The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Twitter in the Grip of a Financial Vulture

Nov 7, 2022

This article is translated from the November 4 issue #2831 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group of that name active in France. Since this writing, Twitter has announced that it is laying off approximately half of its workforce.

Billionaire Elon Musk bought social network company Twitter for 44 billion dollars on October 27. He already owns auto company Tesla and spaceship launch company SpaceX. He claimed he bought Twitter “to try to help humanity, whom I love.”

His supposed love of humanity led Musk to immediately dissolve Twitter’s board of directors and make himself its sole leader! According to some American journalists, he has long-term plans to lay off up to 75% of its 7,500 employees.

By taking charge of Twitter, Musk claims to be defending freedom of expression. He appears to be concerned with those users whose Twitter account was suspended because of their racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or conspiratorial tweets. He wants to reinstate their accounts. The best known of these are Donald Trump, blocked from Twitter in January 2021 after the assault on the Capitol, and rapper Kanye West, whose account was suspended after he made anti-Semitic remarks, but was reactivated by Musk the day after he took over.

Musk is neither the first nor the last capitalist to buy a media outlet to influence public opinion. Jeff Bezos, owner of a fortune estimated at 210 billion dollars, owns many media outlets including the Washington Post. In France, the Bouygues family has owned television channel TF1 since 1987. Bernard Arnault and his luxury group LVMH own Les Échos and Le Parisien newspapers. Vincent Bolloré, owner of the Canal + television conglomerate, never shrinks from broadcasting his reactionary opinions all day long on his Direct 8 and CNews channels.

The capitalists constantly impose their economic dictatorship and their law of profit on all of society. It is only logical that they also dream of imposing their ideology and mindset as exploiters.