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“There is no longer an order in the world”


I think Europe is closer to chaos than the United States. I do not make long term statements; I am Keynesian. In the long run, we will die, that was what he used to say. Anyway, in a short run, the United States has built a strong State. A group of radicals or extremists have taken control of the country. They did it first with the Republican Party, thus hampering the American democracy. The extremists confiscated the Congress and presidency, and now they are confiscating justice, thus dealing a harsh blow to the separation of powers which is the foundation of the American constitution. America is jeopardized as an open society; it is not a chaos but it means a strong and authoritarian State.
The military and economic hegemony is a bubble. A false ideology can only be imposed through violence and such hypocrisy can only be hidden sometime before the regime falls. The mistakes of Bush’s regime have become something almost evident, starting with the invasion of Iraq. Long time has been necessary and it has not been fully considered since it is still said that the elections were successful. All the things that Bush has tried to do during his second term have failed, his popularity is the lowest. What worries me is that we have not learned the lessons from Bush’s mistakes. The most repulsive has been the “war on terror” as a concept. This has not been questioned, but if you do, you would be considered an anti-patriot. Therefore, the politicians express their doubts in private. The masters who built America are disappearing.
I think that Paul Wolfowitz is rather an intellectual compared to the rest of the neoconservatives. He is aware that the invasion of Iraq was a big mistake. I guess he wants to fix that by doing a good job in the World Bank.
I think Europe is going through a very severe crisis; the creation of the European Union was the result of the social engineering with the spirit of the “open society” of Popper, with rehearsals and failures, in which every step forward was a new challenge. The expansion means greater sovereignty and that was what led to the failure of the referendum about the Constitution. Europe is under a dynamic inequality and if it does not move forward, then it would go backwards. I think that is the point in the discussions about the budget. It is all because of the lack of unity regarding the issue of significance and importance of Europe.
I think that globalization is not irreversible. It already existed before the First World War and ended later with the exclusion of great areas like the Soviet Union. Today, globalization has expanded a great deal, but it can be interrupted. It is not a prediction, but it is more than an eventuality. There we have what happens with the financial markets: we are always on the brink of collapse, but it hardly takes place. We have more serious problems which do not have anything to do with globalization, like global warming. Scientists are unanimous. It is a process that will continue even if drastic measures are taken and the Bush administration totally denies this problem.
Today there are much more people who take Bush government as it is and are willing to support the opposition. Rob Stein (Democratic Party) has already established a group that I will support. I think there is a major problem in the American society: I totally disapprove Bush but was elected by 52% of the voters and I wonder how it was possible. There is no doubt about the return of the Democrats, but I do not know if they would be able to correct the mistakes made and channel America through a less dangerous path. The neoconservatives claim that the international institutions do not allow to defend the U.S. interests properly, and they are right. The rest of the world is very much against America; it is obvious in the public opinion and various governments. The international community has split. It is an outburst of the West.
The world order does not exist since the United States is the one who decides the agenda and the other countries just follow. America has become a nationalist superpower and the rest of the world should be happy about that. The Chinese are increasingly more nationalists and militarists, the Japanese also, Russia and even Turkey due to the problems with the European Union. This does not bode well for the rest of the world.
I have made tactical mistakes, and allowed my adversaries to introduce me as an extremist. You know that anyone who have Putin and Bush among its enemies, has little space for maneuver. When acting by principles, a position must be kept. That is the difference between a life of a financial speculator and a commitment based on principles.
I have committed myself to a reform of the laws on narcotics in the United States; the war on drugs has failed as the “war on terror”. Such war cannot be the center of the policy. Hence, there are more terrorists emerging than eliminated, and that is counterproductive; thus giving up the values which are our foundations. There is a base in Uzbekistan that is used to train special forces to massacre innocent civilians. It is terrible and there are many other examples.

Der Standard (Austria)

Weltordnung existiert nicht mehr”, by George Soros, Der Standard, June 21, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.

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