Tom Perkins is a rich venture capitalist and founding partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Perkins is also delusional, and in a way that seems to have become rather common. In response to a Matthew Yglesias column, Perkins stated that “[w]riting from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’” The persecution complex is strong with this one – “This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?” – and although we generally shy away from discussing fiscal policies here, it strikes us as important to emphasize how lunatic Perkins’s Godwin venture actually is. Asking Perkins to pay more in taxes is not “like genocidal anti-Jewish rioting orchestrated by Hitler”.
Perkins followed up by revealing his own take on an ideal democratic system: “You don’t get the vote if you don’t pay a dollar in taxes. But what I really think is it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars, you get a million votes. How’s that?” Now, Perkins followed up by stating that he was just “trying to be outrageous,” before doubling down on the rich people/Holocaust comparison (“the parallel holds”), adding that progressive taxation is persecution and “if Germany had American gun laws, there would have never been a Hitler,” which is not only stupid but reveals an almost stunning lack of understanding of the social and political situation in Germany at the time (including details about whoand how many people supported Hitler). Other subjects Perkins discussed were how the Koch brothers are victims of “persecution”, the evils of “child labor laws” and the non-existence of racism. On the question of whether he felt that he might have lost touch with the real world, Perkins responded that “philosophically,” he said, “nobody can prove that they are connected to reality,” an answer that must be characterized as a marvel of delusional hubris.
Apparently he has also written a book.
Diagnosis: Good grief. “Conspiracy theorist with a persecution complex” doesn’t even begin to suggest the inane delusions of Tom Perkins. At least we have to assume that he hurts rather than helps his cause. The notion that one is being persecuted, however, is a very common among lots of different interest groups, from antivaxers to evangelicals. Use Perkins as a mirror.