by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Andrew Stuttaford of National Review Online explores an interesting aspect of Elon Musk’s recent high-profile actions.
[T]he battle within Twitter could be seen as a class struggle of sorts, with Musk representing entrepreneurial capital on one side and his opponents various elements of the managerial class on the other.
In the course of an article for the Daily Telegraph, Andrew Orlowski sees another class struggle (again, of sorts) at play, but this time between billionaires. …
… I don’t think Orlowski is right to attribute the behavior of these “billionaire boomers” to (with, doubtless, the odd exception) guilt. Their greenery is about power and status. Bloomberg and his like are happy at the thought of the static, controlled world that the climate fundamentalists are intent on bringing about, because it will be a world in which (they think) their position will be entrenched. That’s why Britain’s
PrinceKing Charles has (oddball mystical beliefs aside) embraced climate fundamentalism … with such enthusiasm. He’s essentially a neo-feudalist, dreaming of a slow-moving, backward-looking society in which a monarch is once again taken seriously. Musk, by contrast, provides an example of our species’ restless creativity, for good, for bad, and for ridiculous. He promises constant movement rather than stasis. That’s not something that those on the top of the heap generally want to see. In a world forever being remade, most of them have only one way to go. And that is down.
But Orlowski is on to something when (by implication) he contrasts Musk’s view with that of the preachy billionaires babbling on about ‘nature,’ how we must live within its limits and so on. Well, Humanity did so for countless millennia, and it wasn’t a lot of fun: Most people died young and poor, even they made it past their birth. Heckuva job, ‘nature.’
Musk takes a more Promethean view. To repeat Orlowski’s “nature is not destiny – it is there to be mastered by invention.”