I met PayPal founder Peter Thiel many years ago at a free-market oriented gathering in New York City called the Adam Smith Awards Dinner. He was a terrifically nice guy, and was quite friendly to many principles underlying individual liberty and markets.
As Mr. Thiel explained that night, PayPal was created in order to allow for more freedom, to let people enter into transactions without government snooping, and to facilitate easier international trade. For a number of years, he was successful, and PayPal grew to become one of the most widely recognized ways of trading across the planet.
But Mr. Thiel sold PayPal, and things have changed.
PayPal, like many, many other financial institutions appears to be orienting itself against paleo-conservative, anti-war, and libertarian websites. In fact, PayPal just connected with the hard-left, mud-slinging, fact-deprived Southern Poverty Law Center to help determine which people or internet sites to disconnect.
In a Monday interview with the Wall Street Journal, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman claimed that his company, which last year processed $578 billion in transactions, has partially outsourced the task of deciding which accounts to ban to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC is the organization that not only settled a suit and paid the plaintiff $3.375 million for falsely claiming he was an “anti-Muslim” extremist, it is the organization that takes loads of cash from collectivist George Soros’ “Open Society Foundation” to fight “fascism”, “racism”, and “hate.”
That would be George Soros, the man who in a “60 Minutes” interview openly stated that he worked as a teenager with Nazis to seize the property of Jews in World War Two, and also said it created “no problem at all” in his mind. “If I weren’t there, somebody else would be taking it away…” he said, and added. “I had no sense of guilt.”
The SPLC is so morally and ethically bankrupt, it actually called violent American communist Bill Ayers a “civil rights organizer” in its “Teaching Tolerance” project. It is so reckless that it actually created a “hate map” infused with lots of non-hateful -- conservative, libertarian, or anti-war – groups, that a gunman used in 2012 to try to kill members of the Family Research Council. And, of course, it has received hundreds of thousands of words of criticism from people around the world who have noticed how its “for the little guy” decision-makers appear to have shifted lots of the group’s vast assets into offshore accounts in places such as the Cayman Islands.
As Dhillon notes:
The SPLC’s corrosive influence is metastasizing. Organizations including Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter have all turned to the SPLC to define who may speak. Not to be left out, fundraising platforms such Stripe, Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo have all been accused of systematically barring conservatives from participation — citing political reasons or taking cover under bans by Mastercard or Visa.
Lest we forget, Patreon deplatformed commentator Sargon of Akkad in December.
Certainly, these are private organizations. But many, including Chase, Facebook, Google, and Amazon, either have received federal government aid or have contracts with the federal government, such as Amazon’s $600 million contract with the CIA for data storage.
The more these businesses engage in these tactics, the more conservatives, anti-war activists, libertarians and others will search for new avenues. And that is what libertarian interviewer and speaker Dave Rubin and classical liberal professor, author, and lecturer Jordan Peterson are working on, right now.
They cannot work fast enough. Freedom of speech is at stake.