The knives are out.
Elon Musk has just launched one of his sharpest attacks against one of his opponents: his peer billionaire George Soros.
Until Dec. 31 the legendary financier and big donor to the Democratic Party was still a major shareholder in Tesla. He held 132,046 shares as of Dec. 31, valued then at nearly $16.27 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
The world’s most famous short-seller had started acquiring Tesla shares in second-quarter 2022. The investment showed that Soros, who is betting on electric-vehicle dominance by investing in upstarts like Rivian (RIVN) – Get Free Report and Lucid Motors (LCID) – Get Free Report, believed the promises of Elon Musk and Tesla (TSLA) – Get Free Report, the world leaders in the sector.
During the three quarters in which Soros held Tesla shares through his Soros Fund Management, Musk rarely attacked him even though the two men diverge politically.
Since last year, Musk has made a shift to the right. Even as he considers himself moderate or at the center-right on the political spectrum, the serial entrepreneur has become one of the most vocal critics of progressive ideologies and more specifically of what he calls the “woke mind virus.”
This last expression brings together everything related to gender equality, diversity, the fight against discrimination, racism and antisemitism, and ESG, or environmental-social-governance policy. Basically, Musk opposes everything that Soros supports.
Soros and Musk at Two Ends of New Culture War
Through his Open Society Foundations, Soros funds many progressive causes and NGOs worldwide. OSF, a network of entities with operations across the globe, has set itself the goal of promoting democracy, human rights and press freedom.
Open Society Foundations is one of the world’s richest foundations, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which allots billions to promote public health and development.
Soros and Musk are at the two ends of the new culture war.
These differences had never been a problem when it came to business, as shown by Soros’s investment in Tesla. Both Musk and Soros are ardent defenders of the environment and both advocate a sustainable energy economy, even if the methods they put forward differ.
But a change has occurred this year. Musk started attacking Soros. In January, for example, Musk asked him if he knew where his money was going, a provocative way of wondering whether Soros, 92, was still capable of making sensible decisions.
“Do you actually know where your money is going?” Musk asked Soros on Jan. 16.
He escalated that line of attack last month by claiming that Soros, who has five children — sons Alexander, Jonathan, Robert and Gregory and daughter Andrea — is in fact no longer calling the shots. He no longer makes decisions.
Musk says Soros doesn’t really know where his money is going because one of this sons has become the boss in place of his father. This is what Musk claimed, without giving any evidence.
“I am told that his son is de facto in charge,” Musk asserted on April 9.
‘Soros Hates Humanity’
It turns out that during this time, Soros had decided to cut all ties to Musk.
According to a recent regulatory filing, the financier liquidated all his Tesla shares. Soros is no longer a Tesla shareholder as of March 31. What prompted Soros to sell his Tesla position is unclear, but it’s important to note that Tesla’s stock price rebounded 68.4% in the first three months of the year, after the group published sparkling results on Jan. 25, with a 2022 net profit of $12.6 billion.
Based on averages, Soros lost $9.8 million. This scenario assumes that he acquired Tesla shares at the average price per quarter and also sold them at the average price in the last quarter.
Only a few days after the divestiture became public, Musk has launched an angry attack against Soros. He accuses Soros of hating humanity.
“Soros reminds me of Magneto,” Musk tweeted on May 15, referring to the super-villain or the anti-hero in the Marvel Comics universe.
Magneto is a powerful mutant, belonging to a fictional subspecies of humans born with superhuman abilities, who has the ability to generate and control magnetic fields. He is the sworn enemy of the group of superheroic mutants named the X-Men.
He views mutants as evolutionarily superior to humans and dismisses the possibility of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants. He first wanted to take over the world to allow mutants, whom he refers to as superior homo, to replace humans as the dominant species.
The writers have since fleshed out his origins and motivations, revealing that he is a Holocaust survivor, whose extreme methods and cynical philosophy stem from his determination to protect mutants from a similar fate at the hands of a fearful world.
“Magneto’s experiences during the Holocaust as a survivor shaped his perspective as well as his depth and empathy,” commented journalist Brian Krassenstein, who regularly interacts with Musk on the platform. “Soros, also a Holocaust survivor, gets attacked nonstop for his good intentions, which some Americans think are bad merely because they disagree with his political affiliations.”
“You assume they are good intentions,” Musk responded. “They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization.”
He then added: “Soros hates humanity.”
Enemy of the American Right
Soros did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 92-year-old billionaire is Jewish and of Hungarian origin. He’s accused, falsely and without evidence, of being the mastermind of almost all the crises that shake the planet.
Lately, the entire American right has accused him, without evidence, of being the instigator of the indictment of Donald Trump, the first former president to be arrested in U.S. history.
Trump was arraigned on April 4. He was accused by Manhattan prosecutors of orchestrating a hush-money scheme to help pave his path to the presidency and then covering it up while he was in the White House.
He was indicted on 34 felony counts and appeared in a Manhattan courtroom. Trump pleaded not guilty in the case.
For the former president, who is running in the 2024 presidential election, it is a setup by Soros, who “handpicked and funded” the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg.
Soros has denied the accusations.
But that doesn’t stop conspiracy theorists and Trump from saying that Soros is leading an elite group that wants to keep the former Republican president from coming to power again.
Musk’s unsubstantiated accusations will no doubt fuel this theory and spawn other conspiracy scenarios with Soros as the villain.