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The Bunker

Daily: Supervillain Billionaire – Peter Thiel wants to reshape the world


Enigmatic Californian tech investor and libertarian Peter Thiel is best known for his controversial ‘spy tech’ company Palantir and for enabling Hulk Hogan to sue gossip site Gawker out of business. But as new book The Contrarian shows, Thiel has always had bigger ambitions to use tech to sideline government itself. Author Max Chafkin tells Andrew Harrison about the Randian ideas that propelled Thiel from the “Paypal Mafia” to Trump’s White House – and why we should worry about ‘Thielism’.

  • “Thiel is both a superhero and supervillain, like Ayn Rand crossed with… Ayn Rand.”
  • “Thiel is the one person aside from Mark Zuckerberg who is responsible for Facebook’s success.”
  • “He named Palantir after this all-seeing orb from Lord of the Rings. And Sauron is not the good guy.”

Presented and produced by Andrew Harrison. Assistant producers: Jacob Archbold and Jelena Sofronijevic. Audio production by Alex Rees. THE BUNKER is a Podmasters Production

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