Musk Madness

Is this really the man we want controlling our satellites, our space ships and our social media algorithms?

Musk Madness

"This is a battle to the death with the anti-civilizational woke mind virus," announced Elon Musk in a tweet to his more than 177 million X followers on 20 March 2024.

Can you guess what he wrote next—in the very same tweet?

Was it:

a) "Aren't you lucky I'm the military contractor who just got approved to build all the new U.S. spy satellites!?!?"

b) "Make sure all your children get my Neuralink brain implants before they enter college!"

c) "Perhaps we DO need to start executing people for 'woke' tweets like my Saudi investors do. Just a thought!"


d) "My positions are centrist."

Almost unimaginably, the correct answer is (d).

This is Trump-era gaslighting on steroids (or ketamine)

Elon Musk is a drug-taking, shit-talking, racist, misogynistic, anti-worker, journalist-censoring, authoritarian-loving, apartheid-educated, white-privileged Iron-Man wannabe.

His design aesthetic for the former Twitter headquarters looks suspiciously like a Nazi building circa 1945.

Image of an X symbol atop an Elon Musk building in 2024
Image of an X symbol atop an Elon Musk building in 2024

He's already running X as a dictatorship. And, even as he describes himself as "centrist," he's championing a "Dark MAGA" vision for a post-democratic world controlled by white men and powered by open-sourced, "humorous" AI systems not afraid to use the N-word.

Less than a year ago, Musk voiced support for a violent coup and the end of US democracy.

Less than six months ago, he endorsed "the conspiracy theory espoused by the white supremacist who massacred the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue."

Today, with less than 8 months until the next election, Musk not only controls X and its algorithm, he also posts manically to more than 2X as many followers as Donald Trump (87.4M) and more than 4X as many followers as Joe Biden (38M).

Musk routinely and aggressively amplifies many of X's most bigoted, extreme and outrageous voices, including self-described "theocratic fascist" Matt Walsh and stochastic terrorist Libs of TikTok, who are among the 150,000 "creators" to whom Musk's X has already paid more than $45 million—money redirected from the budgets of brands still willing to pay X to deliver messages alongside the Musk-amplified hate speech.

Musk is in the grip of dangerous delusions

I've written several articles over the past two years about Musk detailing his similarities to Trump in both business and his use of social media—as well as his "Dark MAGA" delusions.

2022 checklist comparing Musk on Twitter to Trump on Twitter
2022 checklist comparing Musk on Twitter to Trump on Twitter

As I wrote in "Twitter's New Trump" in May 2022:

The new most powerful man on Twitter uses the platform to attack his critics, amplify the alt-right, and harass women with offensive, sexist tweets. He’s corrupt, too, using Twitter to manipulate the stock market. And he’s also a dangerous threat to public health. Having downplayed Covid to his millions of followers and questioned vaccines, he’s now dispensing advice on what additional pills to take beyond the red one. He even engages in what some might call “stochastic terrorism,” turning his anger on non-public figures and opening them up to online harassment and potential violence.

That same month, in "Musk's Misogyny," I compared Musk to Trump "in terms of racism, rule-breaking, attacks on critics and, especially in light of the leaked Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, treatment of women." (Update: Musk is still making jokes about "T.I.T.S." and "A.S.S.")

In part two of that article, I detailed why Musk was the worst possible human to run the world's online "town square" at a time when women's rights were taking center stage, pointing out that "Musk didn’t even follow any women during his first seven years on Twitter. (As of 8 May 2022), he only follows 14, including his mom, his sister and his ex-wife."

An ungrateful and unstable "genius"

Like many ungrateful billionaires, Musk built his businesses by exploiting workers and taking full advantage of "socialist" policies and tax incentives.

Now he wants to bust unions, avoid taxes, and pretend that he's done it all single-handedly. If we believe the Myth of Musk, he's an even better builder and a stabler genius than the Lord Trump Himself.

(Fact check: Musk not as smart as he thinks and is whole lot luckier and more ruthless than he pretends to be. Meanwhile, Tesla's non-union workers not only earn less per hour than workers at GM and Ford, the company itself generates substantially less revenue per employee. Although that didn't stop the Tesla CFO from stepping down in 2023 after pocketing nearly $600 million in only 4 years on the job.)

2022 checklist comparing Musk in business to Trump in business
2022 checklist comparing Musk in business to Trump in business

In the recent book "Elon Musk," famed-biographer Walter Isaacson leans into the Musk "genius" theory a little too hard, writes author and professor Nicole Hemmer for CNN.

According to Hemmer, Isaacson presents "quite an impoverished view of genius," one that "overshadows genius generated through collaboration, which, though present throughout Musk’s career, takes a backseat to the force of his singular personality throughout Isaacson’s book."

Hemmer also states that, as depicted by Isaacson, "Musk’s apparent cruelty is at least in part an offshoot of the fact that his companies seem to be more real, more alive, to him than human beings."

Musk's "genius" image took another massive hit this week in a one-hour interview with former CNN host Don Lemon.

Don Lemon interviewing Elon Musk

The interview dropped, as Oliver Darcy wrote for CNN, after Musk had "spent another weekend swimming in the right-wing fever swamps of X," and revealed just "how radicalized he has become."

Wrote Darcy:

In the contentious interview, Musk equated moderating dangerous and appalling hate speech to “censorship,” bashed the press for legitimate reporting, assailed DEI programs without supporting evidence, skewered advertisers who fled the X platform last year and yet again gave credence to the racist Great Replacement theory, among other things.

As David Hamilton wrote for the AP:

Musk said he thinks of X as the “player versus player platform,” using a term for video games that pit players against one another, typically in fights to the pixelated death. While he wasn’t particularly clear about what he meant by likening X to a death match, he did bring it up in the context of the occasional late-night posts in which he appears to be spoiling for an argument.

The Lemon interview proved that Musk is an immature, empathy-lacking, ill-informed, willfully ignorant, and irresponsible person who is happy to allow X to become as toxic as the racist, misogynistic, death-threat-infested world of video gaming. With added porn-bots.

The interview also demonstrated that this super-rich, frequently depressed white dude—the man ultimately in charge of making X safe for the rest of us—sometimes tweets when drunk or otherwise altered just to provoke arguments (which he markets to advertisers as "engagement"), while simultaneously shunning all responsibility for the impact of his own actions and statements.

Triggered by his trans daughter

It may be that Musk's hard-right political turn would have happened anyway simply because of his insatiable greed and increasingly malignant narcissism. After all, many of America's richest people and biggest corporations are gladly funding fascism, no matter who it may destroy.

But it seems that Musk's wholehearted embrace of his assholiness was also triggered by the revelation that his daughter was trans.

Writes Graeme Massie in The Independent:

Elon Musk became vehemently “anti-woke” because of his daughter’s gender transition, according to (Isaacson's) new book on the Tesla boss.
The billionaire’s right-wing political leanings “were partly triggered” when his then-16-year-old child, Vivian Jenna Wilson, came out to her aunt. 

While most experts recommend "love" as the best response to a child coming out as trans, Musk went with hate instead. Years later, he continues to lash out at the now-20-year-old Vivian as "brainwashed" and a "Communist."

As with Trump, we should take Musk literally and seriously

It's no longer a surprise when Trump recycles a quote from his bedside book of Hitler speeches.

But perhaps it should be bigger news that Elon Musk isn't simply getting inspired to emulate Nazi signage on his buildings.

Adolf Hitler gesticulating while giving a speech
Adolf Hitler gesticulating while giving a speech

Adolf Hitler said this on 10 May 1940: "The battle beginning today will decide the fate of the... nation for the next thousand years."

That's not so different from the tweeted words of Elon Musk with which I began this article: "This is a battle to the death with the anti-civilizational woke mind virus."

It's one thing for an unhinged conspiracy theorist to announce on X that he hates the majority of Americans so much he would battle them "to the death."

It's another thing entirely for that same whack job to be the "genius" running our spy satellites, space ships, and social media algorithms—even as he attempts to create a new, potentially world-controlling superintelligence.

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