Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel doesn't believe Silicon Valley is as liberal as people think it is, but one would never know it due to a left wing "conformity problem" caused by higher education.
"I do think Silicon Valley at this point has a bit of a conformity problem," Thiel said earlier this week during an appearance on Dave Rubin's "The Rubin Report" podcast. "It has a bit of a way in which people too much all think the same way."
When asked where this conformity problem comes from, Thiel stated that it comes from institutions of higher education in America.
"Part of it is it's probably the most educated part of the country in terms of how much time people spent in college," he said. "I think one of the downsides of too much education is that you get the most brainwashed."
Thiel also stated that being liberal in Silicon Valley is more of a "fashion statement" than it is a "deep ideological conviction."
"This perhaps is not so true of the founders [of Silicon Valley], but certainly for many of the rank and file people," he said. "If you're a really good engineer or really good at some specific thing, your education typically does not involve you thinking that much about politics, so [being liberal] is not necessarily from deep ideological conviction, it's often more of a fashion statement than a question of power."
As a result of this, Thiel believes that many of the "rank and file" members of Silicon Valley are not as liberal as people think.
"Even if you took a survey of Silicon Valley it comes out as quite far to the left, weirdly uniform, weird sort of groupthink, it's super hard to know whether people really believe this, whether they're just going along," he said. "I think it's pretty liberal, but not as liberal as it looks, which is in a way worse. It means people are too scared to articulate things."
Thiel raised his national profile during the 2016 elections by publicly supporting then-candidate Donald Trump, and even gave a speech at the 2016 Republican Convention.