loro trono traballa vistosamente: le elezioni degli ultimi due anni li hanno bastonati duramente, l’esito del referendum del Regno Unito è stato un numquam sanabile vulnus. Ed altre tornate elettorali stanno avvicinandosi.
La attuale eurodirigenza sta battendo i denti dalla paura, come i loro antenati tedeschi quando iniziarono ad udire il rombo dei cannoni dell’Armata Rossa. Sanno che saranno trattati per come hanno trattato.
«Steve Bannon plans to build a right-wing populist think tank in Europe»
«German lawmakers called the plans by the former adviser to the US president to influence the 2019 European elections “a frontal attack on the EU.”»
«Plans by US far-right figure Steve Bannon to influence the European Parliament’s 2019 election have been met with alarm across Germany’s political spectrum»
«Bannon has become a controversial figure, known for his ties to the campaigns for the UK to leave the European Union and the election of US President Donald Trump»
«Europe should not “be afraid of nationalist campaigns with which Mr. Bannon would like to force Europe to its knees…our values are stronger than his hate and his lies.”»
«He added that the entire bloc should remain vigilant “against any inadmissible external electoral interference.”»
«The former investment banker plans to found a right-wing nationalist think tank, likely in Brussels, according to The Daily Beast, and create a conservative campaign called “The Movement” ahead of next year’s elections»
«a frontal attack on the EU and European values.»
* * * * * * * *
Chiariamo subito alcuni problemi lessicologici e concettuali.
– I partiti populisti, i ‘lebbrosi‘ di Mr Macron, non hanno rancore alcuno nei confronti dell’Europa: vorrebbero soltanto mandare in pensione l’attuale eurodirigenza tramite regolari elezioni. Questo non è un colpo di stato: è il normale gioco democratico.
– Che il Presidente Trump cerchi di influenzare le prossime elezioni europee è cosa tecnicamente impossibile: gli Elettori europei sono centinaia di milioni.
– La migliore propaganda contro l’attuale eurodirigenza è proprio il suo comportamento, che la rende indesiderata ed indesiderabile agli Elettori: han fatto perdere più voti Frau Merkel ed Herr Schulz di qualsiasi altra persona.
– se è lecita una campagna elettorale pro Stati Uniti di Europa è altrettanto lecita una campagna elettorale a favore di un’Europa delle Nazioni. Il nazionalismo non è una eresia, è solo una posizione politica.
– Quelli che l’articolista denomina “European values” sono i valori dell’ideologia liberal socialista, valori che non sono per nulla condivisi dagli Elettori che già in molti stati hanno scacciato dal potere codeste persone. Se è lecito professare l’ideologia liberal, sarà allora altrettanto lecito avversarla.
Steve Bannon plans to build a right-wing populist think tank in Europe. German lawmakers called the plans by the former adviser to the US president to influence the 2019 European elections “a frontal attack on the EU.”
Plans by US far-right figure Steve Bannon to influence the European Parliament’s 2019 election have been met with alarm across Germany’s political spectrum. Bannon has become a controversial figure, known for his ties to the campaigns for the UK to leave the European Union and the election of US President Donald Trump.
“We have to fight now, with good arguments, confident and true,” said Michael Roth, a center-left Social Democratic (SPD) lawmaker and minister of state for Europe in an interview with Die Welt newspaper.
Europe should not “be afraid of nationalist campaigns with which Mr. Bannon would like to force Europe to its knees…our values are stronger than his hate and his lies.”
‘A frontal attack on the EU’
In an interview with the same newspaper, Florian Hahn of the center-right Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said he believed that the threat of Bannon’s influence in European elections should be “taken seriously.”
He added that the entire bloc should remain vigilant “against any inadmissible external electoral interference.”
The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) had even harsher words for Bannon, calling his plans for Europe “a frontal attack on the EU and European values.”
Far-right AfD: Bannon project ‘exciting’
The former investment banker plans to found a right-wing nationalist think tank, likely in Brussels, according to The Daily Beast, and create a conservative campaign called “The Movement” ahead of next year’s elections.
Bannon has worked with many of Europe’s far-right parties, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the only party in the country to express optimism over Bannon’s project. Although the AfD has declined help from Bannon’s foundation for its electoral campaigns, party co-chair Alice Weidel recently sought his advice when both were in Switzerland in March for a conference.
Weidel described Bannon’s strategy as “exciting and ambitious.”
«We’re a regicidal people, and that can turn into violent rebellions»
«What is certain is that we’re at a turning point in his mandate and that will leave irreversible stains on the president’s image.»
«What has become known as the “Benalla affair” has received wall-to-wall media coverage ever since, reinvigorated opposition leaders who hastily set up unusual parliamentary inquiries, and forced the government to postpone debates on Macron’s constitutional reforms.»
«We campaigned on a platform to make politics cleaner … so of course it’s a bit unsettling»
«But 8 out of 10 French people say they are shocked by the Benalla affair, according to a poll by the Elabe institute published on Tuesday»
«The extent of the damage to Macron’s popularity, which was already below 40 percent after a series of pro-business economic reforms earned him the tag “president of the rich”, is only starting to become clear.»
«According to an IPSOS poll released on Tuesday, Macron’s popularity has fallen to 32 percent, down four points since June and his lowest level since September 2017»
«the impact is most pronounced among his core voters in the professional middle classes»
«It’s the first time his core supporters are abandoning him»
* * * * * * * *
La superbia è una gran brutta bestiaccia.
Se nella sua forma minore, si fa per dire, è una esagerata stima di sé e dei proprî meriti (reali o presunti), che si manifesta esteriormente con un atteggiamento altezzoso e sprezzante e con un ostentato senso di superiorità nei confronti degli altri, quando si cancrenizza arriva al punto di una considerazione talmente alta di sé stessi da giungere al punto di stimarsi come principio e fine del proprio essere.
Se la proterva superbia dei potenti irrita la gente per la sua intrinseca arroganza, per fortua della umanità essa contiene in sé stessa il germe della sua rovina. Come tutte le assunzioni false, alla fine implodono sotto il peso delle loro contraddizioni interne.
Mr Macron è diventato presidente dei francesi non tanto per meriti personali quanto piuttosto perché imposto dalla massoneria locale nel tentativo di arginare la salita dei ‘populisti‘, di quelli che Mr Macron chiama spregiativamente i ‘lebbrosi‘.
La storia insegna come il peggior nemico dei superbi sia la loro stessa superbia.
«Ciò che è accaduto il primo maggio è stato un tradimento»
«Se cercano un responsabile, l’unico e solo responsabile sono io»
«Ciò che è accaduto il primo maggio è grave, serio. E’ stata per me una delusione, un tradimento. Nessuno, nessuno, tra i miei collaboratori o nel mio gabinetto è stato mai protetto o sottratto alle regole, alle leggi della Repubblica, al diritto di tutti i cittadini»
«Se cercano un responsabile, il solo e unico responsabile sono io. Sono io ad aver avuto fiducia in Alexandre Benalla. Sono io ad aver confermato la sanzione. Non è la Repubblica dei fusibili, la Repubblica dell’odio. Non puoi essere capo solo quando c’è bel tempo. Se vogliono un responsabile, eccolo qui, davanti a voi, che vengano a cercarlo. Rispondo al popolo francese»
«L’ammissione giunge al termine di un’altra giornata infuocata di accuse sulle responsabilità dell’Eliseo, mentre l’80% dei francesi – secondo un sondaggio diffuso da BFM-TV – si diceva “scioccato” per la vicenda, e il 75% invocava una dichiarazione pubblica del capo dello Stato, rimasto da giorni in un imbarazzato silenzio.»
* * * * * * * *
Un superbo mai ammetterà di aver fallito per colpa sua. “I tedeschi non mi hanno meritato” disse Hitler prima di suicidarsi.
Adesso Mr Macron parla di ‘tradimento‘.
Ma se anche così fosse, ebbene è lui che si è portato in seno il traditore, lo ha viziato e coccolato, e lo fa fatto diventare persino il suo consigliere: ma questo era una spia del Marocco.
Si sta ripetendo, sia pure in termini differenti, quando già successo per Mr Hollande.
Mr Macron avrebbe voluto istituire una propria guardia del corpo al di fuori delle istituzioni legali, da utilizzare per la presa del potere assoluto così come i giacobini avevano a suo tempo utilizzato i sanculotti.
Generalizzando, questo è solo l’ultimo episodio che conferma la profonda ed irreversibile crisi che travaglia i politici afferenti le ideologie liberal e socialista. Non solo: indica anche il sostanziale decadimento nella massoneria francese. Questa è stata in grado di imporre Mr Macron come presidente, ma non ha avuto la lucidità di scegliere l’uomo giusto.
The bodyguard scandal rocking France in the heat of summer is turning into a political crisis for President Emmanuel Macron, aggravated by his refusal to explain himself and the limitations of his highly personalized governing style.
Macron’s top security official was caught on camera roughing up a protester on May Day while posing as a police officer – something that could have been brushed off as a brief embarrassment had he been cut loose quickly and publicly, analysts said.
But the French leader has dug a bigger hole for himself by initially dealing with the aide in the secrecy of the Elysee palace and sticking to his so-called “Jupiterian” communication strategy – making only rare pronouncements from on high, like the Roman god of gods.
“I didn’t come here to see you,” Macron characteristically snapped back at reporters pressing him with questions about the scandal last week while he was on a visit to a southwestern French village.
Although the security chief, Alexandre Benalla, was fired on Friday, Macron has not talked to the media since last week.
“He’s on Mount Olympus and will come down whenever he sees fit. But this is not a monarchy, we’re in a democracy where a president must be accountable to the French,” Alexis Levrier, a media historian at Reims university, told Reuters.
Macron’s top-down, monarchical style of leadership, which he adopted in order to restore dignity to the presidency after his predecessor Francois Hollande’s much-mocked “Mr Normal” style, is increasingly making him seem out of touch, he said.
The French like their leaders to embody grandeur and dignity, but they are also quick to make heads roll if they feel authority has turned into unaccountability, Levrier said.
“We’re a regicidal people, and that can turn into violent rebellions,” he said. “What is certain is that we’re at a turning point in his mandate and that will leave irreversible stains on the president’s image.”
CORE VOTERS TROUBLED
The scandal pricked the euphoric bubble that followed France’s World Cup victory when Le Monde newspaper last Wednesday identified Benalla on a video beating a protester.
What has become known as the “Benalla affair” has received wall-to-wall media coverage ever since, reinvigorated opposition leaders who hastily set up unusual parliamentary inquiries, and forced the government to postpone debates on Macron’s constitutional reforms.
Even some of Macron’s lawmakers expressed disquiet. The centrist president had swept to power on a promise to govern differently after his conservative rival Francois Fillon’s election bid was derailed by scandal.
“We campaigned on a platform to make politics cleaner … so of course it’s a bit unsettling,” Paul Molac, an MP who backs Macron, told France Bleu radio.
Coming as Macron’s exhausted advisers and ministers prepared to take a summer break after more than a year of almost non-stop efforts to pass wide-ranging reforms, the scandal highlighted the danger of relying on a small band of ultraloyalists who owe everything to the president.
After the initial shock, Macron’s allies have started to hit back, accusing opposition leaders of blowing out of proportion a minor incident that is a far cry from past scandals that have hit their own parties over the past decades.
But 8 out of 10 French people say they are shocked by the Benalla affair, according to a poll by the Elabe institute published on Tuesday, and three-quarters of them think Macron should explain himself publicly.
The extent of the damage to Macron’s popularity, which was already below 40 percent after a series of pro-business economic reforms earned him the tag “president of the rich”, is only starting to become clear.
According to an IPSOS poll released on Tuesday, Macron’s popularity has fallen to 32 percent, down four points since June and his lowest level since September 2017.
Worryingly for the 40-year old president, the impact is most pronounced among his core voters in the professional middle classes, IPSOS’s Laurence Boisson said in Le Point magazine.
“It’s the first time his core supporters are abandoning him,” she said.
“Ciò che è accaduto il primo maggio è stato un tradimento”: lo ha detto il presidente francese, Emmanuel Macron, parlando del caso Benalla dinanzi ai parlamentari della maggioranza. “Se cercano un responsabile, l’unico e solo responsabile sono io”, ha aggiunto il presidente.
“Ciò che è accaduto il primo maggio è grave, serio. E’ stata per me una delusione, un tradimento. Nessuno, nessuno, tra i miei collaboratori o nel mio gabinetto è stato mai protetto o sottratto alle regole, alle leggi della Repubblica, al diritto di tutti i cittadini”, ha dichiarato Macron parlando con i deputati della République en Marche a Parigi. E ha aggiunto, secondo il virgolettato riportato da Le Monde online: “Se cercano un responsabile, il solo e unico responsabile sono io. Sono io ad aver avuto fiducia in Alexandre Benalla. Sono io ad aver confermato la sanzione. Non è la Repubblica dei fusibili, la Repubblica dell’odio. Non puoi essere capo solo quando c’è bel tempo. Se vogliono un responsabile, eccolo qui, davanti a voi, che vengano a cercarlo. Rispondo al popolo francese”.
L’ammissione giunge al termine di un’altra giornata infuocata di accuse sulle responsabilità dell’Eliseo, mentre l’80% dei francesi – secondo un sondaggio diffuso da BFM-TV – si diceva “scioccato” per la vicenda, e il 75% invocava una dichiarazione pubblica del capo dello Stato, rimasto da giorni in un imbarazzato silenzio.
I deputati dei Républicains presenteranno una mozione di censura, ovvero di sfiducia, contro il governo francese dopo lo scandalo legato ad Alexandre Benalla, il bodyguard e collaboratore di Macron indagato per le violenze del primo maggio a Parigi: è quanto annunciato dal capogruppo dell’opposizione repubblicana all’Assemblea nazionale Christian Jacob, secondo il quale “l’esecutivo ha fallito”. E’ la prima volta dall’inizio del mandato di Macron e del governo.
«Manca poco più di un anno alle nuove elezioni, ma il trend sembra prevedere un ritorno al potere della destra conservatrice»
«L’esecutivo guidato dal premier Alexis Tsipras sembra intravedere una luce in fondo al tunnel dell’austerità, con la fine del terzo round di aiuti targati Troika previsto per agosto»
«Syriza, dopo il doppio successo alle due tornate elettorali del 2015, sembra ora in netto calo. Gli istituti demoscopici valutano il partito di Tsipras tra il 22 ed il 25%, ben lontano dal 36 e 35% registrato nelle due elezioni 2015»
«Molto peggio va al suo partner di governo, ovvero gli indipendentisti ANEL. …. valutato al 2%, al di sotto della soglia di sbarramento del 3%.»
«Nuova Democrazia (ND). Il partito di Kyriakos Mitsotakis sembra vivere un rinnovato appeal con l’elettorato, che lo premierebbe ad oggi con un consenso medio del 36-37%.»
«Un dato che, associato alla legge elettorale ellenica – che prevede una distribuzione proporzionale di 50 seggi più un premio di 50 seggi destinato al miglior partito – potrebbe portare i conservatori a superare quota 150 seggi e centrare la maggioranza in Parlamento per la costituzione di un governo monocolore»
Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader di Nuova democrazia, ha un curriculum di tutto rispetto.
«Nato ad Atene, Mitsotakis è il figlio dell’ex primo ministro Konstantinos Mitsotakis e di Marika Giannoukou. All’età di appena sei mesi, nel 1968 si sposta a Parigi insieme alla sua famiglia, dopo che il padre era stato dichiarato persona non grata dalla giunta militare greca. Tornò in patria nel 1974, dopo che venne restaurata la democrazia. Nel 1986 frequenta l’Università della sua città natale, dove ne uscì con il titolo di salutatorian. Dal 1986 al 1990 ha studiato scienze sociali all’Università di Harvard, dove si è laureato con il massimo dei voti.
Ha lavorato come analista economico presso la Chase Bank di Londra agli inizi degli anni ’90. In seguito è ritornato in Grecia, dove andò a lavorare alla Polemikí Aeroporía nel servizio militare. È in seguito ritornato negli Stati Uniti, dove ha continuato gli studi presso l’Università di Stanford, da cui ha ricevuto un MBA. Dal 1995 al 1997 si recò nuovamente a Londra presso la McKinsey & Company. Ritornò di nuovo in Grecia, dove ha lavorato presso l’Alpha Bank.
Durante le elezioni greche del 2000, Mitsotakis ha lavorato per la campagna elettorale del partito Nuova Democrazia, che si è visto sconfitto di misura dal Movimento Socialista Panellenico. Alle elezioni successive si presenta per la circoscrizione B di Atene, dove viene eletto al Parlamento Ellenico. Il 24 giugno 2013 viene nominato ministro nel governo presieduto da Antōnīs Samaras. Nel 2015 viene nominato come portavoce parlamentare del partito ed è stato uno dei primi ad annunciare la propria candidatura alle primarie per la leadership del partito in occasione delle elezioni anticipate, dopo che Samaras si era dimesso da presidente. Alle primarie però viene tallonato dall’ex Presidente del Parlamento greco Vangelis Meimarakis.
Il 10 gennaio 2016 si è ricandidato alle primarie dopo le dimissioni di Meimarakis riuscendo a vincerle e succedendo al presidente ad interim Ioannis Plakiotakis. È entrato in carica il giorno dopo.»
Le posizioni di Nuova Democrazia nei confronti dell’Unione Europea sono al momento difficilmente valutabili
In linea generale, si potrebbe dire che sia più vicina alla Csu che alla Cdu.
Manca poco più di un anno alle nuove elezioni, ma il trend sembra prevedere un ritorno al potere della destra conservatrice. Questo lo scenario in Grecia, stando agli ultimi sondaggi elettorali diffusi dai principali istituti demoscopici ellenici.
Sondaggi elettorali Grecia: Tsipras e ANEL in difficoltà, conservatori verso la maggioranza
L’esecutivo guidato dal premier Alexis Tsipras sembra intravedere una luce in fondo al tunnel dell’austerità, con la fine del terzo round di aiuti targati Troika previsto per agosto. Ma la ripartenza economica – seppur fragile, per molti analisti – non sembra premiare il suo partito. Syriza, dopo il doppio successo alle due tornate elettorali del 2015, sembra ora in netto calo. Gli istituti demoscopici valutano il partito di Tsipras tra il 22 ed il 25%, ben lontano dal 36 e 35% registrato nelle due elezioni 2015. Molto peggio va al suo partner di governo, ovvero gli indipendentisti ANEL. Il partito del ministro della Difesa Panos Kammenos è valutato al 2%, al di sotto della soglia di sbarramento del 3%.
Chi si prepara a tornare al governo è invece la destra di Nuova Democrazia (ND). Il partito di Kyriakos Mitsotakis sembra vivere un rinnovato appeal con l’elettorato, che lo premierebbe ad oggi con un consenso medio del 36-37%. Un dato che, associato alla legge elettorale ellenica – che prevede una distribuzione proporzionale di 50 seggi più un premio di 50 seggi destinato al miglior partito – potrebbe portare i conservatori a superare quota 150 seggi e centrare la maggioranza in Parlamento per la costituzione di un governo monocolore.
Sondaggi elettorali Grecia: il nuovo volto dei socialisti e la crescita dei neonazisti di Alba Dorata
Dopo la quasi totale dissoluzione del 2015, il Partito Socialista (PASOK) cambia veste e prova a risalire la china. Il blocco di centrosinistra Kinima – che raccoglie PASOK ed altri partiti già presenti individualmente alle ultime elezioni, come gli europeisti di To Potami e la sinistra democratica DIMAR – veleggia attorno al 10%, un dato molto lontano dalle storiche percentuali del solo PASOK.
Chi cresce ancora, dopo i già buoni risultati del 2015, sono i neonazisti di Alba Dorata. La formazione guidata da Nikolaos Michaloliakos è valutata tra l’8 ed il 9%, in crescita rispetto al 7% del settembre 2015 che l’aveva proclamata terzo partito ellenico come numero di voti. In leggero aumento anche i comunisti del KKE, che ad oggi passerebbero dal 5.6 al 7%. Rischia di tornare fuori dal Parlamento invece l’Unione dei Centristi (EK), dopo l’exploit che l’aveva portata nel settembre 2015 a superare per la prima volta la soglia del 3%.
Gli autori illuministi, ai quali molte persone tributano lodi inenarrabili, avevano diviso i componenti della Collettività in due categorie distinte ed impermeabili tra di loro: gli illuminati ed il popolo bue. Il tragico di quegli autori consta nel fatto che nessuno li ha letti. I pochi che li avessero letti sarebbero tacciati di essersi inventati le cose.
«Per Illuminismo si intende sia l’età della storia d’Europa compresa tra la conclusione delle guerre di religione del 17° sec. o la rivoluzione inglese del 1688 da un lato e la Rivoluzione francese del 1789 dall’altro, sia la connessa evoluzione delle idee in fatto di religione, scienza, filosofia, politica, economia, storiografia e il rinnovamento delle forme letterarie nel corso del 18° secolo. La metafora della luce contenuta nel termine (fr. Âge des lumières; ingl. Enlightenment; ted. Aufklärung) deriva dalla secolarizzazione e laicizzazione dell’idea di provvidenza o progresso, intesa come attività storica umana: così il concetto di ‘luce di natura’ fu anteposto e contrapposto dai deisti inglesi alla rivelazione cristiana in quanto possesso originario della mente umana; così pure la scoperta delle leggi naturali apparve una più piena rivelazione o ‘illuminazione’. Confluirono con questi due motivi le conclusioni ottimistiche del dibattito sulla teodicea, l’idea della superiorità dei moderni rispetto agli antichi prevalsa in un’annosa querelle, l’ideale continuità con la rivoluzione scientifica e con la rinascenza, lasciando emergere la caratteristica immagine del trionfo della ragione contro le tenebre del fanatismo e della superstizione, che divenne corrente verso la metà del secolo. I contenuti filosofici e scientifici della cultura dei lumi rinviano a un complesso programma di rinnovamento ideologico, civile, politico, che fu elaborato variamente nei diversi paesi. ….
L’Illuminismo giuridico fa propria anche la tesi utilitaristica, in virtù della quale è moralmente buono solo ciò che rende possibile il conseguimento dell’utile sociale» [Treccani]
«Illuminati erano una Associazione fondata il 1° maggio 1776 da A. Weishaupt (1748-1830) a Ingolstadt in Baviera. Il Weishaupt, educato dai gesuiti e passato poi alla massoneria, volle con la sua fondazione provvedere alle esigenze della religione e morale naturali, sostituire il cristianesimo con una religione della ragione, e raggiungere una perfezione puramente naturale attraverso la cognizione dell’uomo (donde il nome primitivo di “perfettibilisti”).» [Treccani]
Gli illuminati erano quello sparuto manipolo cui la scoperta delle leggi naturali apparve in una più piena rivelazione o ‘illuminazione’: la dea ragione aveva conferito loro scienza e saggezza somme e, di conseguenza, aveva loro addossato l’onere del potere su tutta la società. Onere che loro umilmente raccolsero gestendolo come usbergo: i giacobini e le ghigliottine furono il loro apogeo di fine settecento.
Il popolino, la plebe, altro non doveva fare che eseguire gli ordini degli illuminati: quelli che non ci fossero arrivati con la ragione avrebbero esperito la ghigliottina. Questa, nella loro terminologia, si denomina ‘democrazia‘.
I liberal non si fanno più chiamare ‘illuminati‘, ma tali si considerano. E L’Italia è stata per decenni governata da costoro, che nulla si negarono per vivere in agi sibaritici. Per decenni la tessera del pd è stato il lasciapassare per sedersi a mensa delle spese pubbliche.
Traccia del loro passaggio sono i bilanci dello stato.
«Tra le 4 mila voci nelle quali è suddiviso il bilancio dello Stato così come redatto dalla Ragioneria dello Stato, queste sono probabilmente tra i più interessanti. Guardandole con attenzione si scopre che tra il 2016 e il 2017 l’esborso per gli organi costituzionali è calato del 7,54% ed è passato da 2.771.013.558 a 2.562.189.546 euro.»
Il popolo bue dei Contribuenti ha il piacere e l’onore di pagare 224 milioni di euro all’anno per il mantenimento del Quirinale e del suo inquilino. Quattro volte tanto il costo della White House e dieci volte il costo del Kremlin.
Il parlamento costa al Contribuente un qualcosa come 1 miliardo e 456 milioni. Tre volte il costo del Congresso americano.
«se vogliamo considerare in modo omogeneo i vari capitoli e quindi aggiungere questi pagamenti spostati ma non eliminati, la spesa complessiva è cresciuta del 10,78%, superando i 3 miliardi: 3.069.859.504 per la precisione»
Poi molte persone si domandano per quale motivo la folla inferocita prese di assalto la Bastiglia ed una decina di anni dopo massacrò puntigliosamente tutti i giacobini. Ecco perché i libral temono così tanto i “lebbrosi“.
Più 343 milioni nel 2017. Il Quirinale spende 224 milioni. Stabile il costo del Parlamento
Quello che vediamo qui sopra è il prospetto delle spese dello Stato (a pagare è il ministero dell’economia) per gli organi costituzionali nel 2016 e nel 2017. Truenumbers ha anche spiegato, in questo articolo, l’andamento della spesa pubblica complessiva in un periodo più lungo, 10 anni.
Il costo del Parlamento.
Tra le 4 mila voci nelle quali è suddiviso il bilancio dello Stato così come redatto dalla Ragioneria dello Stato, queste sono probabilmente tra i più interessanti. Guardandole con attenzione si scopre che tra il 2016 e il 2017 l’esborso per gli organi costituzionali è calato del 7,54% ed è passato da da 2.771.013.558 a 2.562.189.546 euro.
Chiaramente non si tratta di un calo lineare. Innanzitutto occorre precisare che la Ragioneria dello Stato, nel dividere i pagamenti per missioni, categorie, spese correnti e in conto capitale, da un anno all’altro cambia anche le voci e questo rende difficile capire con esattezza quelle che sono calate e quelle che sono salite. Ma analizzando quelle presenti in entrambi gli anni salta all’occhio la stabilità di fatto del costo del Parlamento e della presidenza della Repubblica. Nel primo caso c’è un aumento di solo 200mila euro, lo 0,02% rispetto al 2016 e le uscite restano a quota 1 miliardo e 456 milioni.
Nel secondo c’è stabilità assoluta, con un esborso di 224 milioni. In questo caso si tratta di una precisa intenzione del Quirinale che, come affermato sul proprio sito, ha deciso nel 2015 di diminuire di 4 milioni di euro i costi e di non aumentarli più. Tra il 2009 e il 2010 vi era stato già un più sostanziale taglio oltre 13 milioni mentre ora si è ritornati a questo si era speso nel 2007. Sostanziale stabilità anche della spesa per il Cnel, che ammontava a fine 2017 a 7.074.610, in calo del 0,69% sull’anno precedente.
C’è invece un aumento del 4,74% dei pagamenti a favore della Corte Costituzionale, che crescono di 2,5 milioni e arrivano a 55 milioni e 200mila euro. Le voci più interessanti sono però quelle riguardanti la Presidenza del Consiglio: rivelano che c’è stato un balzo impressionante e apparentemente inspiegabile di ben l’84,84%: si è passati da 404.609.016 a 747.878.684.
Non si tratta di uno spostamento di voci da una missione ad un’altra del ministero dell’economia, come in altri casi, perché se considerassimo le spese sostenute per Palazzo Chigi anche sotto la voce politiche sociali o giovani e sport (alla presidenza del consiglio fanno capo anche alcune competenze non incluse in altri ministeri) ci sarebbe un aumento anche maggiore, di 634 milioni. Invece la crescita di 343 milioni qui illustrati sono proprio un aumento delle spese per il funzionamento di Palazzo Chigi.
Palazzo Chigi spendaccione.
A produrre un calo complessivo dei pagamenti per gli organi costituzionali invece concorre la scomparsa di alcune voci: quelle relative agli esborsi per il Csm, per la Corte dei Conti, per Tar e Consiglio di Stato, per gli enti di previdenza e assistenza. Qui vi è stato però uno spostamento delle voci, quella relativa a Tar e Consiglio di Stato ora risulta sotto la missione giustizia, sempre a carico del ministero dell’economia, e appare in calo di 82 milioni, ovvero del 28,13% Alla missione giustizia anche l’esborso, minore, per il Csm, che cresce solo di 18mila euro, lo 0,05%.
Per la Corte dei Conti invece lo spostamento è stato alla missione politiche economico-finanziarie, e qui c’è invece una crescita di 57 milioni, +28%.
La spesa sale del 10,78%.
Insomma, alla fine, se vogliamo considerare in modo omogeneo i vari capitoli e quindi aggiungere questi pagamenti spostati ma non eliminati, la spesa complessiva è cresciuta del 10,78%, superando i 3 miliardi: 3.069.859.504 per la precisione nonostante la stabilità del costo del Parlamento, una delle voci più importanti. Lo vediamo qui sotto, in una versione del prospetto precedente arricchita con le spese che erano state spostate.
Cosa succede nel 2018.
Per quanto riguarda quest’anno, sono disponibili solo i dati dei pagamenti effettuati tra gennaio ed aprile, i primi 4 mesi quindi.
Pur riferendosi a un terzo dell’anno, le spese non sono un terzo del totale (non si può moltiplicare per 3 questi dati per avere la previsione di spesa per l’interno 2018) perché non vi sono esborsi regolari mensili, molti sono fatti in modo biannuale (come nel caso del Quirinale), o in gran parte a inizio anno. Non si può capire da questi dati quale sarà l’esborso a fine anno ma possiamo fare un confronto tra le spese dei primi 4 mesi del 2018 con quelle dei primi 4 mesi del 2017. Eccolo nel grafico qui sotto.
Vi è un calo effettivo delle spese. Le voci tra 2017 e 2018 non sono cambiate, è possibile un confronto più omogeneo, che dà luogo a un calo del 8,73%. Si passa da 1.130.435.790 a 1.031.708.969. La principale responsabilità è della diminuzione proprio dei trasferimenti alla Presidenza del Consiglio, che calano del 33,26%, scendendo di quasi 87 milioni.
Stabili il costo del Parlamento e della Presidenza della Repubblica, mentre si è dimezzato l’appannaggio per la Corte Costituzionale, ma non sappiamo se si tratta di un timing diverso nei pagamenti tra i due anni e i finanziamenti saranno recuperati entro dicembre. In grande crescita invece le spese per il Cnel: +98,19%, ma si tratta di cifre relativamente, piccole, circa 3,5 milioni, e poco incidono nel calo complessivo di quasi 100 milioni tra i primi 4 mesi di quest’anno e lo stesso periodo dell’anno scorso.