Peter Thiel, former mentor of Mark Zuckerberg (who left), stayed behind in 2016. Now back, and with many millions of dollars he supports 16 Trumpian nominations
Convinced that the political establishment and globalization have failed and that the time has come to dismantle federal institutions, Peter Thiel, the arch-conservative billionaire from Silicon Valley who was a great supporter of Donald Trump in 2016, but in 2020 remained behind the lines, disappointed by the way of governing of the republican president, who has returned: since last autumn he has organized public and private meetings in which he transfers his philosophy of disruption professed as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.
Venture capitalist of technology, but with a historical and philosophical university education, Thiel, who in his famous essay Zero to One (three million copies sold) argues that you have to have blind faith in technology, give all the power to start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs and accept monopolies (according to him, competition in hi-tech a waste of resources), he is now devoting much of his time and his immense resources to politics.
The way it moves sheds light (a sinister light) on what is happening on the conservative front. Not only the return of Trump and the ousting of Republican MPs who refused to consider Biden’s election illegitimate: Spending tens of millions of dollars to support four Senate and 12 House nominations, Thiel – now the largest Republican campaign backer along with Citadel’s Ken Griffin – doesn’t just help the former president get his revenge. Above all, he tries to replace conservative parliamentarians who respect the mechanisms of political representation with ultr determined to undermine the democratic parliamentary system. A goal that transpires from the political speeches he held behind closed doors, but also from public statements such as: My thoughts, apocalyptic but also full of hope that we have finally reached a breaking point in our situation. While the disapproval of the choice of his colleagues, the entrepreneurs of the social networks, to begin (belatedly) to hinder the spread of blatant falsehoods and narratives made of dark conspiracies, leaks from his better the conspiracy theories of the QAnon and Pizzagate (Democratic leaders accused of being pedophiles raping children in the back room of a Washington pizzeria, ed) than a Ministry of Truth.
Against any kind of regulationconvinced that technological progress must be pursued relentlessly and without worrying about possible costs and dangers for society, Thiel a ultra-libertarian follower of Ayn Rand who also flirts with alt-right groups and it is easy, for example, to argue that the South African apartheid regime (which he did not support) was the most economically efficient one. After all, since 2009 Thiel says he no longer believes that freedom and democracy are compatible.
In 2016, called into the transition team preparing the new government after Trump’s election, Thiel proposed interventions to disrupt the administration and choices by far-right men who frightened even Steve Bannon, then Mephistophelic right arm of the new president. Today, abandoned to his fate Mark Zuckerberg of whom he was the mentor since 2005 (he left the board of Meta-Facebook, while remaining a shareholder of the company), the entrepreneur of the ultra-secret technologies of Palantir (which he supplied to the CIA and the Pentagon), maximum guardian of the so-called surveillance capitalism thanks to the control of penetrating technologies such as facial recognition, ready for a full immersion in politics.
His standard bearers are two of his former employees: the fund manager and author of American Elegy JD Vance candidate for a senatorial seat in Ohio and the former general manager of his companies (and co-author of Zero to One) Blake Masters aiming to be an Arizona senator. But Thiel is also betting on Texas junkyard senator Ted Cruz, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, and candidates trying to oust Republican MPs who voted in favor of Donald Trump’s impeachment.