Russian Book Burning Seems to Support Soros’ Prediction
On January 7, multi-billionaire financial leader George Soros predicted that the current state of the world might lead to another recession because events are similar to those that happened just before the Great Recession at the end of 2007 going into 2008. One event that has convinced other financial experts that Soros might be right is the recent burning of books that were donated to Russian schools by a charity linked to the Soros-founded non-profit organizations Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute.
Russia does not have a total democracy, and Russian leaders have accused Soros, along with OSF and OSI, of trying to push democracy into the country through donations. Russia used to be a communist country, and the government still has many communist links. A total of 427 books were seized by government officials at the Vorkuta Mining and Economic College to be shredded at a later date. A total of 53 books were immediately burned in an open space because of their connection to a program known as “Renewal of Humanitarian Education.” As reported by CNBC, internal government documents outlined that the books were seized because of the belief that charities founded and supported by Soros are popularizing ideas and ideologies that are foreign to Russia and that the books are attempts at skewing historical perceptions.
Yet, historically, financial upheaval and uncertainty has often occurred at the same time as political and social upheaval and uncertainty. Soros discussed these types of problems in Europe and the countries to its West in October 2015 in a piece for The New York Review of Books. Soros looked at five crises that he believed Europe now faces. Four of the crises were internal. The biggest external crisis that he thought would have a significant impact is Russia’s actions toward the Ukraine.
There is little doubt that the book burning was likely a response to this piece and other similar statements by Soros in which he outlined that supporting the Ukraine by improving its financial situation would help Europe and other countries improve their defense and aid in improving the global economy. Soros had also accused Russian officials of creating Russia’s economic hardships by mishandling the country’s relationship with the Ukraine, which resulted in financially destabilizing sanctions. The book burning seems to prove Soros’ point that Russia’s political and economic problems are are not merely the result of Western influences.