Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel once posed an intriguing question during job interviews, one that we at Rebel News often find ourselves asking. It’s a question born of Thiel’s ingenuity and contrarian thinking, which Ezra says encapsulates the essence of innovation on tonight’s episode of the Ezra Levant Show.
In Thiel’s renowned book, Zero to One, he introduces this distinctive inquiry: “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” The simplicity of the question belies its challenge. It cuts through surface-level platitudes and clichés, demanding an answer that defies convention and necessitates courage.
Thiel argues that responses such as “Our educational system is broken and urgently needs to be fixed,” “America is exceptional,” or “There is no God” are woefully inadequate. These opinions, while potentially controversial, exist within the realms of accepted debate. Truly original answers must take an existing belief and turn it on its head.
Taking this concept to the broader picture, Thiel aligns this kind of contrarian thinking with future progress, distinguishing between horizontal (replicative) and vertical (innovative) progress. Vertical progress, symbolizing the leap from 0 to 1, aligns with the essence of Thiel’s question. This kind of progress demands not just genius but courage to think and act differently.
At Rebel News, we value this contrarian mindset, especially when it seems like the whole world is singing from the same hymn sheet. During the pandemic, for instance, dissenters were few and far between, but their alternative viewpoints were invaluable.
The ability to publicly challenge the status quo, in our eyes, holds more weight than a degree from an Ivy League university. In an era of mass conformity, we value the courage to express unpopular truths.
In politics, answering Thiel’s question is difficult. After all, politicians rely on majority support to secure votes. However, we’ve found that conventional wisdom is often flawed. For example, the media often presents certain viewpoints as universally accepted truths when they only reflect a minority opinion.
A controversial example is the topic of mass immigration. While expressing doubts about open borders can lead to public marginalization, recent polls in Quebec have shown that many Canadians support lowering immigration rates and maintaining their cultural heritage.
Another issue plaguing Canadians today is the nation’s declining international reputation. According to an Angus Reid survey, only half of Canadians believe that the country has a good or very good reputation abroad. This percentage has dropped by 33 points since 2018, hinting at a growing concern about the nation’s standing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mishandling of international relations, from his kowtowing to Communist China to his cultural blunders in India, has not gone unnoticed. As the government’s follies come to light, Canadians are losing confidence in their international reputation.
Thiel’s question serves as a clarion call for bold, contrarian thinking, whether in a job interview or on the broader societal stage. It is a rallying cry for dissenters who question conventional wisdom and dare to voice unpopular truths.
In an era of groupthink and media censorship, the courage to think and express ideas differently is more crucial than ever. This, we believe, is the ultimate truth that few people may agree with us on.
GUEST: Ian Miles Cheong.