Inside Elon Musk’s head

Every week Philomag offers you a selection of articles published in the French and foreign press.gathered around a common theme. Articles that surprised us, challenged us, disturbed us. An opportunity to discover new points of view on the world and events that get into the news.

This week’s question: what does he want Elon Musk? The Tesla boss has been under fire for days from critics after taking over Twitter for a modest $44 billion. But why buy a social network? Should we be concerned about this? How does this decision fit into the billionaire’s long-term plans?

Marius-Joseph Marchetti: “Imagine a rich man who would rather spend 44 billion on a political ideal, freedom of speech, rather than let that money stagnate”

“Hatred of Musk testifies to economic ignorance” and “hatred of freedom”, against the backdrop of dogmatic “leveling”, protests Marius Joseph Marchetti in a liberal review of Contrepoints. For the economist mobilizing Hayek to help, attacking Tesla’s boss (and the richest man on the planet) means ignoring the fact that without freedom there is no social progress. “Musk does more for the purchasing power of the average person than all the trade unionists and politicians in the world, and more for the environment by helping to provide more efficient means of production than all the new environmentalists of failed communism. No doubt it does not redistribute its state directly. But redistribution is not a solution, because it dissolves into “current consumption.” Musk plays a much more fundamental role for Marchetti: he uses his fortune to “invest in new production methods” that will ultimately reduce “people’s needs forever.”

Jeffrey Miron: “Private or public organizations could not function properly without limiting free speech, which Musk does not recognize”

Marchetti’s colleague, Geoffrey Miron, is far less complimentary to the billionaire at L’Express. In particular, he disputes the label of a libertarian by which the latter claims to justify his decisions. “Elon Musk is not a libertarian, he is “musky”! He just doesn’t want to follow rules other than those he likes or benefits him. In other words, he wants to do what he wants, and no one interferes in his affairs. Simple selfishness that has little to do with libertarianism. Indeed, “libertarianism does not advocate a complete lack of rules: rather, it believes in a limited set of rules that will consistently apply to everyone. Ignoring those we don’t like and imposing ours on others is not libertarian, it’s selfish. And that’s what Elon Musk does. »

Phil Torres: “Musk is intoxicated with the new age-old religion of longevity”

But exactly what does Elon Musk want? What is his “long-term vision”? This question is asked by the philosopher Phil Torres in Salon magazine. And to flip the question, what characterizes the billionaire approach is precisely the obsession with the “long term.” Musk’s entire vision is about a kind of messianic responsibility: to save humanity from the “existential risk” it poses to itself. From this point of view, “we should help our contemporaries only insofar as it guarantees the existence of future generations.” This explains why Musk can sometimes behave in a seemingly very moral way, and sometimes in a clearly immoral way. Morality does not contradict the goal of ensuring the preservation of mankind (in particular, its migration to other regions of space). This messianism, which at first glance may seem grotesque, is worrying because it will not remain wishful thinking. Musk has acquired “such power” that he is able to influence “the future march of human civilization on earth” more and more decisively.

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