Edit: we've turned the flags back on since the discussion has gone well beyond civility.
He believes that most of Silicon Valley is naive politically, and that the popularity of social liberalism there is just a moral fashion. He is a liberarian, and believes that the Valley's instincts are libertarian, not liberal. He has a slightly pessimistic outlook on the future, and believes that America has been falling behind since 1969, "when Woodstock started... and the hippies took over the country". That aligns well with the central point of Trump's campaign - America has started losing and we need to "make it great again".
He's often said that one of his favorite interview questions is, "tell me something you believe to be true but which nobody agrees with you on". His support of Trump falls into that category. 40% of the population agrees with him, but the people closest to him see his opinion as unthinkable. He seems to take pleasure in having opinions like that. He has said that he believes climate change is "more pseudoscience than science", roughly agreeing with Trump. Thiel backed up his position by saying "whenever you can't have a debate, I often think that's evidence that there's a problem".
He likely sees the stories that have come out against Trump recently as worth ignoring when the future of the country is at stake, and Trump is the only candidate who can focus the national agenda on the right issues.
I just find this impossible to reconcile with his support for Trump, the most authoritarian presidential candidate in a very long time and possibly ever.
I think many of his supporters would actually agree with that description, they like that about him, and they absolutely do not describe themselves as libertarian.
They describe themselves as "conservatives" who want a "strong" president to "take their country back". They talk about "getting tough".
I've lived in America my whole life, but I was born in Austria, and German is my first language. It pains me to see a fellow German-speaking immigrant support a right-wing populist who appeals pretty explicitly to white identity politics. We of all people should know better.
As opposed to black identity politics? Or female identity politics? Would you feel better if the context was a place like South Africa where the white minority is actively being persecuted/discriminated against? Would that make white identity politics okay in your book?
>"I just find this impossible to reconcile with his support for Trump, the most authoritarian presidential candidate in a very long time and possibly ever."
I'm not an American, but I'm a libertarian and I definitely support Donald Trump. He represents an active regression back to a mean, rather than further towards the socialist-left. That is why I think it'll be better for him to be president, rather than someone like Hillary or Obama, or even Gary Johnson.
Tbh. I find it horribly sad how much time and energy people invest in this election where the both possible outcomes are equally bad.
"Voting for the lesser evil" is still voting for evil. So why not take all that time wasted on internet arguments about which evil is the lesser one and do something fun instead?
As you see that's a non-argument.
As an American, forgive me for actually caring about my countries politics.
Supporting the lesser of evils is still supporting evil and going along with it as the new status quo just prolongs and reinforces your problem IMO, because it makes them legitimate. The fact there is so much hostility against the idea of rejecting both parties is a big reason why the standards have reached such a low point, where Trump/Clinton are the best available options and people are just okay with that.
People prefer to rabidly support the red/blue teams blindly while the majority of the western world has far more healthier functioning multi-party political systems and more advanced electoral systems.
Even though polling shows the average person doesn't like nor trust either candidates it's rare to find news articles in US papers about the poor state of politics and the need for reform (not just deciding to attack one side or the other). Maybe Trump has been too much of a distraction away from the higher level downward-spiral America politics faces.
Unless there is some resistance and holding everyone to higher standards, it's just going to continue like this. America has swung to the other side of the pendelum from their political ideology of the 1750-early 1900s where the status quo governance systems was constantly questioned to now having a culture of doubling down with lost causes, fighting a war of attrition from the trenches while both sides lose. I'd rather not be wasting my life in the trenches TYVM.
Did I say or even imply you couldn't? No, I didnt. I was simply disagreeing that these candidates are the same.
I'll be voting for my interpretation of the "lesser evil" unapologetically.
I'm not 'wasting my life in the trenches', I'm an American citizen with an opinion. I respect your decision to vote third party or not at all, but please stop trying to shame me for "being evil" and voting how I see fit.
So, in theory you would be against forcing someone to pay taxes to build roads or provide education, but would arguably be for paying for a police department and justice system to protect people from having others infringe on their rights.
It basically means the only function of government should be to protect our freedoms and anything outside that purview should be done by the private sector and let the markets decide what has real value and is worth investing in.
Too many climate laws, too many laws protecting groundwater? How would this Libertarian definition fit those? The freedoms of the individuals in the town that has a giant polluting factory. Now that town needs laws to make the factory safer.
How about gun laws? Libertarians might suggest more "freedoms" with respect to gun availability,... many years later, revealing that more guns available actually means more deaths => freedom lost for the dead? Now they're a democrat too...
How's this definition different than democrat?
I'm just asking, because reading this mini-thread I'm lost here.
Libertarianism make few exceptions to that principle in order to allow for such things as limited government policing, courts and defence.
Bathroom laws require forcing companies to pay for additional bathrooms, and by extension, pay for the policing required to prevent gender-mixing in the non-approved bathrooms.
Environmental regulations force companies to pay for expensive pollution-limiting equipment. Pollution is already handled by libertarianism as pollution means either damage to people's health, or damage to people's property. Both of which are violations of the non-aggression principle. No environmental "regulations" necessary as the repercussions far outweigh the benefits of pollution.
Gun-laws means imprisoning people for owning a piece of property. Same thing with drug-prohibition.
If you force people to do something with the threat of losing money/property/freedom then your policy is not even remotely libertarian. If you are genuinely curious, I suggest you not rely on this mini-thread to define libertarian-concepts to you. Rather research it.
> Environmental regulations force companies to pay for expensive pollution-limiting equipment. Pollution is already handled by libertarianism as pollution means either damage to people's health, or damage to people's property. Both of which are violations of the non-aggression principle. No environmental "regulations" necessary as the repercussions far outweigh the benefits of pollution.
I'm having some trouble parsing what you mean. Are you saying the government should stop pollution because it causes damage to people/property, but they shouldn't call it 'regulation'?
It's the same if you try look up concepts such as Marxism, Democracy, Mercantilism, Capitalism, Left vs Right, etc. At the end of the day, you need to find someone that can distill the concepts for you to something more easily digestible.
Personally for me, there really is only one consideration to clarify the position. Does the person support the Non-Aggression Principle universally? If yes, then they're an anarcho-capitalist, if "almost-completely" or something like that, then they're fence-sitting near the libertarian position. And if they say no, then they're definitely a Statist (Whether that is democracy, marxism, socialism, or monarchy, doesn't matter).
Not if Austria's 2016 presidential elections are anything to go by.
It's literally like in the Soviet Union, at least that's what my parents told me as they came from a Communist country.
The same thing happened to communists. After 50 years only idiots and sociopathic opportunists (since they still had the spoils of power) could be found in the party.
We may see a big difference between the polling and the election results this year. The Shy Tory Effect came to America.
Personally I think both candidates are awful, but suggesting that Trump might be right about something or Clinton might be wrong is social suicide on Facebook (for example) and I wouldn't dare discuss it at work.
Maybe it's true, maybe not. But I can see how in the current situation it can be dangerous to you to endorse Trump. There's just too much hatred, especially after Trump is constantly compared to Hitler. (which can give people a justification to kill him or his supporters)
I get it that you dislike Trump (fine by me) but how on earth did you convince yourself to believe something like that. (I have no doubt you do, you could probably pass a lie detector test without a problem repeating this statement)
Yep, that's what xe said.
Only if you consider Clinton to be leftist, which really doesn't make much sense.
There are many thousands of people who are being richly rewarded for supporting Trump, including members of the media like Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, Corey Lewandowski, Bill O'Reilly, the entire staff of Breitbart, the entire "alt right" media ecosystem, etc.
In addition there are many thousands more who benefit financially from the pervasive coverage of Trump, like Jeff Zucker and other media executives.
Trump is polling above 40% nationally; he is not some secret oppressed political minority. He has received more benefit from media coverage than any other candidate.
However he is almost certainly going to lose, and that is because it is obvious that he would be a terrible president.
I suspect it has a lot more to do with people paying more attention to his shit-slinging blog. Just on Thursday he declared that he's relieved that "Everything that goes wrong with the country from this point forward is women’s fault." How many people are going to pay to hear that?
Edit: I'm flipping through his blog and the extent to which politics, for him, is about the meta stuff is honestly kind of surreal
The thing that appears to set him apart is a complete indifference to the issues, in favor of a focus on his pet topic, the art of persuasion. He dismisses the correct answers to policy questions that come up as unknowable (wow). Except, amusingly, the question of what his own estate taxes ought to be. He somehow managed to cobble together an opinion on that.
> he's "clearly joking" about anything that is offensive or ridiculous.
We should all go through life with such a disclaimer in place.
Freedom of speech isn't freedom from people changing their opinion about you based on what you say.
Clinton isn't my first pick, but I realized long ago that quite a bit of the hate about her goes back to her feminism and activism in her early days in the white house, when many families felt she had led a full-on attack on their traditional family values simply by not practicing them.
Your comment reads slightly like you have a persecution complex.
The fact that you assume that I am the one who feels persecuted says a lot.
Hint: the faulty assumptions we make of others strengthen our bubbles.
My initial reaction was that it would very likely lead to a nuclear holocaust.
I'm pretty sure going sleeveless will still be legal in a Clinton presidency.
Spelling aside, it's still incorrect. Nobody is proposing a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Basic gun control-- for example, requiring a criminal background check with no gun show loophole-- is not the same thing as taking away your right to own a gun.
Now, what you can also do legally in most states is purchase a firearm from another private individual through a private sale. An enormous number of second-hand gun sales occur in this fashion, through Craigslist or classified ads or personal acquaintances. Effectively, this is no different than if you were buying and selling lawnmowers or comic books, or any other mundane object. I am skeptical of any attempts to really regulate this activity, because it is effectively unenforceable given the number of firearms currently in circulation and the almost complete lack of any records of ownership history for most of them.
It's a video, Briebart is just the messenger. When CNN is Hillary's 7th largest contributor, Reuters giver her $MMs, Google give her $MMs, Fox give her $MMs what's left ?
This guy is not the solution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSE-XoVKaXg
Though seriously, I don't think anyone can argue that Trump doesn't fall squarely in the "Authoritarian" camp. Also, the parent doesn't even mention that Trump is "Authoritarian?" Only that he "appeals to white identity politics?"
I can't understand why Trump gets any support from gun rights people. He advocates for exactly what they fear.
>Maybe Thiel lacks education in history and pines for a glorious fictitious past, which is a core tenet of the trump campaign. And fascism.
Maybe you are the one confusing narratives built around each candidate by one camp or another with actual ideological separation between those two candidates. Trump is not an authoritarian and Clinton is not a progressive.
This election is about solving the great stagnation problem the world and the US are facing. Thiel understands that should Clinton win, there will be war and an ever increasing flow of immigration that will slowly grow to become impossible to assimilate into what is current mainstream American culture.
> And fascism.
Besides, this is not even the case. You understand concepts have definitions and you can manipulate those to fit whatever pisses you off in a candidate campaigning rhetoric.
He fits very squarely into the definition of an authoritarian. His greatest goal is "power" and he openly praises authoritarian leaders like Hussein and Putin. His supported policies include registration of minorities, torture, curtailing of the free press, restriction of religious freedom, and reprisals against political enemies—all straight out of the authoritarian playbook. At this point, I'm having a hard time thinking of an authoritarian policy which Trump wouldn't support.
There is zero evidence that he has any coherent plan to solve the "great stagnation" problem unless you think the real problem in this country is it isn't white enough.
Read this article and tell me it doesn't apply to Trump: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/
Do you have a source for this? What is considered a "minority"? I thought it was directed at "illegal immigrants", which I agree is a dumb idea. But saying it applies to "minorities" is a stretch.
>torture, curtailing of the free press, restriction of religious freedom, and reprisals against political enemies"
How much worse is it to openly support these things, than to say you don't support them, but do so behind the scenes? Because all these things have happened under the watch of nearly every politician I can think of.
There are two different proposals I'm thinking of. One for making a national registry of all Muslims in the United States (a religious minority) and another for police being able to demand immigration papers at any time. The problem is that there isn't any way to look at someone and say they are an "illegal immigrant" so you end up with a totalitarian regime where police are stopping minorities and demanding to see their papers.
I honestly don't know how anyone can look at Trump and say he's not an authoritarian. He literally advocates stuff straight out of a comic book authoritarian regime: "stop and show me your papers."
> How much worse is it to openly support these things, than to say you don't support them, but do so behind the scenes?
Much worse. Openly advocating something so abhorrent pushes it into the room of acceptability and makes doing it acceptable en mass. It's the difference between the occasional hate crime and genocide. When something is unacceptable, you can't do it too much of it or you risk causing a scandal.
I also having a lot of trouble agreeing that these things "happened under the watch of nearly every politician I can think of." Has Obama thrown political enemies in prison? Has Hillary asked her supporters to violently attack enemies? Heck, has Bush tried to ban an entire religion from the United States? Citations severely needed.
In France, afaik, it is mandatory to carry an id card and, missing that, the police can stop you for up to 4 hours to verify your identity (according to Wikipedia). If you're a foreigner you have to prove that you are legally resident.
The last time I checked, France is not an authoritarian regime out of a comic book.
I have been stopped in dozens of countries for procedural controls. I have never felt oppressed, but obviously it could be abused.
Under Blair there was a plan to introduce, but it was widely opposed. Struck me as a little ironic with how easily UK has accepted surveillance and CCTV. Police need probable cause too, and generally behave well.
Not that it matters, but she's white and speaks perfect French.
In Korea, I routinely got stopped on the street to show my ID card. In Mexico, it happens to people all the time (random checkpoints, car searches, etc.) I once spent theee hours -- WITH proper documents while the state police practically disassembled my car for no reason other than having Texas plates and driving while white.
You need to prove lawful presence in France to open a bank account, but in Los Angeles, an illegal immigrant can open a bank account without any form of US identification or proof of lawful presence.
Calling Trump or the US authoritarian isn't accurate if you measure authoritarianism by the actions of allegedly 'liberal' countries.
Employers are already required to effectively vet applicants for legal residency. They have all sorts of tax forms to fill out and they can be severely fined for hiring illegals off the books.
Obviously, as well, if a LEO discovers a faked driver's license during a routine traffic stop, the illegal is in big trouble.
Interestingly, deportations have greatly increased during the Obama administration.
> Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.
> “We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
Sounds like something you "understand". Clever little rhetorical trick though, similar to "it turns out that..".
Why is this?
"And by the way, with Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures that our people -- that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water."
That would be an abrupt act of war between the two countries, and on a completely different level than the NATO intervention in Libya which was based on a UN Security Council resolution.
I also started thinking about John Titor again, regarding how things happened in his story/anecdote. Obviously different, but a good deal of things seem pretty similar... How many rights will we lose before it's too many?
Indeed. I believe he holds his views for a more self-serving reason. Trump will reduce his taxes. They also align on their disdain for a free and independent media.
> Trump is not an authoritarian
Please examine, critically, the way he has treated journalists, dissenting voices at his rallies, and the few minorities that happen to attend.
> current mainstream American culture.
What is that, exactly?
Hitler enacted a 70% income tax for the highest incomes, implemented a full welfare state, free childcare, free schools, free everything to force propaganda down their throats. He was an arts student (probably he would have done well with SJW's of today), a vegetarian, anti smoking, pro animal rights, anti religion etc.
The right wing wants to get rid of all mandatory welfare and government influence on our lives in order to make it impossible for authoritarians like Hitler to hijack the system.
German people in specific are culturally one of least capable in understanding what freedom actually means. That's something that makes them unique in Europe. (and btw the main reason why Benjamin Franklin was so critical of allowing Germans into the US - he feared that they would subvert the system and freedoms with their hive mind mentality)
> Hitler enacted a 70% income tax for the highest incomes
Which made him more moderate in terms of marginal taxes than the US under any number of Republican administations. Are you arguing that the pre-Reagan Republic administrations were left wing too?
> implemented a full welfare state, free childcare, free schools
The first comprehensive welfare systems in Germany were pushed through by the very conservative Bismarck in the late 1870's, under the joint argument of support of Christian morality and to stop the socialists from being able to obtain support for structural changes. Welfare systems in Europe stopped being indicative of left vs. right by the end of the 19th century.
> The right wing wants to get rid of all mandatory welfare and government influence on our lives in order to make it impossible for authoritarians like Hitler to hijack the system.
Right libertarians want this. Right libertarianism didn't exist in Hitlers day. Left libertarianism did (it dates back to the 1870's), but the right wing of Hitlers day were generally supporters of a strong state.
Remember "right" in the left vs. right stems from who supported the French monarchy: the original right wing were monarchists; the classical liberals and libertarians of the time were firmly seated on the left.
As for wanting to get rid of mandatory welfare and government influence: the aforementioned Bismarck - nicknamed the "iron chancellor" - a leading figure of the European right wing of his time, and loyal monarchist, someone who had dozens of German left wing newspapers closed and outlawed and the leaders of dozens of German socialist groups arrested, was as mentioned also the politician who brought us the first welfare state.
In the 20th century we had an emperor, started two world wars, had a weak democracy in between, then had two dictatorships exactly exposing each other and were the most important puppet state for two opposing world powers and ideologies. The freedom team not only won but overtook many other free nations again.
I think if you have freedom or democracy related questions you should ask us. We would suggest to get your act with your agencies together. Why would a dictator use the healthcare system when you have all the fucking three letter agencies and the military industrial complex just sitting there, fuelled by corporate/right-wing money?
Hitler did not wait for generations to let social systems brainwash the people, he had the thugs of the SA to beat the crap out of the opposition. Today it is much easier to get your private military going in the US than in Germany.
He also used the data of the church to find Jews, so Germany has privacy regulations for private entities. The US has some private entities, who have data the churches of the 1930s could only dream of.
The German "freedom team" did nothing of value, it was the US that won or more precise the Soviet Union that imploded because it was unfeasible from the beginning. West Germany was a powerless Satellite state just as East Germany was.
> I think if you have freedom or democracy related questions you should ask us. We would suggest to get your act with your agencies together.
> Why would a dictator use the healthcare system when you have all the fucking three letter agencies and the military industrial complex just sitting there, fuelled by corporate/right-wing money?
You want your slaves to cooperate, which is easier to accomplish when you're not beating them up on a daily basis.
> Hitler did not wait for generations to let social systems brainwash the people, he had the thugs of the SA to beat the crap out of the opposition.
That's not how it was historically. He did not use massive violence to get into power (he got there fair and square in a democratic manner), but he encouraged it to get rid of the Jews once he was in power.
And he was in power for a very long time. since 1922 he was leader of the NSDAP, in 1931 a majority of Germans wanted him chancellor and in 1933 he finally was made chancellor. That's 12 years in the highest positions and he used it immediately to brainwash the population.
Or do you want to argue with me that the Hitlerjugend had no real effect on the youth? Children started to report their parents if they said something against their dear leader.
Exactly what I said in my comment. West Germany was the "Klassenfeind" of the East, it won economically in a way, which was literally called a "Wirtschaftswunder". The East then made a peaceful revolution leading up to the Euro and the expansion of the EU.
>>> I think if you have freedom or democracy related questions you should ask us. We would suggest to get your act with your agencies together.
I am saying that the US agencies are undemocratic and much more problematic than functioning social systems would be.
> You want your slaves to cooperate, which is easier to accomplish when you're not beating them up on a daily basis.
It is always easier to govern a country, whether you are democratically elected or not, if you have a functioning system. I would not count this as a reason to not have a functioning social systems. It is also easier to govern if the people are not starving, that does not mean that a starving population is more free.
>> Hitler did not wait for generations to let social systems brainwash the people, he had the thugs of the SA to beat the crap out of the opposition.
> That's not how it was historically. He did not use massive violence to get into power (he got there fair and square in a democratic manner), but he encouraged it to get rid of the Jews once he was in power.
I never said that he beat the people to get in power, I only said he used the SA to beat up the opposition on the street, which is exactly how it historically was.
> Or do you want to argue with me that the Hitlerjugend had no real effect on the youth? Children started to report their parents if they said something against their dear leader.
Sure. But why are you talking about this? A Hitlerjugend is something different than public infrastructure like a functioning healthcare system we were originally talking about. As soon as the left proposes a Hitlerjugend I would advise you to vote for the other candidate.
This confusion about Socialist vs Fascism is common because - as you point out - they enact similar policies, e.g. high taxes.
There are numerous differences between the two. The biggest has to do with the relationship between the state and the individual:
In a Fascist / Authoritarian regime, the individual is subordinated to the state. E.g. "The state knows what's best for me. I'll do whatever they tell me to do." That's why Nazi = "National Socialism..."
In a Socialist government, the state is subordinated to the individual. This is also sometimes referred to as "active state liberalism". E.g. "The state exists to ensure we all live a happy life that enables us to pursue our own interests." France is a good example of this.
These are in contrast to what is called "classic" or "minimal state" liberalism. A liberal will say "The state exists to make sure that no one oppresses me, but it's not the state's responsibility to take care of me". This is the original version that comes from Locke, Mills, F. A. Hayek...
Why can't they let individual dissenting opinions exist beside their own hive mind ideology.
Why do Socialist governments always try to get control over education to indoctrinate the next generation instead of allowing parents to raise their children however they see fit.
Why do Socialists always attack people who are successful for merely being successful. (back then: filthy Jewish bankers, today: filthy bankers)
No, I do not buy it that in Socialism the government is subordinated to the individual, my family actually lived in such a shit system and I've seen it as a child myself. You can maybe convince gullible youth and students in the West who frequent overrated Universities that this is true but not me.
Edit: And last but not least: Hitler himself frequently said and wrote that he is a Socialist. Not an International Socialist like the Soviet Union but a National Socialist.
The don't actually, since Socialism does not discuss anything of that sort - it's an economic theory, not a political one.
What you're describing is authoritarianism, which is a mechanism for quickly and forcefully delivering ANY political ideology, not just socialism.
If you actually look at why i.e. Stalin and Castro did things the way they did, it was because they were afraid the "imperialists" in the West were working 24/7 to overthrow them (which they were) so they wanted to consolidate their grip on power to make that less likely to succeed.
The problem is, no-one ever left socialists alone, i.e. look at Nicaragua in the 1980s - they actually tried to implement liberal socialism. What happened? Regan sponsored the Contras to turn it into a right-wing state after his own gusto.
If there weren't constant efforts to overthrow socialists by the West, they probably wouldn't have turned to authoritarianism.
But again, authoritarianism is a forceful method to deliver a political change, just look at the number of right-wing military dictatorships in LA that used authoritarianism to deliver their will.
> Why do Socialist governments always try to get control over education to indoctrinate the next generation instead of allowing parents to raise their children however they see fit.
Because in the same way a parent does not have the right to kill their child, they should not have the right to i.e. teach their children creationism, in order to ensure a certain quality of life for all children, regardless if their parents are brainwashed or poorly educated.
> Why do Socialists always attack people who are successful for merely being successful.
They don't, but they think that perhaps you shouldn't be able to have $80 billion if the average personal wealth is $30,000 because you CERTAINLY didn't work THAT much harder than everybody else, it's mathematically impossible.
Also, Hitler was against the Jews, socialism isn't.
I'm not going to argue against the fact that others try to subvert them because this is a fact, but the thing is that other Ideologies also face the same issue.
Yet we consistently always see the same thing in Socialism. The last one where this happened is Venezuela, which has enacted a forced labour law recently.
Regarding education: I wouldn't teach my children Creationism but I also fail to see how this can in any way negatively impact a child in 99,99% of all existing professions. If my child wanted to work in Biology it's a problem, if it wants to work in any other profession - not so much. For me in IT it is completely irrelevant what my beliefs about these matters is.
The only problem that can arise is other people treating you bad because you hold other beliefs than them, no matter how irrelevant they are.
To me it is a matter of freedom. I'm not here on this earth to further some agenda that someone in an ivory tower has thought up. I'm here for myself and the people around me and I want to be free to act in a way that I see fit. Socialism negates this, I'd be just a part of a collective and someone else is going to tell me what my role in society is, what ideas are good and which are bad.
Regarding wealth distribution: Why shouldn't you be able to have 1 trillion dollars, provided it wasn't accumulated through use of force or other criminal means. What you have to understand is that a company makes its money by providing goods and services that other citizens are willing to pay for voluntarily. Maybe the guy with the $80 billion did some shady things, but unless proven so you can't argue against him owning that money.
> Also, Hitler was against the Jews, socialism isn't.
Socialism is against successful people. Why? Because they have options to ignore what the government wants them to do (they are not dependant) and because their success often comes with power.
As it happens Jewish culture has shown again and again that it is a highly successful one at raising children that prove to be highly productive and successful in societies. No amount of persecution and discrimination over 2000 years could change that.
It doesn't surprise me in the least when a Socialist make an Anti-Semitic statement, I know they hate them for their success.
You yourself made a statement one sentence before that arguing that the successful person with lots of money is somehow criminal, which means you despise success at some level. It's not a big step to move from that belief to outright Anti-Semitism.
Others face it too, true, but there's no denying that the country with the largest military in human history does have much more bullying power and if that country is opposed to your country's ideology you better be prepared to be bullied into submission.
> Regarding education: I wouldn't teach my children Creationism but I also fail to see how this can in any way negatively impact a child in 99,99% of all existing professions. If my child wanted to work in Biology it's a problem, if it wants to work in any other profession - not so much.
Except you're making the decision as to what he/she will be able to do for them, years before they themselves can decide - what if they want to go into Biology? Now they're years behind their peers, which is in opposition to the "free will" libertarianism you seem to advocate.
> To me it is a matter of freedom. I'm not here on this earth to further some agenda that someone in an ivory tower has thought up. I'm here for myself and the people around me and I want to be free to act in a way that I see fit. Socialism negates this
What Socialism does is prevent you from "being free to act in a way that you see fit" once you start to infringe on the freedoms of others.
It, believe it or not, is there to protect you as well, or do you really want somebody with more muscle than you to come by, rob your house, beat you up and abuse your family just because that was his free will and you couldn't stop him?
> Regarding wealth distribution: Why shouldn't you be able to have 1 trillion dollars, provided it wasn't accumulated through use of force or other criminal means.
Because it was accumulated via criminal means; i.e. there's a limited amount of wealth on Earth - if you have a significant percentage of that wealth as a single person, there's just no way you worked harder than 1/3 or so of the entire population COMBINED, unless you're God that is.
I'm not saying that YOU did something that wasn't already in place, you mostly just took advantage of the framework provided by others like you, but that doesn't make it fair.
Just to make sure we understand each other; I am not against you living very comfortably if you're successful, but $1 trillion is just such an amount that it goes WAY WAY beyond just living comfortably and again, you'd have a hard case convincing me that you worked harder than millions of people COMBINED, even if what you're created is desirable.
And let's be honest, we both know that the person with $80 billion I was talking about got there using questionable ethics at best.
> Socialism is against successful people. Why? Because they have options to ignore what the government wants them to do
They don't actually, because the government has a monopoly on the use of force, what they have power to do is corrupt the government enough with their money to ignore them.
> As it happens Jewish culture has shown again and again that it is a highly successful one at raising children that prove to be highly productive and successful in societies.
Sure, admirable and again, nothing that Socialism itself has a problem with. Also, if you look at Israel, it's a very socialist country, free healthcare, centralised education, gun control laws etc. so I don't think Jews themselves think that Socialism is against them, it isn't.
> You yourself made a statement one sentence before that arguing that the successful person with lots of money is somehow criminal, which means you despise success at some level.
No, what I said was that it is unreasonable for one person to have more wealth than the 80% of the planet COMBINED, I am not against success or against living in luxury - this goes way beyond that however.
> It's not a big step to move from that belief to outright Anti-Semitism.
Oh, this trick, I see - for one, I would say it's insulting to other successful ethnicities, say the Chinese, to suggest that the only people that are, and have for a very long time been successful are the Jews and for the Anti-Semitism comment, I see that you constructed your own narrative to reach your own conclusions, but be aware that such comments only undermine actual cases of anti-semitism.
How do you expect me to have a discussion with you when all you are doing is trying to twist my words? We were discussing if there's a connection between Anti-Semitism and Socialism so I commented on that. (in fact, you were the one who argued that the Nazis were no Socialists because they hated Jews)
Now you turn around and tell me that I do not give due credit to other ethnicities that are successful too.
Sorry, but I don't feel that you are actually trying to reason here. You just put out statements like "they must have stolen the money and you know it" and Socialism actually celebrates and encourages success. Yeah, with enormous tax rates up to 90% or nationalising private propert (= stealing private property)
You said that I wasn't far off from being an anti-semite because I hated success to which am saying that I don't hate success, but even if I did, suggesting that that means anti-semitism is a stretch at best.
Also, I have never heard of anybody paying 90% tax anywhere.
So you can have authoritarian governments that are socialist, or libertarian ones (in fact, libertarianism on the left predates right wing libertarianism by a century).
Marx spent one of the four chapters of the Communist Manifesto criticising alternative socialist ideologies, including reactionary, feudalist socialist ideologies. Marx himself was later condemned by people like Bukharin for being too authoritarian, leading to a split in the First International, where the most liberal socialists and anarchists left. Despite that there was shortly afterwards a resurgence in libertarian Marxism.
This difference grew greater leading up towards the Russian revolution. Lenin e.g. wrote the book "Left Communism: An Infantile Disorder" criticising the left-wing of his own party for its anti-authoritiarian views.
Consider that the "Russian revolution" came in two parts: The February revolutions where the Czar was overthrown, and a liberal socialist government under SR was put into place, and the coup that became known as the October Revolution, where the Bolsheviks decided to not honour the elections to the Constituent Assembly - an election that gave them ~10%, with a solid majority going to the liberal socialist SR, Left SR and Mensheviks.
After the coup, parts of the liberal socialists and communists tried cooperating with the Bolsheviks, parts joined the White's in the civil war opposing the Bolsheviks, and over the coming years tens of thousands of socialists and communists on both sides were murdered while opposing the Bolshevik rule. The purges continued for well over a decade (culminating in the Moscow Processes, where Stalin put on show trials to justify executing tens of thousands of Bolsheviks that had until then still fought against the rising authoritarianism).
In other words: Lookin for the label "socialism" to determine whether someone is left or right or liberal or authoritarian doesn't work.
> No, I do not buy it that in Socialism the government is subordinated to the individual, my family actually lived in such a shit system and I've seen it as a child myself.
And you are making the flawed assumption that a name only describes a single system. By thinking North Korea is democratic, because it's name is Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Clearly they are not democratic.
As mentioned above, socialism is not a single political system, but a set of characteristics that can apply to political systems across the spectrum.
> Edit: And last but not least: Hitler himself frequently said and wrote that he is a Socialist.
The NSDAP adopted the term because it was popular with the German working class. It was predominantly a populist move, the same way that the staunch monarchist and conservative Bismarck, when labelled a "state socialist" by his opponents for his welfare reforms adopted the name and turned it to an advantage.
Early on the party was a curious mix of left and right wing, that is true, mainly tied together by nationalism, and a variety of policies appealing to a mix of groups.
When Hitlers influence in the party rose, he quickly and brutally changed direction of the party, and pushed out the more left wing parts of the party in order to satisfy increasingly financially important right wing backers, and after he got power he went as far as having the leaders of the remnant of the "left" of the NSDAP murdered and arrested.
If you are going to be discussing the NSDAP, you need to be careful about which time period you consider, as the party that gained power in '33 had little in common with the party in its early days.
> Not an International Socialist
The Bolsheviks too gave up any pretense of being "international socialists" under Stalin, with the passing of the Socialism in One Country doctrine as official policy in '25. They tried to "export" their policies primarily as a matter of self preservation. In fact, the term "international socialism" from then on primarily became associated with Trotskyism (there are e.g. Trotskyist groups using that name).
Definition of Socialism: "A political and economic theory of social organization..." (via Google)
When a government enacts socialist policies, it is considered Socialist. Why? Politics is the mechanism by which economic and social policies are implemented and enforced.
> Socialism does not say anything about the political system. Socialism is about economics and welfare.
I would see welfare as a part of economics (how much of the resources are spent on welfare and who decides it), so I wouldn't make that distinction here.
But as I see it you can't divide between economics and politics. When the government controls a large portion of the economy (directly owning it or by having the power to enact arbitrary regulation) then it has a large political everyday influence on citizens. When it has almost no control over the economy then it has basically no say in the lives of its citizens.
Imagine a situation where the government actually owned 100% of the economy, how would that look like? It would be slavery, because all resources would be taken away by the government and then redistributed in a way they see fit.
What I can't see is how a strongly right wing government could act authoritarian or dictatorial because they will have no power over the resources, which leaves them powerless to influence the behaviour of their citizenry without actually convincing them through good arguments or lies to act differently.
Socialism will on the other hand always try to have a lot of power over the economy which means they decide who is to be supported and who is not, who is to be punished (by higher taxes) and who isn't. They also want to control what children learn in school, which is very dangerous in my opinion. It means that they are not confident that children raised in a way their parents want them to be raised will be compliant with the system they want to create. I believe it is pretty much a known fact that most people coming out of the educational system today (particularly the higher ones) will be overwhelmingly more likely to be left leaning than not.
He was a right-wing populist that wanted to do "socialism" for the superior German race by enslaving Slavs etc.
He actually hated the Soviet Union precisely because it was socialist.
In fact Nazism actually means "Nationalist Socialism" = Nazism, which is not the "Socialism" of the soviets, but a right-wing, one race owns everything ideology, which is precisely why Nazism is a separate ideology.
The fact that this is believed by some is disgraceful.
> And last but not least: Hitler himself frequently said and wrote that he is a Socialist. Not an International Socialist like the Soviet Union but a National Socialist.
International Socialism was the Soviets. By definition an international variant must be less racist and it's not surprising that a National variant was racist.
But the economy had similarities, it was controlled almost completely by the government. (to a greater extent in the Soviet Union than by the Nazis, but the Nazi economy certainly was no free market economy)
I think we all know why he was hated.
And what exactly is wrong with wanting to "take back your country"? He's talking about enforcing existing laws like having borders.
Plenty of deplorables that are Democrat and non-white but her comment was playing the identity card just as deftly as Trump's people have.
His tax plan will add trillions in debt over the next decade, and will only benefit the rich in the long run.
So excuse me if I think Thiel just wants to pay less tax and sue people that piss him off. It's the rich coming to power in a more matter-of-fact way.
It neglects the fact that he wants to close loopholes that let people not pay tax and give less reason to dodge tax, you could argue that taking all this into account Hillarys tax could force more people to not pay tax and result in trillions rather than the estimated billions she will add.
A Trump presidency following the major Snowden leaks would likely be an international death sentence for US tech companies. Other nations might tolerate presidents they feel they can deal with controlling the NSA apparatus in their nation, but almost certainly will take steps to prevent Donald Trump from having the same tools.
For an internet company, the split between Europe and Asia insisting that your service not be an NSA tool while Trump is being tough on terrorists and immigrants likely means that you can no longer continue operating in all markets.
So for someone like Google or Facebook, the hit on taxes is smaller than the potential risk to their European and Asian markets from those regions deciding that they need a localized technology company which isn't as at the behest of US presidents.
tl;dr: Big businesses will pay for international stability, so the hit on taxes from Clinton versus Trump is off-set by better international relations from Clinton than Trump.
That's an intereating point: the argument was always "even if the current regime does not use data collection for evil, the next one moght."
This is why I secretly hope Trump wins, just so all the pro NSA democrats get their collective heads out of their asses.
Never mind the Econ 101 level mistakes made in the report (it confused the meaning of "nominal"). Read the reviews of Trump's "plan"
- Peterson Institute of International Economics called the plan "magical realism" - https://piie.com/blogs/trade-investment-policy-watch/scoring...
- Matt Yglesias points out the stupidity of linking of GDP growth with reducing the trade deficit - http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/9/29/13075538/tr...
- Who is Peter Navarro (the supposed author of this mess)? - http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2016/09/who_is_peter_na....
Links courtesy of this FiveThirtyEight article - https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-and-clinton-have-...
Yes, and I agree with him. Strangely enough, when I thought about how to have a substantive politics, it led me to support Bernie Sanders. Now, you may not like Bernie yourself, but he sure as hell wasn't a climate-denying wannabe-dictator with a habit for sexual assault.
If you believe politics ought to be about policy, then the Trump candidacy has been miserable for your goal. I can't see how Thiel can hold that goal and support Trump, unless I posit that Thiel is choosing attitude ("MAGA") over substance (mercantilism and a typically Republican dislike of science and technology).
>He's often said that one of his favorite interview questions is, "tell me something you believe to be true but which nobody agrees with you on".
Our society cannot grow or move forward until the finance/real-estate capital complex is removed from control.
If he wants Libertarianism he should donate to Gary Johnson. Anything else is just opportunism.
Getting him into the 3rd debate might moderately raise awareness of the party, but he isn't going to win the election. Full stop.
But that might be it. Trump clearly lacks a well oiled political machine behind him like Clinton. Should he win power there will no doubt a lot of opportunities opening up for anyone with a cheque and an agenda. I guess 1.5 million is not much to gamble for Thiel and will pay back 1000 to 1 if Trump were to succeed.
For supposedly open minded people techies (this happened on /. and ended that site for many) are the most bigoted close minded people you can find. They don't want to think, they want approval of supposed peers, peers they will never meet nor acknowledge them.
The common trope is always, Republican candidates or Presidents are dumb, they are racists, they are homophobes, they are anti science, they are anti-name it. Yet no matter how much proof is offered that the candidate they will support instead will trounce their privacy rights, their freedoms, and more, they cannot be convinced otherwise.
Shit like this does not belong on HN and thank god for the karma I have because fuck it, this type of crap is the reason to delete sites like this permanently from bookmarks. You want to go to the shitshow that /. became, don't do it.
All three candidates have bad points, some more than others, but I will not vote for someone whose entire political career is one deceit after another and who turns a blind eye to the deaths their decisions have caused nor will I accept a candidate the press desperately wants and will never call on the carpet
The gist of the matter is: What should sane and compassionate people do about the Trump supporters in their lives? Many of us have them. Some of my family members support Trump, and I cannot fire them as family members or cancel Christmas, so I, and we, have to find another approach.
There are different levels of engagement, and the three most important are:
1) Political. Trump supporters are asking for power, and they must be denied that power, because their candidate is a dangerous, emotionally unstable racist, a sexual predator, and man who would do deep damage to US democracy. We should take a hard political line and fight them with all legal means to exclude them from decision-making positions that affect the public interest.
2) Private/Social/Familial. What kind of private discussions can you have with Trump supporters? There are different kinds of supporters, and the discussions you can have with them will vary according to which battle in the culture war you choose. Like previous GOP candidates, Trump has gathered a coalition of single-issue voters behind him. These include the usual suspects 1) anti-abortion groups, gun-rights groups, and climate change deniers. But Trump also has the support of a) white nationalists and other racist groups; and b) post-factual conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones who preach the existence of an evil and "alien force not of this world".
Anyone who has tried to argue someone out of their views on abortion or gun rights quickly finds that the discussion moving in circles, and pretty soon you've wasted a couple hours of your life.
People don't change their minds, and "when faced with doubt, they shout even louder." So sure, talk with them if you want, but adversarial debate is one of the least effective ways to engage with Trump supporters.
Let's take Peter Thiel as an example: At the core of his RNC speech was the simple argument that the US government is broken and only Trump can fix it. I agree that the USG is broken in a lot of areas, but hiring Trump to fix it, as someone funnier than me put it, would be like trying to cure eczema with a blow torch. Peter and I might agree on a lot of concrete, isolated problems with government, and he may have some pragmatic ideas for solving some of them, but when you go up one level of abstraction to a "total solution", there's not much to say. A debate between reason and irrationality leads no where.
At the heart of Thiel's position is a question: How do you fix a complex, broken and long-standing system? There are two alternatives: reform or revolution. Clinton represents reform at best and the status quo at worst. She has my vote because she's sane and sanity has become surprisingly rare. Trump represents revolution.
Most revolutionaries overestimate the good a total change will bring, and underestimate the damage. All they can see is the bad of the current situation. But most revolutions fail miserably. The Arab Spring failed violently in Libya, Egypt and Syria. The Iranian revolution of 1979 rang in decades of theocracy. In China and Russia, Marxist-Leninism ultimately killed tens of millions of people. The French revolution led to a century of political instability and the collapse of the French empire. The revolution that overthrew the decadence of Weimar Germany was called Nazism. In the wake of a revolution, you find that the new humans at the top are no better than the old ones, and generally less experienced. Without well thought out structures (like the separation of powers in the US constitution), the new elite will fail and be corrupted.
Anyone who's had to refactor a large, complex and crappy code base has longed to start from scratch. But countries cannot "start from scratch" without massive turmoil and bloodshed. Revolutions mean violence. I don't think we need a revolution, but if we did, it should at least go in the right direction. Trump is not the right direction.
Another important thing to remember is: some political views do not count as dissent, and cannot be accorded the same privileges as other forms of speech: hate speech and white nationalism don't count as dissent. Sexual predation and misogyny don't count as dissent. They are ugly prejudices, and it's not useful to listen to or engage them in a "debate". They have to be tackled in some other way.
In public fora, we should present alternatives to Trump supporters' views, but in private conversation, we should build relationships with his supporters based on non-political common ground. Years down the road, some of them will come round, and when they do, that human connection will be their road of return. One of my siblings was in a cult for about a decade. We just nodded, laid down some light rules about proselytizing and turned the conversation to baseball. For years. And then one day they left the cult and we never heard about it again.
3) Root cause. This is the most important level of engagement. How do we address the factors that have lead us to this point?
There are a lot of factors, but I think we can boil is down to one word: bubbles. People are living in bubbles. Wealth creates bubbles of isolation (Trump himself is a great example, and so is SV). Poverty creates bubbles of isolation, where people are not exposed to new ideas, other cultures and different kinds of people. And the media creates bubbles. Some of the media's bubbles are great (innocent weirdos congregate and find their human home on the Internet), and some are really damaging, because, as a nation, Americans no longer live in a shared reality or agree upon facts. Fox News has never cared about facts, and the GOP has done a lot to drive its supporters away from mainstream media where fact-checking actually happens. The FCC eliminated the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, and since then US media and their audiences have grown increasingly polarized. Maybe that was a mistake.
Different types of bubbles can be burst in different ways. Internet media bubbles could be addressed, at least partially, with algorithms to recommend other types of content, but we would have to accept a benevolent algorithm-maker trying to change our minds. Media bubbles cause bubbles of ideology -- destructive, self-perpetuating memes like anti-semitism and white nationalism. Those are hard to burst. It takes a huge commitment on the part of the people who are hated to go out, encounter the haters in a neutral context and demonstrate your humanity. It can be done. Sometimes it leads to a minor victory, like a racist realizing "not all n are bad." Really hard work.
Bubbles of poverty can be burst by investing more time and money in poor communities, getting people to work and exposing them to the other in non-threatening ways. Maybe we're talking dance troupes and exchange students -- I don't know.
To get to the root, we have to go beyond the media to the interests that are financing the culture wars and climate denial.
I don't have ready-made solutions for bursting bubbles, or cutting off the funds that are creating the ideologies that threaten the US and the whole species, but that's where we need to focus. The real issue is the dark money and Citizens United. Beyond that is only capitalism itself, the system that allows a few individuals for reasons of merit or inheritance to lay enormous social claims on the rest of society through the unequal allocation of wealth.
We're living in a strange time. Large historical forces are at work in America, which are beyond the powers of any one person to address. This election cycle has taught me a lot about humans and group behavior, more than I ever wanted to know, and it's given me a surprising sympathy for the Germans whose lives were eclipsed by Nazism in the 1930s. Not all of them wanted it, but all of them got it. A few resisted and died; some fled; many sank into indifference and getting-by; and some saw it as a career opportunity. Just a few more percentage points in favor of Trump and all of America gets him, his walls, his deportations and his groping paws, too. And then we'll all have choices to make.
(0) Nice setup of the sane and compassionate versus... Trump supporters? Who cannot in any way be sane or compassionate...
(1) If Trump supporters must be fought and excluded from any sort of decision-making that affects the public sphere, then why bring up US Democracy? The very nature of democracy allows the dangerous, the racist and the sexist to affect it. Are you suggesting something else?
(2) While I might criticize the five silos you toss Trump supporters into, I wonder more whether you'd find a Sanders revolution abhorrent. Not that all revolutions have been as bloody or as horrid as the French - are you saying the American Revolution was a terrible thing for the world? Certainly the Brits might think so. ;-)
1) For a democracy to be alive, it must have the capacity to destroy itself. I think we agree on that much. Trump and his supporters represent a threat to democracy -- I'm sure we don't agree on that. I'm suggesting they be fought with democratic means.
2) I didn't mention the American revolution because it was different from the others. A bourgeois, nationalist revolution that transferred power from a tiny, foreign elite in Britain to a wider suffrage of propertied white males in America. You could argue that the deeper revolution in North America was the vast transfer of property from Native Americans to settlers, and that was indeed a terrible thing for the tribes.
1) Clamping down on immigration
2) Clamping down on free trade
I don't see how any libertarian can be a fan of either.
Here's a document from the 2008 Obama campaign about Clinton and her coziness with Indian H1 abusers: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/memo1.pdf
Note that is a document from the Obama campaign -- not some republican hit piece.
Libertarians do favor free trade, however free trade doesn't exist as long as governments (such as China,) manipulate currency or (such as France, specifically with Airbus,) provide heavy state subsidization for certain industries in order to compete with companies that aren't as subsidized.
Free trade requires an end to all subsidies and market-distorting practices that disadvantage competitors.
Trumps trade stances aren't in opposition to free trade in as much as they're in opposition to unfair trade -- China being a great example. US companies have to compete in manufacturing essentially with one hand tied behind their back -- stricter environmental rules, tougher labor rules and much higher taxation compared to China. So allowing unrestricted Chinese trade isn't 'free trade.'
Not defending Trump or necessarily bashing Clinton, just providing some context for his 'opposition' to free trade and immigration.
Trump's trade positions aren't much different than the EU -- when I import an American product into France, I pay huge duties and taxes -- importing something to the US from France -- rarely do I get hit with a huge tax bill from FedEx or UPS.
I even had to pay taxes on $100 worth of kids clothes I ordered from the US. I've never had that happen when I bought something from the EU and had it shipped to the US.
This past spring a 500% tariff was placed on Chinese steel. So, I have a hard time understanding what he's going to do different. That is my complaint with this election cycle that it's been all lip gloss and no substance so everyone concludes what they want about him.
Muslim terrorists. Warmongering Hillary, Zero Interest rates, crumbling infrastructure, imploding retirement funds. Who gives a fuck? But hey, bathroom problems.
1. There is a huge push to say that people are not attracted to genitals. Lesbians are being told they're transphobic for not sleeping with people with penises.
2. There is a well documented
phenomenon of homosexual people transitioning for public acceptance. A number of people who have detransitioned have discussed this.
Male and female brains
1. There is a huge difference between the brains of taxi drivers and the general population. The brain is incredibly plastic and our socialization and culture should make us expect brain differences.
2. Question: The brains of transgender people are still more like people of their own sex than of their identified gender. If you buy the brain sex argument do you think that there should be a brink for a diagnosis as trans?
Also, trump is no libertarian, he's an extreme authoritarian.
If Somebody with a similar mindset on the business matters minus the catastrophic interpersonal issues runs in the future I'll happily elect them.
And Trump did for one important thing: we all know who are the racists and which organizations harbor and supporting racisms.
"Instead of going to Mars, we have invaded the Middle East. We don't need to see Hillary Clinton's deleted emails: her incompetence is in plain sight. She pushed for a war in Libya, and today it's a training ground for ISIS. On this most important issue, Donald Trump is right. It's time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country."
He clearly says "On this most important issue, Donald Trump is right" and it's not really surprising, since Thiel is a libertarian.
You don't even need to be a libertarian or an isolationist to believe that the neoconservative approach is wrong.
The western world doesn't understand the mentality of Russia, they have had two regime collapses this century already. Putin believes that everything needs to be done to avoid a third one.
I'm not even in the US, but have been following the election closely. What a circus, both candidates are horrible choices. But Clinton's foreign policy is what scares me, at least based on what I have heard so far.
Another concern is some type of civil unrest after the election.
This is how Japan was pushed into WWII, and how China right now is being pushed in arming up.
Quick history lesson:
China, basically dominated the world, even when the world weren't aware of China's existence for most of the history, then when England and US came knocking into China's door, they managed to force China into a mix of submission, collapse and opening.
Then US tried to repeat the feat with Japan, starting with the infamous "black ships" (how the japanese called the mysterious US warships when japan still used wooden ships).
Japan then started a serious attempt to avoiding "being the new China", and started to literally imitate US and Europe: invade everywhere, and attempt to become a colonizing superpower.
This in the end is the reason why Japan ended in WWII.
Russia saw what happened to countries around them, Iraq was literally created by England, with borders intentionally crappy to create internal problems (Lawrence of Arabia publicy proposed this), US and Europe actions in Japan and Korea region basically turned Japan and Korea into virtual US colonies, in fact, Japan plans I mentioned earlier failed, badly, Japan DID became a "new China" that must obey US interests, and instead of "black ships" at their ports, ended with a permanent base in their territory.
Not only to Putin, but to the russian population, stuff like trying to sanction Russia, is viewed as an strongarm attempt to pull Russia into submission, to the russian population, the fact that they are becoming poorer due to US sanctions, and US allies oil-price meddling, isn't a reason to become angry at Putin, to them it is reason to consider US the ultimate enemies, and do their best to support Putin no matter what happens.
US, England and France seemly doesn't understand that after 2 centuries meddling in Asia in a imperialistic manner, one country that always has been very imperial themselves, will see them as a major threat and will never, ever, back down.
To Russia, nuclear war is more desirable than "slavery", it is better to die, than to submit.
(this is not even counting yet the psychological effects of Russia terrain... Russia geography is so fucked-up that only people that are mentally resilient and willing to endure famine, poverty and extreme situations will live there)
On the other hand, Trump has a huge amount of support for him personally that hasn't been seen before, so maybe he can leverage this against the neocons in his own party.
A vote for trump is a vote to end the republic. I don't think we're at that point yet, no matter how bad Hillary is.
I am a libertarian-authoritarian mix myself.
Basically, I believe the best government is a local authoritarian government, where variables are known, and the ruler is close to the population, for example Singapore.
When you go stupid-big sized countries (like US, Brazil, Russia...), you have a problem: these countries have too much land and populations to manage efficiently.
In those cases, the ideal solution would be a libertarian FEDERAL government, while local governments (municipalities and states) can do "whatever" they want as long it doesn't put national security in danger.
That said, there are some authoritarian rules, that if applied to the whole country, aren't 100% bad, they are not ideal, but it might work, for example avoiding war, encouraging reproduction (specially among the elites), protecting your economy from external threats, reducing the economy internal mess (subsidies specially are problematic), and so on.
I was curious about this, so I looked it up. From Thiel's writings on Cato Unbound:
> Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.
> It would be absurd to suggest that women’s votes will be taken away or that this would solve the political problems that vex us. While I don’t think any class of people should be disenfranchised, I have little hope that voting will make things better.
I'm not quite sure what he's trying to say. It sounds more like nonsense than any sort of actionable malice to me. (But then again, I don't really care about Thiel in the first place, so maybe I'm a little biased.)
Yeah, it's such a hassle trying to understand people who hold different opinions from yours. And reading their own words? Bor-ing! Better to just vaguely handwave some half-remembered boo-words you read in Vox and call it a day.
Or do we just put this in the "expensive new hobby" section and leave it at that.
Update: I want to hijack my own comment to ponder something.
As someone with no money and no influence, I find it hard to think about how to use money to buy influence as part of a grand plan, like many of the comments here are suggesting.
As a layman, I think in simple terms like discrimination, racism, sexism, etc... and my belief in fighting against all those things.
Am I short-sighted? Is there some greater human social structure that I am not aware of that can only be achieved by making such calculated investments? Despite all the immediately negative rhetoric.
Supporting Trump fits perfectly into this: if he loses, he gets egg on his face (which most people will forget fairly soon) and may lose out on a little startup dealflow, but if he wins, he becomes the sole connection between the Presidential Administration and Silicon Valley. That's worth a lot more than $12.5M.
I think he thinks the country is broken and _someone_ has to fix it. He's supporting Trump and investing in his campaign even at this late, seemingly forgone stage, in order to build credibility with Trump's base and conservatives in general. If he wasn't an immigrant I would think he might be aiming for the presidency himself, but he probably just wants to be an influencer or power broker.
> Famously, the only reason he went to seek fortune in the Silicon Valley was because he was denied a highly prestigious clerk position for a Supreme Court justice.
> It seems to me that Thiel originally wished to become a politician, and only stopped pursuing that path to seek his fortune in the Silicon Valley when he hit his first setback when applying to clerk for the Supreme Court.
Also, he's not U.S. born, which disqualifies him from being president anyway. He could potentially seek some other office...but I really doubt that he would want any position that makes him just like 99 other or 434 other people.
This will be opportune world for all kinds of right-wingers whose ideas are too extreme or too kooky to have been taken seriously before, but who are more toughtful than Trump.
In very different ways, Paul Ryan and Peter Thiel are positioning themselves for that world. As are a lot of others.
Though I find even that a bit odd. Would people not take a pledge seriously without having seen his demonstrated willingness to lose large sums of money?
The worst thing to happen to a famous brand is not bad press but rather becoming irrelevant and falling out of discussion.
Even if the Trump political brand crashes and burns, the broader trump brand of success and money just gets stronger...
This election was the ultimate win win for Trump.
This is why he can take all the risks he is taking, he has nothing to lose...which is the ultimate trump card!
Edit: spelling correction
No doubt starting a cable network is a good fallback position, but I don't buy the idea that this is all according to plan.
More likely, some in his campaign know he's going to lose and are looking for an out, while others (maybe including the candidate) still think he may win.
His brand recognition is way up throughout the world and my experience tells me that the negative view will not translate into his business brands once his political brand is not front and center.
I've studied branding extensively and I think, if he loses, his presidential run will still be a net win for him and his brand once the political fallout falls out of the news cycle.
edit: changes nothing to little
You have the personalities in Trump and Giuliani etc. You have the news content courtesy of Brietbart. You have lifestyle content courtesy of his real estate assets e.g. golf/travel shows etc. And he already owns a TV production company that made the Apprentice.
And don't forget that Lachlan Murdoch is now firmly in charge of Fox News and has always talked about it being less alt-right and more centre-right. This will leave a massive opening for Trump in the alt-right space. The real question is whether Fox will allow it on their global cable platforms.
Trump isn't conservative. He's a big government populist. Completely different despite him having an 'R' next to his name.
He is about as close to Cruz as Sanders was to Clinton (in terms of policy philosophy.)
By the way, I understand downvotes because I mentioned Cruz in a positive way, however let's keep in mind that we can disagree with economic philosophy and role of government and still be friends!
I want a flat tax and a repeal of FATCA and Cruz was the only candidate that supported that. If some Democrat comes along with that proposal, they'd get my vote too.
FATCA and it's unintended consequences have caused serious harm to many Americans overseas, so that was my primary issue this election.
The only reason I support the RNC this election is because they have FATCA repeal in the platform while the Democrat side both enacted FATCA as wel as expressed support for continuing it.
Here's an article that delves deeper into FATCA if anyone is interested: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21605911...
If a candidate had proposed to switch to only taxing US residents, plus apply some international pressure to close down tax havens, then I could see the point of repealing FATCA.
As bad as Trump is, at least he is not a theocrat.
Others may be reassured to hear Trump has only a 15% chance of winning, but it terrifies me. In Silicon Valley 15% is a good chance.
If there are 10 competitors and they all have between 5-10% chance of winning you have 15%. Compared to a 15%/85% split.
With an election it can usually be summed to important event: the vote. So that's why it doesn't terrify me at all. There's enough evidence now and in previous elections to show me he's not going to win the election. If the situation were say closer to Gore/Bush or even Romney/Obama pre-vote polling numbers, then maybe I'd be scared.
Agreed. (Though FWIW $1.25M is the amount he invested)
I hesitate to be explicit about what I think is actually going on but if you've read my posts on the Stagnation Hypothesis or watched Peter Thiel's videos on Youtube (low view counts, so I know you're not watching them!) you'll know there is a rather disturbing big picture which most people are oblivious to.
It's not something that can be both summarized and understood.
Look this isn't really a temporary interest for me, I'm something of a 'Thiel-logist'. You know how there exist Kremlinlogists? Same thing as that. I watch every video and read every book he writes or reads. This is not some celebrity fetish, but to do with the rich vein of ideas.
This is because I am convinced something very very important is going on and I want to understand more. I think I understand about half of it and I had a holy fuck mind blown moment a few years ago. Remember how Thiel took out Gawker nearly a decade later. This is as nothing in comparison, this is the grand-daddy of all long games.
Ah, so it's not real then.
RenTec is not supporting Trump.
Simons, for what it's worth, is supporting Clinton. As, I'm almost sure, does the majority of employees. Mercer is the outlier.
I have considered this in wondering why he would support Trump.
Yes, this poll is an outlier because their methodology is very different than most other polls.
Yes, Nate Silver has a very different outlook on the election, but Nate Silver was also not very reliable during the primary season (although that is, by his admission, because primaries don't have very good polling).
If I had to make a[n extremely uneducated guess], it's because most polling is done over the phone, and I don't think "people who answer their phone when they don't recognize the number" is a very good random sampling of voters in the US.
I don't think this race is nearly as over as most people seem to believe, which is why, if you want to beat Trump, it is REALLY IMPORTANT (all caps!) that you get out and vote!
It's, of course, very possible that "this time it's different" as they say every time. He is certainly an unconventional candidate. However, I'll throw my lot in every time with the MANY polls who are trying to account for this, and the MANY poll aggregators who are trying to make sense out of this madness.
I think 538 was actually quite reliable during the primary season. Pretty much bang on, in fact.
Everything they said anti-trump was basically opinion and they have been roundly chastised (as deserved) for treating punditry as fact.
The reasoning is that pollsters have herd behaviours - they believe publishing an outlier they will lose them credibility so they suppress inconvenient results and will rework methodologies and weightings to avoid it. For many, election polling is a loss leader - its publicity to get their name out there for commercial services. The credibility of the outlier is increased because it has escaped the herd pressure despite the incentives.
To extract information we need to carefully revise methodology behind outlier predictions, and such an activity is a complex task for skilled data analyst.
This feels a lot like the atmosphere over here (in Britain) just before the Brexit vote.
Many people thought it was a guaranteed Remain vote, and woke up to a terrible fright on that Friday morning.
If you look at states that are contested, things look bad for Trump, even in the ones where demographics favor him he is not getting polling results that point to a win (an example would be Pennsylvania).
Where they eliminated that one 19 year old, and saw very little effect on the poll.
How is that a compelling answer?
It's like if a news investigation found that a company had poor quality control and features a photo of a defective product in their writeup and the company's response was "we issued a refund for the product the news team purchased."
All I can say is that you sound an awful lot like the 2012 talking heads who were convinced Romney would win despite all the polling pointing to the contrary. For the record, Nate Silver's biggest mistake in the primaries was not listening to the polls enough. For him (and every other data-driven forecaster) to be getting the general wrong they'd have to be making the exact opposite mistake as before.
I'd be happy to give you 10:1 odds on Trump losing. And I'm biased here: a few months ago, I was convinced Trump would win.
1 responder should not move a 2500 person poll by 1%
That seems highly disingenuous a response.
I say so because of its polling methodology, which is unique.
If you're a politics/polling nerd, this poll is interesting. If you're not, then yes, you are probably better off either just reading 538, or looking at the RCP polling average.
But this poll performed well in 2012 with the same methodology. As a polling nerd, wouldn't you be interested in why it is producing unusual results this year and what implications that might have for polling in general?
There are plenty of aggregation sites which are far better at smoothing out any issues:
They all show Trump losing in a landslide with Clinton getting around 330 EC votes.
We don't know who is right/wrong until after the election so it is better to assume that a range of different polls taken at different times with different methodologies is likely to be more accurate.
Now I can't sleep...
1. They're the best data we have
2. We have no reason to believe they're incorrect
3. There is REALLY no reason to believe they're dishonest
Is 100% intellectually dishonest.
This is exactly what happened 4 years ago, and apparently some people have not learned from their tremendous mistake.
If you want to know why "turnout at a campaign event" is a crappier metric than "real actual scientific data", I don't know how else to help, other than to point to other instances in which it has failed:
"Mitt drawing larger crowds"
"Donald Trump continues to draw YUGE crowds. That matters less than he thinks."
"Trump brags about crowd size but will it turn into votes?"
I do not know or care who you support in the Presidential election. However, I suggest you get realistic about your metrics, as you're way off in fantasyland at the moment, as far as I can tell.
If you turn out to be incorrect, I hope you learn from this experience. I know I will, if the data turns out to be wrong.
When the polls show him to be ahead, it's evidence that the voters love him. When he's behind, it's evidence that the polling is rigged.
Campaigns also conduct their own internal polling which may or may not have biases, but they're not released; they're used for the campaign. So it only benefits them to know what's actually going on. Trump's is one of the few campaigns that seems only interested in good news, and in not learning from what their internal polling tells them.
That said, of course all campaigns will selectively brag about the polls that make them look good, and quietly ignore those that don't.
Again, the polls are extremely reliable in this country. If you can't see that, you're unlikely to be swayed by yet another data point when this election is complete.
You can find signs that people in the establishment personally favored the establishment candidate – the least surprising revelation in political history – but there's no evidence that lead to any concrete action. That's why the only claims of rigging have been intentional misrepresentation based on the knowledge that some people like you would repeat those claims without checking the sources.
Hint: it's the same reason why the alleged victim is going around telling his supporters to vote for Hillary. If you trusted his judgement enough to think he should be president, why not trust his analysis now?
And that reason is elementary game theory. The only people with incentives to claim that the Democratic primaries were rigged are those who will be left with no political influence if the Democrats fare poorly.
When the Republicans do well, it's because they value party unity over literally everything else. One of HRC's strengths is that she brings the same thinking to the Democrats. For anyone within the party, working against her carries no conceivable upside. And as we've seen in DWS's case, working for HRC means you'll be well taken care of, no matter what.
Basically, if Sanders or anyone else on the left has beef with the DNC, they will be much better off if they wait to bring it up until after the election. And maybe not even then.
Is it not (in absence of any evidence) equally plausible that the type of voter that will vote for Trump is more predisposed to attend a campaign event than other voters?
Seems to not support that claim.
Polls are objective not subjective.
I get what you're trying to say, and most polling seems to be pretty objective, but you can absolutely do subjective polling. You just have to target the right demo and you can make any poll say anything you want.
Just say you were going to vote for Trump. Someone stops you on the street, or call you up; would you admit it?
The guy is an absolute joke of a person on so many levels. He's stupid. He's just aweful.
But there's a tiny bit of Trump in a lot of us buried deep in that ID.
Personally, I do think we need to get much more vigilant on immigration, even though Obama has sent more illegials home than any other president. Would I admit this in public--hell no.
And I have never believed in Globilization. Would I admit this at work--hell no.
I really think a lot of people will vote for Trump in the privacy of that booth.
I won't because I won't vote for a president this year, or will I?
I think so too. There is an interesting phenomenon there. Just guessing but suspect on the surface it is a very accepting, liberal place, perhaps one which encourages and celebrates diversity.
Where can I find the source for this? I may need it when arguing with people...
Of course, I'm more than open to being wrong; certain classes of illegal immigrants have been given defacto amnesty, and Obama's spoken in their favor, but no doubt others continue to be persecuted.
Sorry to tell you, data is in, and it's helping to pull billions out of abject poverty around the globe.
The real problem with being a true check is partisanship on the court. By now, it seems to be essentially accepted that there are "liberal judges" and "conservative judges", and that they will rule accordingly. I cringe every time I hear that, because SCOTUS, like any other court, is supposed to rule on what the law is, not on what it should be; and one's political affiliation should not affect the former. In practice, of course, it does matter these days, and it is a really bad thing, especially in an institution that is 1) so small, and 2) not providing any mechanism to hold them responsible.
Other types of fraud (ballot stuffing, voting multiple times, voting when you're not allowed to etc.) are exceedingly rare, and it would have to happen at a massive scale for it to make an actual impact.
That's just not going to happen, especially with it being a felony.
And there is no evidence that electoral fraud is likely to decide the election. In fact it's looking like efforts to prevent it e.g. in Indiana are far more likely to influence the election.
He is down by on average 7 points nationally for a reason.
And a candidacy that threatens opponents with prison, encourages voter intimidation, enlists foreign powers for cyberwarfare, intimates that any result will be rigged, distroys the norms critical to government functioning and a dozen other things, is the best investment someone who hates public control of policy could make win or loose.
It should also not be overlooked that Charles Harder (hogan's lawyer paid for by Thiel) is now Melania Trump's lawyer in 2 lawsuits against media outlets, and also is working for Roger Ailes, the disgraced deviant sexual harrassing adviser to Donald Trump and former head of Fox News channel.
Also please don't forget that Trump has promised to "open up" libel laws so that he can sue news organizations when they report the truth about his depraved life or bring attention to his abject incompetence.
Thiel clearly shares at least one ideological viewpoint with Trump and his ilk (i.e., removal of freedom of the press)... the more interesting question I think is why?
Trump, on the other hand, is a real danger.
I would not lump those two issues together.
we haven't had an adversarial press in eight years and only one adversarial party in the same
Hillary's a hawk, so let's support the obviously erratic, racist, bigoted, tax-dodging, incompetent, incoherent, sexually assaulting idiot who looks very much like a new Hitler and thinks if you win an election you get to lock up your opponents like a crazy third world state.
Boggles my mind that 'Murica' 'Freedom' can bring out such a petty, childish and obviously self destructive urge to vote for Trump.
What am I missing? Like with brexit, what the rest of the world seems to miss is the EU is a corrupt beuracracy with a privileged and out of touch political elite marching toward federalisation while deliberately ignoring it's citizens explicit wishes (I voted remain). Foreigners don't seem to report that, they portray the single market as somehow free, without a heavy cost and the British as inherently self destructive.
So what is it about Trump that's so compelling that is not reported to us? As the rest of the world is so horrified by this vile person, this demagogue. Why, America, why? How did he almost win? How did he even get 5% of voters?
https://morecrows.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/unnecessariat/ is also excellent reading.
It isn't complicated: there is an apparently large population of Americans who are tired of the establishment. Things have not been well for them for many years; wages are stagnant, they haven't benefited from the recovery much. These people don't want to see another politically established Bush or Clinton in the Whitehouse. This was embodied by Bernie Sanders on the left, and Donald Trump on the right.
Trump is the "I'm sick of politicians" vote, and benefits from "right place, right time".
The real issue that I wish American's focused on was their weak democracy. Why accept a two party system fuelled by private money?
Similarly to how German's where fed up with the war reparations and glooming economy which made them vote for the Nazi party.
When you say "the obviously erratic, racist, bigoted, tax-dodging, incompetent, incoherent, sexually assaulting idiot", you're taking the opposition beliefs as fact, just like the Republicans who claim Clinton is an "obviously erratic deathly ill man-hating murdering warmongering power-hungry alcoholic liar."
Look at each candidate from their point of view. For example:
> thinks if you win an election you get to lock up your opponents like a crazy third world state.
Trump does not believe he can lock people up arbitrarily. He believes he can appoint a special prosecutor to look into Clinton's alleged wrongdoing surrounding her emails. He believes the only reason no prosecution happened already is because of political pressure.
There's a huge difference there. You may still, reasonably, find that belief concerning, but it's on a whole different level than "Trump believes he can lock up his opponents" just because he wins. Generally when you look into any claim about Trump or Clinton the reality is a lot more reasonable than one side or the other makes it seem. There are billions of dollars and massive, organized campaigns doing everything they can to paint everything the other person does as insane.
In general, the Clinton campaign is better at this, because they don't go around actively antagonizing the media like the Trump campaign does, and they have a lot more experience in the field. That said, you do still see of total nonsense about Clinton treated as fact even in "objective" sources - let alone the kind of insanity that propagates in the conservative media. For example, the latest meme is that the Clintons had Scalia murdered because of a wet-works email (that is actually about something totally different if you do even a little investigation.)
That's actually the way most people in Europe see him. Our source is not any opposition but Donald himself: listening to his interviews and speeches lets him certainly come across as "erratic" and "incoherent", he bragged about "sexually assaulting" women, and how he talks about and treats minorities makes him seem "racist" and "bigoted". As he has no clue about the state of world politics and no coherent policy proposals (flip-flopping during the same speech, interview or even sentence) the "idiot" label seems hardly avoidable. You could argue the "tax-dodging" though, for all I care.
I also don't see him as a new Hitler, more like a Mussolini type.
>just like the Republicans who claim Clinton is an "obviously erratic deathly ill man-hating murdering warmongering power-hungry alcoholic liar."
In Germany she would clearly be a conservative, which I'm not, but listening to her she comes across as extremely smart and very coherent, so "erratic" really doesn't apply. No idea why I would think she is "deathly ill", never saw anything that made her come across as "man-hating", no idea where "murdering" comes from; "alcoholic"? Never heard about drinking problems. That leaves "warmongering", "power-hungry" and "liar": maybe not more than the average American President in the last 200 years.
Specifically, look for his insults aimed at reporters and journalists. This man is unhinged and unqualified. He is currently riling up his followers by claiming that the election will be rigged. I am concerned the consequences of that message
For all the crazy things Trump is saying he actually have some points that are far more important to discuss than whatever he said about women or journalists.
With Hillary you get a seasoned politician who is going to do what they have always been doing. Absolutely nothing. That's besides of course making a huge mess internationally. And a continued support for those specialt interests who pays for her campaigns.
With Hillary you get an absurd potential continuation of a two family dynasty having controlled this country for almost 40 years with only one interruption.
With Hillary you have a woman how is point her fingers at Trump for his taxes yet have done absolutely nothing to change the taxes and is herself using tax-havens where she channels all the money she and Bill make on international speeches, speeches they only have been paid for because they were politicians. Something the american people paid for and got nothing out of. (Not a single job created out of all that money they accumulated)
With Hillary you get both her support for Iraq and several other international faillures.
With Hillary you get a continuation of exactly what everyone agrees can't continue like this.
Something have to change IMO.
This is his own fault of course but that does not change my interpretation of what I consider most important.
I don't care what he said about women or what cigars Hillarys husband put into what interns something. Clinton was a great president, his (to use modern feminist rhetorics) exploit of his white male privilege to force a young women into obedience doesn't change the fact that he was a great president. Neither will Trumps rhetorics change the fact that he has more important points than Hillary in my book.
So I will live with his language just as I lived with Clintons sexual escapades, Bush absurd wars, Hillarys support for them and Obamas draconian use of targeted killing and it's collateral damage.
2. HRC pays taxes. Lots of them.
3. Politicians on both sides earn lucrative speaking fees after leaving office. (Giuliani had a great thing going for a while.) Are you criticizing the practice in general or just HRC?
Definitely. I'm far enough to the Left that I resent Trump for being so bad that Clinton can pin both parties' godawful policies all on him.
It's a shocking display of gutlessness. As Trump would say, disgusting!
Another example could be that polling/registration station employees can also influence votes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NTq1tlBwqI&t=2m20s
Some might even consider that the FBI rigged the elections by allowing Hillary to walk free...
On the surface, individually, I think that Trump probably looks like a worse person than Hillary, but if you look at each candidate as the sum of their social connections - I think Hillary turns out to be much, much worse.
Hillary Clinton is heavily influenced by big finance. That's where the bulk of her friends and her connections come from. Even her son in law is an investment banker (not a very good one - He lost his clients 90% of their investment - But he still lives in a $10m apartment). At least Trump built houses and apartments for people. He didn't build his wealth by leveraging political power, insider information or asymmetrical reward structures.
I agree with Thiel that big finance is responsible for increasing costs of living. Big finance captures a lot of value from the economy but it doesn't create any real value on its own. Whenever I've spoken to someone who works/worked in finance, it's clear that a large portion of their profits come from 'grey area' insider trading.
I think that the main reason why most people aren't aware of this is because people like Hillary have been running the show and legitimizing the whole industry (and allowing them to get away with more and more stuff).
If Hillary gets elected, I'm going to quit software engineering and work in finance instead. If the world is getting worse, I'm going to have to adapt and become worse myself - I refuse to let myself become a loser. If you can't beat them, join them.
> At least Trump built houses and apartments for people. He didn't build his wealth by leveraging political power.
All he said during the primary was that he was leveraging political power by donations in the past and his selling point was being self-funded.
On top of that he didn't build his wealth. He inherited it while declaring bankruptcy several times along the way. He doesn't release his tax returns and has been involved in fraud multiple times eg. Trump university.
It escapes me how from your premises you conclude that the problem you identified, big finance, will be broken apart or regulated by Donald Trump.
Indeed. So many Clinton supporters overlook her voting record and justify it despite some very questionable decisions.
Ideally, I would have picked Bernie Sanders, but the elites wouldn't allow it.
At this point, it seems very unlikely that Trump will get elected. So Thiel isn't getting access to a future President.
Plus, in addition to the monetary cost of the donation there's definitely a very real reputational cost. A lot of people in SV hate Trump and are completely mystified as to Thiel's support. (Personally, I'm also confused as to how a self-described libertarian would support a candidate who opposes freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and increased government control over the internet.)
I like Samuel Hammond's analysis. His shorthand for Thiel's political philosophy is "corporate feudalism":
Strange to be investing this late in the race though.
He's participating the democratic process, would be interested to hear his rationale rather than a bunch of speculations about what he may or may not believe.
Then there's Palantir. Even if Trump doesn't win, the "law and order" rhetoric is resonating with a lot of americans. Trump wants to ban muslims, put together a deportation force, bring back stop and frisk, more border control, nukes for everyone, boots on the ground to fight ISIS, more surveillance, more military spending. All of these would lead to more government contracts for Palantir.
That's a fair point. Palantir is very well-positioned to be the IBM of Trumpism.
Oh, and the Nazis did try to make them:
That last clause is often overlooked or misunderstood, but it is critical.
It is, however, "do whatever you want" in that it implies no non-negative social duties, ie, it doesn't require you proactively do anything to be part of society or that you seek to help others in society -- merely that your harm to them come through passive actions or side-effects of legally permitted actions.
It might be better to explain libertarianism as "rights over duties", in that it essentially asserts you have no social obligation which is more fundamental than your rights.
Others disagree, obviously.
Any discussion can devolve to reductio-ad-absurdum if one is determined to do so.
But yes, that is the next most important division. Right libertarians believe that there is a natural right to property ownership. Therefore, infringement on that right is an aggression, and using violence to protect it is simple self-defense. Left libertarians believe that private property is a social construct, and that it has negative social effects at large scale (a few would even say that it has them at any scale), and so reject it, and the use of violence to protect it.
The other notion of freedom developed in the late Roman empire which came to mean a lord's right to do whatever he wants with his property, including his slaves. This notion of freedom, indistinguishable from power, lies at the heart of the Neo-Reaction movement.
You're conflating laissez-faire or free market capitalism with a plutocracy (society ruled by the wealthiest). They're diametrically opposed systems.
Does that mean I'm not free to do pushups?
Does this clear it up for you?
Libertarians are nothing but outright hypocrites in arguing that government shouldn't be required to pay the economic damages of its coercing people to adhere to policy they favor (eg, maintaining a free-market, private-property based economy with courts enforcing contracts) while preaching about how people shouldn't be coerced.
Even in theory, libertarians are hypocrites because they fundamentally advocate for failing to pay for the externalities of their coercive system, and all supposed benefits of libertarianism can be traced to temporary boosts caused by (inefficient) capitalization of that failure to pay for externalities. Libertarianism enriches a few by creating 0.9 units wealth for every 1.0 units of collective suffering it implements over the current system, but hides this fundamentally externality driven mechanism behind the spread of the suffering (not a lot to everyone) and calling it freedom for many to be allowed to suffer at the hands of others without the instrument of state to implement collective relief.
Libertarianism is nothing but a sham political and economic movement that is wholly and fundamentally dishonest about its benefits and costs, by design, deeply self-inconsistent in its models and policies, and is intended to trick people in to accepting serfdom in a return to feudalism by calling it "freedom".
Libertarians, as a rule, just seem to have not thought very hard about their position or be selling you something (usually that you should be a serf because they fancy that they won't be a serf too in the new system).
However, the dishonesty of American Libertarians stems from something further than that. Namely, American Libertarians are neo-feudalists in practice, but won't own up to being neo-feudalists.
I find this to be dishonest: they, so far as I can tell, have done this purely because they want to advocate neo-feudalism and its benefits without having to justify the benefits in terms of the costs, so they use terminology where it's harder to find the costs in academic literature and deny that any such costs exist. Nothing different than creationism rebranding as "intelligent design" or anti-abortion as "pro-life".
Saying that libertarianism isn't about coercion and constraint is like saying that the GPL or copyleft in general isn't about copyright. Both are equally wrong: the GPL absolutely requires copyright law in order for it to work, and similarly libertarianism absolutely requires coercion and constraint.
It's just that there's this sleight of hand where for some reason, most people are so used to property right that they don't even notice it anymore. Talk about successful framing!
Capitalism is of course not an -ism at all. No one invented it. It's that freedom in the context of democratically agreed regulation whereby we can all trade goods and our labor with others and thereby generate value, usually monetary but by no means exclusively. We can even trade kind words and actions - they too contribute value.
Over the last century, billions of people have had the repertoire of 'things they can do' dramatically extended by the extension of an environment which allows people at all levels of income to take part in this productive exchange of items (abstract or physical) of value.
The very idea that people can have exclusive control of some goods and then have to trade for other ones is capitalism. Property is not the default state of the universe, it had to be invented and enforced before it meant anything.
And while it can be called a freedom in a certain sense, property is also a restriction. In order for me to own something, you have be denied the right to use it without my permission.
Which is not to say property rights are not a good thing on the whole, but they should be compared as one economic system, in terms of their outcomes, alongside the alternatives.
That honestly does not seem like a very compelling reason. I think Thiel can easily have a bigger impact on the world outside the Supreme Court.
I personally see him more of a cunning guy than just smart because I find his actions disturbing.
More precisely it is the high level implications of the Stagnation Hypothesis. You won't know it from HN or a survey of typical developers but the people who really run Silicon Valley have a set of beliefs about the world which are very different to the people who work for them.
Watch this all the way through.
Lots of top technology leaders have come out vehemently against Trump,  including Sam Altman, who I would definitely include in "the people who really run Silicon Valley." 
To be clear, I'm not disputing Thiel's politics. I think he's right about a lot of things. They have near-zero overlap with Trump's policies. Trump is easily the least libertarian Republican presidential candidate in recent history.
A source close to [Thiel] says the investor feels the country needs fixing, and Mr. Trump can do it.
The first part I completely get: there are a lot of things that need fixing. It's the second part that has me scraping my jaw off the floor.
It would be helpful if you could provide a rational and concise summary here. I'd genuinely like to learn more.
I would like to know what Peter Thiel's solution to our broken economy is.
His solution has been to advocate increased immigration. Yep, wages are flat, lets bring more people so more people can compete for fewer jobs.
Which doesn't square with his candidate's rigidly anti-immigrant policy proposals.
That isn't true. Peter Thiel has opposed low skill immigration.
YC's silence on a partner's outspoken support of Trump is disgraceful, and sends the most shameful message about our industry.
Peter Thiel is an influential person. He has created and helped build some of the richest companies in the world, an extremely impressive effort. However, his success, intentionally or not, has catapulted him into a leadership role for many in the tech industry, and an advisor for many more. As a result, we should hold him to a higher standard, because he has so much more sway and influence than your every day person. When Thiel made this contribution he crossed the line of neutrality, moving from expressing his speech into an action. Whether this action is a good one or not is debatable, but to pretend that it is not an action is incorrect. We should allow everyone to express their freedom of speech. We should definitely criticize those who perform actions we deem harmful, since to act as a bystander comes close to being complacent with the action.
It's not a false dichotomy, for two reasons. First is it's not a dichotomy - you need two things for it, and you have here just one claim - that Thiel should not be ruined for expressing support for Trump. Also, it is not false - it is completely true, he should not, otherwise we are on the way to totalitarian unity of opinion, where dissent is not tolerated.
> Peter Thiel is an influential person.
So is it ok to support people you don't like, but only if you are not influential? Once a person is influential, and their opinions actually does matter, they must agree with you or it is beyond the acceptable normal? It looks like for you only acceptable opposition is a weak and inefficient one. Having strong and influential opposition is something you are not willing to tolerate, but powerless and useless dissent is completely OK. It's a step away from not tolerating any dissent at all, but very small and largely meaningless step.
> When Thiel made this contribution he crossed the line of neutrality, moving from expressing his speech into an action.
Thiel does not owe anybody any obligation to be neutral, and of course he is not. Of course he did it in support of Trump, and it's completely normal. "Speech" does not mean only literally producing acoustical vibration with your mouth, it is a much broader term and has been for centuries. It means a multitude of actions done in support of political point or candidate you prefer, including donating money to the causes you prefer. His expression of his political opinion is not some fault you can tolerate, but only if he hides it well and it doesn't matter. It's a basic right any person of a democratic country is entitled to, and it is a right that millions of persons exercise proudly every day. Thiel is one of them, and there's absolutely nothing exceptional in what he did or is doing.
The only difference is that he is doing it in support of the cause you oppose. That may be unpleasant for you - as is a row of millionaires and billionaires routinely supporting the causes I hate is for me - but it's in no way abnormal or unheard of or beyond what is normally done in US politics.
> but to pretend that it is not an action is incorrect.
Of course it's an action. Nobody ever claimed otherwise, including me. What I said is claiming his action somehow is exceptional is completely false, and trying to get him and everybody he associates with ostracized for the fact he did it betrays intolerance to opposing opinions which can develop into a full blown totalitarian mindset if left unchecked.
> We should definitely criticize those who perform actions we deem harmful,
Criticizing him and demanding his peers to ostracize him is different.
To believe that somehow our leaders only need to be held to the same standard as we are is a notion that works only in theory. If a normal, every day person commits a small crime, say speeding, it is a routine procedure. If a billionaire speeds, it becomes a story. Because leaders hold so much influence and sway, criticizing them is not a direct criticism on them, it is criticism on the group of people influenced by the leader. Thiel's vote is not a singular one, it is a vote that has a dramatic effect on those influenced by him. Is this not a sufficient reason to bring outcry against him?
> It means a multitude of actions done in support of political point or candidate you prefer, including donating money to the causes you prefer. His expression of his political opinion is not some fault you can tolerate, but only if he hides it well and it doesn't matter. It's a basic right any person of a democratic country is entitled to, and it is a right that millions of persons exercise proudly every day.
Where is the line between speech and action drawn then? I can't go out and destroy property I dislike and hide behind the notion I was "expressing my right of free speech". Thiel's donation is massive, far larger than any regular donation amount from a common man. Does this still qualify as speech?
> What I said is claiming his action somehow is exceptional is completely false, and trying to get him and everybody he associates with ostracized for the fact he did it betrays intolerance to opposing opinions which can develop into a full blown totalitarian mindset if left unchecked.
Anything and everything can lead to negative effects if taken to an extreme. However, to preemptively withhold criticism because it has a chance of leading to negative consequences if left unchecked is an awful rule to hold yourself to, since where are we at otherwise? Endlessly creating equivalencies where they do not exist? Blatant trying to stay neutral in the face of overwhelming disgust? This election, as I'm sure anyone will agree, is nothing like the norm. One side has attacked the fundamental structures of society that we have held ourselves to, when is the point of no return? We (as a collective group of people who enjoy the merits of democracy) should realize when some ideas fall outside of the moral lines, and what else decides moral lines than a society?
>Criticizing him and demanding his peers to ostracize him is different.
I'm sure many people who agree with idlewords don't completely agree with him word for word. Is it wrong to demand people who have both 1. publicly disparaged Trump and 2. collaborated with someone who supports Trump on a massive scale to pick a side of the fence? If idlewords believes that Thiel is acting unethically, and that Thiel is simply a business partner to YC, is it wrong of idlewords to ask that YC stop doing business with someone he perceives to be unethical?
Of course not, unless you routinely outcry agains people the try to influence other's votes - like journalists, political pundits, campaign workers, prominent bloggers, etc. When last time you outcried against George Soros or Tom Stayer spending money in support of political causes? I'd venture a guess - never.
Unless, of course, the problem is not supporting. The problem is supporting the case you oppose. In which case, half of the country should boycott the other half, and independents should boycott everyone.
> I can't go out and destroy property I dislike and hide behind the notion I was "expressing my right of free speech".
Right, because it's not your property. You can't donate other's money - though unions routinely do that, and so does DOJ recently, but that's a topic for another day - but you can donate your own. I can't believe this distinction is a problem for you. Your property - you do what you want. Not yours - you don't.
> Thiel's donation is massive, far larger than any regular donation amount from a common man. Does this still qualify as speech?
Of course. Just as editorial in NYT is massively more influential than a tweet of an obscure geek with 10 followers, all spam bots. Both are speech. I still can't see why it is a problem for you - do you have a problem with New York Times or Washington Post influencing millions with their speech and being large corporations with a lot of money? Do you have problem with what MSNBC is doing called speech? If not, why understanding that what Thiel is doing is a speech is a problem?
Let's ask another question - if you learned that Tom Stayer donated a million dollars to a Clinton-supporting PAC, would you say it's something exceptional that should raise an outcry from everybody?
> However, to preemptively withhold criticism because it has a chance of leading to negative consequences if left unchecked is an awful rule to hold yourself to
Nobody asks to withhold criticism, as I said, criticizing somebody and demanding that he will be ostracized by his peers is a different thing.
Also, criticizing somebody for doing what everybody is routinely doing and what is completely normal and a right of every citizen to do, exercised daily by thousands - is not a valid criticism. Valid criticism has to outline what is different that Thiel did that nobody else is doing. So far nothing was shown.
> This election, as I'm sure anyone will agree, is nothing like the norm.
Yes, it features the worst candidates from both sides on my memory.
> One side has attacked the fundamental structures of society that we have held ourselves to,
Yes, I think the handling of Clinton case by the FBI and the shameful refusal of Comey to prosecute, despite numerous rank-and-file advising to do so and ample evidence of wrongdoing, is a disgusting affront to a principle of rule of law we hold dear. But I don't think it is new for this elections - principle of rule of law and accountability of government, of limited government and separation of powers, is under attack for a long time. Members of the government routinely lie to the Congress and the public, routinely use their office for partisan purposes, routinely circumvent the law and sometimes blatantly disregard it, routinely avoid accountability and brazenly destroy evidence in clear view of the public, and are almost never held responsible for it. This election would not change this, most likely, as neither of the candidates is fit to do anything about it.
> We (as a collective group of people who enjoy the merits of democracy) should realize when some ideas fall outside of the moral lines, and what else decides moral lines than a society?
Yes. One of these ideas is that if somebody supports a person we disagree with, he must be run out of town tarred and feathered and everybody who associated with him must undergo struggle sessions and repent of their association, lest the same fate occurs to them. This is a very dangerous idea, and I agree that we should realize its danger before it's too late.
> Is it wrong to demand people who have both 1. publicly disparaged Trump and 2. collaborated with someone who supports Trump on a massive scale to pick a side of the fence?
Yes, it is.
people giving other people shit for supporting bad ideas is a fairly important part of the marketplace of ideas.
do you draw any line where support of abhorrent politics is grounds for social shunning?
He's not out to make some policy changes; he's openly arguing for throwing out the regime of this country. Now, I don't think he'd be able to do that but at best, he's so callous and lacking of judgement that he'd be utterly manipulated by people, inside and outside US, to do so.
Trump and Hillary are not on any sort of comparable level; Trump is utterly out of what's acceptable political behavior.
And I haven't even come to his personality; which I would argue in a civilized society would be enough to distance yourself with.
So Thiel's actions must be considered in this regard. He's not some poor, misinformed person. He's not someone who is so ravaged by the economy that he's judgement compromised. He should not be prone to demagogues putting the blame on immigrants.
The only explanation I can come up with is that he's arguing for Trump because he's arguing the current political system must be fully debased and must be replaced with something else. That could be an argument but if you are supporting Trump, the only thing that can replace it with is a form of authoritarianism tinged with racism, bigotry and outright hatred.
It's just disingenuous for me to see PG, who while I rarely agree with his views on most things outside of tech, ignore this. He's said that Thiel's actions are a blind spot and it would be a slippery slope to "punish" Thiel for his political stance.
Firstly; calling this a "blind spot" is being naive at best; misleading at worst. Thiel has contributed millions, spoke at a keynote. And he's obviously smart and thoughtful. This is not just some guy being tricked.
And no one is calling for a punishment. YC, by way of taking Thiel's money, is now supporting financially (I assume Thiel invested in YC to make money), this person. This isn't firing someone, which is a different kind of relationship where you involve someone's livelihood.
What idlewords (and others like me) are asking for is just a statement of disapproval of Thiel's actions. Just like Zuckerberg did when Marc A. spoke about the wonders of colonization for Indians (and even then he had the decency of apologizing for his callousness) or when Musk withdrew from FWD.US when he realized there were fossil fuel companies on board as well.
This isn't hard.
I'd like to know your perspective of the explicit amorality of the SV "quirky-elite", especially the YC-Facebook nexus. To me, Altman, Zuckerberg, and Thiel all very obviously have ulterior scifi motives (live forever, solve the question they think underlies existence, etc) predicated upon a sort of über anthropic principle, i.e., "I'm one in a million so there is a special underlying meaning to my life."
I'm only guessing this from afar. Do you think I'm on base with this, or is their issue just hubris?
At the heart is a very undemocratic belief that the most capable people should 'hack' the world to their own ends, and the rest of us will catch up.
i.e. you're completely wrong about what it means to "bully". You should be ashamed of yourself for your abuse of the English language.
They oppose unjust shaming. If someone believes in stronger borders and they get called a racist for that it's an unreasonable form of shame that happens way too often.
* Thiel is not an employee of Altman or Graham's
* Graham himself publicly claims that a strength of startups is that one can choose business partners without regard for moral norms, unlike employees.
Thiel is billionaire and he probably has way over fuck you money. He can do anything he wants. Most of us don't have fuck you money, and that's exactly the point - creating the climate in the industry where not being politically conformant, expressing or supporting unpopular point of view, doing something not conforming to the majority opinion or fashionable opinion - means being ostracized, being denied job prospects, being fired, being uninvited from conferences, being target of personal destruction campaigns, etc. Being a pariah.
Thiel is not the point, he'll be more fine than 99.999% of people here in any case. Creating the intolerant lynch mob culture is the point. They may be building this machine to use it against Thiel or Eich or some other large target, but once it's working, the potential target would be everybody. Such things are never put in storage after the first use, they are only used more and more. And what I am seeing that not only this machine is being created and successfully tested, people are enthusiastically cheering it because it's being used against people they dislike. That's always how it starts - but it never stops there.
I agree with you on "the potential target would be everybody."
Nobody is "lynching" anyone here.
* It would be weird to suggest that Zuckerberg gets a free pass from the likes of DHH and Maciej Ceglowski.
* Zuckerberg's affiliation with Thiel is less voluntary than Graham and Altman's. Fb took on Thiel before the Trump election, and they're bound together by contract.
* Attacking Facebook for not taking a stand against Trump would probably be counterproductive, because it would play into the false Trump narrative that the media elites are conspiring against him when in reality it's simply human decency creating all his public adversaries.
"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. that goes for all of us, but especially those, who by their rank, have a leadership role."
This is really just a lame, Valley-lensed Pascalian wager. Say nothing and maintain a flatline with YC applicants (who care mostly for YC demo day flow) and the notoriously humorless Thiel; say something and enjoy only the satisfaction of having demonstrated (Apple-like) courage of conviction -- while risking whatever havoc Thiel wishes to wreak upon you.
An employer has no business in their employees sexual lives or politic preferences.
"Supporting bigotry" and "gay" are not interchangeable moral categories.
Graham isn't Thiel's employer. Neither is Altman. Thiel is a business partner of Altman's, and to a lesser extent (Graham's involvement with YC being at present attenuated) to Graham.
Meanwhile, Paul Graham is literally the dean of the movement to recognize tech-style startups as singular among modes of human endeavor. To my chagrin, he's managed to redefine a mainstream business term ("startup") through sheer force of will. And among the things that make his "startups" unique, so important that it got a callout in Graham's most famous essay about them, is that affiliation with partners and founders isn't subject to discrimination law.
I refuse to accept that Paul Graham simultaneously believes that it's right to refuse to start a company with a mother of small children, but wrong to refuse to maintain a partnership with someone who campaigns stridently for intolerance --- worse, someone who donates sum so large it makes the front page of CNN to the campaign for intolerance even as that campaign rallies to attack the vote itself.
A core understanding of justice and equal citizenship exists, even between libertarians and supports of teachers unions. We should be able to agree on these principles even if we agree on nothing else. By campaigning for intolerance, giving speeches in favor of intolerance, and funding intolerance, Thiel places himself outside that understanding. Our disagreements aren't merely political, but about the urgency of preserving equal citizenship.
Paul Graham knows this. He has obligated himself, in his own words, to oppose Trump. Were Trump to win, Graham says, he'd "join the resistance". We cross no lines of civility or fairness by pointing out what it takes for Graham to live up to his own words.
Justice does not require that Paul Graham stand idly by while Thiel works to destroy the society that makes Graham's life's work possible.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
I'm literally just a guy with a Twitter account, so the idea that I'm strong-arming billionaires with my ruthless tweets is a little hard to credit.
Don't you find it dangerous to try to witch-hunt individuals for their political choices?
It is not then a "struggle session" when we point out to both of them that their actions and beliefs are incoherent: that they can comfortably disavow Trump while continuing to collaborate with one of Trump's chief enablers.
They are both, in a very small but (I think) meaningful way, working for the benefit of Donald Trump and the forces that make Trump possible.
If you support Trump, you are arguably in a safer moral position than Graham and Altman. Both of them believe you to be supporting a modern-day Mussolini. They have no regard at all for your politics. But they're both willing to continue profiting from and generating profit for Thiel through their entirely voluntary association with him.
(If you support Trump, I would implore you to reconsider).
If I'm putting words in your mouth, I apologize. And please don't interpret my comment as supporting one side or the other. And there's a significant number of people on either side. There's a lot of vitriol on both sides that I hope we as a society can overcome.
But I think there's an obvious, material difference between the kind of support a voter might give Trump --- casting a vote, wearing a pin, putting up a lawn sign --- and what Thiel did. Trump is so troubling the the Republican party that they had to put Scott Baio on stage at their convention. Trump's most important GOP surrogate is the discredited former mayor of New York City. Every living former GOP nominee refused to speak for Trump at the RNC. Every living GOP president refused to endorse them. Thiel, though, did exactly that. He got up on the most public stage imaginable and told the American people that Trump was the only honest candidate in the election.
Months later, after Trump had pivoted his campaign to a strategy that depends on white voters presumption that black votes are illegitimate and that the election is rigged, after more than ten women came out to say Trump had sexually assaulted them, Thiel wrote a $1.25MM check for Trump.
I can tolerate Republicans voting their conscience about the Supreme Court.
I will not tolerate the people in the crowds whooping and cheering Trump's claim that some women are too ugly to have been assaulted by Trump.
Similarly, I will not tolerate Peter Thiel, Rudolph Giuliani, or Chris Christie, or any of the rest of Trump's high council of enablers.
But that's exactly what we're saying here: support for Trump is not normal support for the Republican party and its ostensible ideals. Trump is an authoritarian white nationalist and a con-artist. He's unfit to be counted alongside Thomas Dewey, Mitt Romney, or Barry Goldwater. He victimizes those in "his" party who feel compelled to support him. His enablers, the Giulianis and the Thiels, bear a special culpability in attempting to normalize Trump to the Republican party. And Thiel's supporters bear some culpability in trying to normalize Thiel.
I've been thinking exactly the same thing for a while now. Maybe it's time for bumper stickers!
As I don't have anything meaningful to add right now, I'll sign off. Thank you for the thoughtful, civil discourse. I appreciate it.
What's the material difference?
> He got up on the most public stage imaginable and told the American people that Trump was the only honest candidate in the election.
That's speaking in support of the candidate. Literally thousands of people do it every day. Many of them use this exact phrase. What's so exceptional with Thiel? I can't help but this the claimed exceptionality is not with what he did, but that he did it for Trump. And, maybe, also because what he did has potential to make a difference, unlike putting up a lawn sign. Is the only tolerable opposition an inefficient one?
> I will not tolerate the people in the crowds whooping and cheering Trump's claim that some women are too ugly to have been assaulted by Trump.
Such people, if they exist, would be despicable, but this has nothing to do with Thiel. Thiel never said something like that, as far as we know, and mentioning this as something that is similar to what Thiel did do - namely, supporting a candidate he prefers, which is the most normal thing in US politics - does not bear minimal standard of proper argument. You basically said "I won't tolerate these people who are bad and because of this Thiel is bad and has to be ostracized". It doesn't work this way.
That seems an absurd expectation, to ditch someone for exercising their own agency legally and within the parameters of a democracy.
I don't support Trump. I also don't support the goading and lack of empathy towards those that do. Nor the guilt-by-association accusations being promulgated in this election cycle.
But they are not all the same: some of them support Trump because they cannot in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate (they are wrong in this instance, but they are wrong in good faith). Others --- hundreds of thousands of them --- support Trump because they are themselves white nationalists who see in Trump the hope that America can revert itself to the social mores of the late 1940s. Some people put up lawn signs. Some people donate millions of dollars to Trump. Some people refuse to disavow Trump, because to do so would be to spend political capital to thwart an outcome that is already unlikely to occur. Others get up on stage with Scott Baio to shout their support for Trump into microphones and cameras.
Along virtually every axis you can come up with, Thiel's support for Trump exceeds the norms of our politics and of civil debate. Thiel is not a typical Trump supporter. I do not need to stretch to make this argument: it is clear and obvious.
Sam Altman and Paul Graham should acknowledge this. I don't care what else they do; I don't care if they "fire" Thiel. But they have to at least pay consistent lip service to the things they claim to believe.
* Some of them support Trump because they believe
But is this really so? That Thiel has the means to donate one million dollars while others must settle for lawn signs shouldn't determine how much ire we direct his way. You seem to be saying that having preference for a candidate is one thing but advocating and encouraging other people to have a similar preference is beyond the pale. Yet one seems a logical and natural consequence of the other.
Also I'm a little suspicious of DHH's intentions in his tweets to Graham (later picked up by Pinboard). Not that it negates the point he's making but it appears to be a long-standing vendetta masquerading as sanctimony: https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=from%3Adhh+to%3Apaulg
This is going to be my last comment. Too much politics is bad for you ;) Thanks for the alternative POV.
I understand the concern people would have about DHH and Maciej's opposition to Paul Graham. But DHH and Maciej aren't the only people that have this concern. They happen in this instance to be right.
Thanks for the civil disagreement!
I don't see any shred of evidence for this. Donating money for a preferred candidate is completely normal for "our politics". Moreover, many establishments and persons donate money to both parties and sometimes even for both candidates. It's not only within the boundaries of normal, it is dead in the center of it - it's one of the most common things people do to support the candidate. Making it as if he did some outrageous thing that nobody ever does is completely disingenuous. He did the most normal thing everybody does.
> But they have to at least pay consistent lip service to the things they claim to believe.
That wouldn't be freedom of speech and freedom of political association, per chance?
All this, of course, after he took to the stage of a Presidential debate to argue in public that his political opponent should be jailed --- not investigated, but jailed. That is his rallying cry: "lock her up".
We are not required to tolerate intolerance when it actively jeopardizes the fabric of our civil society. Particularly when a movement towards intolerance is progressing so fast that there's little time for its adherents to be educated in the gravity of what they're doing before intolerance itself wins.
So did Clinton. To the point she promised first thing she would do is try to reverse Supreme Court decision which confirmed that people can organize to criticize her. And unlike Trump, which has neither the knowledge (President doesn't make laws, for starters) nor expertise not sound mind to actually produce anything but hot air on the topic, I fully believe she can do it - she can find a judge who hates the First Amendment, she can put him or, even more probably, her on the Supreme Court, and she can hurt freedom of speech and freedom of association for decades to come.
And I must also remind that in the last scandal about freedom of association - namely, documented use of IRS powers for political purposes - nobody was seriously punished and no safeguards preventing it from happening in the future were instituted. Which means it will happen again. And history shows Clinton has absolutely no problem with (ab)using state power against her enemies.
> All this, of course, after he took to the stage of a Presidential debate to argue in public that his political opponent should be jailed --- not investigated, but jailed. That is his rallying cry: "lock her up".
While I oppose Trump on a very long list of points, and dislike him for even longer list of reasons, on this point he is completely right. If anybody else but Clinton or another high-ranking Democrat would do what she did - he would be in jail. Many were for less, and many still are. US government is highly intolerant to mishandling classified documents and trying to circumvent regulations, even for benign reasons, let alone for reasons of avoiding oversight. Government hates avoiding oversight. Unless it's some of the "special people" who's doing it.
Of course, election propaganda tries to present it as if Trump wants Clinton to be locked up for opposing him. Nope. She must be locked up for doing things every regular person - including me and you - would be locked up. Because right now we know for sure that there's one law for regular people and another law for top government officials. And it's not a country of laws that US is supposed to be, it's a banana republic stuff.
> We are not required to tolerate intolerance when it actively jeopardizes the fabric of our civil society.
I'm sorry, but I hear this bullshit every election - if a Republican gets elected, our society is ruined. Ruined I say! Everybody will be dead! US will be a nuclear wasteland!
I heard it for Bush, I heard it for McCain, I hear it for Romney, now I hear it for Trump. It's nothing but electoral bullshit.
Yes, Trump is a disgusting pig, a blowhard and a conman. No, he won't ruin our civil society. Not unless we first dismantle the safeguards that was built into the system - on which, btw, both Obama and Clinton are working vigorously, because those are the same safeguards that limit their powers. To be sure, Trump is no friend of the safeguards either - but he has much less chance of success on actually removing any of them, unless something huge - like 9/11 - happens. In which case Clinton would be probably even worse, as the press would attack Trump vigorously and would be (already is) very servile and docile towards Clinton.
This hysterical frenzy about ruining the society is impossible to take seriously, and I won't. Even less I would take it from the same people is completely silent in the face of a thousands of routine government abuses taking place literally every day (I don't mean you here, I don't know your history, I mean the press and the commentariat). Our society has a lot of warts, and a lot of problems, and still survives. It can survive Trump and not even break a sweat.
> Particularly when a movement towards intolerance is progressing so fast that there's little time for its adherents to be educated in the gravity of what they're doing before intolerance itself wins.
The mindset of "we're right, so we should not be bound by the rules" is the most dangerous mindset there ever was, bar none. If you think it's ok to suppress opposition because you're right and it's too important to let them oppose you - you are the problem. Maybe in one particular regard you would turn out to be right - but it never lasts and not playing by the rules always does.
As for implication that Trump supporters are mainly moved by racism - it is also an electoral canard. I could expand on this but it's already too long, so I'll just say that it's true that many racists do support Trump, but it's not the reason he won the Republican nomination, and way detached from the reason every single person I know that supports him and millions I don't support him.
My point is it is routine for the elections to paint the opponent in the most apocalyptic tones, Republicans will always claim Democratic candidate would immediately build USSR-type socialism, import 20 millions of immigrants to subvert the elections, and ban Christians from going to church, and Democrats will always claim Republicans would starve all the poor, reinstitute slavery and remove all the taxes from the rich. There's a tiny amount of truth in both claims, but the other 99% of it is pure bullshit.
Quoting this routine electoral bullshit as if it would be whole truth and nothing by the truth is nonsense, unsupported by any reasonable evidence, and can not be taken seriously. And I don't see how the book you mention, however are its excellent qualities, changes anything in this regard.
Whatever the book says, Trump is not going to ruin our society, he is not Hitler and he is not an indulgence to abandon all reason. He is a blowhard conman that raised to prominence because our politics and government are deeply troubled and we weren't able to find a way to fix it so far. Having people associated with his supporters to undergo struggle sessions, disarmament before the Party and a ritual purification is not going to fix it either.
If you yourself support Trump, or believe that he's equivalent to Hillary Clinton, that's fine. (I mean, it's not "fine", and I implore you to reconsider, but that's as far as it goes).
But Paul Graham and Sam Altman do not agree with you. They have said, publicly and repeatedly, that Donald Trump is far more dangerous than an ordinary political candidate; that he's a dictator, a modern-day Mussolini, someone for whom we'd need to create a "resistance" were he to be elected.
The criticism animating this thread is that if Graham and Altman truly believe what they are saying, they cannot coherently continue to support one of Trump's more important surrogates and enablers.
You are welcome to disagree with Graham and Altman (and me, and most other people on HN) about this! I do not challenge your right to do so.
But please address the argument that's actually being made.
You personally are not strongarming anyone. You are trying to organize others in hope you can strongarm YC into pushing out Thiel. So far you have very little success, it is true. That does not make the motives of the deed or its goal more noble.
Dozens of senior Republicans have done this and are backing Hillary Clinton. Staunch Republican newspapers such as the Arizona Republic and the Cincinnati Enquirer have also endorsed Clinton.
The suggestion that there's a liberal conspiracy is a totally crackpot theory, like most of Trump's. In fact, Trump has got far further than anybody expected because the reverse has happened: Clinton has been attacked by the liberal media, which hates her, while Trump was -- until recently -- given a free ride.
When you have a candidate who lies all the time, boasts about not paying taxes (and won't release his returns), insults Gold Star families and vets like McCain, makes racist attacks on Mexicans and US-born Hispanic judges, admires dictators and spouts Russian propaganda, runs a crooked Foundation, is involved with fraudulent scams like Trump University, is a serial adulterer who boasts about being a sexual predator, and is accused of raping a 13 year old girl, you really don't need a conspiracy theory. No other candidate could have such an appalling record and still be in the race.
Trump is a blot on the character of anyone who still supports him, and globally, he's a blot on America's character. In the UK and Ireland, we put Trump's picture in urinals and piss on him -- a first for a US presidential candidate.
What's worse is that Clinton is a pathological liar supporting neocon policies which will likely lead to more conflict.
This whole anti-Trump atmosphere is very 1984.
If you're really interested in trying to understand a viewpoint that differs from your own (which I believe is healthy for anyone, even if you don't plan on changing your views), I would suggest beginning by listening to Stefan Molyneux (https://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot/). Label him as you will - at least he makes a lot of logically sound arguments in support of Trump (which I honestly can't say for a number of other Trump supporters).
I fear for the future of society when 40% of the population are on that level.
I would have never thought I'd miss GWB. Now, it seems only a matter of time until all pockets of civilization are overrun by those peddling comspiracy-theories on youtube.
Everyone uses filters and makes judgements on limited information; the point is, you'll be better off looking to primary sources and listening to some of what people actually have to say before drawing conclusions. The media at this point is essentially useless for that purpose.
If I were to judge your character based on a single quote from your lifetime, would you rather I ask your greatest enemy for that quote, or pick a random sample on a good day?
Journalism today is better than it ever was. The bias of quality journalism today is simply a general, tentative consensus that the political and economic system of what you'd collectively call "the west" is working quite well in principle.
I'm not going to look at idiots ranting into their webcams on youtube. Considering how easy it is for something good to "go viral", I'm quite happy to wait until the good stuff gets separated from the 99+% that is idiotic.
I do talk to people, quite a lot actually considering a few volunteer engagements. Many of these people life vastly different lives than I do, from the homeless alcoholic to a guy who just inherited some 9-digit fortune.
I have learned that a drunk lunatic ranting on the subway /is not/ suffering from the pain of his insights into the conspiracy controlling everyone's mind. He's just drunk, and wrong, and annoyingly loud.
When I talk to journalists, they are almost without exception some of the most dedicated, well-educated, interesting and self-reflecting people. They mostly share a core set of believes ("no whiskey before noon", "someone bragging about sexual assault must never be president"), and I'm happy to share these with them, because otherwise they'd have to start every article at first principle.
Regarding that quote: It isn't just something he once said. It's one of his pet theories, and I doubt that a well-adjusted person could even come up with something like that.
It's this kind of "let's judge a person by a tweet" mindset that is extremely dangerous to the pursuit of truth and improving society. The media thrives on one-liners (such as those found on Twitter), but I'd like to think we can do better.
Is this true? I'm not familiar with Trump's policies because it doesn't sound like he talks about them in much detail. Isn't he all for "legal immigration" and was just extremely against illegal immigration? Has he even addressed H1B or T1 Visas?
Although he has mentioned making immigration harder through intensive testing/vetting, which sounds like it could filter out some smart people arbitrarily. Having personally experienced Canada->US secondary screening most of the questions were already very arbitrary. Especially those without great social skills who can't talk their way through immigration will be at risk. That will also hurt business travel if TSA gets even more power and becomes even more aggressive.
The vagueness of it all makes it a risky bet regardless. That being said, I'm not sure what's worse, vague policy positions with just high-level strategy and no details or over-promising everything in detail and not following through on the majority of them. But I'm generally cynical about all of this stuff.
During the primary, however, he wanted to block all Muslims from entering the country, as well as build a wall along the Mexico/US border.
He wanted to temporarily block immigration from countries with islamic terrorism (syria / libya) until our country found a way to better vet them. American Muslims, or any other Muslims are not an issue. He also wants to protect our southern border with a wall to prevent ILLEGAL immigrants from easy access into our country.
> Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.
This is one of the few things he's actually been somewhat specific about. His approach to legal immigration is still not clear.
We could talk about Haiti, the gold contracts landed to HRC's brother and the obvious collusion and conflict of interests she was part of during her time as a Secretary of State.
Considering US relations with Qatar and Saudi Arabia have always been good (in the 'he's a monster, but he's our monster' sense), there's just no reason to suspect any influence. Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11 was known early on by the Bush administration as well.
So any donation would have gone to aids drugs for kids in Africa. Haven't you ever told anyone "don't get me anything, just donate to charity"?
Like Matt said, there was no benefit to the Saudi's either. They have long been allies of the US and that means visiting the state department is a regular thing.
It looks good as a conspiracy on infowars, but the truth is not particularly scandalous.
It is sad that when a conspiracy theory doesn't stick beyond a fringe group that lack of traction is used to fuel the claim "See! The media is in on it too!". Rather than "oh, multiple Republican led investigations found nothing -- looks like that was wishful thinking"
I just don't get how business people can support democrats when republicans are supposed to be more business friendly(for smaller gov, less regulations from what I've heard).
I think big powerful rich people supporting Hillary is just a PR Stunt, and they secretly don't want her to win. Just a hunch I have. I just don't understand how they can fulfill their fiduciary duties to their shareholders when voting for a party wanting more rules and regulations.
Correct me if I'm viewing this wrong, I've just never understood how Silicon Vally is mainly democrat, but focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. Sounds like it should be a republican area then?
A country with an educated, healthy, and secure population will be a better place to do business than one which is plagued with social problems. So even if the billionaires of Silicon Valley are voting purely out of economic self-interest (which I highly doubt), it's still wise for them to vote for who they think will run the country better - across all dimensions, not just who wants less taxes and regulation.
And sure, you can argue that having less taxes and regulation in the manner that Republicans propose results in having a better country overall, but apparently most in Silicon Valley don't believe that.
Trump says he'll tax goods made out of the US 30% more on import, he never said they had to be made by humans.
I feel regulations increase the cost of business within the US, and also why there's very few banks or cable companies. Then no matter how big the gov gets, it's still slow at approving things. It just feels like something isn't working. I guess we just need to find a balance between the two and simplify things.
Like for some things, you need a whole army of lawyers working for you. I just feel the world isn't meant to give the average person an advantage. Plus big companies can afford more regulations, to make it harder for smaller businesses to compete with them. I think over time it's going to get worse and worse for the amount of regulations. There's probably honest business owners that aren't even aware of all of them as they are scattered all over the place, and disorganized.
But I don't think any one on the left or right would argue that regulations couldn't be improved almost everywhere. What I think the left worries about is that the only regulations that ever seem to be removed are the ones that stop powerful organizations from causing negative externalities.
To put it another way: would football be better with less or more rules? The answer can't be anything but "it depends".
Every one of those rules is there for some reason, sometimes a very non-obvious reason, and sometimes to stop some rare but serious injury from happening. The "more or less" question isn't one that someone with a shallow understanding of the sport can have a reasonable opinion on.
It takes a wise and historically-informed team of people to remove regulatory clutter without allowing the problem that the regulations were originally meant to address to re-occur (if, of course, it actually addressed it). My point is that it shouldn't be a left vs. right thing, it should be a question of who has the wisdom to fix problems thing. And just as importantly, it should be made from an empirical basis, not an ideological one. Trump strikes me as an ideologue, but I have to admit I haven't paid much attention to this US election.
 - http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/full-list-dona...
#3 is really what gets me. We've got 3 weeks. Mail-in ballots are out in a bunch of states already. Peoples' minds are made up. The election is basically over. If you believe in extreme polling error, sure, Trump could win -- but, again, it's so late, will this have made the difference?
I almost wonder if he believes Trump will win, and thinks his last-minute donation will merely give the impression of having made the difference, when he was going to win anyway.
But again -- why now?
"Critics of Eich within Mozilla tweeted to gay activists that he had donated $1,000 to California Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California until 2013, when it was declared unconstitutional and marriages were allowed to resume. Eich stood by his decision to fund the campaign, but wrote on his blog that he was sorry for “causing pain” and pledged to promote equality at Mozilla. Gay activists created an online shaming campaign against Eich, with OkCupid declaring they would block access to the Firefox browser unless he stepped down."
I've written at length about Proposition 8 and the fact that it was not simply a matter of opinion or personal belief. It was, shorn of all the attempts to make it sound non-controversial, about taking a basic premise of a free society -- equality of all people under the law -- and putting it up for popular vote. Proposition 8 was literally a ballot measure to say "these people shouldn't be equal to everyone else". I am OK with applying social pressure to people who attempt that sort of thing, to make them feel as alienated from the core principles of society as they actually are.
I don't know you or what you did at Mozilla: if it were up to me, I would rather had you quit than Eich (no offense). Frankly, Mozilla has lost focus and I think it would have done much better under Eich.
Edit: more thoughts on the politics. Eich's opinion was far from controversial- half of Americans held the same belief. I would guess half of Mozilla users in the US also had the same opinion: were those people also disposable?
Supporting prop 8 (to me as a lefty) is more benign than supporting Trump; yet I don't see any calls to boycott or quit companies with executives that support Trump.
Finally, it was a dangerous precedent for left wing politics to adopt, what if the right wing had adopted it and gotten someone fired for affronting beliefs held as strongly as yours?
There have been plenty of people calling to pressure people who support Trump; pg is one of them, and has been getting lit up on Twitter recently for continuing to work with Thiel.
Finally, you seem to think this is something unique to "left wing politics". Which is perhaps true: left-wing movements tend to resort to social pressure, boycotts and similar methods. Right-wing movements tend to attempt to outlaw or in some cases just literally exterminate the people who disagree with them. Which sort of world would you rather live in: the world where people who disagree with you simply refuse to associate with you, or the world where people who disagree with you seek to have your existence made illegal?
(and for the record, I no longer work for Mozilla, but that's unrelated)
Do you have any evidence that those politically aligned to the right are more accepting of, say, murder than those on the left? Because I don't believe it.
It makes me angry too, but also raises (for me) some interesting political questions around what level of disagreement is "too far." I would never fire someone for being a Republican and personally/privately opposing gay marriage. But I would also immediately fire someone if they were a Nazi. So where is the line if what's an acceptable level of tolerance (and where does Trump fall on it)?
"I fundamentally disagree with you about this very important issue, and we should still find a way to cooperate" is a crucial idea, hard won and, as we are seeing, easily lost. It underpins multi-religious societies, working democracies, and in general, any group of people that need to do something. Unfortunately, right now we have groups of people that say the polar oposite: "It is good and moral to shun people who disagree with X".
I totally agree with marriage equality. But I think it can be (and mostly was) won on dialogue, not shunning. And I will always be against the shunners (though I hope not to shun them :P).
btw, all I just said applies just as well to klanspeople/nazis: Are they harming the employees? No? Are they aligned with the mission? Them keep them. And tell them they are stupid over a beer. Talk the shit out, and fight their stupid ideas in the right places. Do not allow political disagreement, even of the most grievous kind, to cut oportunities for dialogue and cooperation.
How far will you take that principal though?
What if you have an employee who consistently comes in and talks about how he'd like to kill all the non-white people? What if he talks about how many guns he has? I think this would make the office an unworkable environment for most of my other employees (particularly any PoC) and I would be very justified in firing them.
Privately believing someone has done something wrong, or belongs to a bad group, is one thing. Trying to enshrine that belief in law and disenfranchise the targeted person or group is quite another thing, and if you honestly are unable to see the difference between the two I'm unsure how to assist you.
Your argument that my support was pernicious is based on bogus chronology.
As for "status quo", that was exactly the issue, or one of two big issues. Judges do not make law, they are not our dictators, not even in extremis. It's up to the people and the legislature to correct course, based on judicial review and judicial nullification at the limit, but with new law coming from the legislature and the ballot initiative process (in California, anyway).
A lot of us in California supported Mark Leno's work over more than a decade prior to 2008 to enact CA Domestic Partner law, precisely to address injustices, even as Leno, et al. did not attempt to redefine marriage. That we saw judicial overreach and moved against it does not make us opponents of the status quo.
(Speaking of status quo, Prop 22's definition of marriage is still in the California constitution: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_1 SEC. 7.5.)
If you think courts should rule us, just wait long enough. The "next Trump" may give you the judges you deserve. I sincerely commend rule of law and judicial restraint to your attention, even if you don't agree with me on anything else.
Prop 8 would not and did not "nullify" any marriages licensed by the state in the middle of 2008. See
Retroactive or ex-post-facto law is unconstitutional. I am a big fan of this principle. It protects all of us.
> it speaks very poorly
Speaking ill of me based on false information does not reflect well on you. Let's back off and perhaps we'll meet on better terms another day. (FYI, I do not support Trump.)
Did I say they were the same thing? I absolutely think that "let's make gay marriage illegal" is categorically worse than "I don't like gay marriage."
As bad a Prop 8 was, the policies Trump advocates are 1,000 times worse, yet I don't see anyone working to boycott or quit his companies.
It's possible you haven't seen such efforts, but that is not identical with "no efforts are occurring".
Would you feel comfortable working at Peter Thiel's company?
Also there are people pressuring, for example, pg to dump his association with Thiel.
Affirmative action is an attempt to alleviate the impact of prior laws and practices which made people unequal.
I am generally fine with trying to redress previously-enforced inequalities, and suspicious of anyone who isn't (protip: Google "libertarianism, starting right now" for an explanation of why this is important that you're more likely to agree with if a "LOL look how hard I rekt that dude by shoving affirmative action in his face" type sound-bite is the first thing you reach for in this kind of discussion)
Yes. Please take your Holocaust apologia elsewhere.
Killing millions of people for no other reason than that you don't like their ethnicity is pretty much the baseline of immorality. Heck, killing millions of people for more legitimate reasons (being Nazis) also would be pretty abhorrent.
Also, for the record, "we" are not generally okay with senseless wars. There's a reason that murdering innocent civilians is considered a war crime.
I'm not in favor of Brendan Eich's personal choice, but I feel the reaction was far too strong in that case. Here we have something more than a thousand times larger that supports many oppressive things.
Eich and Trump are in very different roles. Eich was CEO of a non-profit: as a non-profit, they depend crucially on his ability to fundraise, and so pissing off big Mozilla donors makes it impossible to do his job. Thiel is an investor of his own capital: pissing off other people is generally neutral to him, as he doesn't depend on anyone else for anything, and being able to piss people off allows him to take risks that are underpriced because other people are too afraid of pissing others off.
Sure, it's true that his upside is greater thanks to Thiel's unitary status. But I don't think that effect is any greater now: Trump enjoyed 0 SV support a month ago, so the investment would have had just as much impact then as now, but the probability is much lower now.
> Eich and Trump are in very different roles.
Absolutely, Thiel and Eich have very different roles. But to think public image is unimportant to Thiel is also naive: I could easily see this having a negative impact on his deal flow, either because founders are personally offended or because they'e afraid of tainting their reputation. There's a reason that VCs have PR and at least pay lip service to things like Women in Tech.
The forum discussions, here and elsewhere, give outside observers this impression:
|=============================X=| Candidate X: some minor flaws, but overall a great option
|=X=============================| Candidate Y: the new Hitler, world falls apart if elected
|============================X==| amazing candidate
|================X==============| acceptable candidate
|=======X=======================| Clinton & Trump: dishonest, obviously manipulative untrustworthy crooks
within rounding error of each other
I have a lot of European/non-American friends and not a single one of them thinks Trump and Clinton are "within rounding error of each other."
It's fundamentally dishonest to compare a run-of-the-mill corrupt politician to someone who openly advocates nuclear proliferation.
In my formative years, it seemed like I couldn't go a week without hearing a new "scandal" that the Republican party wanted to foist on the only President I really knew as a politically-conscious person.
I'm not saying they were dishonest or wrong, I'm just saying it felt a bit too much like the boy who cried wolf. It's hard to even bother paying attention to yet another person trying to claim another Clinton "scandal".
Especially when the people pushing it support, well.... Someone who literally parrots back every slight used against him to be used against his rival. I didn't realize "I'm rubber, you're glue" was a campaign strategy.
Most European media seems to like Clinton. Most definitely, she's preferred to Trump by a large margin.
The only (part) European country that I can think of with a prominently different internal opinion is Russia. But they don't go for equivalence either, they just root for Trump.
2. Putting Trump and Clinton on the same level simply isn't accurate. I would revise this:
|============================X==| amazing candidate
|================X==============| normally acceptable candidate
Clinton is certainly worse than most candidates historically, but her corruption and scandals are par for the course. It's the underbelly of politics that has always existed. Trump is a new level.
1. Clinton has a platform that is static (even if it's crafted and not a personal belief). Trump's changes with his mood and is unclear on even the basic principles and topics he chooses to focus on.
2. Clinton has shown she can keep a level head, which is important when an outburst affects millions of people. Trump has not in the slightest.
3. Clinton has shown that she can hold a high position of power and not have the world blow up (quickly).
4. Clinton has shown an ability to be relatively truthful and consistent. When she lies, she carefully crafts them, even going so far as to avoid definition lying. We now have the email chains to back that up. Trump has trouble sticking to basic facts.
Again, Clinton is objectively worse than the majority of candidates. I think at this point, if you gave the US the option to elect Romney in lieu of voting for Trump and Clinton, you would have major support on both sides. Heck, at this point, (Romney = Clinton - scandals) in terms of policy.
None of this touches their specific policies or even personal biases such as Trump's sexism, racism, islamophobia and more. Sure, you can say that a candidate's personal beliefs shouldn't affect his policies, but we have seen by Trump's proposals that this does not hold. Trump has not shown the ability to separate his personality from his work - his business is entrenched in his personal workings, even so much in how it operates and his brand is crafted.
If you disagree with that last paragraph, scratch it. The numbered points are plenty difference enough, and again, do not touch policy or personal beliefs of the candidates.
"RNC policy since 2004 has been to retain all emails of White House staff with RNC accounts, the staffers had the ability to delete the email, themselves."
Do you feel that disqualifies Clinton from the presidency?
Meanwhile, look at his opponent in 1960. JFK is practically revered as a saint because he had his brains blown out on national television. We largely forget or excuse his intense sex addiction, or that he very nearly pushed the world over the edge of Armageddon, or that he was instrumental in escalating the Vietnam War. To the benefit of his legacy, at least, he was killed before his chickens came home to roost and became a martyr figure instead.
Although some said he made anti-Semitic statements, he employed a Jewish Secretary of State, Kissinger who basically ran the international part of the presidency when Nixon was in the later states of the Watergate Investigation.
Over the advice of Defense and other advisors, he insisted on fully rearming a desperate Israel with a very, very impressive airlift during the Yom Kippur War (1973) when Israel was surprise attacked by Egypt and Syria on Yom Kippur.
There's nothing there. Republicans spent thousands of hours in Benghazi and came up empty handed. Worst thing she apparently did was setting up a private mail server, as did her predecessors, Republicans included.
Europeans see Trump as an actual danger to peace and stability. He's assembling an angry mob spewing hate against minorities, women, people who think. He's peddling in conspiracy theories undermining democracy. He's treating the carefully adjusted balance of power in eastern Europe. In short: Europeans know his type quite well. He's no Hitler, no. He's Putin, Erdogan, Orban.
It's difficult to generalize over Europe. For instance, I live in France and have no idea about the opinions of let say Romanians or Swedes. But my feeling is the opposite. I suspect that Trump has more supporters in the US (even on HN) than in France.
Here I don't see anybody enthusiastic about Clinton, but most people and media don't take Trump seriously (and that's an euphemism). However he has his supporters, essentially among right wing extremists (who tend to like Putin as well).
If YC is saying Thiel can't be managed on that basis, he is a partner. And if he is a partner, YC can choose not to partner with him.
I could see both Goldman Sachs and YC operating under this mission statement.
As much as PG wants him to be, Thiel isn't an employee. He's a partner in a partnership, and partnerships have been dissolved for worse reasons than "offending partner is an opportunistic bigot".
This is a thing they have discussed before. If I were pg, I'd be bored with it by now.
Mr. Thiel is standing up for his beliefs in the face of great personal risk.
I applaud him.
By standing up and making a donation, he is forcing people to reconcile his success with his political views, creating real discourse, like this HN discussion.
I cant recall a single election that had so few lawn signs out and that people are afraid to admit who they truly support.
I think Thiel is hedging for both himself and as a proxy for Facebook. If Trump wins, Facebook gets the most favored corporation status currently awarded to Google. If Trump loses, Thiel perhaps assumes everyone will forget soon enough and Zuckerberg can diss-avow any Facebook connection.
An essential ingredient for the breed of industrialists like Thiel, is the presence of tyrants to remove unnecessary impediments to commerce without dissent.
If Thiel had really wanted to disrupt presidential elections, he could have thrown some money and social media connections behind Evan McMullin as a way of throwing a malotov cocktail into the race. It's his money, but if it were me I would not want to be associated with someone as vulgar as Trump.
IMO, Trump will stumble and fall with every step like he already is right now.
That's why if you wanted positive change, you should've voted Bernie Sanders.
Alt-news folk backing Trump will have a heart attack upon
seeing the steering committee head of Bildeburg back him.
Note that the flamewar detector may not have been turned off and is possibly punishing the submission otherwise.
He seems like a relatively sincere and smart guy to me, and some of his policies seem to be better for business.
Is it because of tougher immigration laws? Are there other reasons based on his policies, or is it mostly just emotional?
People don't risk openly supporting Trump unless they have the kind of fuck-you money/assets that allows them to do so. Truth is that the tech industry is probably leaning toward the Democratic party a lot less than it actually seems simply because of the politically motivated discrimination you would face should you endorse the wrong candidate (or embrace the "wrong" opinions in public).
I have seen what happened to a couple folks who told "unappropriate" jokes in a private discussion to their friends while at a public event. They lost their job.
I have seen how tons of progressives (not to say most) are so entrenched in their own bias that they fail to realize that dissenting opinions to their beliefs are not morally reprehensible. And that their cultish attitude with respect to diversity is as stupid as the white nationalistic obsession of homogeneity.
Finally, I have seen how the democrats/progressives systematically demolish the lives of the people who oppose them. That's why I will remain silent. Post anonymously and take action with my vote. And that's why everyone at my workplace believes I am a staunch HRC supporter.
And before you accuse me of paranoia or to have a persecution complex I recommend you try to first figure out why so many people are behaving the exact same way I am: telling one thing in public (or to pollsters) and do another when they are protected by the opacity of a voting cabin.
edit: I posted this comment 4 seconds ago and it is already at -1. You read very fast!
However, telephone polling generally matches actual election results closely enough to assume that people feel a similar level of anonymity in the voting booth as they do in a telephone poll. The dismal polling results for Trump in the Bay Area are not because of secret Trump voters, it's because even conservatives don't want to vote for a candidate whose capability, sanity, behavior, and temperament are so clearly unequal to the job at hand.
This is the result of a direct and honest strategy of courting socially-conservative religious people who believe the country is being dragged "in the wrong direction" by people with "a radical social agenda".
While there are people who disagree with the general mainstream of socially-liberal belief in this country who aren't motivated primarily by religious beliefs, they are rare enough compared to the religious majority to not be worth mentioning most of the time.
Trump's results in the general election were bang-on with what the polls predicted.
The general could be different. But there's no reason to believe that it will be.
That said, I don't disagree that "polite" coastal society doesn't take kindly to alternative views.
Sometimes people are just not qualified for a position, even if they can occasionally say some of the right answers at the interview.
If a tech company is considering hiring a CEO or CTO who has ruined several companies, refused to do business with black people until specifically ordered by a court, sexually harassed dozens of subordinates, publicly and verifiable lied about important topics on a regular basis, or bragged about being exploiting his fame to get away with groping women, it doesn't really matter which tech stack they've been praising. Trump has actually done all of those things, if you don't already know.
He actually bought a teenage beauty pageant and then frequently ogled and sexually assaulted (nonconsensually groped and kissed) the contestants backstage. That should tell you everything you need to know about his attitude towards abuses of power and how he'd exploit the Presidency. Please don't dismiss this stuff as 'just emotional'.
And you can hardly tell what his policies are anyway because he contradicts his own statements on most topics.
On the policies that have been clear, the tech industry is opposed to Trump for the same reasons they're opposed to other Republicans. If you're wondering why he's more unpopular in the industry than a generic replacement-level Republican, it's for the same reasons that he's exceptionally unpopular among Republicans themselves.
The Clinton foundation employees 2,000 people for starters. I'm sure there is much more, shes been in politics 30 years. You don't go that long without doing something.
> The left is so hyper-focused on trying to assassinate Trumps character that they can't even talk about her dismal record as a career politician and complete lack of real leadership skills.
Despite the fact she hasn't got the best record it's still shiny compared to Trumps. Nobody is saying shes the best ever, but shes the best compared to Trump in every respect. And by the way it's not "the left", it's everyone but your bubble. It's the world, it's the left and it's most of the right. Who wants a fascist in power?
Out of 320 million people it's pathetic that the best you can produce is two old, unhealthy liars. One a serial conman seemingly from another planet and the other a serial politician from somewhere just as bad.
"Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. ... "
"NBC News just called it the great freeze - coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?"
"I don’t believe in climate change."
"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
Of course Trump's point was not that nuanced. He said the batty thing as near as I have heard, and I have not heard any substantial proposals on how he might correct the trade imbalance without wrecking the economy by starting a trade war in a fragile economy.
The easiest way to make Trump lose a debate is to make Trump of right now debate the positions of Trump of five (seconds/minutes/months/years) ago.
Most of the repulsion is due to his tone, his personality, his unpredictability, and how generally erratic he is.
Frankly, to the extent that you ascertain any coherent political principles he has, they're more moderate than the other candidates in the Republican primary.
On top of that, his tax plan, such as it is, would save many of us more money than that of many of the other candidates.
I think the reality is successful people hate uncertainty. If you're not doing well, you're more likely to roll the dice and say "what's the worst that could happen?"
People who have benefited from society as it is today (and, let's admit it, most of us in tech are in the top 5-10%) believe we have the most to lose from an erratic unpredictable leader.
And again, that's nothing to do with politics.
Likewise his views on minority populations.
So yeah, many of us oppose him in political grounds. Because he's a misogynistic white supremacist, and having such a person in the White House would be a disaster for a huge swath of the population.
My best way to describe it is that I was commenting about "politics" as a set of partisan principles; he is far less Republican than the average primary victor; far more moderate in terms of what policy positions he checks the box of. (The usual guns, abortion, marriage, gay, free speech, trade, etc).
That was not meant in any way to say that his views on women and racial minorities are "moderate"; clearly they are not, and clearly his own views denigrate him as a person in ways that no words I could ever summon would.
To me he's an obvious off the charts narcissist... so much so that his narcissism actually seems extreme against the backdrop of Washington politics and the media. That's kind of amazing.
IMHO that disqualifies him from the presidency regardless of his policies. It's analogous to why you can't get a pilot's license with bad eyesight. A narcissist is a person with a dangerous addiction to domination, attention, and approval, and giving such a person the power to start wars is just irresponsible.
(Of course IMHO the president should have less power to act unilaterally with the military, but that's another matter.)
I am not much of a fan of his politics either, but he has said some good things. He is the only politician in the lineup who has made an issue out of the collapse of the American interior. That wins points with me and many other people. If he were constitutionally fit to be president I might consider it.
I also wonder if Thiel, being from Cleveland, is perhaps also affected by this last issue. I am also from Ohio and I can relate. You coastal types have no idea. I am not being hyperbolic with "collapse." Huge swaths of the American heartland are essentially de-developing. Maybe Thiel just wants to make some kind of point. He's rich and that's not a lot of money for him. Might just be a costly f-u.
As for not causing unnecessary military conflicts: "And, by the way, with Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people, that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water."
Same goes for narcissism in leadership. Superficially it can seem effective until you hit an issue that makes the narcissist choose between their duties and their fragile ego. Then the life of the party throws up on your shoes.
It's a tough complex issue and Trump just has populist drool. That never works. See: Chavez, Hugo. (Populism tends to work out the same regardless of whether it's left or right. This is also why I got cold feet about Bernie pretty early.)
There is no way you're incapable of making the distinction between Trump and HC. I can get why people would vote for Trump. He's obviously a dangerous idiot, put we all knew there's a market for that (though the size is somewhat scary).
It's simply not possible to be undecided between these two for anyone who has spent more than five minutes on it.
Regarding your question why people hate Trump: he's openly stigmatizing minorities including calls for violence against African-Americans at his rally. He's threatening to use his power as president for criminal persecutions of his opponents. He advocates for laws making it illegal to criticize him in the media. He has a history of ventures peddling get-rich-quick-schemes to barely literate people for tens of thousands of dollars. There are now more women accusing him of sexual assault than Bill Cosby. He has recently spend a week calling some woman nobody knows fat on Twitter. Reading any of his interview transcripts makes me doubt he'd pass a Turing test.
Anyway, have a nice afternoon.
Secondly, this idea that they are great businessman because the regularly bankrupt businesses for a living makes me question their ability to actually run a busines and more so a government.
Mitt Romney has bankrupted loans from governments which makes me seriously question his actual strengths. Trump stiffs people who work for him which makes me question his strengths as it relates to helping people.
They've failed at the helping people level and they mostly used failing businesses as a vehicle to get rich without actually helping the businesses and their stakeholders.
How is a Trump going to balance a budget? He's never been able to with all the resources he's had available to him before. Why would he be able to now?
I wonder if there's a way to get him to take a Turing test.
Hacker News has a very, very, very well-established history of political pieces. Everything from EU politics, tax policy, candidate elections, and law enforcement practices.
Edit: In case you don't think that's relevant, go read this: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/10/sam-altmans-man...
From the article: "If the pandemic does come, Altman’s backup plan is to fly with his friend Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist, to Thiel’s house in New Zealand."
Do you really think that Thiel's advice has no effect on Mr. Altman's decisions?
Of course, there's an old adage about the ubiquity and quality of opinions
A libertarian could not support such violence/coercion.
[Edit: wow, off-topic?]
Can't even put up an argument.
"Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron."
Basically, women don't vote for libertarian economic policies, and make it impossible to have a capitalist democracy, so he wants to get rid of democracy.
You also did a terrific job as summarizing his idea of 'freedom' as the freedom a of a feudal lord to do as he pleases.
I don't think that matters though. He is already on the record encouraging (and bragging about) coercion; it is completely antithetical to libertarianism.
But there is, of course, no reason to doubt the honesty of the women involved. Why wouldn't you trust them?
I mean, on the one hand, you have a lot of women who tell the same sort of story, and I trust people until I have an actual (not hypothetical) reason to assume they're lying.
On the other hand, you have the guy who brags about dishonest business practices and lies (and this is all on video) about his past statements. Trump has given me lots of reasons not to trust him. Starting now to trust him, because women are involved, that doesn't make sense to me.
9 years before Hitler became president of Germany, he wrote in Mein Kampf: "the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew." and "Aryans were, and are, alone “the carrier of the development of human culture."
He foreshadowed the Holocaust by saying "that the ‘sacrifice of millions at the front’ would have been prevented if ‘twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas."
12 years later, he killed (among others) over 15 million Jews, gays, Russian civilians, and Roma people.
Trump on the other hand, has said "“total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.” He also said "And by the way, many, many, most Muslims are wonderful people."
I challenge you to find a quote of Hitler saying something this nice about Jews.
No doubt the Holocaust was one of the most horrific crimes ever committed -- should we not then be all the more vigilant in preventing such similar hate speech from entering the mainstream?
I would say a more apt comparison to Hitler is the language used in the parent to my comment: "If that's the man Thiel wants to stand with so be it. But I won't forget." An implied long-term threat against someone for voicing political support for the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Now that is a tactic straight out of the Joseph Goebbels playbook.