He proposes a peace plan for Ukraine; he suggests creating a “special administrative zone” to settle the fate of Taiwan; he wants to restore the Internet for Iranian women in revolt against the mullahs. This man who looks like a “general in chief” is not the president of the United States. This is Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and boss of Tesla. At 51, the richest man in the world (200 billion dollars of fortune) holds forum on Twitter (which he always proposes to buy back) and multiplies the geopolitical initiatives which make a lot of noise, arousing the ire of the president Ukrainian, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the applause of the Chinese ambassador in Washington.
This is not the first time that American billionaires have sought to play a prominent political role without going through the election box. Along with his foundation, Bill Gates is Africa’s unofficial health minister. More than a century ago, Andrew Carnegie, a steel magnate, tried to meet with Kaiser Wilhelm II to prevent the First World War. John Rockefeller Junior, heir to his father’s oil empire, financed the United Nations in New York after the war, while ex-speculator George Soros has been involved for thirty years in the defense of liberal democracy. . Consensual incursions, in support of Western and progressive policies.
Musk embarrasses, because he is different. First, he does not impose on himself the moral constraints of his peers. He considers – rightly or wrongly – that he is already working for the good of humanity by preparing the migration to Mars or by developing the electric car to fight against global warming. He does not have to atone for his brutally acquired wealth like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, nor to be “philanthropist”, the middle name of American billionaires. His strength lies in his money, but also in his relative detachment: officially, no yacht, no pharaonic lifestyle. The dollars are not for him the most essential engine, but the means of the transformation of the world. His libertarian values do not lead him to isolationism, but to a desire for power. Musk is not cars and rockets: it is the alliance of energy (batteries and solar), movement (Tesla) and communications (Starlink, Twitter). In short, an almost messianic project never known since Thomas Edison (1847-1931), the electricity fairy, and General Electric, carried by an increasingly megalomaniac and uncontrollable boss in his words.
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