Current IssueJQ255 - February 2024
Elon Musk's Political Turning
"Though he is already preparing to send astronauts to the moon, Musk has been consistently underestimated, and now the danger he presents is being underestimated as well." —Richard Cooke
At first it was so unexpected: why was this humanity-loving unorthodox liberal visionary flirting with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers on Twitter? But over time, a sinister pattern emerged, making it impossible to ignore.
Dark Star explores the troubling political devolution of Elon Musk. Award-winning writer Richard Cooke looks at the transformation of the world's richest person from self-described social moderate to trolling neo-reactionary and staunch advocate for hardline US conservatives. He unearths the roots of this turning in Musk's rise to power as well as in the politics of the new "tech right" and its adoring fanbase.
The essay also investigates an urgent question: what are the consequences for free speech – and hate speech – as Musk controls and reshapes the online town square?