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July 10, 2023

Musk’s ‘Core Socialist Values’?

“Free speech absolutist” Elon Musk pledged to the ChiComs what he needed to for business success.

Elon Musk is an entrepreneur extraordinaire. He owns Tesla, SpaceX, and now Twitter, among numerous other ventures. He once famously described himself as a “free speech absolutist,” which is why his purchase of Twitter sent the anti-free-speech Left into a tizzy.

We’ll come back to Twitter in a moment.

First, Musk’s Tesla, a world leader in electric vehicles, recently joined several Chinese automakers in signing a letter pledging to uphold “core socialist values” in a clear attempt to placate the party poobahs in Beijing.

Obviously, one doesn’t do business in China, the world’s largest market, without playing ball with the ChiComs. Sometimes that means saying unsavory things, even if your fingers are crossed behind your back. Loads of U.S. companies do so rather than miss out on making tremendous profits.

Back in the 1990s, the thinking was that bringing China into the World Trade Organization, for example, would liberalize the communist nation through capitalism and trade. A quarter century later, that still hasn’t panned out. Instead, companies all over the world kowtow to ChiCom diktats. Worse, using its status in the WTO, China has displaced the U.S. as the global trade leader in many places and dominates the world with its often ripped-off and subpar products.

This economic conundrum is why the world went to you-know-where with the China Virus pandemic.

In any case, Musk isn’t always a reliable man of the Right. Yes, he’s encouraged people to vote Republican and even helped launch Ron DeSantis’s campaign. He’s a darling of the Right for largely freeing Twitter from the clutches of the leftist thought police.

But he’s got a soft spot for some bad ideology. “By the way,” he tweeted in 2018, “I am actually a socialist. Just not the kind that shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good, while actually causing harm. True socialism seeks greatest good for all.”

Yes, yes, the tired, old, bogus “it’s never really been done right” argument. We’ll skip right over that to note that few things illustrate the socialist principle of central planning better than electric cars. For all their appeal in terms of technology and ability to throw you back in your seat on the way to 60 m.p.h. in three seconds, EVs are gaining ground in the market primarily because of government subsidies and mandates. Or, to put it another way, because government “shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good.”

Tesla — and thus Musk’s portfolio — in particular has benefited enormously from this wealth transfer. Because of mandates from the EPA and other government agencies around the world, automakers like GM and Chrysler pay Tesla, one of their competitors, hundreds of millions of dollars for emissions credits. The legendary Hemi engine is arguably dead because this arrangement is no longer economically feasible for Stellantis, which now owns Dodge and Chrysler.

In what kind of world does one company pay a penalty to a competitor? A socialist one.

Therefore, it’s hardly surprising to see Musk willingly comply with ChiCom diktats for the benefit of an EV company that already thrives on forced government redistribution and central planning.

So, how does this all relate to Twitter? For one thing, Twitter isn’t exactly open for business behind the Great Firewall of China, and Musk would like for Tesla not to suffer the same fate.

Furthermore, you may have heard that Meta, the parent company for Facebook and Instagram, just launched a direct competitor to Twitter called Threads. And if any company exudes “core socialist values” like censorship, it’s Meta. Ask our social media guru, Andrew Culper. Indeed, it took a Silicon Valley Second for the thought police to begin removing individual Threads for violating those warm and fuzzy “Community Guidelines,” along with warning users about following certain disfavored individuals like Donald Trump Jr.

If Musk’s insinuation about Threads is correct, Meta also exhibits the “core socialist value” of intellectual property theft. “Competition is fine,” Musk said, “cheating is not.” Twitter is threatening a lawsuit against Meta for basically stealing its product.

No wonder Threads topped China’s app store last week. And no wonder Musk is trying to appease the Chinese wherever possible. He didn’t become the world’s richest man by actually being an absolutist about anything.

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