Peter Thiel was born in Frankfurt, but has made his fortune in Silicon Valley - first with PayPal (acquired by Ebay), and then he made a modest ($500M) investment in an obscure start-up called Facebook. That investment is now worth more than $1.5 billion.
Thiel has used his fortune to fund a number of right-wing causes, including financial backing of Tea Party candidates. Like his fellow German immigrant Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Thiel has adopted an extreme Libertarian philosophy and gave $millions to the failed presidential campaign of Ron Paul. But Thiel is basically indifferent to Ron Paul's success - or lack thereof. Like Hoppe, Thiel has nothing but contempt for democracy and the democratic process. His political views can be summed up in one sentence:
Most importantly, I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.
To return to finance, the last economic depression in the United States that did not result in massive government intervention was the collapse of 1920–21. It was sharp but short, and entailed the sort of Schumpeterian “creative destruction” that could lead to a real boom. The decade that followed — the roaring 1920s — was so strong that historians have forgotten the depression that started it. The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics.
What put America on a downward spiral? Women's suffrage:
Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.
And not just women. Immigrants, too, are ruining America's chances for a achieving a libertarian order. This anti-immigrant hate is another trait that Peter Thiel shares with fellow immigrant Hans-Hermann Hoppe:
Thiel gilt als Libertärer, der sich dafür einsetzt, dass der Staat möglichst wenig in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft hineinregiert. Politiker hätten gar nicht das Wissen, um zu erkennen, welche Probleme die dringendsten seien, sagt er. Als Student gründete Thiel eine konservative Studentenzeitung, die gegen Feminismus und Multikulti an der Uni wetterte. Im Präsidentschaftswahlkampf 2008 unterstützte er den Republikaner John McCain, auch Kandidaten der ultrakonservativen Tea Party bekamen Geld von ihm. Auch an eine Anti-Einwanderer-Organisation soll Thiel Geld gespendet haben.
(Thiel is seen as a Libertarian who wants to keep government out of the economy and society as much as possible. Politicians don't have the knowledge to see what the most pressing problems are, he says. As a student Thiel founded a conservative student paper that agitated against feminism and multiculturalism. In the 2008 presidential campaign he supported the Republican John McCain, and candidates of the ultra-conservative Tea Party received money from him. And he donates money to an anti-immigrant organization.)
But Thiel differs from Hoppe in one crucial aspect: Hoppe hates gays and lesbians and would "expel" them from his "libertarian order" (See Hoppe's book Democracy: The God that Failed). Peter Thiel is an openly gay man.