The billionaire investor sees the apocalypse coming. Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on your tolerance for excitement.
This may well be a good analysis of 'Thielism' but the result is (and can only be) overcomplicated vebiage. There is no need for any 'visions' of 'modern meaning' - neither Thiel's nor anyone else's. Nor will there ever be any such need. Truths about humankind (past, present and future) are enduring and much simpler:
- human DESIRE always exceeds supply; hence it comes up against SCARCITY (whether of material or emotional goods)
- humans compete against each other for these scarce goods and some do better than others (for all sorts of reasons: intelligence, 'character'. luck etc)
- most humans are a mixture of more noble and baser desires (albeit in varying proportions)
- humans gravitate towards some kind of religion (whether that be God or 'Social Justice' or 'The Environment') and leaders and followers emerge.
Why are so many libertarians enamoured by Trump? The above analysis of Thiel gives us a tentative answer. Attracted to Nietzsche's critique of morality, and lost in the cult of masculine power and vitality brings one all too close to the mainstreams of Fascism: the cult of masculinity and overt violence, contempt for commoners and democratic institutions, the exaltation of elites, and the distaste and aversion to signs of physical weakness and poverty. Look no further than Ayn Rand's writings, eg: "Atlas Shrugged" to see these in explicit detail, including the obvious influence of Nietzsche.
It all comes down to their inability to accept that they are not fundamentally special. They must invent inane, dead-end “philosophy” and wallow in it with the other resource hoarders and their sycophants.
Am always struck by how much these esoteric right-wing types love lambasting the supposedly slavish, impressionable masses, while failing to acknowledge that they themselves might be just as caught up in the dynamics they purport to identify. Even Peter Thiel is human, it turns out - and maybe his desires and projects are just as base, narcissistic and self-indulgent as those possessed by the rest of us.
So, the lost man-child tech bros are going to save us from the nihilism of technology. What could possibly go wrong?
"The apocalypse with which he tempts those disaffected by “liberal modernity” is no closer to real transcendence than pornography is to real sex. And if we were to worry about a totalitarian unifying force meme-ing us all into submission there are worse places to see the shadow of an Antichrist than on the half-eaten apple on the back of our iPhones."
The only reason anyone pays attention to Thiel’s drivel is that he is very, very rich.
On one hand we have a handful of bros rich enough to buy whole countries who seem to have contempt for most of humanity, and on the other hand we have about half of this humanity adoring populist thugs (a dozen names from various countries spring to mind.) It is a powerful and destructive alliance. Woe to the rest of us.
Thiel is an idiot
This is mind reading. It’s not an honest reckoning with another person’s ideas, but the author’s projection of them. I learned nothing about Peter Theil, but I did learn a lot about how to dress the anxieties of “progressives” in fancy prose. Let me translate into reactionary hate speech for you. “How dare Theil question our pieties, our received wisdom? How dare he look for a different paradigm? We already know what to think, thank you very much! We don’t need no stinking tech bro to weigh in! We’ve got all the other tech bros, you, you, you reactionary! There!”
On another note.....I'd say Peter was pretty pissed off when he gave that speech. Was he having a little entitled tantie at the bureaucrats of this world? The NZ Environmental Court had just rejected yet another application he had submitted to build a 1165sqm luxury lodge in an area of "Outstanding Natural Beauty" here in Wanaka. Ever been here? It's pretty special. Behind his constant purporting to have "genuine ideals" there has been a clear sense he has been trying to use his "power to shape and subdue a fundamentally stupid and innately violent populace." He is determined to fight the decision. In the mean time he'll have to dig his bolthole from the apocalypse in his own back yard. Thanks for the great article Tara.
I don’t care that much about Thielism either way, except as a billionaire he is in a position to push his nihilistic babble onto society in inevitably destructive ways. It’s the outsized power he holds to effect change that’s scary, more than his kooky and intellectually shallow views.
(There are a lot of nutballs out there. Only a few of them are multi-millionaires and billionaires.)
Jesus what a load. If Thiel isn’t the dumbest rich guy who thinks he’s smart since W and what’s his face, then chaos is indeed come again.
How can we get him to SHUT UP?
No one wants to be lectured to about how much smarter you are than everyone else when the left has been in complete cultural control of this country going on 20 years, and we're looking at the economic, political & legal collapse of our republic. Because the left ideology is based on cultural destruction, not creation. If all you do is "break barriers," you end up in a broken society.
This is strange. “ Thiel described himself as ‘religious but not spiritual’ during the talk” but in the very next sentence he was called Nietszchean. …. Isn’t Nietszche’s whole thing literally the opposite? Fuck religion, bring the spirit back?
I got interested in Girard a few years ago and read The Scapegoat and most of Thing Hidden and found his ideas profound. I naturally heard about Thiel when researching about Girard and how Thiel believed Thing Hidden to be the most influential book he’d read. But upon looking more into Thiel I quickly realized that he and I had a vastly different view of Girard’s mimetic desire. For one, I read Girard and saw how mimetic desire was a trap we all lived in - and the way out of the trap was being aware of the trap’s existence so that we could recognize and combat it. It seems that Thiel read it and realized he could play puppet master and could improve the trap we were already stuck in on unsuspecting millions - with investments in Social Media being a huge part of that. I think Thiel is a shoddy representative of Girardian theory (and theology) and is straight up evil for abusing the ideas of mimetic desire for personal gain and power.
Using "the left" as a blanket term for the neoliberal political establishment. It's more globalist-populist than right-left. And currently the establishment is 100% globalist. They see no difference between the American worker and workers throughout the rest of the world. That's why things have gotten so bad in the US.