by William Skink
For those concerned there are too many useless eaters on the planet, todays news that death rates are going up must be seen as a welcome trend:
The death rate in the United States rose last year for the first time in a decade, preliminary federal data show, a rare increase that was driven in part by more people dying from drug overdoses, suicide and Alzheimer’s disease. The death rate from heart disease, long in decline, edged up slightly.
As America’s dystopian future slowly comes into focus, the billionaire class–led by visionaries like Peter Thiel–will be ready.
Who is Peter Thiel you ask? Let me provide a few links so you can better understand where this future technocratic billionaire overlord is coming from.
Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel has been unmasked as the shadowy figure reportedly funding former wrestler Hulk Hogan’s ongoing, extraordinarily costly lawsuits against Gawker Media. Thiel, a PayPal co-founder, early Facebook investor, and partner and co-founder at venture-capital firm Founders Fund, “has played a lead role in bankrolling the cases,” Forbes reported Tuesday.
Hogan, who sued the online news organization for defamation over the publication of a sex tape, won $140 million in damages in March. If Gawker fails to successfully appeal, Hogan’s award could potentially shut down Gawker Media, or force it to be sold in full. (Gawker founder Nick Denton has already been forced to sell a minority stake to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, allegedly to help pay his legal bills in the case.) Rumors that a secret, wealthy benefactor was bankrolling Hogan’s suits had swirled around the case for some time. On Monday, The New York Times reported that Denton himself suspected someone, perhaps in Silicon Valley, was funding the suits against Gawker, which specializes in skewering powerful people in tech, business, and media. Thiel has been among those written about extensively by Gawker’s now defunct tech blog, Valleywag. A 2007 article titled “Peter Thiel is totally gay, people” outed Thiel. A day after the Times report was published, Forbes confirmed the involvement of Thiel, who declined to comment on the matter.
Thiel, 48, is a complicated and contradictory character. An avowed libertarian, Thiel is both a big believer in privacy from the government and a co-founder of Palantir, a multi-billion-dollar start-up that collects data about its clients’ users and monetizes their personal information. The C.I.A.’s venture-capital arm has invested in Palantir. And while Thiel has been footing the legal bills that could shutter one news organization, he has also extended his financial support to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit foundation that defends “the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.”
The floating castle is a longtime dream of libertarian oligarchs — a place where they can live their lives in peace free from the teeming masses of starving losers and indebted parasites and their tax demands. Since they’ve grown so rich off of America, they have enough spare change to fund projects like the Seasteading Institute, run by Milton Friedman’s grandson, Patri Friedman, and financed by the bizarre right-wing PayPal founder, Peter Thiel. It couldn’t have come a moment sooner for Milton Friedman’s grandson, who was best known until recently for running a grotesque advice blog for married swingers, PUA4LTR (Pick Up Advice For Long-Term Relationships). Actually, Patri Friedman ran that pick-up advice blog with his wife–the two of them are apparent big-time cyber-swingers, apparently–posting blog entries saying things like “Why Should Husbands Become PUAs? Because otherwise, your wife will talk like those wives on the blog My Husband Is Annoying.”
Both Thiel and Milton Friedman’s grandson see democracy as the enemy–last year, Thiel wrote “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible” at about the same time that Milton Friedman’s grandson proclaimed, “Democracy is not the answer.” Both published their anti-democracy proclamations in the same billionaire-Koch-family-funded outlet, Cato Unbound, one of the oldest billionaire-fed libertarian welfare dispensaries. Friedman’s answer for Thiel’s democracy problem is to build offshore libertarian pod-fortresses where the libertarian way rules. It’s probably better for everyone if Milton Friedman’s grandson and Peter Thiel leave us forever for their libertarian ocean lair–Thiel believes that America went down the tubes ever since it gave women the right to vote, and he was outed as the sponsor of accused felon James O’Keefe’s smear videos that brought ACORN to ruin.
The outspoken venture capitalist who took Facebook into the big-time is now on Team Trump, and will serve as a delegate for the campaign during the GOP convention this summer. This may not even be his worst idea.
The news will come as a disappointment to many who idolize Thiel for his ability to pick winners and make enormous amounts of money based on the software creations of others—he’s been deified in the tech sector for some time now, even serving as the basis for the character of Peter Gregory in HBO’s Silicon Valley. It’s an industry that’s struggled to make itself less white and more inclusive, so for a household name like Thiel to align himself with the White Power candidate is bad news. But it’s not totally surprising: Thiel’s political views are as murky and septic as Trump’s—he is a gay man who has generously supported the Republican party, paid kids to drop out of college, and has long dreamt of building a literal floating libertarian island paradise where only the free market (and Peter Thiel, presumably) would rule. In the sense that they are both men who haven’t thought a lot of their ideas through, Peter Thiel and Donald Trump are a logical pairing of two incoherent men. They’ve also both failed at business at least as much as they’ve triumphed.