Peter Thiel: Totalitarian Collectives Bad; Authoritarian Leaders Good

Peter ThielI remain committed to the faith of my teenage years: to authentic human freedom as a precondition for the highest good. I stand against confiscatory taxes, totalitarian collectives, and the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual. For all these reasons, I still call myself “libertarian.”

But I must confess that over the last two decades, I have changed radically on the question of how to achieve these goals. Most importantly, I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible. By tracing out the development of my thinking, I hope to frame some of the challenges faced by all classical liberals today.

—Peter Thiel
The Education of a Libertarian

4 thoughts on “Peter Thiel: Totalitarian Collectives Bad; Authoritarian Leaders Good

  1. The answer to this guy’s ‘challenges’ really is quite simple. If he feels that freedom is incompatible with democracy, he simply should get out of the U.S.A.

    Libertarians worldwide can get together and stake out a space near the Russia-Mongolia border. I’m sure with a modest fee those nations would oblige. Then, after about two weeks the libertarians will learn that unemployed people with no money or aid actually will kill for food. Who would have thought??? Owing to this and similar problems, within a few months a large fraction of the libertarians will have killed off each other. Because there can be no workable and just polity within their philosophy.

    Problem solved – both for them, and for the rest of us.

    Less snarky – how are we supposed to maintain any kind of freedom under arbitrary power? How blind is this mofo?

    Libertarians hate freedom. They usually love privilege. And too self-absorbed and uncaring to understand the difference. Uncaring, turbid…bad people. To the Russia-Mongolia border with ya!

    • Their problem is that they can’t build an Elysium to live in. Not yet. So any kind of Galt’s Island or seasteading scheme is going to remove them from the police and military protection of strong national states. And they would have all the infrastructure and administrative costs, labor relations problems, etc of an actual…what’s the word…government. So if they spent a ton of the precious bitcoins founding Libertaria I highly doubt it would actually succeed, except as a short term pump and dump scam. They would either get rolled over by some meanie statists with their tax expropriated heavy weapons, or be forced to run an actual government. Much easier to just bitch about your taxes.

      • You both have excellent points. Libertarians have money; they could set up their island paradise somewhere. They won’t, because they’re not serious. It’s not a serious political philosophy — it’s a phony ethical justification for laissez-faire capitalism that arose after WWII when it was clear traditional justifications for capitalism had completely broken down. Mind you, those traditional justifications — the rich create wealth — are back now, because no history is taught in US schools and unions are practically dead. Before they were killed, unions were a great source of education. Dr. Noam’s always held it was a major reason the rich wanted to kill them.

        In a way, though, we already have libertarian islands — those islands with little tax liability where companies set up sweatshop labor. It’s the real libertarian ideal. The workers are free to leave at any time, no they’re not technically “slaves.” Even though they live in company-owned housing and buy food from the company store, so they essentially make no income, they’re free, so they’re not slaves.

        What’s amazing about those workers is they eventually do leave. Most come to those sweatshops to escape starvation or war. Yet being a slave is so horrible, even if you’re fed and housed, they leave. People can be incredibly brave.

    • I think any libertarian utopia would go more or less the way you are saying. But the end result is that the most powerful person (or group) would become the de facto government. That’s what I find so frustrating about libertarians: it’s magic thinking. And even if by some miracle they managed to have their utopia, some other group would come in and take them over.

      You are also right about it being all about privilege. Peter Thiel wants libertarianism for obvious reasons. But if he had been hit by a car at 20 and suffered an injury that wouldn’t allow him to work, I have no doubt he would not be sitting at home thinking, “If only for libertarianism!” The guy needs to grow up, but he never will because he has too much money. And that’s one of the reasons I believe in extreme redistribution of wealth: great wealth hurts the wealthy; it makes them stupid and selfish.

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