If the world is going to end with a whimper not a bang, then some of the world’s richest people are going to whimper together in New Zealand. People like Trump supporter and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel have staked their claim on the small island nation as the ideal refuge during a global apocalypse. The narcissism involved in such survivalism is staggering but par for the course; capitalists like Thiel have destabilized our world economically and ecologically, and now they want to buy their way out of the destructive ramifications in someone else’s country. New Zealand has strict rules around citizenship and land ownership for foreign nationals, which is why Thiel’s secretive acquisition of piece of the South Island raised many concerns.

Curious himself, Irish writer Mark O’Connell searched for answers for The Guardian, to understand the peculiar ideological appeal of New Zealand to a certain class of Silicon Valley…

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