When I was younger, I used to study Marxist theory. Every time I visit libraries, I would look for books that would enlighten me about it. But those books are rarely seen in libraries because they are different in their treatment of philosophy, politics and society.

Marx lived when capitalism was in its early stage. He and his partner, Friedrich Engels didn’t see capitalism reaching its monopoly phase. Imperialism was rather seen by their disciples, like V.I. Lenin and Mao Zedong. They indeed saw monopoly capitalism but failed to countenance the stage when billionaires achieved the height of power. Examples are Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and even Kanye West.

After Musk bought Twitter for US$44 billion, the sinister aspect of billionaires has attracted attention. Billionaires are turning out to be even bigger than monopoly capitalists. Rather, they exercise control over monopoly capitalists. Musk fired employees depending on his mood. And workers were helpless, especially now when workers organizing is at an ebb.

There are already calls to rein in these billionaires before they can wreak havoc on all of humanity. But how to do it is a question that desperately needs some answers. With a weak workers movement, some people are relying on the government to do this. But how would the government do it when the bureaucracy can be silenced by the billionaires’ billions?

In China, the government was able to silence a billionaire, Jack Ma. He has made himself scarce after dominating capitalist discourse for a while. But the government in that country is communist. In the West, the capitalist mindset is dominant. Bourgeois democracy is where billionaires thrive.

But the people do still have the final say on this matter. When Musk forced workers to choose whether to work for a longer number of hours or leave, thousands chose the latter, noting that they would rather devote their time to a more predictable boss, which isn’t Musk, of course. But there is in Musk a certain level of arrogance which is comparable only to his seeming disdain for workers

But as physics would say, for every action there will always be an opposite and similar reaction. As billionaires go berserk, those affected have again found value in unity. We do hope that workers will once more strengthen their organization like they did in the early stages of capitalism. Their defense of their rights will prompt them to reach out to their brethren throughout the world.

The pendulum of world opinion is once again slowly but surely moving to the side of liberal democracy. Leaders of the far right, whether in the US or in other parts of the world are on the retreat. Russia’s authoritarian regime led by Vladimir Putin has learned its lessons the hard way in Ukraine.

The water that once overflowed the banks has found ways to settle down. Putin, like Musk, can no longer rule the old way. Which is interesting.