Oligarchs, Oligarchs Everywhere
By Tony Candela
As I write in late April 2022, Elon Musk is poised to buy Twitter for an ungodly sum ($44 billion). To him, I imagine this might literally be Monopoly money, but I hope it gives him pause as he considers not only the amount he is about to spend, but the awesome power ownership of a prolific social media platform confers upon him. Musk plans to take the company private, meaning he will not answer to stockholders or certain types of controls, like a Board, if he doesn’t want to. Musk already owns Space X and Tesla, to name two of his companies that are doing incredible things. However, controlling electric cars and even the physics of space flight might prove easier than the vagaries and complexities of human communications, especially if what he wants to do is mitigate some of the things he personally finds peevish like questioning of his actions by others.
The Koch brothers have a lot of money as do Bill and Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffet, but the former do things with their money I do not particularly like while the latter do things I believe are good for the world. Oh yes, let’s not forget the foundation stones of much of the Russian economy, the oligarchs that count Vladimir Putin among their number and without whom Putin probably can’t function.
Oligarchs have a lot of power. Some use it for good and some for evil. What will Musk do? He professes a belief in freedom of speech, but it sounds more like uncontrolled scrum-making. As I write this, I understand that the ability to speak my mind and place these words in Facebook and other venues constitutes the same freedom of speech Musk believes he is professing. If you want to understand freedom of speech, I guess, think about what it would be like if someone or something tried to muzzle you. Then weigh the pros and cons.
Generally, as we grow up, we evolve a moral framework. It is a sign of maturity under most schemes of developmental psychology when an individual can properly weigh his or her freedom in the context of being part of a society. This is the same concept in play, I think, when anti-maskers and anti-vaxers unilaterally decide to eschew safety protocols that may make them uncomfortable and through the variant-spawning and transmission-power of their bodies, unnecessarily prolong a pandemic. Oligarchs seem to come in all shapes and sizes, don’t they?
Anthony R. Candela, Author
Saying aloud what should not remain silent.
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Christian Faith Publishing, 2019
Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar. Read more at