World's richest man Elon Musk went on libertarian entertainer Joe Rogan’s podcast on Tuesday. In the clip below, Rogan tries to get Musk to open up on how he feels after one year of ownership of X (formerly Twitter). Musk spent a reported $44 billion for the company, which one year later is worth $19 billion.
The resulting four-minute conversation, if watched without context or discussion, would make most people shed IQ points. Musk isn’t a particularly articulate or eloquent billionaire. When Rogan asked him why he bought X in the first place. Musk says, “This is going to sound somewhat melodramatic, but I was worried about, that, [Twitter] was having a corrosive effect on civilization. That it was just having a bad, a bad impact.” There is ample evidence, including Musk's attempts to get out of buying Twitter, that suggests Musk never really wanted to buy the social media company and found himself cornered into doing it after boasting to his simping fanbase.
From here, the conversation goes all “woke mind virus” as the two men do what conservatives and libertarians do best: Articulate the symptoms of society’s failures while narcissistically misdiagnosing the problem to be progressive policies.
Musk explains that Twitter (now X) was located in downtown San Francisco. By Musk and Rogan’s concept, San Francisco is the most progressive place on the planet, and as Musk explains, “If you've walked around downtown San Francisco, right near the exact Twitter headquarters, it's a zombie apocalypse.” Musk is referring to the very visible problems of drugs, mental health, and the unhoused.
You know which states have far higher rates of opioid-related overdose deaths than California? West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Florida, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri, and Kentucky—to name a few. There are a few things Musk and Rogan seem unable to acknowledge that might account for what Musk describes as a “zombie apocalypse,” like cost of living. According to Zillow, the median rent in San Francisco for a studio apartment is $2,164. That’s down from last year. The median rent for a studio apartment in Charleston, West Virginia? $675. It is a lot easier to stay behind closed doors, regardless of issues of addiction and the like, if you can afford to stay behind closed doors.
But even with all of those very real data points, and even with recent, comprehensive studies showing that rising rents and stagnant wages are the main culprit for homelessness in California—not to mention studies showing that mental health issues are not the reason for homelessness—Musk’s thesis is that the unhoused population, in one of the highest rental markets, in one of the wealthiest cities, in a state that is home to the most billionaires in the United States is that liberal policies of government intervention are leading to one of the movies he’s possibly watched on one of his private jet rides.
“You can't believe it until you go there. So they have said, well, what philosophy led to that outcome? And that philosophy was being piped to Earth. So, you know, a philosophy that would be ordinarily quite niche and geographically constrained so that that sort of the fallout area would be limited, was effectively given an information weapon and information technology weapon to propagate what is essentially a mind virus to the rest of earth. And the outcome of that mind virus is very clear. If you walk around the streets of downtown San Francisco, it is the end of civilization.”
Melodramatic much? Wowsers. At least, Musk seems to have gotten the memo about dropping the “woke” from “woke mind virus”? Rogan, himself very wealthy and closed off from the greater reality of the world, responds, “I don't think you're melodramatic at all. I think it's a, it's a, I mean, I don't want to be melodramatic, but it's almost like a death cult.” Everybody is being so melodramatic!
Musk then brings up what he considers proof that left-wing politics and policy prescriptions are fundamentally anti-human, specifically environmentalism, which is espoused by people like Les Knight. Knight believes humans should voluntarily stop procreating and go extinct in service of the Earth. In November of 2022, Knight and his “Voluntary Human Extinction” ideology were profiled in The New York Times. Musk may have heard about Knight from Tucker Carlson, whose almost 20-year-old interview with Knight gets passed around right-wing circles every few years.
Musk takes this one person’s unpopular idea and extrapolates that not only is the environmentalist movement a “death cult” but also that all progressives, in turn, are essentially working under the philosophy that humans should go extinct. To bring this lead balloon of a thesis into a landing, Musk claims that the adherents of this kind of death-cult ideology were in charge of Twitter before Musk bought it (and renamed it X).
Every billionaire is the result of failed policy. As of the writing of this story, Elon Musk is about 220 failures of policies in one person.
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