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Developing the Developed World
Entrepreneurship, Liberty, and the Future

Recorded: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In his #1 New York Times bestselling book, Zero to One, Peter Thiel presents his often contrarian ideas about competition, progress, technology, and finding value in unexpected places—to build a future that we have yet to dream, but that may someday become reality. In “Developing the Developed World” he brings these ideas to life, including his insights on how to create true innovations in “the world of atoms”—not just “digits and bits”—and how to foster a peaceful, prosperous and freer future marked by globalization in a world of limited resources.

Peter Thiel is Founder and Managing Member of Clarium Capital Management, LLC; Co-Founder of Paypal, Palantir Technologies, Mithril Capital Management, and Valar Ventures; Managing Partner of Founders Fund; and past President of Thiel Capital International and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Confinity, Inc. He has been a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and he is the author of the books:

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, Or How to Build the Future (with Blake Masters)

The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus (with David O. Sacks)

He co-founded PayPal in 1998, led it as CEO, and in 2002 sold it to eBay and founded Clarium Capital Management, a global macro fund. In 2004 he made the first outside investment in Facebook, where he serves as a director. The same year he co-founded Palantir Technologies, a software company that harnesses computers to empower human analysts in fields like security and global finance. He has provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, RoboteX, Spotify, and dozens of successful technology startups. He is a co-founder and partner at Founders Fund, a venture capital firm that has funded companies like SpaceX and Airbnb. And in 2012 he co-founded Mithril Capital Management, an international technology investment fund.

Mr. Thiel started the Thiel Fellowship, which ignited a national debate by encouraging young people to put learning before schooling, and he leads the Thiel Foundation, which works to advance technological progress and long-term thinking about the future. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, where he received an A.B. in philosophy and a J.D. from the Stanford University School of Law. He further co-produced the film, "Thank You for Smoking," he was rated a master by the United States Chess Federation, and he received the Innovation Award from "The Economist" in 2010.

Experts: Peter A. Thiel
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Antitrust, Competition, and Monopoly, Bureaucracy and Government, Business, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Corporate Welfare, Culture/ Society, Economic History and Development (U.S.), Energy, Free Market Economics, Freedom, Government Power, Health Care, History (U.S), Labor and Employment, Law Enforcement, Political Ideology and Philosophy, Politics, Privatization, Public Health/ Consumer Protection, Regulation and Deregulation, Science, Technology, Trade

       
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Full Video of The Independent Institute’s 25th Anniversary Gala for Liberty
Recorded: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Full Video of The Independent Institute’s 2011 25th Anniversary Gala for Liberty held November 15, 2011.
Part 1: Introductory Remarks and Tribute to Robert Higgs
Part 2: Tribute to Mario Vargas Llosa
Part 3: History of The Independent Institute and Fund for the Future
Part 4: Tribute to Lech Walesa
Part 5: Special Tributes, Sponsors, and Credits

Experts: Leszek Balcerowicz, Price V. Fishback, Robert Higgs, Ron Paul, Jorge Quiroga, David J. Theroux, Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Mario Vargas Llosa, Lech Wałęsa, Yuri Yarim-Agaev
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Business, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Defense and Foreign Policy, Democracy, Economic History and Development (U.S.), Economic Policy, Government Power, History (International), History (U.S), Latin America, Nationalism, Political Ideology and Philosophy, Politics, Privatization, Property Rights, Terrorism and National Crises

       
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A Gala for Liberty: The Independent Institute’s Gala Reception and Dinner
Recorded: Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Experts: George B. N. Ayittey, Michael J. Boskin, William K. Bowes, Jr., Andy Garcia, David J. Theroux, Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Business, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Collectivism, Culture/ Society, Democracy, Economic History and Development (International), Economic History and Development (U.S.), Economic Policy, Entertainment, Free Market Economics, Freedom, History (U.S), Nationalism, Political Ideology and Philosophy, Property Rights, Race Issues, Regulation and Deregulation, Religion, Taxes, Terrorism and National Crises, Trade, Welfare

       
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Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo 500 Years of State Oppression
Recorded: Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Alvaro Vargas Llosa, author of "Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression."

Experts: Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Government Power, History (International), Latin America, Nationalism, Political Ideology and Philosophy

       
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Secrecy, Freedom and Empire: Lessons for Today from Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
Recorded: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Daniel Ellsberg began his Vietnam-era career as a U.S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon official, and a staunch supporter of U.S. global interventionism. But, in October 1969, Ellsberg—fully expecting to spend the rest of his life in prison—smuggled out of his office and made public a seven-thousand-page top secret study of decision making in Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers. At this upcoming Independent Policy Forum, Ellsberg will tell the story of his becoming the most important whistle-blower of the last fifty years, risking his career and his freedom to expose the deceptions and delusions of U.S. leaders from Truman onward. Based on his new book, Secrets, Ellsberg provided an insider’s view of the secrets and lies that have shaped decades of U.S. foreign policy to the present. His exposure began on his first day at the Pentagon, August 4, 1964, which was also the day of the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident. In time, the more he learned from top decision-makers, confidential documents, and reports of secret maneuvers, the more skeptical he became about the conduct and impact of U.S. foreign policies.

The release of the Pentagon Papers set in motion a chain of events that included a landmark Supreme Court decision, the arrest and trial of Ellsberg, the crimes of Watergate, and the end of the Nixon presidency and the Vietnam War.

As the U.S. pursues the current War on Terrorism, Ellsberg’s insights into governmental intoxication with power could not be more timely or important.

This special evening with Daniel Ellsberg and a distinguished panel of scholars, Barton J. Bernstein, Edwin B. Firmage, David R. Henderson, and Jonathan Marshall discussed “Secrecy, Freedom and Empire: Lessons for Today from Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.”

Experts: Daniel Ellsberg
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Defense and Foreign Policy, History (International)

       
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Pearl Harbor: Official Lies in an American War Tragedy?
Recorded: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

The great question of Pearl Harbor: what did U.S. government officials know and when did they know it? Ithas been argued for years. After decades of Freedom of Information Act requests, Robert Stinnett was finally able to examine the long-hidden evidence, shattering every shibboleth of Pearl Harbor. He finds that not only was the attack expected, it was deliberately provoked through an eight-step program devised by the Navy for President Franklin Roosevelt. Could Pearl Harbor have neither been an "accident" nor a mere "failure" of U.S. intelligence nor a "brilliant" Japanese military coup? Could the tragedy at Pearl Harbor have been a carefully orchestrated design, initiated at the highest government levels in order to galvanize a peace-loving American public to go to war? Robert Stinnett will discuss this startling issue in detail.

Robert B. Stinnett

Former Journalist, Oakland Tribune and BBC.

Author of the books, George Bush: His World War II Years and Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor.

Experts: Robert B. Stinnett
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Government Secrecy, History (International), History (U.S), Nationalism, Politics, Terrorism and National Crises

       
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Tiananmen Square: 10 Years Later
Recorded: Wednesday, June 16, 1999

In 1989, during a large peaceful student demonstration in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government deployed its military to massacre hundreds of unarmed students and other civilians in order to stop a growing movement for democratization and individual freedom. Since then, tens of thousands who have spoken out have been imprisoned, tortured and killed, and the government has refused to even admit that such atrocities have occurred. This special Independent Policy Forum will feature three outstanding experts, including two of the leaders of the original Chinese student movement. They will discuss the events then and since, the current movement in china for freedom, and the implications of current Chinese government policies for Americans.

Experts: Timothy J. Brook, Jing Chang, Danxuan Yi
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Free Speech, Freedom, Government Power, History (International), Political Ideology and Philosophy

       
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Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War: How Government Can Mold Public Opinion
Recorded: Thursday, October 7, 1993

What happens when government goes unchallenged, and when questions regarding present or proposed policies go unasked? With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, for example, Americans are increasingly wary of foreign conflicts. Yes, American forces are still active in Somalia and are being called for in the Balkans and elsewhere. To understand how government officials may seek to shift public opinion on unpopular programs, John MacArthur has found understanding the precedents set during the war against Saddam Hussein to be most insightful.

In his presentation, Mr. MacArthur will draw upon his widely acclaimed book, Second Front: Censorship and Propoganda in the Gulf War, to scrutinize the government's campaign to tightly control the American media during Operation Desert Storm. With a reporter's critical eye and a historian's sensibility, he will trace decades of press-government regulations – during Vietnam, Grenada, and Panama – which helped set the stage for restrictions on Gulf War reporting and for a government public-relations triumph.

In his talk, Mr. Macarthur will detail the behind-the-scenes activities during Operation Desert Storm by the U.S. and Kuwaiti governments as well as the media's being co-opted while its rights to observe, question, and report were heavily restricted far beyond and needs to protect American lives. He will demonstrate how, despite a torrent of words and images from the Persian Gulf, Americans were systematically and deliberately kept in the dark about events, politics, and simple facts during the Gulf Crisis.

Drawing upon frank and startling interviews, Mr. MacArthur will discuss how the Pentagon, after locking out the press in Grenada and Panama, pooled, censored, and escorted the media under armed guard in the gulf to a degree seldom seen before in America's wars. As a result. the media may have merely become glorified government stenographers, uncritically accepting such stories as the Kuwaiti babies being snatched from incubators by Iraqui soldiers, the precision of "smart bombs," the exaggerated size and morale of Hussein's forces, and the nature of losses on both sides. In revealing the workings of propoganda, Mr. MacArthur will question the impact and need for such extraordinary government power.

Experts: John R. MacArthur
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Defense and Foreign Policy, Diplomacy and Foreign Aid, Entertainment, Government Power, Government Secrecy, History (International), Terrorism and National Crises

       
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