Musk Draws Flak for His George Soros Comparison

Younger billionaire likens Soros to Marvel character Magneto, and not in a good way
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2023 11:40 AM CDT
Elon Musk Compares George Soros to This Guy
George Soros, in a 2019 file photo.   (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

Elon Musk is picking a fight with another billionaire, none other than George Soros, a champion of progressive causes who is vilified on the far right. Musk first compared the 92-year-old Soros to Marvel character Magneto without elaboration, then later made clear that he thinks Soros "hates humanity." Coverage:

  • The start: Musk began his attack Monday night with a seemingly out-of-nowhere tweet that read, "Soros reminds me of Magneto." Musk did not explain, but MarketWatch notes the tweet came after Soros Fund Management sold its entire $16 million stake in Musk's Tesla. (Soros' fund also drastically cut its stake in a Tesla rival, Rivian Automotive.)

  • Harsh words: Things escalated quickly after liberal commenter Brian Krassenstein replied to Musk. "Fun fact," he wrote. "Magneto's experiences during the Holocaust as a survivor shaped his perspective as well as his depth and empathy." Soros, "also a Holocaust survivor, gets attacked nonstop for his good intentions which some Americans think are bad merely because they disagree with this political affiliations." To which Musk replied: "You assume they are good intentions. They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity."
  • About Magneto: The official Marvel description of the mutant Magneto character, who is indeed a Holocaust survivor, reads thusly: "Using his mighty ability to control magnetic fields, the one called Magneto fights to help mutants replace humans as the world's dominant species." Another part adds that his "only priority is the preservation of the mutant race—even at the expense of what some might deem to be the greater good." Insider points out that Magneto's character's arc "took him from a clear-cut villain who believed humans and mutants could not coexist, to an anti-hero allying with the X-Men."
  • Criticism: Musk is taking flak for his attack, including from Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League, who points out that “Soros often is held up by the far-right, using antisemitic tropes, as the source of the world’s problems,” per the Washington Post. “To see Elon Musk, regardless of his intent, feed this segment—comparing him to a Jewish supervillain, claiming Soros ‘hates humanity’—is not just distressing, it’s dangerous: it will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.”
  • Conspiracy theories: Debunked conspiracy theories about Soros abound, and Rolling Stone rounds some of them up. The story notes that a bomb was found in the mailbox of the billionaire's home in a New York City suburb in 2018.
(More Elon Musk stories.)

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