If you recall my earlier article on Elon Musk, I said that India should not accept his unreasonable terms and offer any special deal to Tesla just to get him to sell in India. If you read it, it should be clear I was not one of his fanboys.
However, little did I imagine that within months he will recruit one more. Not that it matters to him, as he is already the richest person in the world and has 110m+ followers on Twitter.
Indian and global left’s ongoing and professionally executed ‘oppari’ over Elon’s acquisition of Twitter has been well analysed in Nupur’s article. One pities the Indian left because just when they were busy singing the praise of Rahul Gandhi’s yatra, licking palms in anticipation of good times, this takes away the focus and probably some lifafas.
Left lashes out
I had also somewhat pessimistically predicted that Elon Musk taking over Twitter wouldn’t change much. Nothing much has happened since May to change my forecast. Though as predicted there is a lot of noise. Leftists have been lashing out furiously.
Elon is a successful businessman that has made Tesla and SpaceX what they are today. But he’s never been on time and often delivers much less than promised. Like FSD. But when it comes to delivering us the misery of the leftist cabal and their collective insanity, he is not just ahead of time, he has delivered way more than he has promised! And that is a source of genuine pleasure or schadenfreude.
I wish I had bought some stock in popcorn companies.
It is especially painful to the left as it is their own activism and climate change scaremongering that has made Elon what he is. Without carbon credits and generous subsidies to super-rich buyers of electric cars, a serious misallocation of public money in the opinion of many, Tesla would not have seen profits and would have long gone bankrupt. And their indulgence of his antics, because he is “saving the earth”, has fed the monster and made it bigger. Now he is roasting them in their own juice. And that often tastes good.
Now left is up to its familiar tricks. “Studies” have shown that “hate speech” on Twitter has gone up dramatically since Elon took over. Articles are written about how democracy will suffer. This is while there has been no change to Twitter’s policy! Left has expertise in coming out with “studies” by fake intellectuals that suits its narratives. After all, they “proved with studies” that the BLM protests that resulted in looted stores and burnt streets raging for weeks on TV were “largely peaceful”. In India, similar tricks have been used to “prove” pretty much anything the Politburo or Palazzo wants. Remember the Godhra train burning cleverly attributed to kar sevaks burning themselves? And the fake news and anti-Hindu venom on Delhi or Leicester anti-Hindu violence and riots?
Twitter’s sacking of staff, we are told, will affect control of “disinformation”. That is the leftist code word for an inconvenient truth. Such as Hunter Biden’s laptop story or COVID origin and Biden’s disastrous Presidency and dementia. In any case, it is an open admission of censorship to anyone not holding the scissors.
Musk’s plan to charge $8 is being opposed by millionaire and billionaire leftists with bizarre logic. AOC, not to be left behind, has protested the fee and Elon has hit back in his own style pointing out her hypocrisy of selling $58 sweatshirts on her personal website. Someone joked that she may demand a discount for people of colour.
As usual, the left uses words like “worried about safety” at the drop of the hat. In fact, those that oppose the Islamist-Left continuum are killed on regular basis and it is them that should be afraid. Instead, Stalinist rapist butcher left’s academics, ideologues and propagandists pretend they face “physical harm” – just because their blue tick will now have to be paid for! Something most of them can easily afford given their abundant funding!
How will it end?
Not that I particularly care if Twitter stays or goes belly up, but it is fun trying to predict how this will end. After all, nothing in this world is as uncertain as Elon Musk’s moods and U-turns. That makes prediction really fun even if dangerous.
On the positive side, Twitter is unique in the sense that it has no real competition – even Facebook has, in Tiktok. Google is kept in check by Apple and many others in niches. Yes, Trump and others have launched right-wing alternatives such as Gettr, Truth Social and Gab. Koo’s inability to keep its key users actively posting and it’s buggy poor-quality UI are clear proof if any is needed that it is not easy to replicate Twitter’s success, even in a single market let alone globally. There are enormous technical as well as marketing challenges.
As the world’s richest man Musk can afford to lose a few millions or even billions for a cause at least until the Tesla bubble doesn’t deflate.
Having said that, finally, companies run on money, not sentiment. That needs a sustainable business model and profits. Unlike Wikipedia, also controlled by fringe left, it cannot run on donations. Twitter post-acquisition has taken on enormous debt which comes with costs and bankers’ expectations. In its listed history, Twitter never made much money and in fact, lost about $770m cumulatively. A lot of that is stock compensation paid to insiders (read elite wokes) at the cost of diluting outsiders. If you had bought Twitter stock for $45 at IPO in 2013 and waited for Elon’s takeover at $54, the annual returns are about 2% – pathetic even ignoring the long bull market. Now there are no outsiders for elite wokes to shaft, only insiders and they want to make money.
That sets the scene for an interesting battle. Elon is used to running companies that make money from taxpayers or investors. And as pointed out earlier leftists have essentially funded his empire. Twitter presents a different set of challenges.
Everything will depend on how profitable Twitter is going to be. Elon’s $8 brainwave may not do the trick, even if implemented well. After all, it is rumoured that only 400k or so verified handles exist and many would not pay. Many that don’t have a blue tick in fact treasure the anonymity and would be fools to pay for taking that away, unless forced to.
While woke left is increasingly seen as destructive, poisonous, intolerant and hate-filled, the fact remains they control headlines in mainstream media and thus Corporate decisions indirectly given their nuisance value. Cases of companies or individuals standing up to woke blackmail and prevailing are few are far between. Even a brand like Victoria’s Secret had to meekly surrender and feature “plus-sized models” and (effectively) pay off wokes, recruiting their favoured elites as brand ambassadors. Already GM has put its Twitter ads on hold. The usual tropes and fake excuses – racism, Islamophobia and anti-LGBTQ etc will be used to good effect to enforce left censorship and adherence to narratives. Disobedience will have costs.
Furthermore, Elon’s personal cash cow, Tesla, is increasingly facing pressure from safety regulators for its disastrous FSD that, according to some experts, should be banned. This gives the woke left, at least until Biden regime lasts, enormous leverage to encourage good behaviour, if they choose to use it. As Elon himself said once, Tesla is worthless without it. In fact, even without regulatory pressure, best days of Tesla and its near monopoly seems to be behind it with fierce competition in China and Europe and soon USA its most profitable market. Its stock reflects that reality increasingly. This will keep Elon busy as he has borrowed considerably using it as collateral.
Elon’s own recent behaviour seems to suggest he is essentially anti-left and conservative at heart. His attacks on NYT, even Guardian provide ample justification for this assumption. But then he is capable of U-turns and somersaults that will have Kejriwal lifting his cap in awe.
If Twitter continues to be a leftist backwater it will simply fragment the market as one of the right-wing alternatives will find increasing traction. If on the other hand, the left deserts it and goes its own way, as some reports suggest, it will be the same or worse. Even if Musk folds in the face of leftist pressure and reverses some decisions, Twitter will not be in any better position. It may simply be back to square one, in fact, worse, with LBO debt.
All this leads me to believe that Musk has a massive handicap that he needs to overcome. Much as I admire his ongoing torture of the left with daily taunts, I really don’t wish him luck on this! Just keep the show going, Elon. Maybe it’s not too late to buy the popcorn stock.