Enhance all the games

Arwa Mahdawi on the malign influence of Peter Thiel:

He, along with a group of other venture capitalists, is currently deploying part of his vast fortune to help bankroll a pro-drugs version of the Olympics called the Enhanced Games. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a sporting competition in which participants are encouraged to take as many performance-enhancing substances as they can get their steroid-enlarged hands on. All in the name of science and innovation, naturally.

Much science! Peak innovaty! Artificial enhancements are good at artificial enhancement. Who knew?!

Honestly? It sounds amazing. I would 100% watch. It’s a real shame Thiel, who currently runs spy tech firm Palantir, doesn’t spend all his resources on reality TV ideas masquerading as science instead of his many other dystopian projects. Thiel, you see, isn’t just a guy who really likes the idea of bionic boxing: he’s a libertarian and ideologue who has an exerted an oversized and pernicious influence on American politics and culture.

For all his obsession with innovation, Thiel has some stone-age views on the world. He doesn’t seem completely sold on the whole women-having-rights thing, for example. In 2009, for example, he published an essay lamenting that women being given the right to vote had dealt a blow to libertarianism. His exact words: “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.”

By “libertarian” of course Thiel means “letting billionaires do whatever they want all the time.”

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