Elon Musk, the ‘woke’ and the conspiracy jump from the far center to the far right | Technology

The cover of time on May 9, 2022, he assured that “everyone is wrong about Elon Musk” because, in reality, he is not even on the left not even to the right. The tycoon then explained to the magazine that for him, Republicans and Democrats in the United States are like “two bowls of punch with droppings in them” and he refused to choose the one that contains the least amount of droppings. He New York Timesin December of the same year, titled a profile like this on the mogul: “His detractors say Musk has exposed himself as a conservative. It’s not that easy.” The press questions the worldview of the richest man in the world, decisive in wars like that of Ukraine with its satellites, and concludes that it is complex , a collage with progressive and right-wing traits. In June 2022, during a meeting with Twitter employees (now

This Saturday, Musk landed at the epicenter of the Italian post-fascist universe, welcoming Giorgia Meloni and Santiago Abascal, among other figures of the European far right, to his Roman party. “Don’t import the mental virus from the United States wake up“, the businessman said laughing, to the joy of the public and in front of the leader of Vox, seated in the front row of this annual convention of the Brothers of Italy. He wake up (conscientious), this progressive straw man, generates “a mental civil war” with its “message of division and hatred”, according to Musk, born in Pretoria (South Africa) 52 years ago. Later, he criticized excessive European regulations, denounced illegal immigration, claimed the defense of national cultural identities, demanded that fossil fuels not be demonized and disapproved of integration policies. Pure centrism.

It is not true that he has been centrist, moderate or even progressive in the recent past, such as when he supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but it is difficult to continue to defend him today. There is much more, before participating in Meloni’s neofascist event (he also met him and Emmanuel Macron in June). Last Sunday, Musk gave his The millionaire prepared a luxurious welcome for the prodigal son, in a meeting on his own social network in which they both participated with a barely moderate team. There was Andrew Tate, a misogynist prosecuted for rape and trafficking of women; Matt Gaetz, most ultra-wing Republican; Michael Flynn, former security adviser pardoned by Trump; and Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican presidential candidate who questions both the assault on the Capitol and climate change. A few days earlier, Musk had hailed as the “pure truth” a series of anti-Semitic conspiracies published by a tweeter, which had cost him the loss of important advertisers on his network, such as Disney, Apple and IBM.

Far-right conspiracy theorists are the people with whom we see the richest man in the world sharing his reading of reality. It is crucial to be attentive to the repercussions that their conception of the world can have, given their power in strategic sectors such as disinformation, telecommunications or artificial intelligence. But it is also valuable to understand how he fell into the trap of the most absurd and toxic plots. “You can be the richest man in the world and have an entire social network and still be completely incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction. Choose to live in a fantasy land of false beliefs,” describes Jay Van Bavel, a social identity psychologist at New York University. Musk questioned the covid pandemic and believes in the existence of an elite – he, who has the greatest wealth and direct access to any leader – with dark plans to replace the whites. “Over the course of 2022, he has moved from benign praise for moderation to furious musings about how wake up and censorship imposed by media elites posed an existential threat to humanity,” states the biography published in September by Walter Isaacson.

Other figures have made this move to the right in recent years. without complexes from the far center: “I’m considering creating an ultra-moderate superPAC (influence group) that would support candidates with centrist views from all parties. » said in 2022. That year, and depending on the circumstances of his life, many of the traits that usually explain this mutation towards alternative narratives: economic interests, personal motivations, an identity in crisis and a favorable social environment. And why not, for having been permanently exposed to his own social network, which has become particularly toxic and propagator of lies since he acquired it, like several studies show. Your interactions with ultra accounts they were shot just buy Twitter.

Vox President Santiago Abascal and Elon Musk at the far-right Brothers of Italy convention.VOX/EFE

Musk has always been right-wing economically and “progressive on social issues, but has shown some libertarian resistance to norms and political correctness,” according to Isaacson. All this changed around three battlehorses of the culture wars which are fought on the networks and which affected him personally: the covid pandemic in the manufacturing of his Tesla, the controversy over the transness of his daughter and the perception that ‘have young people aware of billionaires. . In these and other controversies, progressives are wrong, according to Musk: their perception is that he always stays in the center (with Meloni and Tate) and it is the rest of the world which has fallen on the slope of the extreme left.

The closure of its automobile factories in China and California due to Covid “was devastating for Tesla’s stock price”, explains Isaacson, but above all “they ignited its anti-authoritarian tendency”. The controversy over the restrictions, supported by Democrats and overturned by Republicans, was a decisive factor in his political evolution, Isaacson believes. The political decision hit him hard and this cognitive dissonance, as psychology explains, is resolved by discussing health measures and even the pandemic itself due to its elevation. As the far right distrusts science, those who doubt science are turning to this political world because in recent years, and particularly in the United States, they are communicating vessels. In the midst of the controversy, he tweeted: “Take the red pill”, a metaphor which manosphere the right uses when the so-called hidden truth is finally discovered.

He supported the launch of candidate Robert Kennedy, a well-known anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist, but in the post-pandemic election, Musk first asked to vote for Republicans. He now says he will not vote for Biden, even if it seems difficult to do so for Trump. But he displays his predilection for Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis, scourge of thought wake up in Florida. In I woke him up His hatreds, his fears and his apprehensions converge, like a pillar of intrigue that supports everything: “As he became more and more obsessed with what wake up, Musk’s political loyalties have changed,” Isaacson describes. Feel that this “mental virus wake up» took away his “son”: Jenna in gender transition, who broke up with him because he did not respect her new feminine pronouns. “He is a direct witness, on a very personal level, to the harmful effects produced by the indoctrination of this religion.” wake up», says a direct collaborator.

Musk believes Jenna doesn’t talk to him because she “professes full-fledged communism and a pervasive feeling that if you’re rich, you’re bad.” He feels “attacked” by his wealth and many analysts They point out that these criticisms against the richest 1%, widespread after the pandemic, cause another dissonance, because they demand admiration for their success and their cool rockets, as the specialist journalist writes. Elizabeth Lopatto: “He wants to be seen as a visionary who will reshape human society.” However, he was booed when he was introduced to the audience as “the richest”, as happened when comedian Dave Chappelle took the stage. This is why he decided to get rid of all his homes: “In recent years, “billionaire” has become pejorative, as if it were a bad thing. They tell you, “Hey, billionaire, look how much stuff you have. » Well, I have nothing left. And now what?”

Fight the virus wake up prompted him to buy Twitter: “I have come to believe that this can be part of the mission of preserving civilization, giving our society more time to become multi-planetary.” » The left is restricting freedom of expression and threatening the future of humanity on Mars by imposing its “herd thinking” on the media. To avoid this, the tycoon is giving back the loudspeaker to neo-Nazi groups and the spreaders of racist hoaxes. His environment plays a key role, as social psychology explains, in his defense of “alternative facts”: libertarian friends like his Trumpist partner Peter Thiel “tended to reinforce his feelings.” anti-wake», underlines his biographer.

On Saturday in Rome, Musk responded to the applause of Meloni’s far-right youth by forming a heart with his fingers on his chest: without a doubt, he felt valued. The more he is criticized on the left, the more he receives support from radical options from the opposite extreme, thus strengthening his positions. even after his anti-Semitic slip-ups. “Most of us are confused by social media. Thanks to his fame and wealth, Musk could be treated like a king almost anywhere in the world. However, this is not enough: we still need the adoration that comes from spreading destructive nonsense,” concludes Van Bavel.

“Musk’s move to the right in 2022 has confounded his progressive friends, including his first wife, Justine, and his then-girlfriend, Grimes,” says his biographer. “When Musk started sending Grimes right-wing memes and conspiracy theories, she responded, ‘Did you get that from 4chan (extremist forum) or something?’ “You’re starting to sound like a far-right guy.” After Rome, there is little doubt about the excrement punch bowl chosen by one of the most powerful men in the world. All that remains is to know how much excrement will splash.

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