Elon Musk likes to be talked about. It is even one of the mechanisms essential to his immense fortune. In recent days, Musk has hit the international news in quick succession.
First, thanks to a fortune of 192 billion US dollars, he would once again have become the richest man in the world. This modern Croesus would be of little interest if he contented himself with administering his wealth. But Musk does more. Its aid to the Ukrainians constitutes an essential part of their military power.
At the same time, he is playing with the Chinese to help them maintain their access to Western technologies and markets. In Europe, in the name of freedom of speech, he refuses to submit his company to the new laws against disinformation.
At the same time, he asks investors around the world to trust him for pharaonic projects, such as the colonization of the planet Mars, which run a high risk of never bringing in a penny. Musk is also behind artificial intelligence projects that could change the face of the world.
Musk’s decisions are often questionable. These days, the royal treatment the Chinese Communist Party gives him should make you think about his role in the world.
1. How is China receiving Musk?
China received Musk with high honors. He was received by the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs and by the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai, where he operates his Tesla mega-factory. Musk tells the Chinese what they want to hear.
He wants Taiwan to become a “special administrative zone” (like Tibet is). He is against the decoupling between the Chinese economy and the American economy. He does not hesitate to work with China in the key areas of artificial intelligence. It is that without China’s support for Tesla, Musk’s fortune would largely disappear.
2. Why is Musk refusing to subject Twitter to the Disinformation Act?
Musk is a libertarian. In principle, he rejects any limitation on freedom of speech. In fact, Twitter responds favorably to almost all requests for censorship from the Turkish or Indian governments. Yet European disinformation laws do not seek to censor speech. They are mainly aimed at preventing the spreaders of fake news from making money on websites thanks to their fake news. But this is hampering Musk’s ability to make money. Therein lies the real problem.
3. How is Musk helping Ukraine?
This Thursday, Starlink, a Musk company, won a telecommunications contract for Ukrainian soldiers. The call for tenders had been launched by the Pentagon. Starlink had already been engaged with Ukrainians for months, at a loss, according to Musk. But the military pays well, and they are interested in the services of other Musk companies.
4. How does Musk view artificial intelligence?
Musk signed the recent petition from major players in the world of artificial intelligence which called for a 6-month moratorium on the development of it. This did not prevent him, a few days ago, from announcing new advances for his neural implant company, Neuralink. Potential investors need to get the right signal…
5. Ultimately, what guides Musk?
It’s clear that above and beyond all other considerations, money guides Musk’s decisions. The rest is decorative. This is what makes it purchasable by dictatorships, and therefore dangerous for democracies.