Al the Communist Troll speaks

For about a week I’ve been stalking Al the Troll, whose natural habitat is the Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias comments. (Link). I’ve been trying to get an an explanation for this anti-capitalist, demagogic smear of George Soros, the Democratic moneybags:

“Soros earned his money

Yeah – he earned it by bankrupting proverty-stricken countries.

Soros takes from the extreme poor and gives to himself. Sounds like every limosine liberal I’ve ever heard of.

Posted by:
Al on August 23, 2004 at 8:48 PM PERMALINK

(On Kevin Drum’s site.)

Al has finally responded (here and here):

“Hey, Zizka.My apologies for not getting back to you on this topic earlier — real life has largely decreased the amount of time I have for reading and commenting — especially my ability to engage in extended blog comments conversations — for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been able to put in a couple of comments here and there, but nothing real extended.

So, as to your question: I’m certainly not anti-international finance. Hell, that’s part of my real-life job. But I expect that most people in the industry engage in transactions for economic, rather than political, reasons. And with Soros, I don’t think that’s the case. You just need to look at his shorting of the US dollar to know that.

So, did Soros attack the Thai Bhat and Malaysian ringgit for political reasons? I suspect that the answer is yes. Can I prove that? Of course not; I just think it is how he operates. And I think it is unarguable that the Asian crisis put a lot of people in poverty.

So, bottom line, did Soros put a lot of people in poverty for purposes of his political positions, all the while enriching himself? Yeah, I think so.

Al Email Homepage 08.30.04 – 4:59 am #

To which I responded:

Jesus, Al, that’s loony. He became a billionaire for non-economic reasons? He made himself rich for non-economic reasons? If he made money on the transaction, it was economic.

“I suspect that the answer is yes. Can I prove that? Of course not; I just think it is how he operates.” Al, that’s how YOU operate. You’re making it up. You admit you have no evidence on the specific case, but deduce it from Soros’ general operating principle, but you have no evidence of that either. You’re making a serious accusation on the basis of a hunch.

The collapse of the Thai bhat was widely agreed to be the result of real weaknesses in the Thai economy and serious problems such as cronyism and graft in its economic structure. Soros may have precipitated this, but it couldn’t have happened if the weaknesses weren’t there — Soros would have gambled and lost in that case. Sooner or later something like that would have happened, but to you, the answer is “Soros did it”.

In any case, Soros made his fortune on the poor third-world British. The later episode was secondary.

You were just cherry-picking some reason — any reason — to dump on Soros because you disagree with him politically. You have to do this in order to neutralize the creepy Republican billionaires and near-billionaires: Scaife, the Koches, and Moon. Accusing Democrats of what they themselves do is a primary Republican tactic — “inoculation”.

Soros really played a major role in bringing down Communism and and is an estimable guy in his own right. When compared to Moon and Scaife, especially, he’s night-and-day superior. Nobody playing at a high level is pristine and Soros is not perfect, but his adversaries are a motley lot, including anti-semitic demagogues, retread-Communist dictators, LaRouchies, Republicans, and Al.

zizka Email Homepage 08.30.04 – 7:07 am #

I think we can continue to call him Al the Communist.