Friday, March 17, 2017

The Age of Lies Includes The Age of Hypocrites

The book by Bruce  Gibney, A Generation of Sociopaths: How The Baby Boomers Betrayed America, was touted on the chat shows and in book columns and editorial sections last month.  I had intended to post on it but I'm easily distracted these days.  RMJ posted about it well yesterday, pointing out how absurd it is to believe you can characterize tens of millions of people based on when they were born.  His analogy to dime-store, restaurant place mat Chinese astrology is apt.

But my first take on these things is to look up who it is who is making the accusation.  The first thing in Gibney's CV is how he made his money, as a venture capitalist - we all know how uninterested in the big "ME" such folk are.  And, especially, what jumped out at me was the first item in this short summary:

"Bruce Cannon Gibney is a venture capitalist and writer. An early investor in PayPal, he later joined Founders Fund, where he and his colleagues funded Facebook, Spotify, Palantir Technologies, Elon Musk's SpaceX, Airbnb, Lyft, and other start-ups."

Pay Pal is what put the libertarian - no Nietzschian - nut case*, anachronistic suffrage opponent,  Trump supporter who reportedly has plans to flee to New Zealand if his fake fur Fuhrer turns things too ugly here,  Peter Thiel before the public.   A man who makes Ebeneezer Scrooge look merely misguided.  And you can look at Gibney's other business associates in such enterprises as Facebook to see how sociopathic or not his own generation of jillionaires are.  Somehow, I have my doubts that he ever spoke up for a regard for the least among us or for the common good to them.

I suspect that his book is reference material for the campaign to destroy Social Security and Medicare, which is already the major support for many people in the "boomer" cohort.  Trying to turn younger people against it before they're smart enough to realize, in the new feudalist libertarian world, they're probably going to need them even more than their parents and grandparents.

*  Thiel has also postured as a libertarian, and even as his ideology shifts toward something more nihilistic — The Economist now calls him a “corporate Nietzschean” — he continues to rail against government programs like Medicare and Social Security. Meanwhile, he is chairman and co-founder of Palantir Technologies, a mass-surveillance-software company that makes a good deal of its money selling to the government; Palantir’s clients reportedly include the Department of Defense (including the NSA and various military branches), the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA. Thiel is, inexplicably, pro-monopoly. And don’t forget that Peter Thiel believes death is nothing but a bug in the feature set of mankind, and one he can buy his way out of.

The article linked to has some background about Thiel's role in Facebook, too.


  1. I return again and again to the metaphor of the splinter in your brother's eye and the log in your own.

    Or, in the words of the schoolyard taunt of my youth: "Takes one to know one!" More than a little truth in that childish rejection of judgment, too.

  2. Adding: I really love the idea that someone born on Dec. 31, 1945, or January 1, 1965, can't have anything in common with people born between 1946 and 1964.

    Timing is EVERYTHING! (Or if the cutoff isn't strictly Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, it's a little later or earlier because: reasons. Right?)