Elon Musk is Not John Galt

Posted by rbroberg 2 years, 6 months ago to Culture
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He is a pragmatist and will probably become Dr. Robert Stadler.
SOURCE URL: https://www.quora.com/Is-Elon-Musk-John-Galt


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  • Posted by peterchunt 2 years, 6 months ago
    Being smart does not make you a John Galt. With Musk, there isn't a government subsidy he didn't like. He is obsessed with false premises. followers of Musk are seeing him as a Garu but I see them as a cult. As for his stock, Caveat emptor.
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    • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
      There are some good mining stocks in south america that looked good in AS too. Once his government favors run out, his companies will be in trouble
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
    While I subscribe to much of the Objectivist philosophy I find a tendency to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Full blown objectivists are inclined to be perfectionists and reject any deviation from inspired wisdom. Musk has his big government leanings as does Bezos and both have taken advantage of the system to become multi billionaires. While I am not sympathetic with all of Musk's politics he is doing more for the space program than NASA has since the Apollo Moon missions. I am working with a company that plans lunar and asteroid mining and much of their goals will be enabled by SpaceX. We don't live in a perfect world and those that are unsatisfied with anything less than perfection will spend their lives in a constant state of disappointment.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 6 months ago
      So your client "company" agrees to benefit from Musk's looting. Not admirable.
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      • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
        You play the game with the cards you have in your hand. Big government is an unfortunate reality and exists because people with a thirst for power see to it that they are in charge. I would like to see a fully private space industrial society with no desire or need for government support. Something along Heinlein's vision would be nice. Maybe, SpaceX and United Launch Alliance are steps in that direction. There is lots of money to be made in space industrialization and keeping government out of it will be a constant battle.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 6 months ago
          I get it. However, we give them our production and that is what keeps them in power with the ability to decide the winners and losers instead of the free market. It won't stop until we stop it.
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          • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
            The most insidious form of servitude is that where the slave is kept unaware of the weight of his own chains. Ours is a democratic republic and such a system can devolve into tyranny if the citizens aren't constantly alert. Remember, one form of democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
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    • Posted by chad 2 years, 6 months ago
      When you build something that only works when you rob others to sustain your failing idea then everyone suffers the disappointment of supporting a failed idea. It is not a matter of being perfect and promoting something you are excited about by plundering others does not make it moral or a good idea.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      Disappointment? At what? With whom?
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      • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
        In our current world civilization is driven by politics. We put our faith in people that claim to want to make the world a better place but whose real goal is the acquisition of power. Political power is insidious because the only talent necessary to achieve it is the ability to deceive. A capitalist knows how to profit from circumstances even when those circumstances are the product of a flawed or corrupt system. Such people may have ethical shortcomings but they are the people that make the world work.That is disappointing to many.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      What, in your definition, is "the space program" and who does it belong to?
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      • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
        As a capitalist I view the space program as belonging to whomever is willing to put their money where their mouth is. Then it moves on from being a "program" to an enterprise. Space industrialization holds the promise of an economic revolution that will make the industrial revolution look like a child's toy.
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  • Posted by WilliamRThomas 2 years, 6 months ago
    Elon Musk is more Hank Rearden than John Galt.

    Seriously, anyone who thinks his businesses are simply subsidy-dependent is smoking weed.

    If you don't admire Elon, go revolutionize a few industries with huge entrenched players yourself.

    Don't be too obsessed with classical liberalism when assessing entrepreneurs.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      "If you don't admire Elon, go revolutionize a few industries with huge entrenched players yourself."
      I admire Musk's intelligence, but not his motivation. Also, this comment is illogical. It proposes that if I don't "revolutionize a few industries", then I had better "admire Elon". By what standard?
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      • Posted by WilliamRThomas 2 years, 6 months ago
        I think anyone with their head screwed on straight can admire Elon Musk for his achievements.

        I admire my friends. I admire, to some degree, all sorts of achievers.

        I'm just tired of reading critiques of Musk for not fitting some Objectivist or free-market perfection list. I guess I would ask the Elon-haters to name any businessperson of significant achievement who meets their perfect standards.

        It's not a matter of preaching Objectivism, it's walking the walk. And Elon Musk has walked the walk as well as anyone. Consider his many business achievements. Consider that his two main companies are both succeeding with quality and price of product in industries where no new entrants of such scale had succeeded in quite a while. Consider his very rational attitude and manner. Consider his goals of creating an inspiring and technologically advanced future.

        I'm just asking for justice here. We should judge people by clear standards, but also realize that our overall judgment has to recognize that not being perfect doesn't make one evil.
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  • Posted by fosterj717 2 years, 6 months ago
    True statement! Musk can only make his money by taking money from the government, hence, a classical definition of a "Crony-capitalist" (you know, like GM, GE, etc.)....
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  • Posted by term2 2 years, 6 months ago
    he is smart, adventurous, takes chances, and lives off government favors. But in a statist environment like we have now, what can we expect. Its unlikely there would ever be a TESLA car given all the regulations, required permissions, and financial dealings that go on today if he tried to do it GALT-style completely on his own.
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