Peter Thiel, fundraiser of the radical right

Billionaire Peter Thiel has become one of the biggest donors to Republican candidates. He has already bet 30 million dollars on fifteen political figures who all have in common to be even more Trumpists than Donald Trump. For its critics, it is not just a question of blocking the Democrats, but of undermining the foundations of the American political system.

He gave them $10 million each to win in November. JD Vance and Blake Masters, respectively Republican candidates for the midterm legislative elections in Ohio and Arizona, can count on the support of the very wealthy and feared enfant terrible of tech Peter Thiel.

This generous political funding is partly explained by the fact that the two candidates worked for Peter Thiel, one of the co-founders of the online payment site PayPal, before entering politics. But, above all, JD Vance and Blake Masters represent everything the billionaire entrepreneur wants to see triumph on the right in November: candidates who appear to be more Trumpist than Donald Trump himself, are not afraid to put both feet in the dish of conspiracy and advocate values ​​​​as “anti-establishment” as possible, says the Guardian, in an article published Saturday, October 15.

Candidates dubbed by American supremacists

Peter Thiel, who had not financed a candidate for an election since his support for Donald Trump in 2016, has already bet more than 30 million dollars on fifteen Republican candidates for this election, can we read on the OpenSecrets site , Tuesday, October 18.

An amount that does not make him the largest donor on the right of the political spectrum. It’s a privilege that belongs to Ken Griffin, the powerful CEO of the Citadel hedge fund, which has already donated more than $50 million to Republican candidates.

But whereas the other conservative millionaires mainly finance more moderate candidates, Peter Thiel seems to have specialized in supporting the most rabid Republicans. Which earned him the title of new “kingmaker” of the radical right by the New York Times in February 2022.

The writer JD Vance, for example, went from a great critic of Donald Trump in 2016 to a yes-yes-yes of Trumpism in 2022. He never misses an opportunity to denounce the “invasion of immigrants”, to to take from the elites who would control everything from Washington and to appear with the most controversial figures of the allies of the former president of the United States, like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Blake Masters, meanwhile, flirted so many times with racist theses that he even received official support from various white supremacist movements for the November elections. He also judges that the government and the politicians in Congress are more or less all “psychopaths who should be rid of”.

Peter Thiel only seems to “support candidates who are likely to undermine the foundations of the American political system”, warns The Guardian. A strategy that fits well with the political philosophy of the man who made his fortune in the early 2000s and is still one of the most influential figures in Silicon Valley today.

PayPal and Facebook

Born in Germany in 1967, he immigrated to the United States at the end of the 1970s. After studying at Stanford, he launched into entrepreneurship and settled in Silicon Valley. It is there that he meets the man with whom he will make his fortune: Elon Musk. Together, they will build PayPal which will be sold to eBay for 1.2 billion dollars in 2002.

Peter Thiel then becomes an investor for small start-ups with big ambitions. It was he who would become the first outside investor in Facebook, of which he acquired 7% when the social network was just beginning to take off. A flair that will earn him not only later an almost mystical aura within the investment community, but above all a comfortable capital gain exceeding one billion dollars when he sells part of his shares in 2012.

He will use this fortune to support various more or less controversial projects, such as the start-up Palantir, the “Big Brother of Big Data”, which is one of the main pet peeves of defenders of private data on the Internet.

But he also uses his money to try to advance his ideological pawns. Because Peter Thiel prides himself on not being like the overwhelming majority of tech entrepreneurs, who have studied engineering or business. He studied philosophy and presents himself as a great admirer and connoisseur of the thought of the French Christian philosopher René Girard, underlines the Financial Times.

This “intellectual” training would have largely shaped his most radical libertarian convictions, which are at the origin of his political commitment, says the British financial daily. Peter Thiel thus pushes very far the distrust of the state that characterizes libertarians. In 2009, he wrote a column in which he said “he no longer believes that democracy can be compatible with freedom”.

Malta to flee the democrats?

For him, the government, the education system and the Democratic Party all want to create a kind of society of the single thought that must be fought at all costs or, failing that, fled. Peter Thiel has thus set up since 2011 a foundation which provides 100,000 dollars to a selection of students who, each year, decide to leave their studies to embark on the adventure of entrepreneurship, Thiel Fellowship. The billionaire assures that it is to reduce the weight of student debt, but it is above all a way of trying to discredit the education system. The president of Harvard University at the time, Larry Summers, was not mistaken, denouncing what he called “an extremely dangerous idea” for democracy.

He has also funded projects to build floating cities at sea which would be the best way for him to escape the influence of the state.

In politics, Peter Thiel thought in 2016 that he had found the rare pearl with Donald Trump. A businessman who promises to bring down the establishment? What to salivate Peter Thiel who had made a campaign donation of 1.25 million dollars.

But four years later, he admitted that his foal had disappointed him and that he did not intend to support him again for the 2020 presidential election. Why, then, come back more Trumpist than ever in 2022? For the Guardian, the health measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic have finally convinced the billionaire that the State is the enemy of individual freedoms and that it is necessary to send to Congress representatives capable of destroying the system of health. inside. “When you have a donor supporting candidates actively campaigning to overturn the last presidential election, that’s a direct assault on democracy,” Lee Drutman, an activist with left-leaning New Democracy, told The New York Times. who studies political finance.

And if his plan does not work, Peter Thiel can always emigrate to Malta. He has, in fact, started the process to obtain, against a substantial investment, the citizenship of this small island in the Mediterranean, revealed the New York Times, Saturday, October 15. A destination, specifies the newspaper, very popular “by the rich Saudis, Russians or Chinese who want to create a way out in the event of social and political tensions in their country”.

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