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IPFS News Link • Political Theory

Elon Musk and his conspiracy-laden leap to the extreme-right

•, by Javier Salas

In December of that same year, The New York Times ran a profile on him: "Critics say Musk has revealed himself as a conservative. It's not so simple." The press wondered about the worldview of the richest man in the world, who has been decisive in wars such as the one in Ukraine, by offering the use of his satellites to the government in Kyiv. Several journalists concluded that his ideological profile is complex, laden with both progressive and right-wing features. In June 2022, in an assembly with Twitter employees, he noted that his "political leanings are moderate."

A lot has changed since then. This past Saturday, December 16, Musk landed at the epicenter of the Italian post-fascist universe, where far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hosted several extremist European leaders. "Please don't import the woke mind virus from the United States!" the businessman laughed, to the delight of the audience. At the annual convention held by the fascist Brothers of Italy political party, Musk opined that woke policies have resulted in "an artificial mental civil war." The Tesla CEO — who was born in Pretoria 52 years ago, during the era of apartheid in South Africa — also criticized excessive European regulations, denounced illegal immigration, advocated for the defense of national cultural identities, demanded that fossil fuels not be demonized and voiced disapproval of multiculturalism. His speech wasn't exactly "moderate."

Musk — who was never much of a progressive, given his past support for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — has continued to meet with moderates, such as Emmanuel Macron (they were together in June), while also catering to conspiracy theorists, such as Alex Jones, who was recently given back his X account thanks to the chairman of the company. He then held public conversations on social media with a variety of far-right figures, such as Congressman Matt Gaetz, Michael Flynn — the former U.S. national security advisor, who was pardoned by Trump — and Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican presidential candidate who questions both the 2021 assault on the Capitol and climate change. And, just days earlier, Musk had referred to a string of antisemitic conspiracies published by a tweeter as "the actual truth," which resulted in X losing important advertisers such as Disney, Apple and IBM.