The Myth of Silicon Valley Libertarianism

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There’s a reasons for the Silicon Valley libertarian revolution hasn’t materialized: They’re actually an entirely new type of Democrat.

Silicon Valley has become one of the most powerful lobbying forces-out in America, but its bewildered the political establishment with its unconventional loyalties.

Tech CEOs are arguably some of the Democrat biggest fan-boys: In the 2012 general elections, 83 percentage of employee donations from some of the nations top tech firms went to Obama. Among the tech elite, 64 percent of all political gifts from investors and startup founders since 2008 have gone to liberal candidates and causes. Perhaps the most brutal statistic of all: Merely 3 percent of tech startup founders identify as Republican.

This month, I conducted another( smaller) sample poll of Internet founders and their support for Republican was little more than an asterisk .

Most of Silicon Valley, most of the executives, tend to be Democrats, the famously libertarian PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel told me( for The Daily Beast) last year.

But before the Democratic National Committee gets too excited, its not so simple to hunk them in with their liberal peers. Tech titans are the archnemesis of labor unions on a variety of battles, from high-skilled immigration to free trade and union-less public charter schools.

But legislators who attempt to exploit this stereotype as a political strategy get a rude awakening. Pauls widely publicized pilgrimage to San Francisco was actually softly attended: The small crowd fit into the ground floor of a cramped downtown startup shopa small presenting compared to the large mob that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton can draw.

And when Paul opened his campaign speech with a line that usually garnered him inexpensive applause among libertarians, it backfired in San Francisco.

Whos a part of the leave-me-alone coalition? Paul screamed, expecting a big reply. Only three people in the audience clapped. It was so awkward that Paul had to make a joke to shake off conspicuous bomb. Not that many, huh?( video below ).

To understand this curious mix of belief, I conducted the first systematic political opinion poll of the tech upper-clas, employing a randomized sample of an exhaustive database of startup founders( called Crunchbase) and found that the Silicon Valley ideology rejects the very heart of libertarianism: individualism and small government( insure research techniques here ).

At their core, the tech elite are more communitarian than libertarian: Sixty percentage say that nearly every personal decision a citizen stimulates, including what they eat, impacts enough of society to justify government participation( compared to simply 20 percentage of libertarians ).

We are an interdependent societyones obesity and/ or diabetes affects how much I pay for health care, wrote Andrew Fischer, one of my survey respondents and founder of Choozle.

Weve been conditioned to assume that a love of free-market capitalism is always wedded to individualism. But Silicon Valley, and a growing demographic of creative class urbanized liberals, are supporting policies that are very much pro-capitalism and pro-government at the same time.

They view the government as an investor: fund education, scientific research, and entrepreneurship. Rather than protect citizens from the caprices of capitalism, the country either expends immediately in industry to ramp up the velocity of disruptive invention or induces government agencies function more like industries themselves.

This helps explain the Valley upper-class obsession with public charter schools, which are often parent-led, union-less, and run like an experimental startup. Not coincidentally, the same principle is true for companies like Uber and Lyft, which replace mass private carpooling for public transit.

Despite the extremist weirdos, America deserves to be professionally managed by someone who is not a complete loony or sociopath, wrote Chris Jensen, founder of website domain startup Left of the Dot.

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