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Thiel might have ulterior motives, but his support of Trump is not too surprising if you've listened to his other ideas. He feels that the political agenda has been overrun by distractions, like "who can use which bathroom", at the expense of real problems, like the stagnation of median wages over the last forty years. He prefers the days when the national conversation was about how to beat the Soviets, and sees the lack of substance in our political agenda today as tied to a slowdown in progress. So he probably prefers Trump's speeches about China and decaying inner cities to Clinton's about fairness and diversity.

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.




> He is a libertarian

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.


>"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.


I'm, too, not an American but a libertarian. And I don't support either candidate.

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?


and not voting is also "voting for evil", since a non-vote is effectively a vote for the front-runner. :-)


You saying they're the same doesn't make them the same, you're aware of that right?


You saying they're not the same doesn't make them not the same, you're aware of that right?

As you see that's a non-argument.


Actually me saying they're not the same would be a statement of fact.

As an American, forgive me for actually caring about my countries politics.


You can care about your countries politics and not support either primary candidate, or the political structures they represent.

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.


>You can care about your countries politics and not support either primary candidate, or the political structures they represent.

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.

TYVM


thiels philosophy is actually deeply technocratic authoritarian. in a lot of ways he is a technocrat and not a true libertarian. hes said on multiple occasions that politics has failed libertarians and that they should try 'alternatives.'


Yeah he seems more of a Mencius moldbug dark-enlightenment type.


I tried looking up libertarian on Wikipedia and there are so many definitions I'm not sure what people mean when they say the word, libertarian. What I thought the word meant years ago was no government, turns out that is called anarchism. When people tell me that they are libertarian I always wonder what the hell that means or if they even know.


IMO it means you believe in a right freedom so long as you dont infringe on someone elses rights.

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.


I haven't looked into this myself, but your definition of "libertarian" fits exactly with my concept of an ideal government: one that's sole purpose is to protect the freedoms and dignities of all those within its jurisdiction, and within that framework, allowing everything else to be more or less self-determined, so long as the freedoms and dignity of all those within it are not harmed.


In my simple way of understanding this, then, is that libertarians are un-developed democrats. They think Democrats are "wrong" because of what they are, but when you extend this line of thought for many, many many years, you find yourself a democrat. Democrats can be easily criticized for overthinking bathroom rights, but doesn't that argument boil down to freedoms of the oppressed transgendered person? Freedom for the many oppressing the freedoms of the few.

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.


All those things you mention violate the Non-Aggression Principle, and are thus incredibly non-libertarian.

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.


> Bathroom laws require forcing companies to pay for additional bathrooms

Not usually.

> 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'?


How do the people with the pollution-damaged health or property then get justice or cause those "repercussions"? Is libertarianism then ultimately grounded upon tort law? Is the idea to have a corps of free or low-cost lawyers constantly ready to sue polluters to cease and desist and pay restitution to the harmed?


I am totally lost on your pollution point. Can you elaborate ?What repercussions are there for the polluter?


Libertarianism is actually quite an open definition. E.g. I find it easier to describe myself as one, even though I'm technically an anarcho-capitalist.

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).


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You worry about which system will permit you to win, when the reality is that concepts like civil rights are the only thing that are keeping minorities like you from losing badly.


What utter rubbish. I just spend 5 days in a French village, literally last week. And I didn't see a single invader killing , looting, or raping anyone or anything. All I saw was a lot of good people leading a happy and peaceful life.


Wew lad


> We of all people should know better.

Not if Austria's 2016 presidential elections are anything to go by.


I'm in Austria, it was a disgrace. All of media was attacking the right wing guy with no dissenting voices, and you have to be afraid of personal and professional consequences if you endorse him or say anything against the Socialist candidate they are trying to push.

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 media can't be very good at propaganda if they were 'all attacking the right wing guy' and he _still_ managed to poll almost 50% of the vote.


It's a feedback loop of adverse selection. They become more politically slanted, fewer people listen to them, their revenues plummet, their recruitment pool gets shallower, they become more politically slanted... At a certain point only true propaganda believers willing to work for ~minimum wage remain. Now, they're also getting hammered by social media hastening the process.

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.


Just like the US this year. This is not an exaggeration. Many people would have professional and personal consequences for supporting Trump in public. People like Peter Thiel and Scott Adams have enough money to not care. Scott isn't even endorsing him and he says that his speaking engagements have dried up.

We may see a big difference between the polling and the election results this year. The Shy Tory Effect came to America.


You can't even present facts in a way that feels to liberals like defending Trump without facing social consequences (this is what Adams is guilty of.) I had several problems with friends explaining positions taken by both candidates during the debates and discussing the legality of what's known publicly about Trump's tax returns. Discussion of any of those topics will agglomerate the liberal view of Trump as racist, sexist, xenophobic, and stupid, and project them onto you.

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.


Adams faces social consequences because of his bizarre and paranoid rantings, such as that Hillary supporters will literally assassinate him if he supports Trump [1].

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/145456082991/my-endorsement-for...


He said in an BBC interview that the FBI contacted him that some of the death threats he received were credible.

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)


Meanwhile, Adams doesn't believe that women on Twitter don't get threatened with rape and violence, and Trump motivates his supporters to coordinate and commit terror attacks on Muslim-looking Americans, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/us/hate-crime-charges-in-a...


I don't know about this Adams statement (please add a link, I'd read it) but Trump "motivating" his supporters to "coordinate and commit terror attacks on Muslim-looking people"?

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)



Yeah, I had pretty major family problems for saying that I thought he was a lot of hot air and not actually that dangerous--with a disclaimer that I would never vote for him. Although my perspective on him has changed, it seems to me that the American left has turned into the authoritarian controlling power they so often claim to fight against.


In your view, individual people exercising their personal social power is authoritatian?


>authoritatian?[sic]

Yep, that's what xe said.


>Although my perspective on him has changed, it seems to me that the American left has turned into the authoritarian controlling power they so often claim to fight against.

Only if you consider Clinton to be leftist, which really doesn't make much sense.

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2016


American left != Clinton.


I quite realize, but I don't see much authoritarian tendency in the parts leftward of Clinton. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders just aren't that authoritarian, let alone the Green Party.


I was talking about the people adhering to the left--the social movement--more than the politicians themselves. The example I used was my own family, who are not politicians.


In sorry, I can't let such obvious bullshit pass unchallenged.

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.


If Scott isn't even endorsing Trump in public, why is he half of your examples of people who are facing consequences for it?

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?


Scott Adams has been obviously supporting him since last August, his claims of endorsing other candidates have been very clearly not genuine.



Is he kidding? I can't tell if I'm reading satire there, but I don't follow his blog.

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


He has said himself -- he says whatever pops into his head, and he's "clearly joking" about anything that is offensive or ridiculous.


Saying whatever pops into his head is hardly unique among bloggers.

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.


I hate to respond to myself, but it is interesting how you can get down-voted simply for providing a reference to man's own words.


When I've posted criticism of Hillary on Facebook, I've gotten savaged in the comments by my liberal friends. It's a sobering and depressing experience and I'm sad to realize that my respect for most of them has declined, as no doubt theirs has for me. Periodically I will post a defense of freedom of speech, and I'll remind people that I'm willing to fight and die for their right to disagree with me, with which they tend to agree. But they also believe that anyone who doesn't toe the party line is practically an enemy of the state.


You posted something your friends disagreed with, they posted something you disagreed with in response. That's what freedom of speech is about, unless they're posting about how you should be jailed for criticizing Hillary.

Freedom of speech isn't freedom from people changing their opinion about you based on what you say.


Unfortunately, in the modern Alt-right view, "freedom of speech" means "freedom of everyone agreeing with me and not talking back"


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In a way, because this election has come down to a dichotomy between Hilary and an actual cartoon villain, it'll be bad for the democratic party. It'll ensure the entrenchment of the conservative "think of the children" "just say no" wing of the party for another decade or more.


you mean the decline of the republican party and the entrenchment of angry white uneducated men for the next 10 years? It's already in the cards.


Trump is not going to win, so complaining about angry white men is pretty pointless.


Stupid racist white males!


Obviously you don't know enough people who support Trump (or McMullin, or Johnson) in your facebook feed, because the charicatures they post about Clinton are of a cartoonish evil villain as well, often with their favorite picture: https://goo.gl/images/LvYxB1

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.


Well, the right wing stopped hating her for not baking cookies when she baked cookies. Then they started hating her for baking cookies.


I mean Trump is an actual cartoon villain.


Ahh; I should have read more carefully. I agree.


Even here. Downvoted for this simple observation. What have we become?


"this simple observation" is indicative of the bubble you're in. There are plenty of places where the reciprocal is true. Politics in the workplace and among friends has always had ramifications. Unfortunately with both candidates being so polarizing, it's worse than usual.

Your comment reads slightly like you have a persecution complex.


You're making a lot of assumptions. I'm a Hillary supporter and because I am, I'm in a bubble of them and I see a lot condemnation and shunning of Trump supporters - more than I see of Hillary supporters.

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.


As a libertarian he believes in survival of the fittest, so a lot of his strategy involves "fuck shit up" and see what survives. Or just letting things sort themselves out.


I wonder what a world full of people who proactively "fuck shit up" would look like.


Antifragile.


Babies need to survive the pits before being part of society. Only the fittest survive in ruthless competition we impose. Let god sort them out.


I believe we're thinking about this at different orders of magnitude.

My initial reaction was that it would very likely lead to a nuclear holocaust.


And the surviving organisms would be ... Antifragile!


We can argue whether Trump is an authoritarian or not, but what we can't argue about is that Clinton openly stated during the election she wants to take away your right to bare arms. Democrats can call it "common sense" whatever, but that's what it is.


> Clinton openly stated during the election she wants to take away your right to bare arms

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.


Washington D.C. tried to ban handguns in some public places. The supreme court said they couldn't do that. Clinton wants states and cities to be able to enact their own bans, and she will be replacing at least one seat on the supreme court. So a lot of people might be losing their guns under a Clinton presidency.


How is anyone losing guns? Who is she taking away guns from by placing more restrictions on private sales? Does it really sound like a bad idea having less guns in Washington D.C. when their violent crime rate is over triple the national average[1]?

[1]: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/dc/washington/crime/


I don't think her only gun policy is going to be restrictions on private sales. I think she's going to push for a reinterpretation of the constitution which would allow banning carrying guns in more places.


There's no such thing as the "gun show loophole". It's a myth. There already are background checks. I can tell you've never even tried to own a gun.


This is a semantic argument. I agree that the terminology is misleading. However, I think we should always follow the words "there is no gun show loophole" with the words "private citizens can sell guns without background checks no matter where they are," and perhaps "let's call it the private sale loophole."


I know they say there's online loopholes too. Last time I checked the law was they had to ship the gun to a local licensed firearms dealer, who then does a background check and hands over the gun for a reasonable fee.


There is a "gun kit" loophole, according to this article: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/ak-47-semi-autom...


This. It's admittedly pretty simple if you want to go buy a firearm in a reasonable state, like Maine or New Hampshire. You go to the gun dealer/sporting goods store/Walmart. You pick out what you want. They submit your information to the background checking system. You go get lunch and come back an hour later. Assuming you're a law-abiding citizen, you pay the cashier and walk out the store with your new firearm.

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.


That's why universal background checks are considered by many to be the first step down the road to a gun registry.


Have you seen the O'Keefe video where Russ Feingold, a Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate, tells a Palo Alto, California, fundraiser that Hillary Clinton might use an executive order to enforce gun control.

http://www.breitbart.com/california/2016/10/13/feingold-okee...


Breitbart as a source?


Does it matter? The claim behind the article appears to be a hidden-camera video. Maybe you should discredit that thing, rather than dismiss the article because its a conservative-leaning organization.


fuck this shit again

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 ?


You mean what's left that supports your views?


No. When CNN tells you reading things is illegal and you should only listen to their opinion, a line has been crossed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X16_KzX1vE


It's kind of a silly thing to disclose and people should find truth but the blatant propaganda at breitbart isn't where you'll find it.

This guy is not the solution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSE-XoVKaXg


I'm done. you're blind.


I hope this spreads wide and far. This is unbelievable.


I guess I'm committed to wearing long sleeves now.

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?"


Only one presidential candidate has said that they want the police to stop people on the street without cause and confiscate their guns. And it's not Clinton.

I can't understand why Trump gets any support from gun rights people. He advocates for exactly what they fear.


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Thiel has bachelor and JD degrees in Philosophy and Law from Stanford. I think it is a little bit preposterous to assume he holds his current views about Trump simply because he is too uneducated to think otherwise.

>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.


> Trump is not an authoritarian

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/


>"His supported policies include registration of minorities,

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.


> Do you have a source for this?

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.


stuff straight out of a comic book authoritarian regime: "stop and show me your papers."

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.


Not only France, AFAIK it is basically the standard practice in European countries. It is perfectly normal outside the US to be stopped with no probably cause simply to verify who you are, and if deemed worthwhile, what you are doing.

I have been stopped in dozens of countries for procedural controls. I have never felt oppressed, but obviously it could be abused.


UK is only exception I can think of. Maybe Ireland and Denmark, but not certain.

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.


That is a fact. My wife was detained for hours at a traffic stop because she had left her Carte de Sejour at home (despite having a valid driver's license, proper insurance, etc.) The traffic stop wasn't because she did anything wrong either -- it was a random checkpoint that police do from time to time.

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.


Undoubtedly, enforcement of immigration law can only take place in two types of venues: places of employment and public services such as schools, law enforcement, and social services.

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.


https://www.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-has-big-plans-130311...

> 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.”


>Thiel understands that should Clinton win, there will be war

Sounds like something you "understand". Clever little rhetorical trick though, similar to "it turns out that..".


Could you elaborate on the great stagnation problem? It could also be about mitigating undesirable effects of technological progress and economical change. Stagnation might just be another word for humans needing time to adjust.


I think this is a large part of the problem. I believe that the standard quantitative models used for productivity are no longer accurate. They are somewhat precise, but do not correctly reflect value that is produced.


>Thiel understands that should Clinton win, there will be war

Why is this?


Maybe because of Clinton's track record. While Sec. of State, she persuaded Obama to intervene in Libya, and in recent speeches she has suggested that the U.S. should take a more aggressive stance against Russian expansionism. She's more of a hawk than is either Obama or her husband. I would put her in roughly the same category of interventionism as Bush.


At least Clinton has a track record. Trump is completely unpredictable. Last month he said that he would order US ships to attack Iranian vessels if they approach:

"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."

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/donald-trump-iran/

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 know. When I've heard that recently in the last debate, it somewhat made me throw up in my mouth. Last thing I want is yet another war we can't win.

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?


Don't worry, Hououin Kyouma will show up to save the day. ;)


> I think it is a little bit preposterous to assume he holds his current views about Trump simply because he is too uneducated to think otherwise.

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 was a Socialist, not a right wing politician. That's what you Austrians/Germans get wrong.

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)


In the early days of the NSDAP it was a populist party that spanned the politican spectrum. Hitler was part of the wing that expelled most of the left wing of the party from the NSDAP as he consolidated his powers because he abhorred their ideas. Later, the Night of the Long Knives was used to drive the party even further right, by murdering and arresting the leadership of the SA, which at that point made up the "left wing" of the NSDAP.

> 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.


> German people in specific are culturally one of least capable in understanding what freedom actually means.

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 freedom team not only won but overtook many other free nations again

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.


>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.

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.


Hitler was a Fascist / Authoritarian, not a Socialist.

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 is it then that Socialist governments which are supposedly subordinated to the individual all seem to end up in having re education camps, Gulags, forced labour or concentration camps to crack down on dissenters.

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.


> Why is it then that Socialist governments which are supposedly subordinated to the individual all seem to end up in having re education camps, Gulags, forced labour or concentration camps to crack down on dissenters.

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.


So in the first part you argue that they acted this way only because other powers tried to subvert them.

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.


> So in the first part you argue that they acted this way only because other powers tried to subvert them. 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.

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.


> 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)


> 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.

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.


Firstly I don't agree with the guy you answered in terms of socialism. Socialism does not say anything about the political system. Socialism is about economics and welfare.

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).


>Socialism does not say anything about the political system. Socialism is about economics and welfare.

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.


Thanks for your very detailed comment! I can say right of the bat that I partly agree with the most important part of your comment:

> 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.


> Hitler was a Socialist, not a right wing politician.

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.


I wrote this in another comment:

> 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)


We both know that Hitler wasn't hated because of his economics, please.


How is that relevant when trying to determine if he was a Socialist or not?

I think we all know why he was hated.


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Please resist the temptation to reply like this on Hacker News.


He does not explicitly appeal to or endorse white identity politics. Where's the proof for your outrageous statement?

And what exactly is wrong with wanting to "take back your country"? He's talking about enforcing existing laws like having borders.


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Could it not be argued that Clinton engages in non-white identity politics? Her 'deplorables' comment was almost entirely referring to white people.

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.


[flagged]


This is the sort of BS that ruins any chance of dialogue. Just calling someone or some action a label is not productive, just like anti-abortion activists calling it baby killing or whatever. The people who support those actions aren't going to think they are any less good, just, fair, moral etc just because you gave it an overly dramatic label. Why not discuss impact, moral principles, or whatever else actually makes it possible to at least start from a middle ground?


I don't care what you call it. I caution you to not let the pretense of law and order obfuscate the real consequences of some of these abhorrent policies.


That's all well and good, but Trump is still a terrible option. He never held office, he doesn't know how the system works, and doesn't have the temperament to be commander-in-chief.

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.


I'm sorry but the tax adding trillions is utter rubbish. This figure only accounts if the current people paying tax continue to pay, and all benefits and handouts continue as is.

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.


How naive can you be to think that a career tax-dodger will make dodging taxes harder? I cannot believe you're honestly having that internal dialogue.


Tax dodger? Like the New York Times? Carried loss isn't a tax dodge. Ironic that Google and other massive tech companies have their Dutch Irish Sandwiches yet overwhelmingly support Clinton. Does anyone think they would support someone that will hurt their business? Of course not. One could infer that Clinton would further enable so-called tax dodging. Google isn't going to risk billions supporting a candidate because of some social consciousness. There's something in it for them.


> There's something in it for them.

That's untrue.

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.


> 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.

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.


That's not even taking into account the major brain drain which could come under a Trump presidency. We have a precedent.


So he does not know the system but you know it well enough to know that his plan will add trillions to the debt?


Trump's so called economic plan has been trashed by reputable economists and publications. Its easy to see why - he advocates for low taxes and high spending simultaneously. I've read some of the other comments you've posted here, and noticed how impervious to logic you seem to be but surely you can see how low taxes and high spending is a combination that never mixes well.

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-...


Also http://gregmankiw.blogspot.ca/2016/09/trumponomics.html by Mankiw, a former chair of CEA under Bush.


No, but I can read reports by the Tax Foundation http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-donald...


>He feels that the political agenda has been overrun by distractions, like "who can use which bathroom", at the expense of real problems, like the stagnation of median wages over the last forty years. He prefers the days when the national conversation was about how to beat the Soviets, and sees the lack of substance in our political agenda today as tied to a slowdown in progress.

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.


None of what you wrote answers "why Trump?", though. If Thiel thinks he can somehow control Trump and get him to pursue a Libertarian agenda (which Trump's platform bares no resemblance to) then he's an idiot.

If he wants Libertarianism he should donate to Gary Johnson. Anything else is just opportunism.


Flattering Gary Johnson isn't going to accomplish any political goals.

Getting him into the 3rd debate might moderately raise awareness of the party, but he isn't going to win the election. Full stop.


Neither, at this point, is Trump. So it's a bad investment either way.


> Anything else is just opportunism.

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.


it won't matter on HN and this shit story does not belong here. There already have been too many stealth political stories posted to HN all bent one way.

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


PG has made a couple statements about Peter Thiel's position on Twitter[0], and PB has take a stand against ostracizing Trump supporters[1], so let's dig into this.

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[2][3]; and b) post-factual conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones who preach the existence of an evil and "alien force not of this world".[4]

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."[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9][10]

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] https://twitter.com/dhh/status/787547255259758592

[1] https://twitter.com/paultoo/status/786990416537149441

[2] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/donald-trump-hat...

[3] http://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12256510/republican-party-trump...

[4] http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/03/17/defending-donald-tr...

[5] https://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2010/10/why-people-d...

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTJB8AkT1dk

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

[8] https://www.wired.com/2016/09/googles-clever-plan-stop-aspir...

[9] http://www.pnas.org/content/113/1/92.abstract

[10] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dark-money-funds-...

[11] https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radic...


Three comments -

(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. ;-)


0) I was contrasting non-compassionate responses (such as ostracism) to Trump supporters, with a sane and compassionate response, which I attempted to describe in my second point. I clearly don't consider Trump supporters to be sane, and by definition they cannot be compassionate beyond a limited group of people, since their candidate is a bigot and a misogynist. If you can't see that, I'm not going to explain it to you. The evidence is overwhelming.

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.


Some of Trump's strongest policy prescriptions include

1) Clamping down on immigration

2) Clamping down on free trade

I don't see how any libertarian can be a fan of either.


It isn't immigration, it's illegal immigration. It's also against the abuse of H1 visas. Incidentally Tata was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and logically she supports H1 abuses:

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.


Good points. But what specific policy or changes occur under a Trump presidency?

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.


Yeah, a libertarian who got rich on CIA investments and contracts. Isn't it amazing how everything else is crony capitalism and government needs to stop interfering in the market except to make oneself rich and protect ones own assets?


"who can use which bathroom" Isn't this the major problem we have currently?

Muslim terrorists. Warmongering Hillary, Zero Interest rates, crumbling infrastructure, imploding retirement funds. Who gives a fuck? But hey, bathroom problems.


Nicely put. MAGA.


[flagged]


Except that Trump has said that he does not care who uses what bathroom at his hotels and such. So, no, Thiel isn't an idiot.


Except that Trump's running mate is a hardcore social conservative... and he would likely be one of the most powerful/influential VPs in American history thanks to Trump's lack of interest in the details of governing.


But Republican politicians around the US have been introducing bills limiting who can use what bathroom, so the larger problem is the GOP as a whole doesn't know what it even believes. Thiel's and Trump's social ideals vary vastly from the rest of the party.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathroom_bill


The bathroom they align with? Do you believe in male and female brains? What makes someone align with a gender? The whole trans thing is regressive, homophobic, and medically unsound. Beyond that, the bathroom safety issue for women is real.


Oh come on, really? In what way is "the whole trans thing" homophobic? As for female and male brains, there is plenty of evidence that male and female brains are significantly different.


Homophobic

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?


Either that or he's shorting USD and looking to make a killing come November.

Also, trump is no libertarian, he's an extreme authoritarian.


I'm all for it but Trump isn't the guy to lead the change. He has no record of success and treats all humans terribly.

If Somebody with a similar mindset on the business matters minus the catastrophic interpersonal issues runs in the future I'll happily elect them.


Well, he actually does have a record of success. He wouldn't have a strong following if he treats all humans terribly.


I'm not surprised at all that Thiel is for Trump: he was always more for preserving America as white a possible than libertarian guy.

And Trump did for one important thing: we all know who are the racists and which organizations harbor and supporting racisms.




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