Politics

Elon Musk Is Preoccupied With Something He Doesn’t Understand

There is no particular mystery to unravel around the political views of Elon Musk, the billionaire technology and social media executive. He is — and for some time, has been — on the far right wing of American politics. He is an enthusiastic purveyor of far-right conspiracy theories, using his platform on the website X to spread a worldview that is as extreme as it is untethered from reality.

Musk is especially preoccupied with the racial makeup of the country and the alleged deficiency of nonwhites in important positions. He blames the recent problems at Boeing, for example, on its efforts to diversify its work force, despite easily accessible and widely publicized accounts of a dangerous culture of cost-cutting and profit-seeking at the company.

“Experts and critics say that Boeing’s woes have been years in the making,” reported CNN in January, “some pointing to the result of a shift in corporate culture that started at the top and put profits ahead of the safety and engineering prowess for which it was once praised, placing not only its future, but the passengers on its planes, at grave risk.”

Is diversity the problem at Boeing, or is it a shortsighted obsession with maximizing shareholder value at the expense of quality and safety? Musk, a wealthy shareholder in various companies — including his own, Tesla, which is being sued by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly allowing racist abuse of some of its Black employees — says it’s diversity.

“It will take an airplane crashing and killing hundreds of people for them to change this crazy policy of DIE,” Musk wrote in January, deliberately misspelling the acronym D.E.I., meaning diversity, equity and inclusion.

Musk’s current obsession, as Greg Sargent observes in The New Republic, is the “great replacement,” a far-right conspiracy theory that liberal elites in the United States are deliberately opening the southern border to nonwhite immigration from Mexico, South and Central America in order to replace the nation’s white majority and secure permanent control of its political institutions.

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