Elon Musk has recently made headlines for becoming the richest person in the world with a net worth of nearly two hundred billion dollars. Musk is a famous businessman and is known for his work with the companies SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, Neuralink, and OpenAI. As a result, Musk is often described as a “self-made billionaire.” He’s also a well-known pop-culture figure, with forty-eight million followers on Twitter and wide support from across the internet, and his tweets have a significant impact on the stock market and the price of bitcoin. Musk is widely known for his support of futuristic technology as an icon of the private space exploration industry. His plans for the future include the colonization of Mars, expansion of hyperloop travel, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and the expansion of solar power.
At first glance, Musk appears to be a benevolent, if eccentric, billionaire with plans to revolutionize various aspects of our lives. But fans of his work should take a closer look at their hero.
Two hundred billion dollars is a lot of money. It gives Musk the chance to pursue bizarre technological projects, but it also allows him to spend incomprehensible amounts of money on public relations. With a fraction of their wealth, any billionaire can convince the public to think almost anything of them. Musk is no exception. His entrepreneurial, larger-than-life persona is just that—a persona.
Musk is far from self-made. He was born in South Africa to an extremely wealthy white family that profited off the exploitation of workers in sub-Saharan Africa and apartheid-era South Africa. Much of his family’s wealth came from an emerald mine in Zambia owned by Errol Musk, Elon’s father. The African mining industry is known to be incredibly exploitative, with child labor, horrible working conditions, disease, abuse of workers, and fatalities all commonplace. The workers in these mines are mostly black native residents of African countries, while the owners are usually the descendants of rich, white colonists. Musk is not a “self-made billionaire,” he comes from an extremely privileged family that squeezed millions of dollars out of some of the poorest nations in the world.
With a rich family to borrow money from, and massive amounts of wealth gained from the exploitation of African mineral resources, Musk could finally purchase Tesla. Yes, you read that correctly. While it is commonly believed that Musk founded Tesla, this is untrue, and another reminder of the power of PR. Musk invested millions of dollars in Tesla in the early 2000s and paid his way up the corporate ladder, becoming the company’s CEO in 2008. He eventually fought one of the company’s true founders, Martin Eberhard, for the title in a 2009 court case. If at first, you don’t succeed, complain and sue until you do!
This is not an isolated example, either. He also claims to be the founder of PayPal, when in fact he owned another company that purchased Paypal. Again, Musk fought for the title of founder, which he won with the help of his family’s wealth. Founding a company, especially companies like PayPal and Tesla, carries lots of prestige considering the hard work that it involves. But why work hard when you’re born rich?
Well, alright. Musk may not have any real entrepreneurial talent. His companies are still shaking up the automotive industry through ingenuity and talent, right? Right?
No. Tesla has received millions of dollars of government loans to support its mediocre products. Four hundred and sixty-five million dollars in government loans were spent to fund the Model S sedan, and eight and a half billion dollars were shared between Ford, Nissan, and Tesla in a 2009 stimulus fund. Furthermore, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tesla received an unnamed amount of government stimulus money as well. Interestingly enough, right before accepting a fat check from Uncle Sam, Musk tweeted, “Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo [in my opinion].” Why give money to financially unstable Americans when you could just give it to the second richest man in the world and his multi-billion dollar corporation?
Billionaires are not our friends, and they are not self-made. Every billionaire makes their money by lying, cheating, stealing, and exploiting every step of the way. PR is a tool used by the extremely wealthy to make ordinary working people, whose labor they exploit and whose tax dollars they parasitically siphon, believe that they can be rich too if they work hard enough. In the meantime, they pay their way to the top and get rewarded with government money. The green technology espoused by Musk is critical to our future, but the ultra-rich narcissists who try to control it are not.
Thank you for this article. I knew something was weird about this guy and “too good to be true”… sickening, but then, everything today is, sadly. Be well! Keep up the good work!
He represents the Américain dream. Tesla would not be as successful as it is without Elon Musk at its helm whether it is with the help of government grants, his personal wealth or Whether you like him or not. People worldwide are buying EVs ..Teslas. That is a great thing when thinking about climate change.The government instead of trying to tax unrealized gains should provide tax incentives where some these gains could be put entirely and directly towards solving this climate crisis because it is a crisis and it is affecting all of us. From what I am seeing so far the US government is not doing such a great job with respect to climate change. It is not a problem of tomorrow!
Musk represents the American Dream? He is from So Africa. He is narcissistic and completely self-involved. He represents what wealth can do to insanely wealthy people’s brains. There needs to be more competition in EV R&D. Musk is just one example of what goes wrong in capitalist societies. Thinking he is some kind of hero is a complete misappropriation of what a hero really is.
Musk left home when he was a teenager leaving his fathers wealth behind. Musk hated his father because he was abusive to his mom and pro apartheid. His mother who also left his father gave Elon $2500 so he could buy a plane ticket and move to Canada. Musk then went to college paid for by $100,000 of his own student loans. Which he paid off for himself after developing paypal years later.
He left his father to go to Canada and live with his mother not to start his life alone. He bought a 10 rooms house and used it as an illegal night club when he started university, i bet you didn’t know that, where did the money come from? his wealthy mother?
His first company Zip2 was funded by his father with 28k dollars, i bet you didn’t know that too, and guess what, he didn’t develop paypal, he sold Zip2 and with the money opened the new company X dot com with 3 other men one of them was the banker Harris Fricker who had the real knowledge of money who got into problems with Musk for how the company operated, but Musk continued buying shares and he was the major owner of X.com. Now on PayPal wikipedia page we read about the early history of the X.com company: “In March 2000, Confinity merged with x.com, an online financial services company founded in March 1999 by Elon Musk.”
But X.com was founded by 4 individuals why Musk is the only one mentioned?
Also PayPal was already operating under Confinity corporation, Musk didn’t develop PayPal, X.com merged with Confinity, and even the name PayPal was used officially for Confinity when Musk was fired as CEO for a brief period in 2001. So basically he didn’t invent or code or create in his garage any thing, he always had the money and he was just the man with the money to buy enough shares to own the companies he founded with others, but the others are forgotten and he is pictured as the self made genius who had nothing but a computer and a garage.
Which everyway Elon Musk is an intelligent hard worker,he may not be perfect, no one is.
Elon Musk is 100 % hack and has fooled you all, just like Steve Jobs. Nothing but a glorified sales person and someone who takes credit of others work. His father was a millionaire at 30
Elon has never wanted for anything in his life, a silver spoon brat. Did not start paypal, or any other company, but just bought and fought his way to the top with his families money.
Guys calm down everyone on Paypal was insanely talented. Just look at the line up for a second. I don’t think he is that self-made but he’s pretty talented to get to where he is. I think he is talented enough to be a millionare if he actually started from nothing
Anyone believing it is possible to colonize Mars has seen too many Sci Fi films. It is also fashionable to glibly proclaim terraforming Mars, not just occupying it. A recent “article” in Scientific American mentioned terraforming the planet. I threw the magazine away. Worthless pop science by a nonscientific writer.
We cannot terraform Death Valley or other deserts, despite having an atmosphere and plenty of resources. But we are going to terraform Mars?
Here is what we can do: we can install a boxed habitat deep enough into Martian soil to function as a research station unaffected by the deadly radiation.
That’s it. No colony. No redesigning the planet. The radiation levels WILL NEVER ALLOW COLONIZATION.
Put to task, believers admit some kind of new technology along with as yet created designer plants will change Mars’s atmosphere.
My digressed point is that Elon will be dead 300 years and we will STILL have not colonized Mars.
A few crazy scientists who want to live in a box underground, sure. Go ahead. Put yourself in a prison in the name of some misguided LOST IN SPACE – STAR TREK dream.
the key is to use the planet we have. Stop breeding like we own the planet.
Musk isn’t stupid. I don’t know why he espouses something THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
People have this strange idea that space travel will suddenly improve like computer chip speeds kept doubling.
Exactly… Musk is no doubt smart and well informed enough to know that the plans he publically promotes for mars are utter fantasy. Colonizing Mars is pure and utter fantasy. Heck, just getting to Mars once is insanely hard, yet Musk suggests that he is building a single vessel that can do it all… take off from earth, refuel in orbit, travel bewteen earth and mars, land on mars, take off from mars, travel back to earth, land on earth. Getting to Mars the first time is at least 10 years away, probably more like 20 years, and it will take multiple crafts and maybe even a moon base to accomplish. No taking off from earth, no landing on earth, the transit ship itself cannot take off or land at either end… Again, Musk must know this. So why does he so obivously mislead the public? Marketing. That’s it. Just marketing. And, sadly, it obviously works.
I wonder just how much this guy is biased against rich people. I don’t know but there are new news articles out there that stated that Musk literally does hate his father, which most people assume where Musk gets his money (his father owns the emerald mines). His mother and father literally divorced because of his abusive father. It all means that Musk did not start from a rich amount of money. There still are room for other truths to be divulged. Let’s not assume here and just state that just because somebody is rich, he’s already 100 percent evil.
It’s a shame that people who claim to be journalists can’t see their way to only writing truth. The emerald mine story has been debunked numerous times. The only real hack here is the author.
Debunked where exactly? Is there a source for this from a reputable news gathering organization? All the articles I see about debunking originate from solitary authors where Musk himself is the primary attributable source. Hardly compelling. I would honestly like to know the answer either way.
The sad part is the Tesla model S (or really any Tesla) isn’t a car that normal working folk can afford. They’re basically toys for old rich guys.
If Musk was TRULY concerned for humanity, he would have designed an electric car with a price tag within reach for most of the population.
Objective journalism goes out of the window in favour of espousing subjective political viewpoints – in this case hard-left, socialist and proto-communist. So much is wrong with this article – not least the insane jealousy and envy that courses throughout, whereby all positives can only be the result of PR and anything other than praise is automatically evidence of hack work, lies and evil, but I especially love this ridiculous unfouded catch-all: ‘every billionaire makes their money by lying, cheating, stealing, and exploiting every step of the way’. The bitterness of this ‘journalist’ is overwhelming.
Vicki, you have to be insanely naive to even think that you can become a billionaire without lying, cheating and stealing. Clearly, you have no idea how money is actually made. It’s not through hard work, that’s for sure. Just go try it yourself, and do it with eyes wide open.
You’ll quickly see how doing things fairly will keep you stuck.
Riches can distort a person’s perspective of what it true. They are not likely to need for anything including God. They can fall into void as people perpetuate idol worship onto a wealthy man, such as Elon Musk. Too many riches can begin to cause one to exhalt himself above the one who created him in Gods image trappings of wealth. Hence, Matthew 19:23 -26