Tech Billionaire, Mark Benioff, bought Time Magazine and Time Ventures in September 1981. Mark Benioff is an investor in Musk’s SpaceX, tweets mad love for Elon, and refers to Elon as a visionary. Like most tech billionaires, Benoit holds true that tech and business can save the planet, even though the capitalist system that allowed him to become so rich is destroying both the planet and human beings. Like most tech billionaires, Benioff is obsessed with climate change and throwing pots of money into a variety of technologies to stave off environmental collapse. In an opinion piece for the NY Times, Mr. Benioff proposed a new capitalism – he wrote:
“When we finally start focusing on stakeholder value as well as shareholder value, our companies will be more successful, our communities will be more equal, our societies will be more just and our planet will be healthier…”
Hmmmm. Capitalism is first and foremost about profit and return on your investment. The idea that you can spin something as vicious and voracious as capitalism into a service for the greater good is ludicrous. Any fool knows billionaires control the media and will spin whatever, however, in order to keep the system, that made them so rich, intact. Ergo: new capitalism. Softer, kinder, we care. Look at how much money we’re throwing at the climate.
The fawning editorial in Time magazine, listing the whys and the wherefores Musk was chosen as person of the year, paints Musk as a dark, brooding, modern day cowboy; a misunderstood genius whose work and inventions, particularly the Tesla and space travel, are driven by his desire to create a better world for mankind. What the fawning editorial does not say is that Musk did not invent electric cars and that Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford, and Chevrolet, sell more electric cars than Tesla. What the fawning editorial did not say was that Musk is anti-choice, anti-union, anti-childcare, and pays his factory workers less than other automobile companies. What the fawning editorial did not say was that Musk has received massive government subsidies but is against subsidies for the poor who were devastated by Covid. What the fawning article did not say was that Musk’s net-worth increased by $150 billion during the pandemic – a gain of over 600%.
The fawning editorial concludes, “….government dysfunction has delivered more power and responsibility to business. Progress is about steering capital allocation away from government to those who will be good stewards, rather than mostly old white men playing by their own rules while society gets left behind.”
Last I checked tech was run by young, skateboarding, white boys playing by their rules – angling for more freedom from government regulation, but still entitled to federal monies and massive tax deductions. As per the fawning editorial, those rules the iconoclastic tech boys (Musk) are making up, or refusing to follow, are ok because they’re not leaving society behind. Tech exists for the betterment of mankind. Pack your bags babe, we’re going to Mars!
Clearly the whole point behind Musk being person of the year was to position Tech as climate savior. Bezos, Musk, and Gates are investing pots of money in ways to reduce carbon dioxide. Gates is about nuclear power, your own personal back yard nuclear reactor, and Goddess know what Bezos is up to. Capture technologies are of particular interest to Musk, even though trees are the most efficient carbon capture machines on the planet. The point is technological advances are not going to stop or stave off climate change. Climate Science is adamant that the best way forward is working with Nature, to look to Nature for solutions, and fundamentally change the way we use our freely given resources.
We have the means to create a sustainable planet. (links below) We have the means to work with what’s happening and turn it around. But, there’s no profit in it.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan
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