Peter Thiel’s Conservative Case for Big Government … At the Republican convention in Cleveland, billionaire investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel introduced … new ideas to his conservative audience … Thiel talked about the importance of public goods. He praised the big government projects of the mid-20th century, and lamented the fact that these seem to be a thing of the past.- Bloomberg
This speech from Thiel attracted a lot of attention, partially because Thiel is a very important technology entrepreneur.
Thiel was a co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook.
Ironically, Thiel is a self-proclaimed libertarian but a controversial one.
His speech shows why.
Curiously, it emphasized the need for government efficiency rather than private sector success.
When I moved to Cleveland, defense research was laying the foundations for the internet. The Apollo program was just about to put a man on the moon–and it was Neil Armstrong, from right here in Ohio. The future felt limitless.
But today our government is broken. Our nuclear bases still use floppy disks. Our newest fighter jets can’t even fly in the rain. And it would be kind to say the government’s software works poorly, because much of the time it doesn’t even work at all.
That is a staggering decline for the country that completed the Manhattan project. We don’t accept such incompetence in Silicon Valley, and we must not accept it from our government.
It is probably true that the US would function better with a more efficient government.
But it is hard to imagine how government can be made more efficient.
The government Thiel is talking about is the one that emerged after World War II.
Government seemed more efficient then, perhaps, because the US itself was so powerful.
After the war, the US was generating a huge percentage of almost everything.
Most industrial countries had little in the way of functioning economies after the war. The US bestrode the world.
But there is another reason why Thiel’s idea of more efficient – and potentially bigger – government is questionable.
That’s because government lies.
We’ve presented evidence that the US government lied about its nuclear program regarding Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Bikini Island.
And then there is NASA. The NATO/NASA mythology lies at the heart of American government competence.
But there are questions about NASA HERE just as there are questions about the US’s nuclear program.
For instance, NASA “lost” its original moon tapes HERE supposedly because preserving historical items was not a “priority.”
This is an absolutely ludicrous explanation.
Isn’t it possible that NASA “lost” the tapes – and then found them again HERE – because at least some of the tapes showed evidence of fakery?
The same goes for the US’s nuclear program. Grant the nuclear program does at least some of what it is supposed to do, why then is there seemingly obvious evidence of fakery?
Conclusion: Thiel wants to return the US to its glory days of the mid 1950s. But what if those glory days are based on a false narrative? What if the US government was lying about its accomplishments? Is that possible? Does the US government, and especially the Pentagon, lie? What if the US government never worked so well in the first place? What if there is nothing to return to?