Elon Musk is finally taking over Twitter, causing horror among the woke crowd and exaggerated hope among the anti-woke crowd. In addition to Teslas, Twitter, tunnel drilling and rockets for US spy satellites, he has no time to delve deeper into history and politics. Lower your expectations.
Elon Musk’s day only has 24 hours. If he now has the next big company to deal with, then it is clear that there are many administrators, experts and large investors behind him who manage all kinds of issues. He’s the public face, quipping on Twitter like an ironic sphinx, hinting a lot but rarely saying anything concrete. When he has a chance to elaborate, he expresses his sheer enthusiasm for America’s military-industrial complex.
Sorry dear parishioners of the Elon Musk Church. He is not the chosen one, the one prophesied to restore balance to the universe. People long for hero figures because it gives them hope. The real hope, however, lies in being able to assess people and empires yourself. Among all of Musk’s PR gigs, the one that stands out is the conversation with Joe Rogan.
Rogan came from lower-class America and worked low-paying jobs to make ends meet. He saw the American upper class as dark, greedy and dangerous. The counterculture for him was popular rock music, drugs, and investigative reports on nasty secret government programs. Elon was born into prosperity. He attended Queen’s University in Canada and the elite University of Pennsylvania. Although he was quite broke at times, he still came from a different world than Rogan and had very different relatives. Rogan starts the conversation with a simple topic: Elon’s new child. He added the number 12 to his child’s already strange name X Æ A in reference to Archangel 12, the CIA’s secret program to develop a new spy plane.
“The forerunner of the SR71. The coolest airplane ever.”
Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX is launches US government spy satellites into Earth orbit. Its Starlink system provides the Ukrainian military with a stable Internet connection that can even avoid Russian jamming signals. For my books and accompanying documentary on the military nature of climate research and the most elite scientific communities like Britain’s Royal Society, I have been able to unravel America’s military-industrial complex more deeply than ever.
Elon Musk employs engineers from long-established elite universities and cooperates with long-established military personnel. Also in these circles are institutions like the National Science Foundation, which defined the Cold War. In addition to the secret programs for spy planes, nuclear weapons and biological weapons, seemingly civilian programs were also pursued, such as climate research, although almost everything primarily had a military purpose. The family element had been gleaned from the British, so scientists within their particular social class could marry each other and look back on their parents’ and grandparents’ work for the military-industrial complex. This reduced moral concerns at work and the risk of traitors providing valuable secrets to the Soviet Union.
It does not make the individual representative of the military-industrial complex a bad person per se. But it would be nice if the person understands the bigger picture and maintains a certain intellectual, critical distance from the complex. Because a lot of American technology not only served the purpose of destruction and US imperialism, but was even sold in large numbers to the Soviet Union.
Does Elon Musk have such a distance? Can he reflect on that critically? Or is he too much of a fanboy of the CIA, the Air Force, the technology and the community he is in? Can he critically question his own group? Does he know his way around to a point where he can convey useful things to the audience? Or does he convey, more or less directly, a naivety towards the technological establishment, the military and the secret services? Naming your child after a secret CIA project doesn’t show distance.
Later in the conversation, the Neuralink brain implants are discussed, and Musk shows sheer excitement at what’s about to become possible, especially for medical purposes. If he thinks CIA spy planes are so cool and launches spy satellites into space, then he should know full well that the military has long been targeting neuro-implants. Has he been negotiating and cooperating with the military research institute DARPA for a long time? Likewise, the military needs ever more powerful artificial intelligence. For the powerful it’s not about the cool factor or the benefits to population.
Rogan treads lightly with his criticism and concerns, although he is opposed to technocrats and powerful circles. He at least mentions the fact that not even ordinary computer technology is really safe from hacking. Somehow he shudders at the idea that people will communicate with each other wordlessly and precisely via implants and that they will lose their typically human idiosyncrasies. But Musk only sees the cool factor. He does not seem to perceive the enormous risks. Rogan points out that the ordinary people are technologically left behind simply by the factor of prosperity and are therefore second-class creatures. Musk dismisses the criticism.
Joe Rogan: (52:41) How do we make sure it works? We test this on prisoners? How does it work? Take rapists? Cut holes in their heads?
This is a clear reference to secret programs under the MKULTRA banner of the CIA, i.e. the secret service that developed the coolest plane according to Musk. MKULTRA actually experimented on inmates’ brains, used implants to sedate aggressive people, and even inserted wires into brains. Details can be found in the book “Codename Artichoke”. Rogan is aware of the MKULTRA revelations.
Musk categorically denies the idea that the military-industrial complex could conduct human experiments for bad motives. Instead, he gives examples of how people with brain trauma can be helped. Rogan generally asks if Musk is reflecting critically on “where this could all be going.” Musk says the technology would eventually mature and be tested by the FDA. So the same government that has kept so many dirty programs secret, is the trustworthy good shepherd. Sure, the medical field can be expected to take advantage of such technological advances, but Rogan was going after the secret sinister purposes.
For Musk, who combined hard work with the good fortune of being born of high intelligence into wealthy circles, the concentration of financial power is not even an issue in America. If he himself has good intentions, then he simply imputes the same to others and comes up with standard libertarian slogans:
Certainly the term billionaire has become derogatory in recent years, as if that were a bad thing. Which I don’t think makes much sense in most cases.
Does he even know the unfiltered long history of the robber barons in the USA? How do people from the upper class marry each other and get government posts and companies? Insiders get help from insiders, straw men are used. Scientists from the elite universities are assigned to develop the successful products.
Not even the multi-millionaire Rogan is quite “self-made”. MTV, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros., NBC and even mafia circles associated with the UFC were among the godfathers of his career. This eventually gave him the opportunity to start his own podcast without constant interference from corporations. However, he relied on existing major platforms such as Youtube and later Spotify. He would have long since had the opportunity and the means to hire staff for research and for his own infrastructure. But he has repeatedly made it clear that he has no desire to do organizational work. He and his assistant “Jamie” run the shop and then upload the recordings to Spotify on time. That’s why blatant mistakes happened, like some guests on the subject of COVID. Rogan is simply underqualified and refuses to hire qualified people. For some Republicans, the Rogan show has become a political hope because of COVID and its high penetration, although Rogan leans to the left on many issues. It’s just an entertainment show with guests on MMA, music, Hollywood movies or topics like “Atlantis”.
Here’s how Elon Musk uses Twitter:
Well, I mean about five minutes every few hours. It’s not like I sit on it all day.
Rogan explains where he gets his info from:
My favorite places are the New York Times and the LA Times, and even I don’t trust them 100%. It is so hard.
Um…how about non-fiction books?
Speaking to Musk in May 2020, Rogan brings up COVID-19 and Musk initially doesn’t know what that is supposed to be. “Never heard of it.” It then dawned on Musk that he was referring to the pandemic, and he gave superficial glimpses of what he’d overheard in the media.
That’s at least practice for something [bigger than a new Spanish flu]. And I think that at some point there will be a [big] pandemic like that. As a result, we will develop vaccines against coronaviruses and other viruses that we didn’t have before, and possibly cures for them. Our understanding of viruses of this type has improved dramatically due to the attention they are receiving. So there are definitely a lot of silver linings here.
You could read stuff like this in every newspaper in May 2020. Musk declares in a Solomonic-libertarian way that “this is a free country.” People “should be allowed to do what they want as long as they don’t endanger others.” If someone doesn’t want to stay at home, “they shouldn’t be forced to stay at home to stay.” But what if the sick person goes out and endangers a bunch of others? Musk, of course, has no answer to the highly complicated compromises that have become necessary. He presents himself as a model libertarian:
Apparently some have this absurd notion that the economy is like a magical cornucopia. As if it only does stuff. There is only one magical cornucopia, and the goods and services just come out of that magical cornucopia. And then if someone has more stuff than someone else, it’s because they took more out of that magical cornucopia. Now let me just teach the fools out there.
It is not that easy. Many millions of Americans were born into relative poverty and do not attend high universities. Working three jobs to somehow make ends meet. The cartel of the rich has no interest in fairness, but at best recruit the rare geniuses from the lower classes to work for the military-industrial complex. The biggest reason why socialist nonsense still resonates isn’t the idea that you can just redistribute from a magic cornucopia. But the most important reason is the chilling effect of corporate psychopathy and narcissism. Socialism in reality is just over-taxation and over-regulation. Which you can find in every empire, even the “rightwing” ones. The American Revolution and the enlithenment movement were supposed to counter the oldschool rule of the British colonial empire.
Musk has no trouble cooperating with communists:
The thing is, American companies have huge supply chains in China. Like Tesla for example. We have hundreds of suppliers. Such as tier one, two, three, four suppliers across China. So we know if they are able to craft stuff or not. We know if they have problems or not. China is back in full swing and pretty much every US company has a significant number of suppliers in China. That’s how you know if they’re able to provide things or not, or if the mortality rate is high. Tesla has about 7,000 employees in China.
At times, Tesla also sourced the lithium for the large battery packs from China. These “rare earths” are often mined under dire conditions for the workers. I don’t think they have any concept of magical cornucopias. It’s usually the international mega-corporations that use magical thinking to hallucinate things, such as the idea that doing business in the Chinese communist dictatorship will eventually lead to China becoming free and clean capitalist.
Rogan has described himself as a social liberal and has said he supports same-sex marriage, gay rights, women’s rights, recreational drug use, universal health coverage and universal basic income. Rogan said:
“I’ve never voted right in my life. I voted Democrat, I voted Independent. I’m not rightwing at all.”
He also said:
“I’ve been liberal all my life, I just look like a Republican.”
Last presidential election night, Rogan announced that he had voted for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen. It’s nice to fling libertarian slogans when you disagree with either the Republicans or the Democrats. But we’re not moving beyond the two-party cartel and that 50/50 balance that keeps people in line. He said he accepted the Spotify deal because he doesn’t have anything new to organize and manage there. He wants to record the shows and then smoke weed and call it a day.
Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, operator of the satellite-based Internet system “Starlink”, now keeps Ukraine online and is itself used for military purposes. Musk had recruited key personnel from long-established companies like Boeing (which also has an armaments division) and TRW, which worked on the first ICBMs.
SpaceX’s first two Falcon 1 launches were purchased by the US Department of Defense as part of a program evaluating new US launch vehicles suitable for use by DARPA. The rocket’s first three launches, between 2006 and 2008, all resulted in failures that nearly wiped out the company. Funding for Tesla Motors had also failed, and as a result, Tesla, SolarCity, and Musk personally were all nearly bankrupt at the same time. Musk was reportedly “waking up from nightmares, screaming and in physical pain” because of the stress.
Musk also recently delivered containers full of base stations and satellite modems for Starlink Internet to Ukraine. Without this help, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy could not reliably hold his video appearances in front of parliaments around the world.
So-called Powerwall batteries ensure operation even if the power fails. The Times of London, citing Air Force officers, reported that pilots of Ukraine’s feared Bayraktar drones use the Starlink mobile terminals to compare target data with online maps and transmit live video data from the drones to other units. Regular artillery strikes would also be coordinated with it. The Russians, meanwhile, are trying to jam the Starlink transmitters while Starlink technicians look for alternatives.
Musk is blurring the lines between state and private, between civil and military.
During a recent briefing, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby denied that the US military helped Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in its efforts to ship Starlink satellite kits to Ukraine.
It was heavily criticized by Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian Space Agency. Speaking through Russia Today, the head of Roscosmos explained: “When Russia imposes its highest national interests on the territory of Ukraine, Elon Musk appears with his Starlink, previously declared purely civilian… Here, you see, he has chosen this side . I don’t even blame him personally. This is the West we should never trust,” Rogozin said.
Sources told Reuters on Friday that the Chinese military has banned Tesla cars from entering its complexes, citing security concerns about the cameras installed on the vehicles. Those limitations emerged as top Chinese and US diplomats held a controversial meeting in Alaska, the first such face-to-face meeting since US President Joe Biden took office in January.
Musk says his company would be shut down if his cars were used for spying.