PoliticsBut Trump and MAGA Flamethrowers Are Not the Biggest...

But Trump and MAGA Flamethrowers Are Not the Biggest Problem

There is no real logical explanation for the Twitter Board of Directors’ sudden turn in plans with respect to Elon Musk’s offer than fear of shareholder derivative suits and that the price, $54 per share, represented an amount that Twitter couldn’t count upon overcoming – with stability – over the next two to three years, the years in which the suits would play out. Why the view changed over two weeks will only be known down the road as the reporting and books are written.

Twitter’s value will immediately shoot up because Musk has promised to reinstate “The One,” providing the MAGA movement validation it certainly doesn’t deserve. It is more dangerous today than it was on January 6th 2021.

By way of the Daily Beast:

Reuters, citing sources, said the company “may announce the $54.20-per-share deal as soon as later today once its board has met to recommend the transaction to Twitter shareholders”—but added a note of caution saying it was “always possible that the deal collapses at the last minute.”

The once far-fetched prospect of Musk taking control of Twitter as a private company follows several weeks in which the world’s richest man has publicly stoked speculation about his intentions, with a combination of overt statements and ambiguous tweets.

Stoked speculation about his intentions? No offense, but Musk’s intention was to take over a company he saw as artificially depressed in value because the American MAGA movement, always on the hunt for new indications that they are so victims and that the white man hardly stands a chance as America’s most marginalized group, will come rushing back in a red hat wave when Musk utters a few words about free speech and reinstates Trump and a few token other MAGA heroes.

Musk obviously sees Trump’s 18 months in Twitmo as more than fair punishment for an attempted violent coup of the American government. Musk is, need we note, a self-impressed a-hole who knows a lot but seems unaware of the fact that there remains a lot in the world he doesn’t know.

But the fact that the MAGA right will go on a two-week drunk in celebration and even Trump’s rhetorically dangerous return is not the biggest threat to the country, hard as it is to believe. Yes, Trump and the MAGA movement are a threat to democracy. But an even more intractable problem is the aggregation of power that comes from an economy specifically designed to create such concentrated wealth. We have more than enough super billionaires in Musks, Bezos, Zuck, Gates… the little club that walks around as their own nations unto themselves, with more power to impact our everyday lives than the president.

To be sure, no one is handing Musk the launch codes. He doesn’t need them. He has his own rockets and absolutely has the money to put whatever he wants on top of them. And no, rocketry and weapons aren’t the problem, or at least nowhere near the biggest. The biggest is that this country doesn’t have the will, nor even the mechanisms (anymore) to prevent what even Adam Smith knew to be the logical conclusion of unregulated capitalism. Eventually, one guy, or one group of guys, will own everything.

Lest one think this is an overreaction, please just appreciate the fact that we are only at the very very beginnings of aggregation of global wealth in certain individuals. There are plenty more Elon Musks coming. Zuckerberg knows that the entire net needs a remodel and is attempting to do it himself. If he fails (and he likely will), someone else is going to own the means by which we get to net 2.0 and it’ll be controlled by him or her. What happens if Bezos organizes a group to buy Walmart and “synchronize” operations? Or the other way around?

In theory, we have a Justice Department that is supposed to remain awake long enough to prevent some of these moves. Musk buying Twitter doesn’t suddenly give Musk a monopoly. He’s buying a monopoly. If it wasn’t a monopoly he probably wouldn’t bother.

The railroads, Standard Oil, Bell Telephone, a close call with IBM and Microsoft, new technology has always been especially ripe for monopolization. Now that Musk has bought this monopoly and thus holding two monopolies critical to the future, access to space, access to a quick word with the world, others are coming.

This is inherently dangerous. The solutions are beyond the scope of this column and the expertise of its author but this purchase should raise concerns in every American who can appreciate the danger that accompanies this type of aggregated wealth. Otherwise, we may as well throw out democracy (well on our way) and simply go back to a simpler, more efficient time, back when the monarchs ruled Europe with an equivalent situation in Asia.

Regardless, Adam Smith told us this is exactly what would happen and was the reason he specifically said that Capitalism could only work within a heavily regulated environment. The U.S., especially the American right and the SCOTUS just isn’t into regulation right now, thanks.

Welcome back, Don. They couldn’t regulate you out forever!

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