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

Share