When supporters of Russian aggression and supporters of Ukrainian defence argue in the Balkans, in the media and on social networks, Nikola Tesla is often mentioned. The genius scientist who has indebted civilization with his innovations is perhaps the only historical figure having undivided respect in the Balkans. They even fight for the right to be his successors. Unfortunately, not in a scientific sense, but only in an ethnic sense.
For the most part, those who have the Ukrainian struggle at heart like to point out, when talking to pro-Russian interlocutors, that Nikola Tesla did not go to Russia to progress and realize his genius ideas, but he went to America. He went to America knowing that only America, not Russia, can enable him to realize his projects, which would change the world. Quite compelling, and above the standards of Balkan discussions about the war in Ukraine.
It is certain that Elon Musk did not follow such discussions, which is understandable; he is too far away from them. It’s a pity, because the decisions made long-ago by the man under whose name he created the richest company in the world and became the richest man in the world could have prevented his tragic moral wanderings regarding Russia and Ukraine.
As Le Monde noted, Musk entertained his Twitter followers, but not Tesla’s shareholders, by playing geopolitical expert in connection with Ukraine, Russia, China and Taiwan. While he poured out solutions for the world’s biggest crises on Twitter, in just one week, Tesla’s shares dropped by 16%, which is the biggest drop since March 2020. But let them solve these problems among themselves.
However, Musk’s lack of knowledge is horrifying. Lack of knowledge about the world of which he is, without a doubt, the entrepreneurial leader, then the absence of an ethical attitude towards the same world he came from, and especially the absence of responsibility for his ideas and actions, as a person who is somehow followed by hundreds of millions of people – from Twitter followers to buyers of his expensive cars.
Elon Musk is rich enough to hire a team that will teach him about world politics, its history, and especially the complicated relationships that prevail today. He could have a team the size and competence of a foreign ministry of a medium-sized country without his shareholders seeing it as a wasted expenditure. After all, when they draw the line and calculate the damage they have suffered from Musk’s geopolitical adventures on Twitter it will probably turn out that it would have been cheaper to create a private Ministry of Foreign Affairs to operate before the boss got around to writing tweets.
A man who will be remembered as a leader who brought technological and business revolution to an otherwise highly globalized world should not even think of meeting projects to destroy that world, such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. And Musk is even publicly advocating for it, he appeals to give Putin and Russia what they want in their “war against the collective West”, as they call it themselves. For Crimea to remain a part of Russia, for the annexed eastern Ukrainian regions to be asked (under the control of the UN) who they want to belong to – Russia or Ukraine, to indulge Putin because he is backed into a corner, so that he does not fire nuclear missiles at the West .
Musk’s Twitter excursions into geopolitics are not only an expression of ignorance about the principles on which the modern world rests; they are an arrogant rejection of the entire system in which both Musk and his Tesla were created. Would his historic business venture have any chance in a world championed by Putin’s Russia? Would he be able to show all his innovation and business genius if there was a greedy and corrupt Kremlin octopus standing over his head, which he would have to pay, or otherwise pay with his life? Elon Musk, with every letter he writes, gives room to the weakened Russian war campaign and simultaneously tramples on the only world in which he became who he is.
And finally, it’s terrible if he thinks he’s just one of hundreds of millions of people on Twitter, whose thoughts have equal force and right to be spoken. He is Elon Musk, the richest and most influential capitalist in the world, and he is not allowed to joke about the nuclear cataclysm, when he said that “at least Russia doesn’t get Crimea in that scenario, so you can be comforted by that thought, while watching the mushroom clouds rise”!? Music to the ears of Putin and his friends, as they commit war crimes against Ukrainian civilians, destroy and steal their country.
We say that Musk is “not allowed” to speak in this way. If he were to live in the system to which he lends his hand, state censorship and the threat of ten years in prison would not allow him to do so. This way, since he lives in a free country and is one of the leaders of the free world, Musk is not allowed to do something like this just by his conscience. If he still has one.
Elon Musk may just be an eccentric billionaire, whose temperament is no longer satisfied in the world of business and technology, but is looking for adventure in the world of politics, wars, and peace-making. He had many similar predecessors, and he is mistaken if he is looking for his exclusive place in that society. Moreover, in this way, he unmistakably loses the rightful place in history that he deserved with his entrepreneurship and his business vision. As much as he tries to explain that he is terrified of another world war, the way he does it leads directly to the cataclysm he supposedly wants to prevent. His dance with Putin and his destruction is obvious, and it does not excuse him if he does it out of ignorance, unconsciously or perhaps under the pressure of work.
Elon Musk is not a bankrupt setting star, like Gerard Depardieu or Steven Seagal, who goes to the Kremlin for social welfare, giving support to the “Russian world” in return. He is neither a Western European politician charging Putin for favours due to the disastrous decisions of their governments. He is the number one personality of the 21st century, and a living symbol of its unprecedented progress, the likes of which civilization has not recorded. That is why it is his duty, starting today, to act in accordance with the place that history has given him and that he has earned. Until that happens and until Musk comes out of the tragic embrace with Putin’s Russia, we should have some kind of hope that someone hacked his Twitter account after all.