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150 people run the world, supposedly
Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya spoke with unusual frankness to the “leaders of the future” at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“There are about 150 people who run the world – [they’re not politicians] anybody who wants to go into politics, they’re all f**king puppets. There are 150, and they’re all men, who run the world. They control most of the important assets and the money flows – they are not the tech entrepreneurs.”
“When you get behind the curtain and see how that world works what you realise is that it’s unfairly set up for them and their progeny.”
Speaking at Stanford Graduate School of Business in November 2017.
Has Chamath Palihapitiya fallen for a conspiracy theory?
Palihapitiya’s “there are about 150 people who run the world” does sound similar to a statement made by German politician Walther Rathenau in 1909:
“Three hundred men, all of whom know one another, guide the economic destinies of the Continent and seek their successors from their own milieu.”
Rathenau maintained that he was referring to business people, but antisemites twisted his words, weaving his statement into baseless conspiracy theories that were later used by the Nazis.
In Palihapitiya’s talk he does not make simplistic accusations, allege a murky web of connections, or mention race or religion – so he is not explicitly endorsing a conspiracy theory. That said, as with Rathenau’s statement, it would be easy for conspiracy theorists to misinterpret Palihapitiya’s words.