Elon Musk Emerges as a Critic of World Government

In parley at Dubai, he warns of too much cooperating between countries.

AP/Benjamin Fanjoy, file
Elon Musk at San Francisco on January 24, 2023. AP/Benjamin Fanjoy, file

Attendees of the World Government Summit at Dubai may be returning home with the slogan “Shaping Future Governments” ringing in their collectivist ears. Elon Musk, though, is emerging as the leader for those who see national sovereignty and individual rights as the best tools to safeguard liberty.

“I know this is called the World Government Summit,” YouTube records Mr. Musk, one of the richest men in history, telling the gathering, “but I think we should be maybe a little bit concerned about actually becoming too much of a single world government.” This set fire to the conventional wisdom that Big Government is good and the bigger the better.

When aliens land in films, they often knock on the door of the United Nations, and in futuristic portrayals such as “Star Trek” there’s a single authority ruling the planet, having converted it into a socialist utopia of the kind that’s only found in fiction.

World governments make for good plot devices, but in reality the UN gives equal standing to dictatorships and democracies. The Objectivist thinker who fled the USSR, Ayn Rand, opposed “the grotesque pretense of an organization allegedly devoted to world peace and human rights which includes Soviet Russia, the worst aggressor and bloodiest butcher in history, as one of its members.”

“The notion of protecting rights,” Rand said, “with Soviet Russia among the protectors, is an insult to the concept of rights and to the intelligence of any man who is asked to endorse or sanction such an organization. I do not believe that an individual should cooperate with criminals, and, for all the same reasons, I do not believe that free countries should cooperate with dictatorships.”

To prevent the accumulation of power in too few hands as a bulwark against despotism, the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people.”

Despite this and other federalist safeguards, states and citizens have seen their power leach away to Washington. One sign of this transformation is how “the United States are” became “the United States is” after the Civil War, as the bloody secession of Democratic states caused a Republican backlash in Congress to prevent a future rebellion.

Individuals and factions can cause great harm, but the good ideas also start small. Diversity of superficial characteristics is meaningless compared to diversity of thought, which enables someone like a British MP, William Wilberforce, to build support for abolishing the enslavement of Africans and then join with America to end the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

“The natural progress of things,” President Jefferson said, “is for the government to gain ground and for liberty to yield.” The Dubai summit may envision world government as benevolent, but its very nature would be to squash dissent and safeguard the privileges of its ruling class.

Mr. Musk said, “We want to avoid creating a civilizational risk by having — frankly, this may sound a little odd — too much cooperation between governments. So, I think we want to be a little bit cautious about being too much of a single civilization, because if we are too much of a single civilization, then the whole thing may collapse.”

In the 1964 speech that elevated him as a White House candidate, President Reagan told the story of an American saying, “We don’t know how lucky we are” to a refugee recounting the horrors of Castro’s communist regime. “How lucky you are?” the Cuban asked. “I had someplace to escape to.”

That “told us the entire story,” Reagan said. “If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” There would be no way for free thinkers to escape a world government, not even aboard Mr. Musk’s SpaceX rocket.

The attendees at Dubai would be wise to leave globalism in the realm of fiction and direct their resources to spurring democracy’s march toward a future where all of humanity chooses to breathe free, creating the government that best ensures the rights of their people prevail.

The New York Sun

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