Elon Musk and the Legitimization of American Plutocracy
How the world just veered right onto Democracy’s off ramp
Elon Musk finally managed to buy Twitter and I am now concerned. Very concerned and so should you.
I am not an avid scholar of Elon Musk. But recently, the news around his actions, and what he has publicly expressed , has registered on my personal radar and scope of sensitivity. Some of the more recent signals I have received include statements around his handling of Starlink and, of course, the news about his $44B dollar acquisition of Twitter. For now I will pretend to ignore this new news about Starlink and won’t dive into many details. I must say however, any judgement emanating from the Starlink news is probably immature, as I have not been able to find enough information that provides a trustworthy accounting of the costs incurred by Musk’s company and what has been contributed by governments and other sponsors in support of Ukraine’s military needs to fend off Russia’s aggression.
The second signal is the real biggie. And I am not referring to the amount of the transaction that Mr. Musk shelled out. Today any newsworthy acquisition will fall into the billions. We all know that the world of M & A won’t waste much energy on small deals. No killing. No deal. Now I might be underestimating this signal but is much more than a signal. In a sense, I see Mr Musk’s latest conquest and contest as the exercise of a nuclear option. Twitter’s importance and future utility on a global scale is especially hard to estimate. So $44B may be a bargain. Nuclear options are leveraged when one truly wants to prevail. In this case, to Elon Musk, gaining ownership and control of this global communications platform is an essential ingredient to promote his agenda, spread his views , and globally engage, in a virtual, constant conversation with each and everyone of the network members. OK, so genius billionaire ego fuels this. Yes, but there is more that truly makes this scary.
As a business person, Musk is a man of high standards. He is regarded as a tough boss. He is a man of quick actions. Not less than a day after the acquisition, we have already seen his business celerity. The headlines have reported that the Twitter CEO was swiftly fired, that the CFO was removed and that Twitter’s policy chief was also axed…