Elon Musk, wittingly or un-, perfectly encapsulates why everything’s so terrible right now: The rich and the powerful sense they’ll soon have the opportunity to claw even more wealth, empowerment, and freedom away from us—so they’re getting started early.
People started attacking Muslims immediately after Trump was elected
, not bothering to wait until his inauguration to get down to the business of hate, discrimination, and oppression. Over the last few weeks, you can just feel
corporate and political leaders unfurling their ghoulish sails in hope of riding a red wave this November.
What’s worse, as GenX tech moguls and Silicon Valley venture-capital titans age toward AARP eligibility, what used to be a culture of enterprising young world-changers with “super liberal”
attitudes has curdled into pretty much straight fascism
—where greed is good, worth equals worthiness, and no cost is too great to try and keep their legacy (and ego) secure.
Trying to stop multi-multi-billionaire plutocrats from putting conspiracy cranks in Congress, right-wing whackjobs in federal judgeships, and laws on the books to keep us from stopping them? It seems all but impossible. It feels like whether or not Trump will again bear the GOP’s standard in 2024 is irrelevant—our nation’s wealth and power brokers have picked up Trumpism’s banner, and they’re running with it.
But amidst all this bad news, there’s good news: Musk and his ilk aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are.
Laying off 10 percent of your workforce while prices are high and profits are higher makes no sense. Laying off 10 percent of your workforce when competition for labor has never been more intense
is idiotic. It seems like Musk is trying to make ‘recession’ happen
, to augur the Republican takeover he and the rest of the tech bros think is coming—but all he’s doing is making himself broke.
I know it’s no comfort when the doomscroll is as terrible as it’s ever been, and too many of us are too tired, too sick, too burnt out to even contemplate the kind of rage-fueled hypervigilance that carried us through the last six years. But remember: power comes from the people, and there’s a lot more of us than there are of them. Their wealth is theoretical, based on our labor. Their power is based on their wealth. They can’t do anything we don’t let them.
I don’t want to go back to waking up every morning afraid for our workers’ rights, our civil rights, our human rights. But I will absolutely wake up every morning and fight to protect them.