Visionary inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk revealed in a recent interview that his thoughts on society are at least somewhat aligned with anarchism. On September 24th, 2015, at an event by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin, Musk was asked about his perspectives
Musk, is of course, the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and chairman of SolarCity. He is also the founder of SpaceX and a co-founder of PayPal.
During the interview, Musk said,
“Well I guess ill start off with the principles in regards to society, or you know, how to do it differently. I think probably direct democracy is better than representative democracy, so if you are trying to represent the will of the people we are better to have direct votes which would not be possible in the old days because you had to mail things around and information moves very slowly. But in an electronic society where information moves instantly you can very directly represent the will of the people and I think that diminishes the ability of special interests to influence things in a way that is contrary to the will of the people.”
He goes on to say,
“Laws have an infinite lifetime, so I think it’s probably a good idea to have something in the voting system that accounts for the infinite lifetime of laws and the inertial effect of laws, so perhaps it would be good to have all rules made with an inherent sunset provision, so they would automatically expire unless they were revoted as being correct. Then maybe in order for something to become a law it maybe it would require 60% of the vote, but at any point 40% or more can remove the law. This sounds kind of anarchist I suppose, but I’m kind of pro-anarchist.”
“I think generally, fewer rules are better than more rules,” Musk concluded.
Although Musk’s comments about a decentralized future are refreshing, it is important to mention that there are many drawbacks to democracy that are not often mentioned in mainstream circles. As many scholars have pointed out throughout history, democracy is a sort of mob rule, where people can make laws that justify the use of physical force against their neighbors if they happen to be in the majority.
While, in its purest form, voting on how things are done can be a fair way of handling decisions, it becomes a tool of oppression if people begin voting to legalize the use of force against peaceful people. Additionally, people should have the ability to opt out of specific social arrangements and decisions if that is what they chose to do, and this type of opt-out option has never been offered in a democracy.
One point that may have wrapped up Musk’s speech perfectly is the fact that laws should not be able to be created if they justify the use of force against peaceful people.