Both men were billionaires who invested in computing and were involved in the 'military industrial complex'. But the word 'libertarian' has been dragged so far to the right in the US in recent years that it's not a meaningful category to compare the two with.
I lived in Sweden and now I live in the Netherlands. You have better chance to meet alien from another galactic than a person who doesn't believe in these dogmas. So I definitely see absolute political monogamy here.
In centralized democracy high earners have absolutely no voice. I.e. formally they can vote but they will be always in the minority. So middle class and ultra-rich rule the game. Ones through voting, others through lobbying.
So middle class can very effectively rips off high earners (a good example - Sweden). In other words, middle class strive to "equalize" them as they are not normal. They completely forgot that high earners already brought value to society while earning their money.
The culture in many western european countries despise those who want to stand out of the crowd. So in this sense the crowd is against highly motivated and ambitious people.
That's why I don't believe that Europe could beat Silicon Valley without significant cultural shift.
Here are things I deeply hate in Swedish culture:
Very similar ideologically thing in Dutch culture "Doe Normaal" which often translates to English as "Act normal, it's already crazy enough".
Fortunately not every swede or dutch likes these "normality" things.
The rich (whether they're on the left or on the right) have a massive impact on the media. Think Rupert Murdoch, think Oprah.
There are 27 billionaires in Sweden. For a population of 10 million people. Per capita, that's about twice as much as the US.
Stop feeling victimized for being on the right. The rich pay taxes, so that society seems fairer to those millions of people who make everything that the rich consume. Tough luck, but guess what, you can still become super rich, so what's the issue?
You can talk to anyone who's worth more than 100 million: being twice as rich won't change a damn thing to their way of life. At this stage, it's only a matter of power and counting points.
So when I hear "rich should pay their fair share", I know they are going after me! I've never seen social-democrat policies which touch only billionaires as they constantly claim!
The pretty similar situation all across Europe with exception of German cantons of Switzerland.
Yet ripping off upper middle class so effectively, western European socialists still constantly complain about "inequality". Which means, they are not satisfied to taking only 58% from me, they want more, much more. In fact, I believe they will be not satisfied until everybody is completely "equalized to death".
I honestly do NOT believe that I owe anything to poor people. And I'm saying that as a person who born in Uzbekistan and lived in extreme poverty (my income in 2003 was ... 10 USD per month).
"I honestly do NOT believe that I owe anything to poor people."
Every human is capable of making a contribution to society, those like you who are more capable than most (and have been given the opportunity to immigrate, in your case) have a joint responsibility to pay things forward and ensure that others are given the opportunity and support needed to be all they can be. That's how a healthy society works.
Exaggerating to make a point: Mark Zuckerberg wouldn't be a billionaire for long if every Facebook user starved to death or couldn't afford internet access. Being the only one in your village who can afford a fancy car makes you feel good. Being the only one in your village who can afford to eat makes you feel awful. The problem is that billionaires increasingly don't live in the same villages, or indeed the same planet, as those they depend on for their wealth.
May I ask you why you moved to Sweden? or Amsterdam? Where they also have the "Doe Normaal" mindset which you say you take issue with.
You say that you don't believe that you owe anything, but immediately afterwards say that you were poor not even 15 years ago.
Are you absolutely certain that you are 100% responsible for your success, or is it possible that the luxuries of both these "socialist" countries awarded you the opportunities not found in your (original) homeland?
I don't doubt that the tax brackets could be improved, inefficiencies in government could be ironed out, etc, but it's a bit much to criticize two systems that awarded you such success, don't you think?
I moved here because choose least worst option, not because I appreciate socialism and high taxes. In Uzbekistan, taxation is also very high but in different dimension - the government squeeze you via high inflation (by printing money) and unofficial taxation (corruption).
I'm logically consistent since Uzbekistan is on 148th place in rating of economy freedom (read it as how economically liberal the government), Russia (my second country) is on 114th place, Sweden (my third country) is on 19th place, the Netherlands is on 15th place.
So as you can see I move to more liberal country each time in terms of economy freedom and taxation (in Russia real taxes are high by the same reason as in Uzbekistan).
Liberal economic policies are core reason why western Europe stays afloat despite (!) socialist policies and high taxation.
People in Uzbekistan and Russia are less capitalist than in western Europe.
Yes, I'm absolutely sure that my little success is despite socialist polities and more generally the Government (Uzbekistan, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands).
Look, I've never received any help from government. I don't have any formal education (neither school nor university). I'm self-taught. I have zero inheritance. Everything I've earn was from private enterprise.
Will that change your motivation? Are you demotivated because you earn 18k less than what you could earn in a more liberal country? I don't think so!
You're not pissed about the actual numbers, you're pissed because of the principles...
It does not. Democrats have always policed their taxation language towards "high income" and never "rich". The difference between the two is that the second group does not have to work to generate such income. The money flowing from inheritance, trust fund, municipal bonds, oil wells or massive land holdings is good enough.
How many wealth taxes have Democrats proposed while controlling various branches and enjoying a supermajority back in the days?
No there are 27 billionaires with Swedish citizenship. I'd estimate that less than half of them live full time in Sweden.
Also over 50% of them are from 1 of 4 families. and only 2 of them made their money by founding an actual company (as opposed to a hedge fund or trading company).
I like to use the analogy of two boys in a playing field kicking a ball back and forth. Lets value the ball at $10. Each time they pass the ball from one to the other, they "create" $10 worth of economic activity, and under a simplified version of current logic, they should pay the state $2 for each pass. But what should really be taxed is the ball itself, and the land upon which they play. Not the number of times the ball changes hands.
In the UK, thanks the the billionaire-owned tabloid political agenda, we have:
Ultra-rich (old money, luck, extreme talent/charisma)
Middle class (strivers, value creators, good people)
Working class (tyrannical majority of freeloaders)
Underclass (don't vote, who cares, lazy sub-human thieves)
So in Scandinavia, it looks like this?
Ultra-rich (old money, luck, extreme talent/charisma)
Upper middle class (strivers, value creators, good people)
Middle class (tyrannical majority of freeloaders, pretty bad people)
(not mentioned) - Working class (lazy don't vote, who cares, sub-human thieves?)
As a middle class, socially immobile value creator myself, I feel your pain, but why does your anger seem directed mainly at those below you in the hierarchy? Without getting too Marxist about it, value creation is a function of the entire system, genius and value creation can't happen in isolation. Billionaires drive on roads built by unskilled labourers, hedge fund managers still need their toilets cleaned and computer hardware upgraded. Human underachievement in advanced economies is a tragedy, but there are systemic roadblocks, it's not just moral and cultural degeneracy by a grasping, entitled populist majority.
Your description hits my native Norway very well. It is very difficult to excel and get recognition for it. In a discussion with my SO the other day, I was trying to find a Norwegian word for 'excel' and realized that we do not have this word in our language.
However, after looking at several different dictionaries, I really can't find a Norwegian word that translates to this. Two separate sources translates it with "stige" which doesn't sound right at all.
Anarchists believe in no laws. Libertarians believe in increased liberty for the individual. This can be manifest as a reduction of laws, it may be as extreme as a desire for anarchy.
Libertarian really is (was?) about increasing and protecting the individual liberties, maximizing one's ability to make use of their freedoms.
To put those words into a descriptive use, I prefer this; You are free to kill me, you are not at liberty to do so. If you try to kill me, I have the right to defend myself.
So, libertarians are concerned with increasing personal liberties and typically for everyone. So, no, to use the above example, a libertarian would not suggest they have the right to kill people because that's reducing the right of the other person to live. Typically, a libertarian would have wanted to ensure one can most appreciate their freedoms while protecting the commons.
I use the past tense because the usual perception of libertarian is the current incarnation which is mostly made up of ashamed republicans who can no longer feel comfortable being associated with the republican party.
Really, Ayn Rand was an idiot and adoption of her book was absolutely not libertarian in nature. Liberties are for everyone, not just those who can afford them. The goal is to maximize the ability to enjoy your freedoms, and that isn't just reserved for the wealthy. Furthermore, wealth isn't an indicator of productivity or value to society. Wealth is an absolutely horrible metric for determining liberties or rights.
Way back when, libertarians were considered the kooky left. Now, they are seen as the crazy right. Really, it's a very broad spectrum that isn't easy to pin down and put onto a bumper sticker.
I identify as a libertarian, I'd probably be considered close to a Scandinavian Social-Democrat but with a touch of greater rights and expecting a bit more personal responsibility. I believe in things like a strong social safety net, inexpensive health care, inexpensive education, and a right to individual autonomy.
On the political compass, I'm fairly far to the left (very far by US standards) and down in the lower quadrant, as a libertarian.
Sorry for the novella, but hopefully this makes sense. For the most part, the leftist leaning libertarians are extinct in the US. The party has been usurped. Even before that, there weren't many calls for anarchy.
I kinda wish this could be more succinct. Again, sorry about that.
Liberties are for everyone, not just those who can afford them.
How do you square these two lines of reasoning? If you can afford making sure I get killed and I cannot afford to defend myself against you what difference my theoretical right to defend myself make? If the only rights I have are the ones I can personally defend then only the rich have rights.
The goal being to maximize your ability to enjoy your freedoms does not mean you'll be able to maximize them as much as someone else with greater assets.
An example would be public parks. A wealthy person may be able to put a giant boat on the lake, but you may only be able to afford to swim in the lake. You should still be allowed to swim in the lake and enjoy the park.
You, the individual, are still responsible for you. Equal opportunity doesn't ensure equal outcome. So, we must still protect the commons and have a strong social safety net.
Unlike most libertarians, given the power to do so, I'd tax the hell out of the wealthy. For the record, I'm considered wealthy. I pay a lot of taxes, but could easily pay more without even really reducing my ability to enjoy my freedoms.
It is my responsibility to help pay for your social safety net. Not only that, it is financially sound for me to do so.
I want you to be healthy, you're more productive. I want you to be educated, you're more innovative. I want you to have the ability to try to start a business, so I can sell your business products and services. I want you happy, because happy people are more productive. I want you to not have to worry about health care expenses, because keeping you healthy is less expensive than fixing you up after you become unhealthy.
It's just good sense, I think. Killing you is still illegal and no system is going to recent that. Laws aren't really meant to stop people, they are meant to indicate those actions will be punished.
That sounds naive to me. Without regulation on boat traffic what is to stop it becoming unfeasible to swim in the lake due to all the giant boats and all their docks clogging the lake. Being allowed to do something doesn't matter much if actually doing so in practice is impossible or highly impractical.
Additionally, I'm not sure how you would read my posts and think I was in favor of no regulations? Libertarian != anarchist. Maybe you missed the part about protecting the commons? Maybe you missed my comments explaining what libertarian means? I dunno...
If you're really curious, there is a pretty good Wikipedia article on the subject. Again, it is a broad spectrum that encompasses quite a lot of variations.
The thing is, we weren't ever a large group. When what I call ashamed republicans took over the party, it moved perception strongly to the right. We can't really kick them out of the party, that would kinda be antithetical to our stated beliefs.
So, here we are. I can understand why people would be confused when I say I'm a libertarian. I can understand why they'd immediately think I'm a Randian. So, I try to explain it, but it's rather verbose and not exactly easy to sum up.
Indeed. Do you think it is possible that you are mislabeling yourself? From this thread, I'd say most people would label you a social democrat (and no, not because you reject Ayn Rand).
This is incorrect. Anarchists believe in no rulers. Laws can be agreed between consenting parties.
The point of laws in a democracy is that they're (theoretically, without corruption) consented to by a maximum amount of people. If you don't have rulers, then whatever your group of 10 people consent to as an unwritten rule will be broken by me, much to my gain.
That doesn't sound like a law - that sounds like a contract.
Actually there is a recent trend of leftwing libertains in America under the names "free-market anti-capitalist", "thick libertarianism", " market-anarchism", and even "libertarian socialism", all working inside and outside of the Libertarian Party.
I sometimes describe myself as 'classic libertarian' but 'libertarian socialist' is also pretty close to my ideals.
Notably, I'm nearing 60 and I've never once had political representation. Not one elected politician has represented my ideals, at least not at the national level. There may be some at local levels, but they wouldn't be in any of the areas where I live(d).
No, no I don't usually vote for the Libertarian Party candidate these days.
- "Free-market anti-capitalist" is a term used by people who want to call themselves "mutualists" but lost the rhetorical shell game trying to compare themselves to Proudhon, with whom they in reality share nothing.
- Thick vs thin libertarianism is orthogonal to the discussion here, though I think it's discussed almost exclusively by ancaps; as far as I know the distinction was created to discuss two different attitudes towards the NAP. Anarchists and other socialists don't put much faith in NAPs.
- "Market anarchism" is a synonym for full-on Rothbard ancap.
- "Libertarian socialism" is identified with anarchism back into the 19th century. Any attempt to use the term to describe "free market" policies is incoherent appropriation for the sake of (probably populist) branding.
No libertarian socialists of note work within the Libertarian Party in the US. When the term "left libertarian" is used in that context, the "left" is only relative to the paleoconservative parts of it.
Crazy right makes them sound very far to the right.
I'd consider them more kooky right, but in such a way that the result of their policies would be extremely far right. If everyone was a libertarian then maybe it would work better.
Maybe idiot was too strong a word, but it was shorter than the alternatives. If she'd left it as a work of fantasy, and not encouraged adoption, I'd be less inclined to be disrespectful. However, she gave many talks on the subject and pushed her views as serious political philosophy. This was adopted by others and has pretty much ruined the whole party and platform.
So, maybe she isn't an idiot but is actually a genius for undermining a once viable political platform and duping young people into believing in fairy tales.
TL;DR: The "opposite" of a bad world isn't necessarily a good world.
It really is a broad spectrum and it's quite possible to have both authoritarian ideals in one category while having libertarian values in a different category.
I do favor the simplicity of the political compass with four points. It has a specific name but I can't think of it at the moment. It is simplistic, and reductionist, but it is handy enough for a forum post and adequate for generalized conversations.
But, as you suggest, it's much more complicated than that. We humans really do like putting things into boxes, or so it seems.
Libertarianism was never viable. It goes against human nature, just in the opposite direction from communism. Communism postulates that lazy people deserve everything (“to each according to his need”), so the wealthy and aspiring hate it. Libertarianism postulates they deserve nothing (“taxation is theft”) so the poor hate it. The gray reality is somewhere in between. The underlying truth of the situation is that when the poor have nothing to eat, they eat the rich, and moral absolutes do not help either side.
Libertarian is the opposite of authoritarian. Again, it's a broad spectrum on the political compass. There is still left and right. There are extremes and moderates. You're claiming absolutes and being polarized by assuming the loudest speak for every one.
If you read my posts, you'd see that I think Ayn Rand was a moron. You'd also already know that it is far more than just Randians. There's a wonderful Wikipedia article on the subject, if you don't believe me.
i just wanted to add that the poor don't eat the rich when they have nothing to eat. they do it much sooner, when they notice that the rich eat better and better and the quality of their food increases way quicker than theirs. that's when the biggest revolutions happen, anyway.
(guess what - i actually live in a post-communist country, too. most people here probably have no idea what they're talking about when they say communism.)
"Many will be shocked to learn that the word “democracy” was neither used in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution. Indeed, the Founding Fathers were anxious and fearful of allowing any form of tyranny, including the tyranny of the majority." 
alphonsegaston's point is the exact opposite.
I think the confusion is that the term is used for all sorts of things like economic liberals (neo-liberal de-regulators), social liberals (into multi-culturalism and identity politics) and Ayn Randian sea-steaders and techno-utopians, which is where classical liberals often seem to end up on a diet of extreme capitalism and sociopathy?
In Europe, left libertarianism is very much a thing, as identity politics and re-distributive economic socialism often find common ground in empathy for those who are disadvantaged in different ways. The right to exploit others does not trump the right to not be exploited, unless I am badly mis-remembering John Stuart Mill?
Don't really know why, but it's what they seem to want to do.
> The term libertarianism was first used in the U.S. as a synonym for classic liberalism in May 1955 by writer Dean Russell, a colleague of Leonard Read and a classic liberal himself.
What precedes that paragraph is mainly about the French word "libertaire" which is not the French translation for "libertarian" but does shares a root with it (liberty).
Interestingly, the French Wikipedia article claims that the word "libertarian" was coined specifically to distinguish classical liberals from modern liberals in the US.
In the US at least, libertarians very rarely identify with the "left" label.
Colin Ward (2004), Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 62.
"For a century, anarchists have used the word 'libertarian' as a synonym for 'anarchist', both as a noun and an adjective. The celebrated anarchist journal Le Libertaire was founded in 1896. However, much more recently the word has been appropriated by various American free-market philosophers."
No one’s denying that it’s modern connotations hem toward the right-wing cooption that that took place in the 1950s. Their project was to dress up reactionary ideology as radicalism and was undeniably successful.
One can fashion a simplistic thought experiment where a simple majority votes to take resources from the minority, presumably against the minoritys' will. That seems rather unjust, or unfair.
What this glosses over is that governments need to make policy and decisions. Inevitably, there will be winners and losers.
Just because decision making power is taken away from the majority does not mean that more fair outcomes are likely. Some other method of making decisions, let's say by rule of a (hopefully enlightened) monarch, still needs to be implemented. And these decisions will have major consequences on the population, creating some winners and losers in the outcome.
The argument for Democracy is that it, on balance, will protect the population from potential tyranny of a despotic or corrupt ruler, better than other forms of government.
The political structure of the US government has built in protection against a tyrannical reign by the majority of the population over the minority. The system of "checks and balances" is a good idea, however imperfectly it is implemented.
As a practical matter, the "power of the people" is limited in any case. There is an actual "elite" in the US, and members of the elite hold disproportionate power. For better or worse.
It's another thing to propose that where representative government itself is in tension with capital... the problem is representation. Or perhaps even civic/state power in general.
The last election for the POTUS had the declared winner elected by an overall loss of 3mm votes.
The UK is plowing ahead with a hard brexit with a 52% majority on a 72% turnout (38% of the electorate explicitly said they wanted to leave), with a minority government propped up by a bribe with a minor political party from Northern Ireland.
I'm sure I can find more examples (and I'm aware that I'm cherry picking examples too), but to say that that you require a "supermajority" in most western countries isn't strictly true. (excuse the phrasing)
Well, one way to address the problem of the tyranny of the majority is to make minority rule plausible. :b
> to say that that you require a "supermajority" in most western countries isn't strictly true.
A supermajority isn't necessary for many things; a plurality will do for a lot of operations, including becoming POTUS. But in the US there's also some legal concepts that you can only do away with via a supermajority and one spread out over different branches of government at that. Doing away with any of the bill of rights is not happening with a plurality in an election.... because the US already is a republic with a democratically elected representative government based on rule of law set down in a constitution that can't be changed without supermajority buy-in.
Most western democracies that I'm familiar with have some similar sets of principles that aren't up for democratic election (at least, according to the stated rules of the governance game -- unofficially, any principle is always vulnerable to contention and falling out of value, that's a reality of governing human beings, not a flaw in a system of government).
It is in some places - the UK had it in 2010, and technically has it right now too. You can't really do miniority rule in a two party system though.
> a plurality will do for a lot of operations,
a plurality in a two party system seems ironic to me, but I understand your point.
Well, that's how referendums work, there is never 100% turnout. So the amount of people who votes constitute the "100%" and you only need 51% of that to win a referendum.
Your argument is also not good because by following your logic we could say that almost no US president has ever gotten elected by majority, at least from top of my head I am not aware of anybody actually being elected by getting votes of 51% or more of all eligible voters.
For the POTUS elections, trump lost on a count of just shy of 2.9million votes, but won by the electoral college.
By applying that logic to the brexit referendum, breaking up over the 5 countries that voted (england, scotland, NI, wales, gibralter) remain would have won. By dividing up the 382 counting areas  I'm sure you get a different result too.
For a UK parliament vote, I'm not sure on what the result would be if you took a voter turnout by percentage across the countries, and then evenly distributed the MPs based on those number of votes, but I'm sure someone has done the analysis somewhere.
To go back on topic, my point was (supposed to be) more about how a tyranny of the majority can happen, and does happen, in western countries (with some slightly alternative points such as the fact that majorities aren't always majorities)
I hate this argument because you would just not count if brexit had been rejected as you wish it had been. You would just say "sigh it's normal, i'm happy people are not that stupid" and you wouldn't bother arguing with "stupid people".
Even if i wanted to argue on that level, you can say there was
- 38% who explicitly said they wanted to leave
- 37% who explicitly said they wanted to stay
- 25% who had no opinion / didn't care
so it make absolute sense to leave in that case.
EDIT: To be clear i'm not pro-brexit, i just think "echo chamber blah blah biaised opinions" like this one are the reason people "can't understand" election such as brexit and trump and question the legitimacy...
That's absolutely not true. I never said that Brexit shouldn't happen based on that majority. I was simply pointing out that a bare majority in this case _has_ provided arbitrary power. Reading anything further into my comment is disingenuous.
That's one way to look it at it. Another is to take the result and say there is no clear majority either way, and since there is no clear public majority for either option it should be up parliament to decide since that's their job.
It’s probably true that some of the overlap between libertarians and alt-righters can be explained by their companionship as members of the political fringe. But it’s not purely accidental, either. Historically, prominent libertarian thinkers have made the decision to cultivate ties with the nationalist far right, and have viewed racial demagoguery both as an efficacious political tool and an intellectually defensible position. The libertarian-to-fascist pipeline may have been forged partially by coincidence, but it was also crafted and maintained.
I also have no doubt that prominent people who identify and are accepted as libertarian, and sites which are cited as and claim to be libertarian, have cultivated alliances with racist/nationalist/isolationist groups. To those groups, many libertarian positions are appealing: sweeping away all government regulation, for example, would get rid of those pesky laws that make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race. Holding private contracts to be sacred and doing away with government interference in their performance means exploitative contracts -- close or even identical to actual slavery -- "entered" into on extremely coercive terms become perfectly acceptable. And so on and so forth.
It amuses me to see every article about the "alt right" define it as something different.
On the other hand, I am always reluctant to link to social papers since data can be so easily massaged to affirm nearly any presupposed conclusion. Do you have any evidence or logic to support your view that the masses have any substantive and, more importantly, lasting effect on policy? I do not think it's self evident that the masses are having any direct effect on the current themes of net neutrality and PIPA/SOPA/CISPA/CISA. The apparent effect seems more due to the fact that very influential "economic elites" are themselves divided on the issues.
 - http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materi...
For that matter, why should you let common law precedent or the rule of law prevent you from secretly funding third-party lawsuits as part of your personal revenge scheme? This is America and money should be able to do whatever it wants.
And oh, funding the campaign an openly white supremacist, brags-about-sexual-assualt, famous fraudster and charlatan with no credentials who is obviously unprepared and poorly suited temperamentally to be president? Hey, if the bet pays off there’s great personal upside, so who cares if it would be terrible for the society?
Edit: after reading the Vanity Fair essay (which is much better than this Gizmodo thing) I'm I think more skeptical, though it's more explicitly stated that Facebook is viewed in a more nefarious light.
Early investor, made him untold millions, tight with zucc, who's sacrificed personal capital to keep him on the board (despite his far-right politics).
- He is strongly opposed to multiculturalism, and attributes many evils to it. Though when put under pressure to justify some of the views he published in his book on the subject (such as that women reporting rape is an organized leftist conspiracy to undermine white men), he simply said he never thought them. Genius!
- He promotes political figures on the far right of US politics, like race-baiter Ann Coulter.
Whether you consider him a libertarian or not, I can't do much about. Normally I'm against Americans abusing words with perfectly well established meanings for marketing purposes, but I fear this one is a lost cause.
Cultural globalisation was favored by the left during the 1970's and lost favor during the 1980's and later.
Is slavery and Cultural globalisation a fair comparison?
 "Enforcement of Multi culturalism" is opposed by most libertarians.
 This shows he is supporting conservatives, not really far right.
Perhaps your definition of far right is not what I understand.
On your second, I think the virtue of Multiculturalism is at least worth debating. If he calls it "evil" that's not something I'd agree with, but that would align with a lot of Far Right thought.
As for Coulter, she's just as much of a race baiter as any of the others on the Left that seem to attribute any problem they see to some race-based variable. I don't know of any instance where Theil has actively promoted her or her ideas but I'm ready to be proven wrong.
Not sure what to make of that last paragraph. My guess is you're taking issue with "Libertarian" and implying that Thiel is in fact not one, and is using it to appeal to nominal "actual" Libertarians by hyjacking the word. This is of course quite possible.
But even putting that aside, on which dimension is Thiel not on the far-right? He's hardcore capitalist who supports (self-described!) monopolist policies; he sits on the board of a public surveillance company and is the chairman of a second military-industrial one; he published a book in which he called a substantial portion of rape victims liars; and we're talking about him getting an appointment in a right-wing movement in the federal government.
* Enough to consistently regard ethnic minorities as threatening?
* Enough to consume white supremacist literature?
* Enough to endorse white supremacist literature to those around you?
* Enough to write white supremacist literature?
Your threat model is a caricature. When individuals with track-records like Thiel are selected for positions of power, it makes all of us less safe: No amount of domain expertise will protect us from Thiel himself.
'White culture is under threat' is a core belief of white supremacists.
It's also a well known fact. All you have to do is look at the demographic changes in Western countries.
Wanting white culture to survive still doesn't make one a white supremacist. I even want Japanese culture to survive. Does this make me a Japanese supremacist?
You change the original point. Professing "white culture" is under threat and that other cultures should survive someplace else does indeed make you a white supremacist.
The U.S. was multi-cultural from the start, even if some cultures (natives or blacks) wanted nothing to do with it. This is what made it later stand out and attract people all over the world. You can't re-neg it without turning into a genocidal shithole.
What do you mean by this?
Are you saying that American culture is "white" culture? If so, then you might want to do some self-reflection.
It is fair to say that most organised attempts to advocate for 'White Culture' -such as White Pride events and a staggering proportion of 'European Students Associations' etc are explicitly racist in practice. This by itself should be concerning enough to lead observers to scrutinise very carefully organisations or publications devoted to securing 'White Culture'.
White people are too ambigously defined a group to have one common culture. Hence the term is nonsense.
Is this statement morally equivalent? Why or why not?
White people are too diverse a group to have one single culture. I am white and not from the U.S. Based on these facts people cannot guess what my values are, what my traditions are, whether people of my ethnicity were ever opressed or were the opressors, or even what language I speak, or what religion I have. Hence the term "white culture" does not make sense.
Cultural globalisation merges all cultures into one common. Small (or less vocal) cultures get less representation in the global culture, while large ones get incorporated more wholesale. Cultural diversity in contrast try to keep cultures distinctive, while also trying to dodge cultural tensions. White supremacists generally require that cultures stay distinctive, but they don't care to decrease cultural tensions. That doesn't seems to fit well for either side, and makes attempts to do so to look as political attempt of associating white supremacists with criticism to multiculturalism.
NB: that correlation is less obvious for those who have the "right" culture.
Um, how about just reducing immigration a lot and giving it time? It's not that complicated.
I think you're just obscuring the obvious non-Hitler solutions because you want easy moral superiority. Easy to slag someone when you can pretend they just want to commit genocide. Much harder when you take their views charitably.
But, this is common, which is why I generally agree with Thiel here: Nobody had ever tried to convince me otherwise, only accused me of wanting things I don't want.
You have still completely glossed over what specifically you expect ought to to happen to the non-white people who already reside in whichever country you're talking about, and their descendents, and anyone they interbreed with, even presupposing some weird test for who does or does not count as white. I don't think it's inappropriate for readers to be quite alarmed about all of that.
This is also completely ignoring crucial context about where these white people you refer to came from or which lands they should be entitled to, and begs the question of why white people should be the ones who get to turn their nation of birth into an ethnostate for them rather than the ones being excluded.
Of all the things one might say about Ethnostates, the blithe claim that "it's not that complicated" is profoundly scary.
But not reducing immigration from most of Europe, right? And in turn should white Americans not be allowed to live abroad in most of the rest of the world?
I should have refrained from saying "imbeciles", because that's not conducive to discussion and obviously there are some smart people like Thiel and yourself who end up advocating these ideas. It's hard to even begin a discussion about racial nationalism though, because I think it's pretty clear that the idea of race itself is scientifically shaky.
I'd like to convince you though. But first, what exactly is it that you're advocating?
And some questions I have...
1) Can you clarify your stance on immigration?
2) Can you give me a coherent definition of race?
3) What entitles one particular race (I'm assuming "white" people in this case) to predominate in America?
4) What if anything should happen to non-white people that are currently legal US citizens?
5) What should happen to Americans like myself who are married to non-white, non-US-citizens? Won't we end up in limbo with no place to go? I can assure you that I am not just looking for moral superiority -- I feel that my very wellbeing is threatened by the ideas that I hear espoused by racial nationalists.
6) Would you break apart the United States to give, for example, a black nationalist movement their own country? Seems only fair considering whites forcibly brought them to this country. And Native Americans? If so, what are the logistics of this and who gets what?
7) Do you feel that there is something fundamental connecting culture and "race"? What specific elements of the cultures of other races do you see as harmful? Are these differences fundamentally irreconcilable and why? Surely there are other white people (myself probably) who hold opinions that are equally divergent, so why not separate on that basis rather than purely on race?
Again, I find myself halting while even typing out these questions because I have to keep referring back to this ill-defined idea of race. But, I guess the discussion has to start somewhere unless we plan on wiping each other out.
Is that because he invested in Facebook early on?
Can someone describe corruption and help me understand how it differs from this situation?
Then for private donation (individual or corporation) there are really low limits. For example in Ireland, the maximum donation for a party per year is about 6,000€.
So sure wealthy people can pay up to that amount, but you cannot really be "bought" for that price. I don't think it is comparable to US campaign finance.
The system is not perfect either because public funding heavily favours existing parties and so, it is harder to run as an independent.
Wealthy individuals can donate to political parties, but not to individual politicians, and that is tightly regulated.
If an individual politician was accepting donations from a wealthy individual or company, it would be a scandal.
Here's one list: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/find-information-by-s...
Here's some more information: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/find-information-by-s...
It might feel unsavory that those speeches are indeed personal income for the long list of politicians, from both left and right, who have engaged in that practice. But those events aren't about buying influence, they're about rich wankers feeling special because they get to hear some bullshit commencement address from important people behind closed doors.
Those private speeches don't buy any more influence than campaign contributions... which is to say rather little for the presidency. The higher the office, the more visibility and intervening forces there are to keep you from making arbitrary policy in favor of donors.
To be clear, I agree these things are bad. And we should strive to remove them entirely from our democracy. But the magnitude of both campaign contributions and private event income is routinely overstated these days.
Also about the fact that people are more likely to sign over millions of dollars in accounts to be managed after they are hanging out in the glow after shaking the hands of somebody they admire. The bank hires Neil Degrasse Tyson or any other celebrity for the same reason. They make money even after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"False equivalence"? I wasn't "equating" anything. The fact that they are separate categories was the entire point. Namely, that campaign contributions have to (at least in theory) be spent on the campaign, while "speaking fees" are pure slush that can be used for anything the politician desires.
> Those private speeches don't buy any more influence than campaign contributions... which is to say rather little for the presidency.
Are you seriously arguing that politicians aren't influenced when people give them $400,000 of free money (allegedly for standing in front of a crowd and spouting nonsense for 20 minutes)? Dude, these are politicians, not saints.
So getting sweetheart speaking gigs after you leave office isn't all that likely to lead to corruption charges (unless, say, you believe that Obama has a lot of influence over the present government).
The speaking fees the Clinton's accepted during her interregnum were heavily investigated, because they were an easy target. I wonder if a better prosecutor than Chaffetz would have found something.
* Lack of transparency. It's tough to be corrupt in plain sight.
* Payment to someone who currently possesses power -- not a public contribution to a political candidate seeking a new office of power.
The difference is negligible if you consider it a hedge on that person getting into office, upon which time you get rewarded through appointment. A theme that has become a pattern.
I don't think the difference is neglible though. In particular, voters incorporate the campaign financing into their decision (as we saw people not voting for HRC because of all the cash she got from Wall Street)
I'm confused. I thought Thiel loved monopolies. Isn't that all he preaches about in one of his books, that you should create a monopoly ASAP? Or does he only love his monopolies or the ones he's been involved in - such as Facebook? And is that why he's willing to give Facebook a pass?
During the MS anti-trust case in the 90s, it was common to hear things like "becoming a monopoly should be the goal of any business but once they succeed they can't use that monopoly to compete unfairly for another." It was lauded that the created the DOS/Windows monopoly, but it was illegal to force suppliers to bundle MS Word, IE or Media Player with each system and it was illegal to prevent them from pre-installing Word Perfect, Netscape or Real Player.
I don't think MS would have survived so unscathed if Gore had won, but it's impossible to know for sure. The political administration has a huge effect on how much these things are pursued, and it would be a huge deal if the Trump administration were to pursue anti-trust cases as aggressively as the Clinton administration did.
I mean providing Data Mining and Intelligence analysis software for Intel organizations is Dark Arts now?
This event is more meaningful for the world economy and safety than North Korea playing with nuclear weapons. The sides of a possible WW III are analogs vs digitals.
What do you think? I'm thinking about writing a blog post expanding on the idea.
> "here" --> https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/09/donald-trump-peter-t...
Gizmodo's parent company, Gawker, outed Thiel for being gay and he later helped fund a lawsuit someone else brought against them (for taking and publishing a recording of a private sexual encounter). That lawsuit put Gawker out of business.
What the article makes it sound like is that Thiel is against forms of censorship at the level of companies like Google and Amazon, which in a way is fine, right? (Or maybe I misunderstood?).
Also it sounds like Thiel would very much want to limit the role of the NSA in matters of domestic privacy, which is kind of what everybody wanted Obama to do.
Don't get me wrong, I really dislike libertarianism in that it necessarily leads to very unbalanced societies. And I especially dislike it when it's incoherent (like when libertarians are against immigration/freedom of movement).
But in matters of personal privacy, it's kind of good, no?
EDIT: ok - whoever downvotes this - please send a comment regarding why you think my comment is inappropriate / not interesting?
He founded and directly profits from Palantir, a huge private surveillance company that makes its money from government surveillance contracts. He's already got some sweet deals for the company after working for Trump, especially new contracts for ICE.
It's possible that he'd like to privatize surveillance work for his own profit, but given that he's spent the last 13 years working on superior mass surveillance systems, it seems unlikely that the views you seem to attribute to him are true. This is all outside of him being on the board of Facebook (which I'd argue is single greatest force against domestic privacy in the US, and an extremely large ingest source for the NSA).
Not me, but:
> What the article makes it sound like is that Thiel is against forms of censorship at the level of companies like Google and Amazon, which in a way is fine, right? (Or maybe I misunderstood?).
He's on the board of Facebook, and I don't think I'm pessimistic in assuming that will be a executive factor in his actions.
I also don't think it's unreasonable to suggest he's only being considered for his support and donations to Trump, not for his qualifications (like most Trump appointees).
> Also it sounds like Thiel would very much want to limit the role of the NSA in matters of domestic privacy, which is kind of what everybody wanted Obama to do.
I don't believe anyone is hesitant out of dislike of the concept, but clouded judgement of the individual.