Peter Thiel’s “New Right” puppet, Blake Masters, is going all in on Eurpoean fascism’s “great replacement theory.”
The New York Times reports, Pushing an Immigration Conspiracy Theory, While Courting Latinos:
Blake Masters, a venture capitalist running for Senate in Arizona, is among the many Republicans who argue that the left’s obsession with racial identity politics is driving Latino voters away from the Democratic Party.
But as he vies for the Republican nomination, Mr. Masters has pushed a different sort of racial politics that could repel Latinos in the state.
For months, Mr. Masters has promoted a specious theory portraying illegal immigration across the southern border as part of an elaborate Democratic power grab. In speeches, social media videos and podcast interviews, he has asserted that Democrats are trying to encourage immigration so their party can dilute the political power of native-born voters.
This is European fascism’s “great replacement theory.” Renaud Camus, a racist French writer, coined the “great replacement” formulation. The Racist ‘Great Replacement’ Conspiracy Theory Explained (excerpt):
The “great replacement” theory is inherently white supremacist. It depends on stoking fears that a non-white population, which the theory’s proponents characterize as “inferior,” will displace a white majority. It is also antisemitic. Some proponents of the “great replacement” do not explicitly attribute the plot to Jews. Instead, they blame powerful Jewish individuals such as financier and philanthropist George Soros or use coded antisemitic language to identify shadowy “elites” or “globalists.”
“What the left really wants to do is change the demographics of this country,” Mr. Masters said in a video posted to Twitter last fall. “They do. They want to do that so they can consolidate power and so they can never lose another election.” In May, he told an interviewer that Democrats were “trying to manufacture and import” a new electorate.
Note: This is practically the same thing the nativist, anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party aka American Party in the mid-19th Century said about Irish Catholic immigrants to the U.S. Supporters of the Know Nothing movement believed that an alleged “Romanist” conspiracy by Catholics to subvert civil and religious liberty in the United States was being hatched. Therefore they sought to politically organize native-born Protestants in defense of their traditional religious and political values. Supporters believed native-born Americans were superior to immigrants and should be protected from immigration. The Know-Nothing party suggested using many tools of suppression to keep immigrant voters from the polls. They advocated limiting the right to vote to American born citizens, and they wanted to make it more difficult for immigrants to become citizens.
What Mr. Masters calls an “obvious truth” is what experts in extremism describe as a sanitized version of the “great replacement,” a once-fringe, racist conspiracy theory that claims that Western elites, sometimes manipulated by Jews, want to replace white Americans with immigrants to weaken the influence of white culture. The idea has been linked to the massacre at a Buffalo supermarket in May, the El Paso Walmart shooting in 2019 and the killings at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.
Mr. Masters’s version — one that makes no references to Jews or white people, but instead sets up a conflict between immigrants and the native-born — has become pervasive in Republicans’ immigration rhetoric. It has risen to prominence alongside the debunked claims that immigrants living in the United States illegally are voting in elections in large numbers.
“This is a view in which there are institutional bad actors maliciously causing change, which will then lead to political subordination of whites,” said Robert A. Pape, the director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats at the University of Chicago. “That is the root of the fear, and that’s the root of what the fearmongers are provoking.”
Mr. Masters, who declined to be interviewed, disputes that he has promoted the great replacement theory.
“It is obvious to everyone that Democrats see illegal immigrants as future voters,” he said in a statement. “No ‘theory’ is needed to observe that.” He criticized “fake experts” who claimed otherwise.
Is it as “obvious to everyone” that you are a white supremacist fascist? Fucking privileged rich white kid thinks he is superior to everyone else.
(According to the financial disclosure Masters submitted last year, much of his substantial wealth was held in cryptocurrencies. The recent collapse of the cryptocurrency market probably substantially reduced his wealth. So much for these “Masters of The Universe” creating their own brave new world.)
Mr. Masters is widely expected to win in the Arizona primary on Tuesday. The 35-year-old Stanford graduate and first-time candidate was propelled to the front of the pack by support from Peter Thiel, the tech mogul he once worked for, and by an endorsement of former President Donald J. Trump.
His primary campaign has focused on shoring up support among the Republican Party’s right-wing and overwhelmingly white base. But as he turns toward the general election, he faces the challenge of retaining those votes while trying to attract new Hispanic supporters in a state where they make up more than a third of the population.
Latino voters pay attention: Blake Masters is a white supremacist fascist. You are, at best, second class citizens to him. If you give him your vote, you will come to regret it. You wil lose your rights as citizens as surely as women just lost their rights as citizens at the hands of an activist radical Republican Supreme Court. You would be wise to remember the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller: “First They Came For…”:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Latinos should be painfully aware that you are very high on the Republican list of American citizens to be suppressed and oppressed, alongside African-Americans and Muslims.
Republicans have long pushed anti-immigration policies, particularly in the Trump era. This year, Republicans in Ohio, Alabama, Texas and [Arizona] have sent National Guard troops to the southern border, debated declaring a border “invasion” under the wartime powers of the Constitution and warned that the flood of immigrants would soon force everyone to speak Spanish.
[A]nti-immigrant policies in Arizona [S.B 1070] have been far more damaging to Republicans there, and Mr. Masters is going even further than the party has in the past.
Several Hispanic voters in Phoenix and its suburbs said in interviews that they viewed Mr. Masters’s comments as scare tactics.
Cesar Rodriguez, 35, a father of two who recently opened a taqueria in Glendale, a Phoenix suburb, considers himself an independent. Mr. Masters’s views on immigration are all about fear, he said.
“I don’t see it as anti-Hispanic or anti-Latino — I just see it as, you’re just trying to scare someone into voting your way,” Mr. Rodriguez said, adding, “I’m sure his ancestors at some point were immigrants. Everybody’s an immigrant here until they forget.”
John Ruiz, a retired state worker from Chandler, Ariz., called Mr. Masters “repulsive.”
“They’re trying to make it look like we’re invading this country,” he said. “People come over here to work.”
Democratic leaders and activists in Arizona call Mr. Masters’s immigration rhetoric dangerous, racist and hypocritical, as he sounds an alarm about changing demographics while trying to win over the group causing those demographics to change.
“We all know you need to engage Latino voters in order to win statewide,” said State Senator Raquel Terán, the chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. “There’s a real hypocrisy of him going out and talking about these replacement theories and then trying to play it that he is the person who is going to be solving your life’s problems.”
[Mr.] Masters has often responded to criticism of his views by arguing that the left seeks to divide people on the basis of race, and by distorting Democratic immigration proposals.
Ah, the old “deny, deflect and distract” tactic of his boy, Donald Trump.
“I always get in trouble when I say this,” Mr. Masters said on a right-wing talk show in May. “The left just loves to write hit pieces, and they say this is racist and bigoted. Of course, it’s nothing of the kind to point out the obvious truth, which is the left wants to bring in millions of illegal aliens, and then they want to give these people amnesty. They want to make these people voters.”
I say again, is it as “obvious to everyone” that you are a white supremacist fascist? Fucking privileged rich white kid thinks he is superior to everyone else.
Reality Check: “There is no evidence that Democrats have encouraged illegal immigration so as to increase their potential pool of voters. In fact, in the most recent presidential election, evidence suggests that foreign-born voters swung to the right.”
Mr. Masters hasn’t always endorsed a hard-line stance on immigration. In 2006, while in college, he wrote online that “‘unrestricted’ immigration is the only choice” for a libertarian-minded voter, which he called himself at the time. But he has since fashioned himself into a “New Right” nationalist, explaining in one ad that it was “about time our government put America first” [i..e, White Chrristan Americans.]
His message has been welcomed by the far right and by white supremacists, including Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist leader; Andrew Torba, the creator of Gab, a social media platform popular with extremists; and Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. Mr. Anglin endorsed Mr. Masters last month, saying that he was “exactly the kind of man this country needs,” and urged readers to volunteer for his campaign. After an outcry, Mr. Masters issued a statement saying that he rejected the support and had never heard of Mr. Anglin.
Brian Hughes, the co-founder and associate director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University, said he was not surprised to see the far right cheering Mr. Masters on.
“If a candidate is pointing toward the ideas that make up replacement theory, he or she doesn’t have to spell it out in the ugliest terms; the message gets across,” Mr. Hughes said. “Because of the broader political context that is taking place here — which includes mass murder — the dog whistles are much more effective. You’re playing with fire when you play footsie with these ideas.”
* * *
Mike Madrid, a veteran political strategist and “never Trump” Republican who has repeatedly criticized both parties’ Latino outreach efforts, said Mr. Masters’s take on replacement theory could come with political consequences. It is possible, he said, that there are “a growing number of Hispanic voters who are not turned off by this or even tacitly agree.”
Still, he said, the message would likely prevent Mr. Masters from appealing to moderate Hispanic voters, and could turn off white college-educated voters repelled by specious theories rooted in white supremacy.
“Arizona has been moving left because of a convergence of a growing number of polarized Latino voters and a loss of highly educated voters,” he said. “This will alienate both those groups.”
Mother Jones reports, Blake Masters Is Peter Thiel’s Dream Candidate—and a Total Nightmare for Democracy (excerpt from a very long investigative report):
Arizona voters who want to comprehend just how unusual Masters is must understand the full pantheon of his influences. They include Curtis Yarvin, who describes himself as America’s foremost absolute monarchist blogger; Murray Rothbard, the reactionary economist who suggested libertarians use right-wing populism to push their agenda; and Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, whom Masters has praised (with caveats). Another favorite is Lee Kuan Yew, the late dictator of Singapore who oversaw a miraculous economic transformation while crushing the civil liberties of those who stood in the way.
But no one is as influential as Thiel, who confessed in a 2009 essay, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” He went on to warn that the “fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.”
Thiel is setting himself up to be that builder. Masters is one of his tools.
[M]any of the more than a dozen friends and acquaintances of Masters I’ve spoken with, including the best man at his wedding, have been shocked to see the transformation of someone who used to consider himself an open-borders libertarian turn into an America First nationalist whom Tucker Carlson calls“the future of the Republican Party.” “He was not a shitty, hateful person,” says a former college roommate. “He was a misinformed libertarian white 20-year-old. But honestly, they were a dime a dozen at Stanford.” But even as a young man, there were signs that Masters would be almost uniquely suited to fall under the sway of an icon like Peter Thiel.
Jean Guerrero in a must-read piece at the LA Times, Senate candidate Blake Masters doesn’t just want to ‘build the wall.’ He’s building a dystopia:
The Trump-endorsed Senate candidate Blake Masters wants you to believe he’s a nationalist. This Arizonan wants you to think he’s trying to “Make America Great Again.”
But he’s not a nationalist. He’s not just about building a wall. He wants to build a new world — one where nations are obsolete.
Masters is a protege and pawn of PayPal’s co-founder and Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who has bragged about participating in “the erosion of the nation-state.”
A 35-year-old crypto evangelist, Masters is cribbing the nativist script to convince you he’ll stop the so-called border “invasion.” He even touts slashing legal immigration in half. He’s the Hollywood-actor version of Stephen Miller, the architect of former President Trump’s most draconian immigration policies.
His performance is pretty good. Neo-Nazi publisher Andrew Anglin and other white nationalists, who’ve publicly cheered him on, seem convinced. Masters parrots their hateful rhetoric about Democrats changing U.S. demographics: “It’s about a small group of elites who want to destroy this country,” he said.
Fox News host [of “White Power hour”] Tucker Carlson calls him the GOP’s “future.” A spokeswoman for Masters declined to comment for this article.
Masters’ nativism is a Trojan horse for something more ominous: a world where literally nobody has a voice except a small group of elites with all-seeing, all-powerful technology. Thiel put more than $13 million into Masters’ campaign. He’s also backing Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance and helped Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley win in 2018.
But Masters is so close to Thiel that if he scores a Senate seat, his longtime boss would “effectively have a seat of his own,” journalist Noah Lanard argues in his recent profile of Masters in Mother Jones (above).
It’s not hard to figure out what a Masters victory could mean. Thiel wrote in 2009: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” He has also revealed the book that most shaped him: 1997’s “The Sovereign Individual” by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg.
The book prophesied the collapse of nation-states. The authors depict this as an exciting future for elites freed of regulation, interacting “on terms that echo the relation among the gods in Greek myth.” Elites control everything, hiring private militias as the rest of us descend into destitution and random violence.
Tax evasion by elites like Thiel, if left unchecked, could turn that story into a self-fulfilling prophecy: shielding billions from taxation, they erode the power of nation-states to improve lives — turning citizens into slaves or exiles. (See: mass migration.)
Glen Weyl, a leading thinker in the Web3 community who has criticized the authors’ predictions through his think tank RadicalxChange, believes Masters’ xenophobic rhetoric is a tool Thiel is using to fast-forward to the book’s dystopia.
From the Senate, wannabe god-kings can accelerate the nation-state’s decline by promoting digital extremism, tax loopholes and bitcoin maximalism.
“The strategy these guys follow is to do a lot of rabble-rousing and to look really right-wing,” Weyl told me, “and to then get the mainstream media to hate on them for being right-wing, and to use that to bring these far-right people close to them.”
But, he added: “Their worldview is one in which ‘dumb white Americans’ starve to death.”
Weyl calls their ideas perilous to “participation in the political process by anyone other than the god-kings.”
He told me an associate of Thiel’s summoned him to Thiel’s L.A. offices in 2018. In the meeting, Weyl recalls Thiel saying: “You sound like a threat to my position. How seriously should I take that threat?” Weyl believes Thiel felt threatened by Weyl’s tech-forward wealth tax proposal in his book “Radical Markets.” Thiel didn’t respond to my requests for comment.
Max Chafkin, author of the well-regarded Thiel biography “The Contrarian,” described Masters to me as “an extension of Thiel.” He believes Thiel is motivated by hunger for money and power.
Masters and Thiel met in 2012, when Masters took a class taught by Thiel at Stanford Law. They went to dinner and became close, co-writing a pro-monopoly book, “Zero to One.”
Thiel hired Masters as president of his foundation in 2015 and worked with him on Trump’s transition team after Thiel helped Trump win the 2016 election. Masters became friendly with Steve Bannon, who was convicted Friday of contempt of Congress for withholding information about the Jan. 6 coup attempt.
It’s no wonder Masters has been promoting Trump’s “Big Lie,” the ultimate expression of dictatorial dreams.
Masters’ affinity for people with such views is as much of a threat to white people as to anyone. His patron and partner Thiel is a central figure in the rise of surveillance capitalism, in which tech companies harvest our data for the manipulation of our desires and doings. He was the first major outside investor in Facebook, and his biggest equity holding is in Palantir, a data mining company that contracts with government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
Predictably, Masters has been promoting the expansion of the border surveillance empire. Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans live in the 100-mile border zone, where border officers already can search people without a warrant. And the Supreme Court recently gave border officers free rein to violate your rights.
To MAGA devotees decrying attacks on freedom: You’re onto something. But immigrants aren’t the enemy. Democrats aren’t the enemy. They’re decoys to distract you as Thiel and company create a world in which privacy and liberties are only for the elite.
Those of us who love this country must join forces to stop them.