Why Elon Musk Is Right To Be Afraid
Few news items have amused me more than the story about the Twitter bot Elon Musk is desperately trying to get off the internet because it reports where his private jet goes.
Let’s be real about ol’ Elon, shall we?
Dude is a classic huckster in the grand old American tradition. He builds up a cult of personality around his business interests and pretends everything he does is THE FUTURE.
People pour money into stuff he’s attached to because they’re gambling on his long-term appeal. It isn’t a new or original play at all — P.T. Barnum and Thomas Edison set the model over a century ago — but people desperate for hope and profit will buy into a confidence scheme right up until it collapses.
I wouldn’t give a damn about some rich dude’s life-scam except for a single, simple fact: we live on a resource limited planet, and anyone who accumulates a billionaire-level fortune is directly responsible for keeping tens of thousands of people trapped in poverty.
And you know what? They secretly like it. One can only be rich if others are poor. That they maintain their fortunes is proof of their callous disregard for the rest of the world.
What’s absolutely disgusting is how many people will twist themselves in knots to defend a system that would have sent our ancestors into righteous fury. In the past people knew full well that accumulated power in any dimension, authority or wealth or prestige, poses a threat to the long-term survival of everyone.
This is why the old stories are always about some hero recovering treasure for their village. Beowulf, which is the true foundation of Northern European culture, portrays the eponymous hero’s life as a series of challenges that result in life improving for the people they aid.
Scholars determined to subjugate and demonize Europe’s pre-Christian heritage have long portrayed Beowulf’s saga as a personal quest for money and power, but in fact his entire story is a tale of wealth redistribution. His death comes after a fight with a dragon over its gold hoard, which then passes to the community Beowulf leaves behind.
His search for fame was never personal, it was bound up with his duty to provide for his people. The gold hoard he sacrifices himself to seize represents his legacy to the community, not his own family or even his name. Fame in the old world was synonymous with being seen as a giver, a ring-breaker and feast-hoster whose worldly success only matters if the benefits are widely shared.
Hospitality and generosity are the essence of the ancient lived ethic of old Europe just as it was almost everywhere else on the planet. People are people, there are just different flavors of culture everywhere you go.
It’s funny how so many supposedly smart people lose all math abilities when presented with the dream of getting filthy rich. The existence of a trillionaire by definition means a million potential millionaires can’t be. Resources are finite and hoarding ultimately means higher prices for basic goods for everybody else.
Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos , Mark Zuckerburg — these guys are all murderers even if they don’t realize it. They have the ability to literally go out and build sustainable communities that could exist independently forever without any additional outside intervention.
Instead, they amass huge fortunes then dole bits out to a few select cases they hope to make dependent in order to look good. Same basic strategy used by every thug, crime lord, and petty king in all of history. Attract gamblers who sense a chance to make it big, feed their dreams, and bring in the $$$.
True chieftains and leaders are focused entirely on obtaining wealth that can be transferred to improve the fortunes of the least fortunate. They do this because that is what fosters a stable community where they don’t have to worry about threats to the general prosperity.
So when I hear that one of these pathetic excuses for a human being is afraid of some nutter tracking and murdering them, I feel no sympathy. Billionaires are fundamentally unethical, would-be dragons sitting on hoards of gold other people need in order to not live in poverty.
These people have fewer opportunities to quest for their family and community, their chances squashed by rich people camping out on the most productive assets. They don’t have anything like equal access to the institutions that allow a person to amass social power, particularly Facebook and Twitter, both of which have built in systems to make sure rich people have more voice and can build bigger platforms faster than most everyone else.
Assassinating billionaires is a form of self-defense for some in this situation, plain and simple.
This is a truth you’re not supposed to speak out loud because we’re all been indoctrinated to believe that whatever wealth an individual obtains in life automatically belongs to them. The fact they have it and protect it with property laws they make sure are written a certain way by sold-out politicians is automatically taken as evidence they deserve their good fortune.
But any thinking, awake person in America knows full well you get rich by getting lucky. The lottery wouldn’t be so popular otherwise. That’s also the secret reason why these hacks have millions of followers on social media — everyone on the platforms hopes they’ll get some secret information or, even better, noticed by a power player.
Rarely happens, because the American system is a deeply rigged game where who you know and where you went to college determines most of your life opportunities. Social media accounts are gamed, the stuff posted all just a form of marketing.
A regular person who invents something amazing can’t get it to market in most cases because to get funding from people with money depends on convincing them your idea will make them even more. Who has the easiest time of that? People who went to Ivy League universities where they got to know people with enough disposable income to throw away on novel ideas.
That’s the real reason these places are so expensive and exclusive — it keeps the majority of Americans properly subjugated, in a position where if they do ever break through it is easy to subvert or steal what they create. Progress is impeded by the accumulation motive that drives most rich people once they have enough wealth to no longer have to worry about where their next meal will come from.
Now, I am not advocating that anyone go out and actually kill Elon Musk or any other billionaire. Redistributing their wealth shouldn’t require violence or giving it to some bureaucratic institution they’ll wind up controlling because of their access advantage over the rest of us.
What I am saying is that deep down we all know that if someone did pull off an assassination, many if not most regular people would sympathize with their actions.
I know I won’t condemn the sniper who plants a round in Musk or Bezos or Zuckerburg when they step off their private jet or address a crowd one of these days.
Or the drone operator who figures out how to just drop a brick on them.
I can’t, because I know just how much damage rich people are doing to the planet and humanity as well as themselves. If morality means respecting the self-destructive accumulation of wealth, then it is inevitable that a time will come when morality ceases to matter because it has become a tool of oppression. Starving people have to eat, the poor must safeguard their ability to survive — no amount of law or “civilization” can stop them from fighting back once the perceive there truly is no other path to a better future.
Truth be told, it isn’t some random sniper who poses the most danger to Elon Musk — the threat to their lives comes more from people like myself. People who don’t need to wield weapons because we can publish ideas.
I’m comfortable enough in life to have no need of killing some rich guy. I have military training and grew up hunting plus I’ve got a couple graduate degrees and a lifelong interest in strategy so carrying out an assassination is well within my abilities, yet this isn’t a path I’d choose save in the last resort.
But a couple billion other people don’t have my privilege — and guess what? Almost everyone can use a gun. Or plant a bomb. Or teach a drone to crash into a jet as it’s taking off or landing.
In the modern world, the tools of destruction have been radically democratized. Hamas, despite being blockaded and bombed in the Gaza Strip, has managed to build up an arsenal of rockets sufficient to beat Israel’s vaunted Iron Dome defense system. The Houthi militants in Yemen have fought off years of attacks by Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest military spenders armed with state-of-the-art American equipment, and still hit enemy territory with missiles and drones.
Combine lethal means with moral purpose and you have a recipe for a future where rich people aren’t safe anywhere. Wealth loses most of its meaning when people are actively trying to kill you.
This is the future Elon Musk is barreling towards. As the world falls apart and reorganizes along a new trajectory, people are going to fight more often and with greater commitment.
Given how Tesla’s stock goes on wild swings based on dumb tweets Musk or whoever he’s given his phone to posts, imagine how much money a conspiracy could make by shorting Tesla stock if it knew some rando was about to take a shot at Elon?
These kinds of questions are taboo in the mainstream media, which carefully cultivates safe spaces for wealthy interests since it’s owned mostly by rich people. But the emergence of the internet has made it possible for people to talk openly about the basic facts of life.
Technology has made it possible to map out in precise detail where rich people like to hang out and what assets they own. Musk may pay the dude who built the Twitter bot tracking is plane’s movements thousands of dollars to take it down, but as a wise man once said — you can’t stop the signal, Mal.
And that guy is a Musk fan who deserves way more than $50,000 for proving how insecure rich people are. The number of people angry at inequalities in the world and aware that resources are all that stands in the way of fixing them is growing.
Many, like me, have a deep education in science. More are starting to understand how to look at the world through a systems lens, revealing the hidden connections that drive most actions.
If Musk or these other super rich types had half the intelligence often credited to them, they would be actively looking for ways to buy off people like us. Let things around the world deteriorate for another ten years, and desperation plus capability will create a future where the rich cannot hide.
A rational person in Elon Musk’s position would make a simple calculation — there is a non-zero chance of some nutter using information published online to kill him. The cost of this outcome is infinite — any amount of spending that materially reduces the odds of assassination is in his and every other billionaire’s interest, because you can’t enjoy wealth if you’re dead.
In the real world, rich people are stuck here along with the rest of us. And once their hoarding has pushed enough people far enough, eat the rich will become more than a slogan.
So if you’re a billionaire wondering where to invest to hedge against an ever more uncertain future, I’ve got a modest proposal for you.
Find people like me and pay us to stay quiet. Everyone has a price — mine is about $5 million. I’ll even pledge to put all but what I need to pay off debts and get decent medical care for my parents and autistic brother in a non-profit org dedicated to fixing global problems that will otherwise wind up getting all you rich folks strung up in a public square somewhere.
Really, that’s all society has ever been. A mutual insurance system designed to make sure no one lives in poverty while others bask in luxury.
Why? Because in the end, no person is truly secure in a world full of desperation. Karma is real, not some metaphysical thing — whatever you bring into the world eventually impacts you too. Misery begets misery that rebounds on you if you have control over resources someone else needs to not be miserable.
Grand Theft Auto 5 included an ending that gives the player the option to kill the charismatic rich guy Devin Weston for a reason. Foreshadowing this possible ending in an earlier mission the character Trevor Philips states he wants Weston to be “someone who understands that all the money in the world can’t save him from a nasty guy who thinks he’s an asshole.”
Trevor might be utterly psychotic, but he speaks for a whole lot of people.
Noodle on that a bit, rich guys.
And give me that money. Promise I’ll stop pointing out the obvious about how vulnerable and hated you all are :)
Otherwise, well — karma will out. And the way things are heading in this world, sooner is more likely than later.