The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland of 2017 coincided with the arrival of President Donald Trump in the U.S. White House and gave politicians and financial leaders from around the world the chance to discuss what they believe they expect to occur in the world in the coming years. Much was expected from the speech given by hedge fund billionaire George Soros to the Forum, particularly after the well known liberal philanthropist had provided around $25 million in backing for the campaign of Trump’s election opponent Hillary Clinton.
Many feel George Soros is in a strong position to provide his views on an Administration that has been backed by right wing figures across the U.S. and has been strongly linked to the Russian regime of President Vladimir Putin. Soros himself has a strong understanding of the problems faced under authoritarian rule on Business Insider after he survived the Nazi Occupation of his home country of Hungary and the following establishment of a restrictive socialist government following the end of World War II.
George Soros has been quick to link the work of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as following similar themes and directions that have proven worrying for the hedge fund manager with an estimated fortune of $25 billion who has donated more than $12 billion to political and charitable causes on Forbes. To show the similar themes of the Trump and Putin Administrations, George Soros pointed to the use of the Internet and Social Media platforms by Putin as being replicated by the Trump Administration; Soros has pointed to the fact President Putin originally tries to restrict access to Social Media before embracing it is a way of spreading propaganda and misinformation to the masses. Similar tactics were employed by Donald Trump’s campaign on Snopes during the election cycle as Russian operatives destabilized the democratic process during the election to aid a Trump victory.
One of the major fears George Soros expressed during his appearance at the World Economic Forum was the tendency of President Trump to sail close to establishing a dictatorship through his words and actions. Over the course of the campaign and time as the President Elect, George Soros believes the contradictions in the policies of Donald Trump have been highlighted and show the problems facing a divisive group of policy makers and advisors. If the Trump Presidency continues in this vein a global shift in power could take place with many restrictive regimes being embraced by the U.S., and the Chinese shift towards capitalism and democracy drawn closer to the traditionally powerful areas of Western Europe where trade deals will become more important as the European Union faces major problems caused by an unstable global situation.