Former Venture Capitalist Worth $8 Billion Compares Criticism Of Rich To Nazi Germany

Tom Perkins, a founding partner in one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, sparked outrage with his stunning “Letter to the Editor” in the Wall Street Journal. The firm distanced itself from Perkins in a tweet Saturday afternoon. posted on

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the most successful venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, distanced itself from a controversial “Letter to the Editor” in the Wall Street Journal one if its founders published today.

In the letter, Tom Perkins, a founder of the KPCB, compared the current wave of ostracism towards the uber-rich to attacks on Jewish people by the Nazis during World War II. Perkins, of course, is a member of the ultra-wealthy club, with an estimated net worth of $8 billion and ownership of a San Francisco penthouse he spent $9 million to construct.)

“Writing 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,’” Perkins writes in the letter, entitled “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?”

He continues: “From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent… This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?” (the full letter to the editor is embedded below.)

Kleiner Perkins, as the firm is often referred to in the media and conversation, has been a major Silicon Valley player for more than three decades. The firm’s past and current investments include: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Flipboard, GroupOn, Nest (which Google just acquired for $3.2 billion), Zynga, Twitter, Spotify, and hundreds more.

Though the firm says in its tweet that Tom Perkins “has not been involved in KPCB for years,” he is still listed as a “Partner Emeritus” on its webpage.

Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.

Twitter users reacted to Perkins’ “Letter to the Editor”:

Question: Is the cofounder of @kpcb irresponsible & disrespectful about the Holocaust, or an actual Dumb Person? http://t.co/oGr5KeY5WN

As a student of history, appalling comparison: KPCB founder alienates with holocaust analogies in op-ed http://t.co/FK6shFNvfM @LizGannes

Most idiotic/despicable letter to the editor of the month, from founder of Kleiner Perkins @kpcb. http://t.co/9sj7hGMubT

Wealthy Americans are just like persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany, says clueless yacht-owning douchebag http://t.co/1UGh6aDfcH

I get the feeling Tom Perkins didn't pass that one by the Kleiner Perkins PR team.

Before collective freakout extends too far: Tom Perkins has not been VC for over 20 years, mostly uninvolved in tech industry for long time.

Read Perkins’ complete “Letter to the Editor”:

January 24, 2014 4:49 PM
Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?

I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”

Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing 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.”

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?

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