- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism.: The Crisis of Global Capitalism Reconsidered Paperback – 7 Dec 2000
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
George Soros has been at the cutting edge of the new global capitalism ever since bringing the pound to its knees in the early 1990s, and his deification as something of a financial guru with the publication of his economic and political philosophy in his 1998 book The Crisis of Global Capitalism. Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism is, as Soros concedes, an updated version of this earlier book, but now offering a much more upbeat vision of the future of the global economy. Soros admits that "in retrospect, I was wrong to predict disaster", having underestimated both "the capacity of the financial authorities to prevent a disaster", and "the impact of the technological revolution". Refreshing in admitting his miscalculations, Open Society sees Soros expanding on his belief in Karl Popper's concept of an open society, and offers "a conceptual framework" for "the guiding principles for a global open society".
In many respects Soros follows the reforming positions of John Gray's chilling book False Dawn, but here is a practitioner, not an economist, exploring the possibilities but also pitfalls of developing a truly democratic and open global society, through both debate and the practical work of his own foundations across the globe. The first section entitled "Conceptual Framework" is heavy-going economics, but the second half of the book on "The Present Moment in History" contains fascinating accounts of the chaos in Russia and the financial crisis of 1997-99 from the horse's mouth, concluding with the call for the formation of what Soros calls "The Open Society Alliance". Open Society represents the intelligent, benign face of global capitalism. Let's hope Soros is right. --Jerry Brotton
* 'An authentic financial genius' -- Spectator
* 'His success has been unparalleled in the history of finance' -- The Times
* 'The Chieftain of market speculators...Soros is a financial genius' -- Sunday Times
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In his overly long introduction, he apologizes for perhaps covering too much ground, but there can never be too much evidence. As working on his theory of evolution had been Darwin's whole life and summed up in his book, so too has Soros' theory of human behavior. It is not just open societies that he promotes, but also open minds. It is bound to be even more controversial than evolution due to our egotistical notion that we already know the truth about ourselves.
As his primary interest is in saving our country from bankruptcy, he begins with the imperfections that concern our status as leaders of the whole world. Business, he says, is conducted for private gain, and is not designed to safeguard universal principles; our "freedoms" are being threatened by the "unbridled pursuit of self-interest" on the part of our leaders. What has come about is an unholy alliance between government and business.
He began his philosophical search for the truth by examining his own shortcomings. His predictions had not been totally right due to miscalculations on his part--he was accused of crying wolf once too often. Looking back he saw that he believed that he was right about coming crisis; it was the timing that was wrong. Seeing that he was fallible, not infallible, he surmised that this was an ongoing universal problem. (Socrates called it hubris.)
It seems the basic things we learn about ourselves apply to human nature. It is earthshaking to believe that we might be wrong, but when we start to think about it, what we have gained is an open mind.
He makes up for his tedious background information, which was necessary for those, like myself, who knew nothing about the man or his books, by summing up the problem of a closed mind in the first paragraph of the first chapter. It seems we can live in an open society, and still be close-minded.
"The concept of open society," he says, "is based on the recognition that our understanding of the world is inherently imperfect. Those who claim to be in possession of the ultimate truth are making a false claim, and they can enforce it only by imposing their views on those who differ...Acting on that understanding, we can create a society that is open to never-ending improvement. Open society falls short of perfection, but it has the great merit of assuring freedom of thought and speech and giving ample scope to experimentation and creativity."
While he had never been worried about his reputation--he has been accused of being a communist for trying to save capitalism--he did come to see the importance of public opinion. He had to get the voting public to understand the problem. By adjusting his style (or seeing the importance of rhetoric) he became a popular speaker. What he also saw was that rhetoric, when used to further ulterior motives, becomes a way of becoming popular by crying wolf deliberately--the "common enemy" needing to be destroyed--the "infallible savior" being a do-gooder whose ways and means become the cause of his undoing.
While Soros has no faith in reasoning, this is exactly what he was doing when he was thinking rationally. Wouldn't an Open Society Alliance, seeking for improvement in relationships between countries ultimately restore our reputation as a beacon of light, and also bring about a consensus of opinion? Haven't all wars been caused by those forcing their opinions on others--we, being the chief offenders, having been do-gooders bringing ourselves down by our violent ways and means of instilling our way of life?
Reading George Soros' book will not make you a rich investor, but, once understood, it will make you an active and wiser citizen, at which time you will no longer be part of the problem but part of the solution. Benjamin Franklin, when asked what had been achieved, a republic or a monarchy, answered, "A republic, if we can keep it."
One more thing; Soros credits Karl Popper for giving him the idea of an open society, proving that our advancement has come from stepping on the shoulders of those who came before us. I have just ordered his book "Open Society and It's Enemies" for my own edification.
The reformation of global capitalism he refers to would result in two classes of people in the world, the elites and the herd ... guess which group he would be in.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Economics > Economic Conditions
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Economics > Economic Systems
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Economics > Macroeconomics
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Economics > Theory & Philosophy
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Professional Finance > International Finance
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Sociology