The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Peter Thiel helped build big tech. Now he wants to tear it all down.

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

19 Jun 2022 · 13 min read

Editor's Note

Peter Thiel is set on creating a “parallel economy” of “anti-woke” business ventures in order to help shape the new American right. A fascinating profile of Thiel in the Washington Post.

On a summer morning in 2019, Rep. Matt Gaetz was having breakfast at the Los Angeles mansion of billionaire investor Peter Thiel, who would become one of the Republican Party's biggest donors. At the time, Thiel was locked in a to-be-or-not-to-be debate over whether to leave the board of Facebook. Aware of Thiel's love of Shakespeare, Gaetz, R-Fla., playfully dubbed him Hamlet.

Like many Republicans, Gaetz viewed the social media giant as increasingly monopolistic and dangerous. He and another guest, entrepreneur and former right-wing provocateur Chuck Johnson, encouraged Thiel to leave the company. But Thiel demurred, telling the pair that he hoped to change it from within, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

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