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Billionaire Venture Capitalist Sees "Kristallnacht" Looming for America's Rich

Steve Jennings/Getty

Boy, nothing to perk up a quiet, snowy Saturday morning like a warning from one of America’s wealthiest and most far-sighted venture capitalists that there is a genocide looming within our own borders. Look what appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal letters section under the headline: “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?”

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?

Tom Perkins

San Francisco

Mr. Perkins is a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

I believe this one pretty much speaks for itself. But a few supplementary notes. One, Tom Perkins is worth an estimated $8 billion and a few years ago spent more than $150 million building a "superyacht," the Maltese Falcon. Two, Kleiner Perkins is the firm that has made Al Gore, a partner, a very wealthy man – it would be interesting to know what he makes of his colleague’s concerns. Three, I did not realize that Danielle Steel is San Francisco’s “number one celebrity.” But I do know that she was once married to Tom Perkins. Say what you will about the man, unchivalrous he is not.

*Addendum, 2 p.m.: I sold Perkins short. In addition to the 289-foot superyacht sold in 2009, there is a 20-foot submarine, a 16th century English manor house once owned by Jimmy Page (recently sold by Perkins) and a 5,500-square foot 60th floor penthouse in San Francisco with a giant minotaur statue and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Golden Gate. That is, a whole lot of glass...