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Elon Musk's Premeditated Fascism
Planned antisemitism, allying with Nazis, and scapegoating the vulnerable. It's time to fight back.
It often looks like Elon Musk moved from being a weird libertarian-centrist type to complete fascist at a full sprint. That’s because, to initial outside appearances, he did. In 2018 he said he was, "not a conservative. I'm registered independent and politically moderate." Now we can say with confidence that he wasn’t telling the truth there, but still that’s a long way from the current Musk, who repeatedly states that the “woke mind virus” is the biggest threat to humanity, pronouns mean you’re brain dead, and pages calling migration “European suicide” are reliable sources. But recent news makes this rapid move to the right make a little more sense. His hard right turn since buying Twitter was likely premeditated.
Elon has probably harbored far-right views his whole life. The Atlantic recently showcased part of the new Musk biography, specifically focused on the billionaire’s grandfather: Joshua Haldeman. And let’s just say that grandpa had some strong, vile views. The article lays it out:
“An examination of Joshua Haldeman’s writings reveals a radical conspiracy theorist who expressed racist, anti-Semitic, and antidemocratic views repeatedly, and over the course of decades—a record I studied across hundreds of documents from the time, including newspaper clips, self-published manuscripts, university archives, and private correspondence. Haldeman believed that apartheid South Africa was destined to lead “White Christian Civilization” in its fight against the “International Conspiracy” of Jewish bankers and the “hordes of Coloured people” they controlled.”
While this might not be exactly shocking, given Musk’s recent statements and his identity as a wealthy white South African, the idea that he was influenced by someone who moved all the way from Canada to South Africa expressly because of his supremacist beliefs makes everything a bit less surprising. And it makes the possibility of a premeditated fascist shift after the purchase of Twitter seem well within the realm of possibility.
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The evidence for this premeditation comes from a small Delaware publication called “The Chancery Daily” which was then uplifted by Ben Collins for MSNBC. What was uncovered here, from the Delaware courts, is that Musk received an anonymous communication pointing him toward an article written for a far-right site. The article laid out a plan for what Musk ought to do if he took over Twitter. And, although the connection can’t be proven directly, he’s followed this script almost to the letter.
Collins suspects, with good reason, that this anonymous article was written by Darren Beattie, a man so far to the right that he was fired from the Trump White House for being too cozy with white nationalists. And although the entire concept of Musk following the playbook of this overt fascist is disgusting, the particular turn that is most concerning is the premeditated targeting of the ADL. Although the Anti-Defamation League is far from a perfect organization, in the world of the far-right, and now in the mind of Elon Musk, it provides a Jewish target that can be used as a scapegoat for Twitter’s problems. In describing the anonymous roadmap Collins writes:
“The article predicted that “Step 2” would involve a “Coordinated pressure campaign” by the ADL and other nonprofit groups to get Musk to reinstate the banned accounts. “A vast constellation of activists and non-profits” will lurch into action to “put more and more pressure on the company to change its ways,” the article reads.”
And this is largely what happened. The not-so-subtle trick that Musk pulled, which was suggested by the roadmap, is to blame the ADL for the problem instead of taking any ownership of the hate speech running rampant on the problem. That’s exactly what Musk did. He, along with a neo-Nazi constellation of talking heads and Twitter pundits, ran an extended campaign targeting the ADL, blaming the Jewish organization for the platform's problems. This serves to shift the conversation to the culpability of an outside organization and draw attention away from the unprecedented rise of hate speech under Musk. It also serves to bolster the antisemitic right that Elon is now smack in the middle of.
The degree to which Musk has embraced and bolstered neo-Nazis and fascists of all stripes since taking over Twitter cannot be overstated. Not only has their brand of xenophobic, discriminatory, and violent speech jumped up and gone unregulated, he’s actively encouraging some of the very worst actors among them. In just the past week he’s boosted a page called Radio Genoa that spends 100% of its time attacking migrants coming to Europe and calling their presence on the continent “suicide” for white Europeans. Marisa Kabas recently spelled out the whole affair:
“Musk shared a post from another account Friday morning criticizing German NGOs (non-governmental organizations) for providing ships to rescue African migrants unsafely crossing the Mediterranean to Italy. “These NGOs are subsidized by the German government. Let's hope AfD wins the elections to stop this European suicide,” the account wrote. Musk then added his own commentary, asking: “Is the German public aware of this?”
The saga went on, with an official German Government account responding to him, saying that yes they are aware and that what they are doing is saving lives. But Musk pressed on, countering them with more bigotry. He then also feigned ignorance of the German far-right party he had boosted when he shared the initial hateful post. Just to say that one more time, slowly, he is boosting the German far-right. As Marisa said in her piece, it’s about time that we start calling Elon Musk an open Nazi.
When you know that all of this was likely premeditated, Nazi starts to sound like a perfectly apt description. Musk is boosting stochastic terrorists like LibsofTikTok, he spews transphobic hate almost daily, and he just said he’d help out Paul Golding of the far-right Britain First party, who complained about his Twitter page not getting enough engagement. Paul is known for tweets like, “So sick of white traitors dancing with illegal immigrants.” And then of course there’s Musk’s recent trip to the border:
It’s hard to add anything to the image above. The richest man on Earth looking down at a group of migrants rounded up and detained. A billionaire pretending that we should be scared of people moving in search of a better life for themselves and their families, while he embraces fascism. There is one person here we should be scared of, and that’s the man who hoards unfathomable resources while telling us that everyone else is the problem and promoting people who want violence against Jews, queer people, immigrants, and anyone else who isn’t just like them. Musk is dangerous.
That’s why over a hundred Jewish activists, religious leaders, and random Jews with big platforms like myself just signed on to a letter calling out his antisemitism. We think it’s necessary to strike back against this man who bought up a vital communications platform and is using it as a far-right radicalization pipeline. Our ask in the letter is clear: We urge large advertisers to stop spending money to advertise on Twitter, and we urge Google and Apple to remove “X” from their app stores. Elon must be cut off and ostracized. We can’t allow his wealth to insulate him from the consequences of his fascism, antisemitism, and hatred. The government must stop doing business with him, and major companies must as well. Increasing the pressure on them to do so is vital.
And sadly Musk is not alone. Numerous tech billionaires and other super-rich individuals are embracing the far-right. This is what happens when capitalism grows top-heavy with an overconcentration of wealth among the ruling class. There is an inevitable movement among the left and the working class where we organize, strike, and demand more. Then the capitalists react, preferring violent suppression of workers to giving the left room to breathe. Elon is the perfect embodiment of this phenomenon, but others like Peter Thiel and David Sacks are right there with him. And ultimately our answer must be worker power.
I will keep pushing for advertisers to cut off Elon Musk, but we also need to know that what will ultimately check him and those like him is a militant working class. We must dedicate ourselves to labor unions, community organizing, and a surging movement that refuses to accept hatred promoted by the super-rich. His move to the right may have been cold and calculated and premeditated, but we must meet that with thorough, relentless, and lovingly radical organization of our own. We outnumber these guys, and without us their empires would crumble. Fighting fascism and fighting these billionaires goes hand in hand. And all the rest of us stand to win a better world free from hatred, bigotry, and a handful of people hoarding the wealth we all need to survive and thrive. So let’s bring them down.
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