The Regime’s Response to the Musk Threat (Why I’m Optimistic)

I think Moldbug is overestimating the stakes or the power dynamics at play. Twitter belongs to Elon now. He can basically do what he likes, and there isn’t much the left can do but pound sand. I don’t think any of the above scenarios will transpire. The federal government is either unwilling or unable to do anything, even if it wanted to. It’s the same sort of apathy in 2020 during Covid. All the health authorities could do was implore in strong words and stern language that people wear masks and social distance, but unlike in China, the authorities were powerless to actually make anyone do anything.

Obviously they could try to blackmail him, but unless he was on Epstein’s island or jet or was close friends with Spacey or Weinstein, likely this will not stick. Remember the media-manufactured scandal of Musk’s hush money for allegedly exposing himself on a private jet? The fact you had to be reminded of it shows how far it went, which is to say, nowhere. And even then, Elon Musk may just be big enough to survive anything. The media tried everything for 7 years nonstop (and still trying) to destroy Trump and failed, and he probably has a more checkered past than Musk.

Why can’t the FBI just plant evidence and arrest him, followed by a show trial? It seems so easy or obvious, yet it has not been done. Trump is still free. Same for Kanye and others. This shows two things: The limits of conspiratorial thinking. Or that the conspiracy is real, but nothing so obvious as to give away the conspiracy. So instead of arresting big names, instead go after smaller targets to avoid arousing too much suspicion. But this is not nearly as effective at dealing with the threat. It sorta like how Osama’s ‘#2 guys’ kept being captured but not Osama himself, similar to how Trump’s associates kept getting arrested but Trump stayed clear.

Trials in the US of famous people last a long time and get a lot of media coverage and scrutiny. In the context of a conspiracy, it’s easier when defendants unexpectedly die (hmmm…Epstein anyone?). Or accidents on vacation.

Unless it involves terrorism, drugs, child exploitation, cryptocurrency (in the context of drugs or terrorism), or entering the Capitol on Jan 6th, the government tends to not care that much. Elon Musk trolling the libs, or even affecting elections, is probably not going to lead to retaliation by state actors. The liberal media such as Vice, NYTs, and CNN will tsk-tsk Elon about Covid misinformation and hate speech, but that will be all. Maybe he will be asked to testify in front of Congress about hate speech, or the feds will demand that he either censor or suppress certain stories, or possibly divulge certain user information. This is why I am optimistic, even though obviously there is plenty of reasons to not be.

Probably the worst thing that can happen to Elon is if advertisers defect, which would make Twitter even more unprofitable than it is now. I don’t think users will defect. But given that advertisers were apparently unfazed by Trump being so popular on Twitter from 2015-2020, I see little reason why Elon turning twitter into an anti-vax playground would cause a sudden change of heart. Huge companies such as IBM and small businesses alike apparently derive enough value from the ads, bots and fake clicks notwithstanding, to keep spending millions of dollars a year on advertising. I think having Trump unbanned will lead to more engagement, and thus more ad clicks and revenue.

1 comment

  1. Elon should probably make a show of pretending to be open-minded and balanced to attract as many users as possible. Valuable users who don’t want to pay per month should be upgraded for free to ‘elite’ or ‘influencia’ status. He could start with noncontroversial accounts like Unicef or heads of state or Keanu Reeves.

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