When billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter, he brought with him an old toilet bowl that was apparently a warning to everyone of the kind of management he was about to bring to the social media giant. Indeed, the changes he immediately started implementing did create ripples around the industry.
Musk inherited his billions at a time when the far right and conservatives began to reemerge as one of the dominant forces in world thought. When he finally made his presence felt, liberal democracy was on a retreat worldwide. He took over big firms like Tesla and SpaceX before setting his sights on Twitter. He embraced the far right and implemented a management style that is a throwback to the time when capitalism was at its nascent stage.
He fired workers left and right and forced the others, who noted his authoritarian streak, to resign. He forced Twitter users to pay for the verification check introduced by the old management but backed off when the setup activated fakers instead. Advertisers began leaving the platform, too. Many thought that Musk created a mess instead.
Musk, though, was not the only one firing workers. Thousands were also fired by other big firms like Amazon. This was a sign of what the world is facing after Covid-19 and the restrictions implemented in its wake damaged much of the global economy. Then came the war started by Russia against Ukraine. A crisis of confidence has gripped peoples everywhere.
This, plus the continuing downturn in the international workers’ struggle has allowed the reemergence of conservative thought among capitalists, including billionaires. Workers are once more being disrespected and the myth that only the moneyed makes the economy hum is being spread again. This has allowed billionaires to do whatever they wanted. Many are acting like the spoiled brats that they really are.
Technology is also starting to displace workers even more. Artificial Intelligence or AI is replacing workers in some bodegas where robots are taking over a few of the manual labor previously assigned to laborers. The push for the employment of AIs wherever possible is the current trend. The displacement of traditional labor is continuing. This again, at a time when the workers have lost their voices. This has also affected the farmers where mechanization has peaked and AI is being introduced.
It’s not that nobody foresaw this. Some thinkers already espied the changes in the horizon but their suggested solution has still to take full form. The pendulum is swinging back and public opinion will again favor the progressives. I am sure of that. And going back to the water analogy, the waters are settling and calming down. Ebbs and flows are parts of human evolution. After the ebb comes the flow. That is one law of nature that technology cannot approximate as yet.
How that flow will take form is what is exciting to imagine.
December 12, 2022
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