The Tesla Problem
Tesla is flying high in China. It produced about 930 thousand models in 2021 with at least half made in Shanghai.
Now it decided to open a showroom in Urumqi, in Xinjiang province, where Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims are being forced to assimilate by Chinese authorities in what has been described as an act of genocide. Chinese authorities dismiss all responsibility.
Tesla has a problem though it chooses to dismiss it.
The problem is that it doesn’t give a damn about the forced assimilation going on in Xinjiang.
The problem is that, by its actions, it says to the public, ‘so long as we make money, we don’t care. We will certainly not upset the Chinese authorities because then our bottom line will be much affected. So there. We believe in freedom, absolutely, the freedom to make a buck wherever there’s a buck to me made. And as far as the present American administration, get off it, stop being so puritanical, let people make money, that’s the heart of the matter, don’t interfere with that or any of us in the company will not support you in the next election.’
Oh, the all mighty dollar, how its shiny light blinds the morals of some folks.
Here’s a smart, effective businessman, failing to see the big picture. Dismissing the humanitarian concerns of so many as mere pieties. An intelligent man blinded by his fast accumulating billions.
But it won’t do.
The world cannot give a free pass to China in its continuous human rights abuses.
China’s bellicosity is growing by the day, and to further its progress needs the assistance of western companies, banks and industrial concerns, willing to say ‘Yes! We want the money!’ as they bow to the angry and demanding dragon.
And in exchange, the mighty Chinese will treat them well, maybe grant them special rights in Taiwan once they invade the island, or wherever else they to choose to expand.
The Chinese government’s abuse of people in their own land is a precursor of things to come. Let it happen now and before you know it they will come for you, too.
The history of the world has taught us that lesson again and again but still we don’t get it.
We humans are fond of doing the ostrich number and burying our head in the sand.
Mr Musk, as leader of Tesla and Space X, has made important contributions to the world and to our nation. We thank him for them.
But maybe it is time he stepped aside.
Moral blindness is a detriment to leadership. And eventually to profits.
Take a break, Mr Musk. Broaden your views. You might surprise us all with your new insights.
PS — By the way, now and then, when you exult in your greatness, take a moment to mention the thousands of engineers working for you that make it all possible. They deserve it.
Oscar Valdes. Oscarvaldes.net. also available in anchor.fm, apple, google podcasts and buzzsprout.