Tea Party and the Right  
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5 Right-Wing Scumbags Bankrolling Dangerous (and Plain Weird) Conservative Causes

Much ink has been spilled about the Koch brothers. But there are plenty of other wealthy right-wingers promoting dangerous policies.

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Thiel officially lost faith in American society after the 2008 presidential election and he confessed on the Cato Institute’s Web site that he thought democracy and freedom were no longer compatible. The big reason for this, Thiel said, was that over the past century too many people went on welfare and women got the right to vote. Since welfare recipients and women are “two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians,” Thiel reasoned, then “the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’” has become “an oxymoron. ”

To rectify this, Thiel sunk more than $500,000 into the hilariously bone-headed “ Seasteading” project being headed up by Patri Friedman, the grandson of famous conservative economist Milton Friedman. With money from Thiel and other like-minded rich libertarians, the seasteading project aims to build large, floating, concrete platforms in international waters where libertarians can live without the greedy hands of Uncle Sam taking their hard-earned cash.

They also plan to make money for themselves by using these platforms as intranational havens for drugs and prostitution, since no legal authority would be able to arrest them out in the open waters. And presumably, women living on the platforms won’t have any say in how the seasteads are run, lest they transform these aquatic libertarian paradises into scummy socialist hellholes. Thiel is also interested in funding transhumanist life-extension projects, as he has given the Methuselah Foundation excess of $3.5 million to ensure that he and his buddies can haunt the Earth with their presence for at least the next few hundred years.

When you think about it, Thiel’s devotion to dopey libertarian escapism, while elitist and horribly sexist, actually makes him the most palatable of all the right-wing sugar daddies we’ve examined. Unlike Scaife, Adelson and the Wylys, Thiel doesn’t want to influence how we think about the world. Rather, he wants to flee the wretched mediocrity of his fellow fleshbags and escape to a no-girls-allowed cyber-treehouse out in the middle of the ocean. To which I say, “You go, Galt!” The only tragedy is that if Thiel succeeds he likely won’t bring any of his brethren with him to the seastead platforms. Because what America needs now more than ever is for a bunch of its self-appointed Atlases to go shrug themselves.

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs at Sadly, No! .