I recently came across this tweet, which represents one of the stupidest takes I’ve seen on Elon Musk’s potential bid to buy Twitter:
(via Turning Point USA)
This tweet exemplifies the warped way in which people on the left-hand side of the political spectrum view the world.
For the past two years, the ideology that is often described as leftist, liberal, or progressive (but which is, in reality, brutal authoritarianism) has completely dominated all aspects of our society. People who dare express disagreement with any of this ideology’s tenets have been silenced, shunned, de-platformed, fired from their jobs, attacked, insulted, ridiculed, harassed, condemned, boycotted, or elsewise harshly punished, all for voicing dissenting views. Twitter is one of the most egregious examples of this trend, with supporters of authoritarian ideology free to spew their reprehensible bile without restraint, while those with the courage to fight back have had their tweets deleted and accounts suspended.
The prospect of Musk taking over Twitter brings with it the possibility of fairness and equal treatment, for a change.
But, bizarrely, political commentator Anand Giridharadas sees the potential Musk takeover as an example of someone being “allowed” to acquire “concentrated influence.” He sees it as Musk “manspreading.” He sees it as Musk appropriating a disproportionate amount of power for himself. *
Nothing could be further from the truth. It is those who share Giridharadas’s ideology who have been allowed to acquire concentrated influence. It is they who have held nearly limitless power this entire time.
Apparently, Giridharadas believes that he is entitled to a world in which the only people who are allowed to exist are those who think the way that he does. For now that there is a possibility of others actually being allowed to express their views, Giridharadas is aghast and indignant, acting as if he is somehow being disadvantaged and wronged. It is messed up and twisted that someone would imply that the possibility of fair and equal treatment for those with dissenting views somehow constitutes excessive power. It is reprehensible that someone would use words like “concentrated influence” and “manspreading” to characterize the possibility of others having the same freedoms that he does. Essentially, Giridharadas considers the solution to a wrong and unjust situation to be the problem, as opposed to the wrong and unjust situation itself.
In my opinion, Elon Musk demonstrates exactly why not to abolish billionaires. I am glad that Musk, a person who actually believes in freedom of speech and tolerance for diverse viewpoints, has enough money, power, and influence to make a positive difference in the world. I am glad that Elon Musk has the willingness and the ability to push back against bullies like Anand Giridharadas.
* Not to mention the fact that characterizing high taxes for rich people as “asking them to chip in their fair share” presumes that that high taxes for rich people are fair, which is not necessarily true. As well as the fact that the term “manspreading” is blatantly sexist