America’s new justice system funded by Soros and Zuckerberg
George Soros, who is funding a new wave of radically lenient prosecutors across America to reshape his county-level judicial system, sounds like a right-wing conspiracy theory, but it is true. He explained in his most recent book why he would do it In defense of the open society. His commitment to the program was announced by the ACLU in 2015. The company’s financial record has been tracked by dozens of news outlets over the past several years.
The 90-year-old financier and mega-donor wrote in the second chapter of In defense of the open society, even an updated version of a 2012 essay. He identified such actions as one of the main goals of his philanthropy agenda with regard to America.
In November 2014, the Soros Open Society Foundation donated $ 50 million to the ACLU’s campaign to end mass imprisonment. The ACLU released a press release about the donation and reiterated its commitment to halving US incarceration rates by 2020 in “the most ambitious endeavor to end mass incarceration in American history”.
Shortly after this donation, Soros began making ongoing large sums of money to progressive district attorney candidates across the country. As of 2015, he has left more than $ 18 million for D.A. issued, with mostly successful results (only seven defeats out of 29 races).
During the protests against Black Lives Matter following the assassination of George Floyd, dozens of “bond funds” – groups that pay bail for suspects charged with crimes – made their mark during the protests against Black Lives Matter. Kamala Harris sponsored one such group, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and helped increase annual sales from $ 100,000 in 2019 to $ 35 million in 2020.
Other big names include the Bail Project, which is funded by Borealis Philanthropy, and the Fund for Fair and Just Policing, a project by Tides Advocacy, established with support from the powerful private foundations Atlantic Philanthropies and Soros Open Society Foundations.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have begun granting bail grants as well as public prosecutor reform groups. In the 2019-2020 funding period, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) donated US $ 1 million to the Tides Center’s Fair and Just Prosecution project to “promote thought leadership for elected prosecutors”. The group forms future D.A. by running things like summer traineeship programs in prosecutors for law students, for example.
Recent donations from CZI to the Tides Center for Criminal Justice Reform included $ 610,000 to Californians for Security and Justice, $ 500,000 to the Justice Collaborative, and $ 750,000 to the Public Rights Project. In January 2021, CZI said it had granted more than $ 164 million to stakeholders for criminal justice reform just before the announcement of a new and independent organization, the Justice Accelerator Fund, that would be entrusted with $ 350 million.
The consequences of all these efforts to reshape the US judicial system at the local level are to be expected.
As multiple records confirm, 2020 was a record year for violent crime. Preliminary FBI data shows that homicide rates increased across America in 2020, and not marginally – by 24.7 percent when measured nationwide. Criminal justice expert John Roman said the 2020 surge was “the biggest surge in violence since 1960, when we started collecting formal crime statistics.”
In Philadelphia, murders have risen 29 percent since April 2020. That makes 2020 the city’s most violent year in over three decades. Larry Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney who received nearly $ 1.7 million from Soros in 2017, blames other forces, particularly the COVID-19 lockdown, which is closing a variety of programs – including the public school itself – which usually keep young men off the street and not cause trouble. “I don’t think that people who had the wisdom to vote for progressive prosecutors across the country and increasingly suddenly get the stupid things,” said Krasner, arguing that the universal surge in murder belies critics. Scapegoat ”for new progressive prosecutors
While Krasner is right that the 2020 increase in homicide rates in the country’s cities didn’t just happen in cities with progressive D.A.s, the question remains whether D.A.s like him were involved in the severity of the surge. Local democratic community leaders who have refused to support Krasner for elections claim he was at least partially to blame.
Krasner’s argument would also carry more weight if 2020 murders were the only factor considered.
Statistics showed rising crime rates in the new progressive legal districts before the pandemic. According to a June 2020 report by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, the shootings in Krasner’s district had risen 18 percent since he took office. Overall, the number of violent crimes rose by 5 percent and the number of robberies by 7 percent. John Creuzot of Dallas County, Texas, whose conviction rates are significantly lower than his predecessor, monitored a 15 percent increase in violent crime, a 27 percent increase in homicides, and a 13 percent increase in car thefts in 2019.
Among Joe Gonzalez, Bexar County, San Antonio, Texas, 31 percent fewer cases of sexual assault, 21 percent fewer cases of serious assault or attempted murder, and 9 percent fewer cases of robbery were found guilty.
Cook County, Chicago, Illinois prosecutor Kim Foxx found that 20 percent fewer robberies and 9 percent fewer rape and sex crimes resulted in convictions. Overall, Foxx’s reign has resulted in a 27 percent decrease in guilty verdicts and a 54 percent increase in dropped or fired cases.
Creuzot, Gonzalez, and Foxx all received funding from Soros’ Attorney General PACs.
Crime and poverty
Whether liberal prosecutors are responsible for the rise in crime cannot be absolutely proven. Voters in local districts will decide this for themselves. What is certain is that artificially lowering law enforcement rates without considering the underlying sociological factors that cause crime is not a real solution.
The crime continues, punished or not, while the rest of the population suffers from the crime and of the poverty rates and social decline that cause the crime. A resulting wave of crime can lead to a reactionary political victory and a short-term re-legitimization of hard policing nationwide, but the demand for justice against this hard policing will return again and again. In either case, the factors underlying the crime are not taken into account. We have seen this over and over again.
It seems that progressives rarely associate incarceration rates with poverty any more. Judging by much of the mainstream rhetoric, contemporary thinking on the matter perpetuates this racism alone caused the phenomenon. It is said that high crime rates in urban areas are a racist illusion, our laws are racist, and arrests are arbitrary and selective. So if we repaired our “racist culture” and put an end to our “racist justice system” the whole problem would be solved and everything would be fine. This is typical of late progressivism as it ceaselessly undermines material reality in favor of narratives of prejudice.
Politicians sought to reduce this poverty through the federal welfare programs launched during the LBJ war on poverty. But America’s economic inequality has increased since then. Rather than focusing on the working class and the political power of labor, these programs focused on combining the rhetoric of identity with the welfare capitalism of postwar Keynesianism, issues that dominate the political landscape today.
This made possible the outsourcing of jobs overseas, the suppression of trade unions and the formation of monopolies under the supervision of a “progressive” ideological hegemony in the federal government. Rather than empowering the working class, progressivism turned into an ideological justification for appeasing the poor masses, who grew in number, while the oligarchy could pillage the country by whatever means people could break out of poverty.
Hiring armies of police officers to ruthlessly suppress deindustrialized, impoverished regions of the country is also not a smart solution. To lower incarceration rates and put an end to the private prison industry (whose lobbyists are influencing legislation that ensures their supply of inmates does not dry up), the political situation would have to allow for a resurgence of American working and poor people through robust economic security and the ability to live a less stressful and stable life.
This would require unorthodox economic policies across government to re-industrialize the land, transform the material livelihoods of both the urban and rural poor, and curb the power of the rich who maintain this obscene system. However, since these solutions go against the ideological line of the rulers and are easily hoarded by hostile political camps, they are unlikely to emerge under current conditions.
Billionaires like Soros and Zuckerberg are just the newest actors to play the part in making this weary progressive effort possible. But philanthropic capitalists like them do not have a corrective oversight system that could redress their philanthropic endeavors based on their results. Therefore, inherently they cannot solve the problem and will only make life more chaotic for everyone involved.
The chapter from Soros’ book quoted above offers interesting insights into the thoughts of billionaire philanthropists. In it he asks why selfish people like him would spend their money on such “selfless” philanthropic endeavors. His answer is that it frees moral guilt that stems from their selfish business practices. Nonetheless, he complains that post-2008 “financial repression” made it harder for international hedge fund managers to make money, while the demand for philanthropy from hedge fund managers has increased – and insists it is only through the generosity of the plutocrats is possible this society can improve.
American progressivism, like all unthinkable pragmatisms, seeks practical solutions to problems created by the system whose constraints it conforms to – such as trying to have the devil put out the fires of hell.
Shane Devine is an investigative researcher at the Capital Research Center.
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