As you can see in LiveWire, Elon Musk — really, unsurprisingly — had just talked to Vladimir Putin before going on to Twitter and proposing a peace plan which mostly amounted to Russia’s original war aims. Typical? Gross? Par for the course? Perhaps all of these. But it reminded me of something more general. Many of our would-be oligarchs in the United States seem quite attracted to the Russian strongman/oligarch model. It’s not just the authoritarianism but the way oligarchs operate within it. It’s part of the broader anti-democratic, authoritarian turn within a large swathe of the tech industry.
Not the same point. But this essay by John Ganz gets at some similar points.
Late Update: Musk now denies on Twitter that the conversation took place. He says he’s only spoken to Putin once and that it was 18 months ago. We’ll wait to hear what Ian Bremmer, who reported the conversation, has to say about it.