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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Musk, Twitter, and Free Speech; Ransoming Brittney Griner

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo discuss two recent news stories: Elon Musk’s controversial management of Twitter and Brittney Griner’s return from captivity in Russia. They first analyze what Musk’s management and its public reception foretells for the future of freedom of speech in America; they then examine what the Biden administration’s deal to secure Griner’s freedom by releasing Viktor Bout, a notorious Russian arms dealer, reveals about our foreign policy.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why Musk is not a true free speech absolutist;
  • How Musk and his critics falsely view content moderation issues as being about free speech;
  • How Musk’s erratic policy changes show that he underestimates the difficulty of implementing content policies;
  • Why it’s wrong to think of the Twitter Files controversy as being about transparency;
  • What Musk’s conduct regarding China reveals about his commitment to free speech;
  • The unsubstantiated claim that Musk embodies Ayn Rand’s egoism;
  • Why the U.S. government should not negotiate with the corrupt, non-objective Russian government to secure the release of Americans who risk traveling there;
  • How the government’s lack of a rational foreign policy towards Russia misleads Western citizens and companies;
  • The fact that many people’s reactions focused on Griner’s race or politics rather than asking why she even worked in Russia;
  • How both these stories highlight the need for principled thought about the government’s role and its limits.

The podcast was recorded on December 20,2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Ricardo Pinto

Ricardo Pinto, BA in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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