Elon Musk went off the rails. Will he take Tesla and SpaceX with him?
This is a story I hoped I would never have to write. Elon Musk and Tesla have been very popular topics on Clean Technica. Readers and writers enjoyed exploring Tesla’s technology, growth and innovation, and Musk’s role in it. Over the years we’ve written hundreds of articles about him and his business, and it has to be said, we’re in the click business. The number of “hits” we get on the stories we write determines how much money comes in the door, and putting “Musk” or “Tesla” in the title guarantees a story will get a good number of those.
So what follows may be against our own interests, but at some point, someone has to point out that the Emperor really walks around without wearing any clothes. Here is the truth. Elon is now a danger to himself, his businesses, and the hundreds of thousands of followers who made him the richest person in human history. Over the past few weeks, he has become increasingly unbalanced. It all started to fall apart when Elon the Magnificent decided that he and he alone should be the sole arbiter of what people could and couldn’t say on social media.
Freedom of expression, Elon breathed! Well, here’s how the big man will handle free speech once he hooks Twitter. This week, a group of dissatisfied SpaceX employees wrote an open letter to Musk pleading with him to stick to his knitting and stop making stupid comments in public, comments they say threw the discredit on the company. The edge saw this letter, which reads in part:
“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere has been a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, especially in recent weeks. As CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is considered the face of SpaceX – every Tweet Elon sends is a de facto public company statement. It is essential to make it clear to our teams and our potential talent pool that its message does not reflect our work, our mission or our values.
The letter argues that the company is violating its oft-stated “No Asshole” policy and zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment. The document goes on to suggest three different “action items” to remedy the situation.
- SpaceX should “publicly denounce and condemn Elon’s harmful behavior on Twitter”
- SpaceX should ‘hold all leaders equally accountable’ for bad behavior
- SpaceX must “clearly define what exactly is intended by SpaceX’s ‘no asshole’ and ‘zero tolerance’ policies and apply them consistently.”
You would think such a letter would be celebrated as an example of free speech in action. No. 5 of the people who signed the letter were summarily fired. In an email to employees on Thursday reviewed by the Washington PostSpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the letter “made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and intimidated” and required them to sign a document that did not reflect their views.
Shotwell told employees the concerns raised in the letter threatened to derail SpaceX’s focus on several key tasks. “We have 3 launches in 37 hours for critical satellites this weekend, we need to support the astronauts we delivered to the [International Space Station] and getting the Dragon freighter ready for flight, and after receiving environmental clearance earlier this week, we’re on the cusp of Starship’s first orbital launch attempt.
“We have too much critical work to do and no need for this kind of excessive activism – our current leadership team is more dedicated to ensuring we have a great and ever-improving work environment than anything I’ve seen. over my 35-year career.” She added that “covering thousands of people across the company” with letter-signing requests “does not show the strong judgment needed to work in this very difficult industry of the space transportation”.
Musk’s pump and dump schedule
In another development, cryptocurrency investor Keith Johnson has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court accusing the elated Mr. Musk and others of racketeering for touting Dogecoin and driving up its price, for then let the price fall. The practice is known in investment circles as a “pump and dump” system.
“Defendants knew since 2019 that Dogecoin had no value but promoted Dogecoin to profit from its trade. Musk used his pedestal as the richest man in the world to exploit and manipulate the Dogecoin pyramid scheme for purposes profit, exposure and fun.
In the complaint, Johnson argues that the sale of Dogecoin began around the time Musk hosted the NBC show. Saturday Night Liveduring which he called Dogecoin “a scam” while playing a fictional financial expert on the show’s “Weekend Update.”
Johnson seeks $86 billion in damages, which represents the drop in market value of Dogecoin since May 2021. Under federal racketeering law, the court can award treble damages, which could bring the total to around the value Elon’s total net worth. He is also seeking to stop Musk and his companies from promoting Dogecoin and have the court rule that trading Dogecoin is gambling under federal and New York law.
Also this week, Tesla shareholder Solomon Chau filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court against Musk. Tesla and the company’s board of directors, alleging they failed to address workplace discrimination and harassment complaints while creating a “toxic workplace culture.” The state of California also filed a similar lawsuit earlier this year, saying the company allowed a culture of rampant racism to thrive at its Fremont plant.
“Tesla has created a toxic work culture based on racist and gender-based abuse and discrimination against its own employees,” the lawsuit states. “This toxic work environment has grown internally for years, and it’s only recently that the truth about Tesla’s culture has emerged. Tesla’s toxic work culture has caused financial harm and irreparable damage. to the reputation of the company.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants — Musk, 11 Tesla board members and the company — of breaching their fiduciary duty by failing to address and remedy red flags about internal reports of discrimination and harassment . This caused Tesla to lose high-quality employees and incur costs defending cases and settling fines for violations, according to the lawsuit.
Freedom of expression for some
Musk’s cavalier attitude about free speech is revealed by how he reacted to two similar situations, one in the United States and the other in China. When public health officials in Alameda County, Calif., sought to impose workplace restrictions at the Fremont plant at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Musk became apoplectic. In retaliation, he decided to move Tesla’s headquarters to Texas.
When officials in Shanghai, China recently shut down all manufacturing for nearly a month, the big and mighty Musk had nothing to say. In fact, he has nothing to say about how China crushed democracy in Hong Kong or subjected an entire ethnic minority to virtual slavery.
Musk has no general principles. He only acts on what he considers to be in his own selfish interest. It looks loose and small compared to Elie Wiesel, who said, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but we must never fail to protest.
Musk is also adept at what are commonly referred to as “dick jokes.” He is obsessed with his own sexual prowess as he fathers an ever-growing offspring of children by a succession of women, to whom he is unmarried. He belittled Bill Gates by suggesting his face would cause erectile dysfunction and ridiculed Jeff Bezos for building a rocket that looks like a phallus. (OK, maybe this one is justified.) And, of course, there was the unfortunate and cruel reference to a man helping rescue boys from a flooded cave as a “pedo.”
The only conclusion that can be drawn from all of this is that Musk is a nut – a very rich nut, but a loose cannon nonetheless. Actions have consequences. A former NASA official recounts Washington Post that people within the agency “are really worried” about where the company is going. NASA has snuck into bed with SpaceX, which is the only game in town for all intents and purposes, but Musk’s mercurial behavior has many people worried about his mental stability.
He’s the guy, after all, who wants to create billions of happy digital humans living inside computers and happily working until 3 a.m. to further glorify their leader, a peacock strutting around. a man who lacks the ability to show compassion for others. Perhaps this passage from Hamlet is relevant here and could offer some valuable advice to the mercurial Elon Musk.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Crawl in this little rhythm day by day
Until the last syllable of recorded time.
And all our yesterdays lit fools
The dusty road to death. Out, out, brief candle.
Life is just a walking shadow, bad player
Who struts and bustles his hour on the stage,
And then we hear nothing.
It’s a tale
Said by a fool, full of sound and fury,
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