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Peter Thiel Says College Has 'Brainwashed' Silicon Valley
Peter Thiel is many things: The co-founder, with Elon Musk, of PayPal; an unabashed supporter of President Trump; a strident libertarian; and one of Silicon Valley’s most famous defectors, who left Norther California for Los Angeles earlier this year because of what he considers “the intolerant, left-leaning politics of the San Francisco Bay Area.”
But rather than ride off into the sunset and never look back in anger, Thiel has some choice words for the region he left behind. Speaking on an episode of the The Rubin Report podcast on Wednesday (via CNBC), Thiel said that Silicon Valley is ” probably the most educated part of the country in terms of how much time people spent in college,” but argued that “one of the downsides of too much education is that you get the most brainwashed.”
Thiel, who during his keynote address at the 2016 Republican National Convention warned that “fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline,” is either waging a war of words about Silicon Valley’s culture wars; or fighting on the front lines of a culture war himself.
Thiel, who calls himself a libertarian, told Rubin that many people were using the liberal tag as a “fashion statement,” especially since their training and education didn’t require them to delve into politics. He said that a Silicon Valley friend of his admitted at a dinner party before the 2016 election that he was going to vote for Trump but wasn’t telling his colleagues to avoid facing the backlash.
“Even if you took a survey of Silicon Valley it comes out as quite far to the left, weirdly uniform, weird sort of groupthink,” Thiel said. “It’s super hard to know whether people really believe this, whether they’re just going along. I think it’s pretty liberal, but not as liberal as it looks, which is in a way worse. It means people are too scared to articulate things.”
Thiel added that “people protesting Trump in liberal cities like New York and San Francisco aren’t really contrary thinkers.” He instead wondered whether these protesters really dislike Trump “or are they under incredible peer pressure to fit in?”
Hmmmm. It really makes you think.
Photo: JD Lasica/Flickr