Why Elon Musk is not the future.

Don’t get me wrong, innovation is what moves our world forward. But lately, my annoyance with men, especially those running large corporations has reached a pinnacle.

The idiocracy of spending $44bn is not just an affront on humanity and people who are suffering because of hunger, lack of education, and exposure to violence. It yet again shows the incredible arrogance of men.

As a social psychologist, I am fascinated with the concept of perceived power. Musk feels invincible, not just because of the money he has, but also because of the status he carries. A status that has been given to him by people around him that aspire to be like him — Visionaries, Changer Makers, Innovators, and people that would love to have the Musk lifestyle.

But here is the thing, research has shown that many people become highly invested in acquiring wealth and prestige in reaction to, or as compensation for, lack of emotional gratifications (Kasser et al., 1995).

Yes, unfortunately, many people, specifically many men, are motivated by not the idea of wanting to create change, but rather by achieving a feeling of being worthy. Is it worthy to pretend to know what free speech means and what it should look like in a world in which people are under-educated and being manipulated by the media and power-hungry men?

The second question that this deal opens up is, how much money should one person have? Call me a socialist if you want to, but I believe that there are certain limits and boundaries that governments should implement. Because at the end of the day our societies are only as strong as their weakest members. Yes, I have heard the argument before that all the money in the world wouldn’t eradicate poverty — but we haven’t even tried yet.

But let’s not be naive about it. Money in the right hands is power. And when we use power for greater good, positive change is always the result.

And here is the last question: what does an innovative contribution to society need to look like to justify the unimaginable accumulation of wealth and luscious living. I don’t mean just Mr. Musk in this regard. But the overall 1% of this world. Life isn’t fair, but, as intelligent human beings, compassion should be the highest priority.

And with that the ability to support others to thrive in life as well.

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