Elon Musk or the virtues of competition

Posted May 12, 2022


For quite a few years, even decades, freedom of expression has had a hard time and has suffered attacks and restrictions.

First of all with the laws which institute offenses of opinion, such as the Pleven law on discriminatory remarks on the grounds of religion or race, the Gayssot law which penalizes the stupid negationism of the gas chambers thus giving a legal platform to its wicked followers, the memorial laws which want to write history, the Taubira law on the slave trade limited to European and not African traffic, the law which institutes a crime of homophobia or the very recent one (the famous Avia law) , which provides for a hate crime on social networks or the older one, which establishes an offense of incitement to hatred.

The imagination of the new censors is inexhaustible.

Until recently, these attacks were limited to the legislative domain, but now other types of attacks have appeared more recently aimed at censoring speech because, they say, ” words can hurt”. Movement woke indeed promotes a new form of puritanism via decolonialism, which wants to tear down statues or change street names, via positive discrimination, which wants to prevent selection on merit, above all via what is called the culture of erasure (cancel culture) who wants to prohibit the expression of certain opinions in certain universities or, worse, to expel certain professors because of their opinions.

For these people one should not debate, discuss, argue, use one’s critical spirit but silence the opponent. I refer to Brice Couturier’s book OK Millennials or the observations of Matthieu Bock-Côté in the media who underline the frankly ridiculous aspect of some of these attempts. For example, you should no longer say ” bhello sir” Where ” Good day Mrs “ because it would have a sexist connotation.

Take Attacks on Freedom Seriously

Nevertheless, these attempts should be taken seriously and here is why.

Social media organizations, which until then had observed a certain neutrality, were gradually imbued with progressive ideology to the point that they ended up practicing censorship of the most conservative opinions.

And this is how Facebook, under the impetus of Mark Zuckerberg, its director, then Twitter, decided to delete the account of certain thinkers, starting with that of former US President Donald Trump. The latter now expresses himself through other channels but he had his account deactivated (like many other lesser known people, their list is quite long).

Thus progressive anti-conservative censorship appeared for the first time on social networks as if the latter had become opinion press organs selecting those it authorizes to develop such and such reasoning and those it does not authorize.

It is a disastrous regression, a return of puritanism after several centuries of freedom of speech in the West thanks to the pluralism of the press, the freedom of assembly and demonstration (think of the ” speaker’s corner » of Hyde Park corner in London for example).

But the invisible hand of the market sometimes reserves pleasant surprises, pleasant reversals (what some call mysteries of inequity). Here is that Twitter has just been bought by Elon Musk who announced that he was going to restore freedom of expression. Who is Elon Musk, for those who don’t know? He is the creator of PayPal and Tesla, electric cars equipped with batteries, sensors and artificial intelligence rather than heat engines.

The innovator Elon Musk

When he had the idea of ​​the first electric car, no one really believed in it and today all the major car manufacturers have gotten into it. Elon Musk’s projects are not limited to Tesla cars. There is the famous SpaceX which aims to colonize space, for example on Mars. There is the Tesla Bot project which consists in manufacturing and designing semi-autonomous humanoid robots which will be able to go into space or which will be able to wage war like robotic soldiers without risk of death because they will only be matter.

I know that it has been said of this billionaire that he was far from having realized all his projects. The solar roofs he recommended are very few. The same is true for robot taxis but it has stimulated technological innovation and perhaps it will be competitors who will carry out these projects. At first no one believes in innovation and then little by little it is adopted and followed.

So when Elon Musk announces that he will allow free speech on Twitter, there is hope and Mark Zuckerberg may have cause for concern. Competition always finds the solution, provided of course that the legislator does not establish prohibitions, constraints, monopolies which hinder or inhibit this competition.

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