I wrote last week
about the political philosophy of Peter Thiel, and a couple of readers sent me thoughts on Ryan Holiday’s recent book Conspiracy,
which is largely about Thiel.
It looks at the extraordinary story of how Thiel secretly funded Hulk Hogan (yes, the wrestler) to pursue a lawsuit against Gawker, which ultimately led to the publication’s demise. It’s an amazing story and if you don’t have time for the book, the EconTalk podcast with Holiday
is, as ever, superb.
Among many other things, the book raises a classic Thiel contrarian question: do we have enough conspiracies
? (For others in this genre, see this interview in the NYT
in which he muses on whether there’s now too little corruption…) The premise is that many powerful people hated Gawker, but only Thiel’s meticulous, patient and clandestine plot had any impact. Ridding the world of a gossip blog may not be an important achievement, but the question of what other problems might need a “conspiracy” to resolve them is both thought provoking and troubling. (The EconTalk podcast
explores this in more detail, including an interesting discussion of the assassination of Julius Caesar)