PayPal founder Peter Thiel on freedom vs democracy

From Fortune:

Thiel is not shy about throwing provocative ideas out there. He once wrote that freedom and democracy are incompatible. His foundation, the Thiel Fellowship, provides $100,000 to students to drop out of college and pursue other work. He’s also funded a project to build sovereign islands where entrepreneurs can work without government influence.More.

Reality check: The main thing to see here is that “democracy” just means that the public gets its choice.

The classical world hated the idea of democracy, and if students still studied Shakespeare, they would glimpse a sense of that. No one back then was such a fool as to think it wouldn’t lead to rule by the worst people.

On the other hand, Winston Churchill said that democracy was the worst system except for all the others. Pondering the subject many years, I think he was right, for this reason: In the end, it’s better if we have chosen our fate, even if it is a bad one. It is better if we all vote to rush off a cliff than if we are driven over it.

That means we created the problem so, at some future time, our survivors can take ownership of it.

As for Thiel’s islands, I think they will be a reality. After political correctness hits high tech, the talent will travel. They will find a place to work, for better or worse, where achievement matters more than grievance, and there is no such thing as entitlement.

See also: PayPal Yes!, Facebook No! on Trump

  • Waffle

    Democracy is a system in which elected representatives are accountable to the people who elected them. PET tossed that concept out the window more than 40 years ago and not much has changed since. Proliferating bureaucracies ensure that no one ever again will be accountable. I cite the Ontario health care system as just one pitiful example.

  • Alain

    Democracy dies when those dependent on government have the same right to vote as those whose tax dollars provide their livelihood. This is the perfect system to encourage dishonest and corrupt politicians. It is like giving children the same authority as their parents in decision making.

  • FactsWillOut

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.

    The States have a uniparty, but Trump may fix that. The rest of the west are not so lucky.

  • Jay Currie

    There is a reason why so many tech billionaires are working on private space flight. An island is a stopgap.

  • Brett_McS

    It sounds like Peter Thiel was the inspiration for the Peter Gregory character in SIlicon Valley, who was also building an island on the international date line.