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  • Writer's pictureAmit Kukreja

Alex Karp believes this is the biggest threat to democracy

“Is there something where you think there is a danger?”

“Well I mean Democratic societies, the people I would vote for, are not doing well. I mean there's almost no one I would vote for who you could call successful.”

A simple exchange of words between Palantir CEO Alex Karp and an interviewer back in 2018. As a viewer of this interview, when the reporter asked that question, I was expecting Alex Karp to talk on the prospects of nuclear war. Given Palantir’s engagement with the militaries of the world. Perhaps my focus for threat is on immediate life altering damage, Where Alex Karp’s concern is on the slow-moving generational degradation of Democracy.

“I'm not saying everyone has to agree with me, but I think if we had a range of people [Politicians] in this room, the people we'd never vote for are probably doing much better than they should, and there'd be disagreement. I get in trouble in America for being very much on the side that we should allow everyone to speak. I think this political correctness thing in America is a terrible danger because you can no longer articulate ideas. Be that as it may, if we voted in this room, the distribution would probably be here and here [making two separate circles with hands] and the people we consider viable, I think they're not politically where they should be. I think that's kind of obvious.”

The core thing when Karp was saying he would never vote for anyone who's running for office right now is because none of them are actually engaging in free speech. Actually listening to the other side, actually having a democracy.

They probably can't because our media is so polarized that they have to kind of pick one side or the other because if they don't pick the conservative side then the republican’s media doesn't cover, if they don't pick the democratic side then the democrat’s media doesn't cover.

If a candidate doesn't get that media coverage, there is no ability to penetrate the consciousness of different voters. So you've got to at some level play the game when it comes to politics.

Nonetheless, it still signals how sad it is in our democracy that you get a CEO like Alex Karp who has a hard time voting for any of the people that are running for congress, or for president.

A lot of people in the world have a hard time voting.

Alex went on to say, “There's this trust issue, once you lose trust it's very hard to get it back. Then of course there's all these technical things that people always want to talk to me about, but you know they exacerbate these problems. If you look at any of the tech issues that people bring up, the reason why they're so pernicious is because the underlying structure is weak.”

“I would very much agree with with Alex.” The other Gentlemen being interviewed stated.

“The political discourse is completely dominated on a global scale. These old political categories don't really work anymore. Both parties are totally dominated but either right-wing or left-wing populace, and they totally dominate the political discourse.”

“We will live in a world of 11 billion people, that is an absolute fact. We need to feed this world, we need to keep this world healthy, we need to somehow protect this planet” … “My personal concern is that if you look at the public discourse about technology in this field, it goes exactly in the wrong direction, and I feel that we need more technology to solve these problems.”

If we eventually live in a world where we do have those 11 billion people, well we've got to feed them, we've got to take care of them, make sure they're healthy, make sure that they have the capacity to achieve things. We've got to make sure that they have the infrastructure set up for them to succeed in the world, and have resources that are available for them.

One of the ways you do that is by having technology that actually accelerates Innovation. Technology that allows people to have better lives, not just tech that automates all the jobs away.

Palantir is a fan of actually making sure that people don't lose their jobs due to technological advancements and actually that people are helped.

The second thing that needs to happen is that We’ve got to make sure people can talk to each other.

Most people voted for Biden because he was the best democrats had, a lot of people voted for Trump out of desperation, so it's a scary thing in a democracy when we start to see it fall apart.

America's democracy is strong and America's democracy is healthy, but make no mistake America's democracy could absolutely fall apart. Democracies have their time and then their time ends. We've seen it in history, leaders have too much power, authoritarians get in power and it all goes downhill.

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