Beware of people who want to save humanity, especially when they are powerful. Elon Musk has no shortage of futuristic ideas to change our lives. And its power is enormous. At the head of a fortune estimated last year at 200 billion dollars, which he earned to be considered in 2021 as the richest man in the world, this techno-prophet has not only changed the car market by developing , along with Tesla, electric cars that now essentially enable the wealthiest to afford driving in the face of global warming. He also invested a lot, especially thanks to NASA dollars, in the conquest of space with Space X – the goal of the Moon, then Mars, as Musk likes to quote the Russian Constantin Tsiolkovsky: “The world is the cradle of humanity, but humanity cannot stay in its cradle forever. » The plan, before the climate on the blue planet becomes too harsh, is to migrate a large sample of people to the red planet. Why simplify? In the meantime, since the Earth is doomed in this situation, another of Musk’s companies, Starlink, invades its low orbit with a constellation of satellites that feed the internet with countless amounts of data.
From SpaceX to Twitter, what is Elon Musk’s real project?
Elon Musk’s cosmic dreams are no longer happy. Until now, this unique character has been presented as a genius businessman, who has fascinated both fans of success stories and science fiction fans. Now, his superpowers are worrying. Not only did he set out to shape the global public conversation by buying the social network Twitter at the end of October, but he intends to weigh in on a very turbulent geopolitics, as when he proposes peace plans for Ukraine or the creation in one “special administrative zone” around Taiwan. Here is a man who does not need to be elected to act as head of state. The interest that Emmanuel Macron took in him, during his recent trip to Louisiana, says a lot about his status.
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But who are these people who just allow themselves and have, in the middle of 21e century, a greater weight than some countries? Musk is more concerned that he is not alone in his kind. This is what our front page examines this week, separating from his case the solutionist, transhumanist and greedy ideologies that guide the masters of technology. The boss of Starlink and Twitter may be the most attractive representative of a “techno-feudalism” that, thanks to the massive collection of our data and the development of more intrusive algorithms, is spreading its grip on our lives, our economies and our political structures. “Instead of seeking profit from productseconomist Cédric Durand explained here, they seek, like the masters of the past, to control social activity in order to collect revenue. »
“Musk is part of a techno-feudal logic”
How to regulate these appetites? Under the guise of a sympathetic libertarian philosophy, the “techno-lords” threaten our freedoms to varying degrees. The apology of “free speech”, which the new boss of Twitter claimed when he reactivated the accounts of Donald Trump or some conspirators, has always been more favorable to the far-right theses than anything else; and it was in the so-called social networks where the putsch attempt that took place in Brasilia was organized. However, in the face of transnational digital powers, our democracies seem vulnerable at the moment, with their borders and their cautious delays. In 2018, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, in the United States, proposed a partial dissolution of Gafam (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft). pointless Although, in Europe, the Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton has just passed a Digital Services Act, the law should make the biggest platforms responsible for what they publish, the game is far from winning. It is becoming urgent to regain control, if we are to protect humanity from these terrible benefactors, and keep our feet on the ground.