The Multifront Attack on Business Hero Elon Musk

by | Dec 20, 2023 | Business

The attacks on Elon Musk seem like something straight out of an Ayn Rand novel. The successful and innovative entrepreneur is attacked on all sides by institutions and people who live off the system rather than innovate around and beyond it. 

Elon Musk is the world’s richest man but also the number one target of the world’s richest governments and their associated industrialists. The reason traces entirely to his independence of mind and the actions that follow from that.

In times of censorship, he bought and now protects a free-speech platform, the only one remaining with any real reach into the public mind. Countless millions of people are deeply grateful, even if the platform is a long way from profitability.

Further, he is innovating in a time of stagnation with Tesla, Starlink, and SpaceX. He is outspoken against the many forms of despotism of our time. He was an original dissident against Covid controls, and probably the most prominent, keeping his factories running in defiance of the governor and then even leaving California for Texas to find more freedom.

This is the whole reason he is fending off attacks from every angle.

In the latest assault, the European Union’s Digital commissioner Thierry Breton has posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he believes Elon has infringed on the EU’s rules. He set out the alleged infringements in a post on the social media platform.

  • Suspected breach of obligations to counter #IllegalContent and #Disinformation
  • Suspected breach of #Transparency obligations
  • Suspected #DeceptiveDesign of user interface

Elon has been very clear that he works to respect the laws of every country, even those with which he strongly disagrees. This pertains to the EU’s aggressive censorship, which was deployed through the Covid era at the expense of scientific freedom and in defense of governments that locked down their citizenry, forced medical treatments on citizens that they did not want or need, and then covered up behind-the-scenes machinations.

It’s rich to have Breton go after Elon for a lack of transparency when the whole point of the EU’s regime is to force a lack of transparency. Adding to the irony, Breton knew that Musk would not censor the note on the world’s largest platform for free speech. He is thereby deploying the use of freedom in opposition to its existence.

And before we sniff at the censorial Europeans and their intolerance toward free speech, consider that the same thing – or some version of it – is happening to Elon in the US. After March 2020, there was a concerted effort led by deep-state actors to gain full control of social media to squelch any dissent. It affected every platform, including Twitter. Amazon and all app stores even banned Parler because it was becoming too popular.

As things died down, Musk bought the Twitter platform and purged 4 out of 5 employees, including the many government agents who had been hired to turn Twitter into a government propaganda machine. Since then he has upheld the First Amendment and innovated a series of tools that allow for internal and crowd-source fact-checking to make his renamed platform the most reliable source of news and opinion in the world.

Since he took over, he has faced a barrage of state-generated attacks. The list courtesy of End Wokeness.

The SEC has sued Musk over the purchase of the platform. According to the New York Times, “his takeover has been the subject of several lawsuits and investigations by the federal authorities. The Federal Trade Commission has probed whether X had the resources to protect users’ privacy after he laid off much of its staff and several senior executives responsible for privacy and security resigned. The agency has also sought to depose Mr. Musk. Former Twitter shareholders have also sued Mr. Musk for fraud in a case related to his belated disclosure of his stake in the company.”

The FTC has demanded internal X documents. Says The Hill: “the FTC has sent more than a dozen letters to Twitter since Musk completed his acquisition in October. It states that the agency has demanded Twitter provide internal communications “relating to Elon Musk” from any Twitter employee, information about the platform’s Twitter Blue verification subscription service and the names of journalists who were granted access to Twitter records.”

The Biden Department of Justice has sued SpaceX…get this…for not hiring refugees for secret rocket technology. CNN says: “The suit claims that ‘from at least September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX routinely discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire or consider them, because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),’ according to an August 24 DOJ news release.”

The Biden Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commision have sued Tesla over improper perks. Forbes says: “The widened investigation comes after federal prosecutors and the SEC began probing a secret Tesla project known as Project 42 that employees described as a glass house for Musk in the Austin, Texas, area near Tesla’s factory, the Journal reported in August.”

The Biden Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation against Tesla over self-driving cars. Reuters reports: “The U.S. Department of Justice launched the previously undisclosed probe last year following more than a dozen crashes, some of them fatal, involving Tesla’s driver assistance system Autopilot, which was activated during the accidents, the people said.” The presumption here is preposterous: that Elon doesn’t care if his product is flawed and doesn’t desire improvement.

There is a federal investigation of Neuralink. Reuters again: “Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device company, is under federal investigation for potential animal-welfare violations amid internal staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, causing needless suffering and deaths, according to documents reviewed by Reuters and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations.”

Then there is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation over harassment at Tesla. The EEOC says: “Since at least 2015 to the present, Black employees at Tesla’s Fremont, California manufacturing facilities have routinely endured racial abuse, pervasive stereotyping, and hostility as well as epithets… Slurs were used casually and openly in high-traffic areas and at worker hubs. Black employees regularly encountered graffiti, including variations of the N-word, swastikas, threats, and nooses, on desks and other equipment, in bathroom stalls, within elevators, and even on new vehicles rolling off the production line.”

Finally, we have the aggressive advertising boycott on the part of major corporations, including Disney, CNBC, Comcast, Warner Bros, IBM, and the Financial Times, among many others. Musk has refused to be intimidated by these people. He has said that he refuses to be blackmailed by money and instead told the companies to “Go f*** yourself.” Which is rather remarkable and really does speak to a major problem in social media today, which is the extent to which so many platforms are willing to do the bidding of the corporatist system in order to serve the bottom line.

That is fully nine direct lines of attack, but probably the company and Elon could list another several dozen such cases like this once you consider all levels of government everywhere Musk’s companies are operating. And yes, it all sounds like something straight out of a novel by Ayn Rand. The successful and innovative entrepreneur is attacked on all sides by institutions and people who live off the system rather than innovate around and beyond it.

We truly do live in a new age of envy, powered by states and their industrial allies more wedded to their own profitability lines and plans rather than what the people want and what great entrepreneurs can create. This is very clearly a crony attack. What’s striking is that everyone knows that and yet it is tolerated in any case. It’s a great recipe for killing off the wealth-generating machine for a generation or two.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, including Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. Follow him at @jeffreyatucker .

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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