A few years ago, on his CBS The late show, Stephen Colbert had a “nice” conversation with Elon Musk.
–Are you really trying to save the world?
–I try to do good things, I don't know if I can save the world.
–And you are a billionaire.
– Yeah .
–Does this seem a little superhero or supervillain?
Musk remained silent.
As time goes by, the businessman with even more companies and, above all, owner of to Magneto, the reverse of heroes.
As Walter Isaacson explains in his recent biography, the richest man in the world today can be “cold and brutal” and act “guided by demons.”
This facet arises regularly on his X platform. His posts often cause chaos among his more than 163 million followers, an absolute record.
But few like the scandal it caused this week by amplifying the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory of displacement, in which whites are replaced by invaders of other ethnicities under Jewish leadership.
This old conspiracy already guided Hitler. For some time now it has jumped from the dark margins of society and has become mainstream, in part because of the quotes in its manifestos of three gunmen who in recent years caused massacres in the US, and because of the invaluable collaboration from the far-right media star, Tucker Carlson, a friend and associate of Musk who now embraces Santiago Abascal.
It was no coincidence that his message came at this time of division, in the midst of confrontational rhetoric over the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The White House severely condemned this global push for “an abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred.” The spokesman added that “this goes against the fundamental values of the United States.”
There were only six words that unleashed this storm, due to which large companies (Apple, Comcast, Disney, Lionsgate, Paramount...) announced their boycott of X by stopping advertising. “You have told the real truth,” Musk wrote to a post that had passed quietly until the network owner magnified it.
That message referred to the comment of a white supremacist account, with little relevance, that had spread the conspiracy of Jews' hatred of Gentiles and their attempt to replace them with immigrants. The White House called this a “horrible lie” which, furthermore, is the same one that Robert Bowers appealed to in 2018 to leave eleven dead in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Rains, it pours. Throughout these months, complaints of racial hatred and, specifically, anti-Semitism have piled up online. A day before that post, IBM anticipated its withdrawal of advertising from a platform for which Musk paid $44 billion in October 2022 and which is worth $19 billion per year. That computer company said enough when it saw how the platform placed its ads next to memes in which Nazism was portrayed as a spiritual awakening, along with quotes from Hitler presented in an inspirational style. If you are on the right side of history, the answer to the hero or villain is clear.