Archive for June 4th, 2016

Quote (#255)

The Economist on Peter Thiel:

At his best, Mr Thiel was a mixture of libertarian and contrarian. As a student at Stanford University in the late 1980s and early 1990s he railed against the new academic orthodoxies of multiculturalism and diversity and political correctness, founding a conservative magazine, Stanford Review, and publishing an establishment-baiting book, “The Diversity Myth”. He even defended a fellow law student, Keith Rabois, who decided to test the limits of free speech on campus by standing outside a teacher’s residence and shouting “Faggot! Faggot! Hope you die of AIDS!” When he was a young tyro in Silicon Valley, his libertarian vision inspired many of his business decisions. He hoped that PayPal would help create a new world currency, free from government control and dilution, and that Facebook would help people form spontaneous communities outside traditional nation states.

There is a darker element in his thinking today. In an essay written in 2009 for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank, he declared that he no longer believed that “freedom and democracy are compatible”, putting some of the blame for growing statism on the rise of welfare dependency and the enfranchisement of women. He added a grandiloquent coda: “The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism”.

(That final Thiel quote is Sentences material.)

Libertarianism either goes dark, or it dies of cognitive dissonance. The number of people seeing that — while small — is rising on a parabolic curve.

June 4, 2016admin 8 Comments »