Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Peter Thiel's Egomaniacal "Freedom"

Paypal Founder and libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel has given up on his fellow humans:

I 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.
Thus his interest in "sea steading," setting up communities of little floating islands where like-minded people can do whatever they want.

Welcome to fantasy island. I'll say Thiel still clings to the faith of his teenage years -- and the moral sensibilities of an adolescent jerk, too. It's all about him doing whatever he wants. And living forever, I suppose in digital form. He recognizes no moral responsibility to his fellow humans, and sees nothing worthwhile about people coming together to decide democratically how they want to be ruled. He does not recognize how greatly governments and the economic system they oversee have contributed to his own success. Despite his brilliance he is desperately short-sighted and narrow-minded, and when I read his essay I kept seeing myself at 13, denouncing humanity as a bunch of idiots. I may not be rich, but at least I have grown up.


ArEn said...

What does it mean to "stand against...the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual."?

John said...

It means believing you can live forever, possibly digitally, and it means that the rest of the world is fighting the possibility of this for its own nefarious, communitarian reasons.