Peter Thiel – American Democracy March 14, 2019 Lecture Transcript

After listening to this lecture, I couldn’t help but transcribe it to make it accessible to more people. I edited as lightly as possible to make sure the speaker’s message is not deviated in any way.

Watch the initial lecture here.

Roberto Unger:          00:00:04          So today we are fortunate to have as our guest, uh, Peter Thiel, uh, Peter Thiel is a venture capitalist but also a student of American life, a proponent of American alternatives and the citizen actively involved in the public life of the United States. Our general plan for the class today is to move broadly from a discussion of the knowledge economy and it’s deepening and dissemination, uh, to a larger discussion of political economy and the political economic alternatives for the United States. And I will then ask Peter to begin by introducing himself please

Peter Thiel:                 00:01:03          Professor Unger, Professor West. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a tremendous honor to be here. I know there’s tremendous range of different topics that, uh, that we can, uh, we can cover. Uh, and uh, I want to, um, I want to say a few things about, uh, maybe to start what I see as sort of the status of, uh, um, science and technology in the, in the political economy and the, you know, the simplistic syllogism I have is that if we have enough growth in our society, we can solve all problems. If we don’t have growth, we can’t solve any problems. Um, and then that the, uh, the, the, the real driver of growth for, um, for the developed countries, US, western Europe, Japan, is, uh, is at the, uh, scientific and technological frontier. And so one of the, one of the questions that we should always ask is, what is the health of that frontier? How, you know, how well are things actually working in these fields? And, uh, sort of talks about the science, you know, we have incredible, yeah,