Bilderberg 2016: Libertarianism not synonymous with radical transparency, claims Peter Thiel
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel defended the secretive nature of the Bilderberg conference, taking place in Dresden, Germany this weekend, and compared those who call for transparency to the East German secret police force, the Stasi.
After initially refusing to speak with reporters outside the luxurious, yet heavily-fortified Hotel Taschenbergpalais on Saturday, the PayPal co-founder finally took the bait and launched into a rant about libertarian ideology.
Peter Thiel is a globalist Bilderberger. He didn't go after Gawker because he believes in free speech or nationalism https://t.co/Oq7u4vaGXj— Roosh (@rooshv) June 11, 2016
While saying he feels “it’s always important to exchange views with people no matter what their perspectives are,” he added the caveat that they “need to be finding ways to talk to people where not everything is completely transparent.”
While the official agenda for the three-day event has been released, those opposed to it have aired their unease at the way in which over 120 of the most powerful politicians, bankers, and industry leaders meet to discuss the “problems in our society," since it’s not clear what "secret" deals have been cut and later inflicted on people around the world who aren’t on the invite list.
“Libertarianism is not synonymous with radical transparency; that’s often an argument the Stasi would make in East Germany where everything had to be monitored by society,” Thiel said on Saturday.
Wait doesn’t the NSA record everything? https://t.co/73zUAq5qMt— Korben Dallas (@yaykyle) February 22, 2016
Peter Thiel says transparency is something the STASI would favor??! Favors secret meetings of Plutocrats? Just wow. https://t.co/q3Iq2qJcvK— Rudolf E. Havenstein (@RudyHavenstein) June 11, 2016
The irony of the statements weren't missed by social media users, who were keen to note that Thiel sits on the board of directors at Facebook, a company renowned for its monitoring and monetization of its users’ data.
Thiel defends secret Bilderberg talks, equating transparency and "monitoring by society" with communist oppression. https://t.co/na5dGSj62X— Nick Denton (@nicknotned) June 11, 2016
The tech billionaire added: "Often you have the best conversations in smaller groups where not everything is being monitored. That’s how you have very honest conversations and you can think better about the future.”
This echoes similar comments from Thiel who, in 2009, wrote an essay entitled, "The Education of a Libertarian” in which he admitted he “no longer believe[s] that freedom and democracy are compatible.”
Thiel made headlines last month when he was outed as Hulk Hogan’s “secret” funding source for his lawsuit against Gawker, which caused the media organization to file for bankruptcy this week.
His legal action was in response to a long-standing battle with the online publisher that started with their 2007 "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people."
Much like his views on “radical transparency," the lawsuit centered around privacy, free speech, and free press with Hogan ultimately winning $140 million in damages.
You may hate Gawker, but if you cheer Thiel's successful vendetta you also don't care much for freedom of expression.— (((Dan Gillmor))) (@dangillmor) June 10, 2016
A terrible precedent. You can bet he won't be the last billionaire who will try to bleed a news org into bankruptcy https://t.co/Z8V8VEgG2h— Freedom of the Press (@FreedomofPress) June 10, 2016
So many wealthy people must be looking at what Thiel did to Gawker & wondering how they can sue media companies they dislike into bankruptcy— ((Spencer Ackerman)) (@attackerman) June 10, 2016
To ensure privacy at Bilderberg, organizers brought in Germany’s military and “corporate security from Airbus” to oversee event security, the Guardian reported
Army officers working alongside a private company got conspiracy theory websites all worked up, with one reporter from Infowars spotting what he believed to be “numerous vans, full of federal police covering their faces, carrying in bags full of weapons.”
Thiel isn’t the only Silicon Valley investor at Bilderberg, but he is the only vocal supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Trump/Thiel 2016— Scott Greer (@ScottMGreer) June 10, 2016
If it’s okay for Peter Thiel to fund the demise of Gawker, it’s okay for Trump to fund the demise of a legit journalistic institution.— Scott Kurtz (@pvponline) June 10, 2016
The one Republican elected official at the conference, Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, previously suggested one of Bilderberg’s main talking points would be “how to beat Trump” and has issues with his party’s presumptive nominee.
Ultra Rich in America starting to bug me: Elizabeth Holmes, Peter Thiel, Travis Kalanik, Trump -- y'all been pushing your luck lately.— Counter Hedge (@CounterHedge) June 2, 2016
Thiel/Trump are antithetical:— Louis Anslow (@omosanzalette) June 2, 2016
Thiel Fellowship/Trump University
Calm Philosopher/Loudmouth Caveman
Most Silicon Valley billionaires are backing Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.
"The Groundwork," secretive tech firm backed by Google's Eric Schmidt, has been paid $504,160 by the Hillary campaign, per FEC records.— Lee Fang (@lhfang) June 10, 2016