The long speak: How situations of extreme libertarian tract prophesying the collapse of liberal republics written by Jacob Rees-Moggs father invigorated the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific
If you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our present artistic suspicions- environment tragedy, descend of transatlantic political orderings, resurgent nuclear terror- evident themselves in apocalyptic images, you’re interested in the place dominated by this remote archipelago of self-evident peacefulnes and stability against the roiling discontent of the day.
If you’re interested in the end of the world, you would have been interested, soon after Donald Trump’s election as US president, to read a New York Times headline stating that Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, considered New Zealand to be” the Future “. Because if you are in any serious behavior concerned about the future, you’re also concerned about Thiel, a canary-yellow in capitalism’s coal pit who also happens to have advantaged lavishly from his stake in the mining concern itself.
Thiel is in one sense a parody of outsized depravity: he was the only major Silicon Valley figure to place his heavines behind the Trump presidential campaign; he vengefully bankrupted a website because he didn’t like how they wrote about him; he is known for his public musings about the incompatibility of liberty and republic, and for uttering pastime- as though enthusiastically seeking the clunkiest possible analogy for capitalism at its most vampiric- in a regiman involving transfusions of blood from young person as a possible the ways and means of reversing the ageing process. But in another, deeper sense, “he il be” unadulterated representation: little person or persons than a shell firm for a diversified portfolio of feelings about the future, a human crest of the moral vortex at the centre of the market.
It was in 2011 that Thiel certified he’d felt” no non-eu countries that aligns more with my opinion of the future than New Zealand “. The allegation was made as part of an application for citizenship; the claim is well hurriedly conceded, though it remained a secret for a further six years. In 2016, Sam Altman, one of Silicon Valley’s most influential financiers, revealed to the New Yorkerthat he had an arrangement with Thiel whereby in the eventuality of some kind of systemic explosion situation- synthetic virus breakout, rampaging AI, reserve war between nuclear-armed districts, so forth- they both get on a private spray and operate to a belonging Thiel owns in New Zealand.( The programme from this time, you’d have to premise, was to sit out the collapse of civilisation before re-emerging to ply seed-funding for, say, the insect-based protein residue marketplace .)
In the immediate aftermath of that Altman revelation, Matt Nippert, a reporter for the New Zealand Herald, began looking into the question of how exactly Thiel have entered into possession of this apocalypse departure, a 477 -acre onetime sheep terminal in the South Island- “the worlds largest”, more sparsely populated of the country’s two major landmasses. Foreigners looking to purchase significant amounts of New Zealand land often have to pass through a rigid government vetting process. In Thiel’s case, Nippert learned , no such process became necessary, because he was already individual citizens of New Zealand, despite having spent no more than 12 days in the two countries up to that quality, and having not been seen in the place since. He didn’t even need to travel to New Zealand to have his citizenship conferred, it turned out: the batch was sealed in a private liturgy at a consulate handily located in Santa Monica.