Blake Masters is Peter Thiel’s dream candidate — and a total nightmare for democracy

By | July 20, 2022

Mother Jones reports:

In the spring of 2012, Blake Masters, who was in his final year at Stanford Law, sat in on a computer science class taught by Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal. During a lecture titled “Founder as Victim, Founder as God,” Thiel argued a kinglike leader was essential to innovation. “A startup is basically structured as a monarchy,” he explained. “We don’t call it that, of course. That would seem weirdly outdated, and anything that’s not democracy makes people uncomfortable.”

Afterward, Masters tweeted that the lecture was the best 90 minutes he’d ever spent in a classroom and linked to the exhaustive notes he’d been taking on Thiel’s course. For months, everyone from tech bros to New York Times columnist David Brooks headed to Masters’ Tumblr to read them. It was heady stuff for a CrossFit-obsessed libertarian described by a law school classmate as being “notable for not being notable.”

Masters was the perfect Thiel protégé. Both men attended Stanford and Stanford Law as proud iconoclasts who chafed at limits on their freedom. But while Thiel alienated dormmates by performatively downing vitamins as they nursed hangovers, Masters had the social skills to make friends in environments as ideologically hostile as the vegetarian co-op he lived in at Stanford. He had the ideal résumé to help a famously awkward billionaire popularize his unorthodox views. [Continue reading…]

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