Elon Musk has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as a “strong defender of freedom of expression,” joining conservationists, journalists, religious leaders and political activists in an exclusive group of the world’s leading changemakers.
Marius Nilsen, deputy of the Libertarian Progress Party of Norway, highlighted the owner of the X and founder of Tesla for his “firm defense of dialogue, freedom of expression and [enabling] the possibility of expressing one’s own opinions” in an “increasingly polarized world.
Nilsen also credited Musk’s satellite internet constellation, Starlink, operated by SpaceX, in his decision, noting its use in Ukraine for resistance fighters to “communicate, coordinate and resist Russia’s attack” while the war keep going.
Last week, Starlink obtained a license for similar use in Israel and parts of Gaza, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to collect timely and diverse information from the conflict zone.
“The multitude of technology companies that Musk has founded, owns or runs, aimed at improving societies, increasing knowledge of both Earth and space, as well as enabling global communication and connectivity… have helped make the world a more connected and safer place”, – said Nilsen.
The award accepts nominations from anyone who falls within certain criteria, including work in academia or government, and previous award winners. A shortlist will then be drawn up through March before judges review the nominees for announcement in October.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk boards a Tesla as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China, on May 31, 2023.
A SpaceX rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on January 28
Elon Musk, owner of social media site
NYT columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and Elon Musk speak during the New York Times’ annual DealBook Summit on November 29, 2023 in New York City.
“Man can, and only will, evolve and find together when differences of opinion are sharpened in dialogue with critical thinkers and opposing points of view,” Nilsen said in his arguments for Musk’s 2024 nomination.
‘Echo chambers and yes-sayers don’t generate the best ideas or cooperation, but rather decay and regression. Complementary points of view, opinions and thought processes unlock the best ideas.’
He argued that Musk’s contributions to free speech and global connectivity were “enabling all parts of the world to discuss, exchange ideas, learn and get to know each other, and understanding each other is a very valuable contribution to prosperity and peace.” worldwide”.
The South African businessman began his acquisition of Twitter in April 2022 with overtures to protect freedom of expression, proclaiming itself “absolutist” on the matter. A month before the acquisition, it surveyed users and reported that 70 percent believed Twitter did not believe the site (under its former owners) “rigorously adhered” to free speech.
Musk restored several banned accounts, including Andrew Tate and Donald Trump, and introduced the site as a free and open online marketplace of ideas.
Still, he received some backlash after banning a user from sharing the location of Musk’s plane, after saying he would allow the account to remain, citing freedom of speech.
The EU also intervened when Musk announced he would ban tech journalists who had shared his location. And the billionaire came under fire for suggesting he would ban accounts with the “primary purpose” of promoting competing sites.
In 2022, X employees reclaimed were fired for expressing concern about colleagues fired after criticizing Musk. Inside sources said at the time that the company was still nominally operating under an old policy that allowed criticism of leadership.
Before his acquisition of Twitter, Musk’s car company, Tesla, was accused to call on the Chinese government to use its censorship powers to block critics online.
And in late 2021, Tesla had filed two defamation cases against citizens raising concerns about the safety and quality of its vehicles, Free Press reported last year.
Meanwhile, Musk’s Starlink terminals have allowed Ukrainian commanders and units to communicate on the battlefield when Russia has disabled its usual networks, and have proven vital to the war effort.
They have also helped Ukrainian troops control drones that assist in reconnaissance, attacks on enemy tanks and directing artillery fire.
Ukraine’s military spy agency alleged this month that Russian forces have also been purchasing Starlink satellite units from Arab countries in a bid to circumvent Western sanctions.
But SpaceX’s founder has stated flatly: “SpaceX said it ‘does not do business of any kind with the Russian government or its military.’
‘The company said: ‘Starlink is not active in Russia, which means the service will not work in that country.
“SpaceX has never sold or marketed Starlink in Russia, nor has it shipped equipment to locations in Russia.”
In 2022, Musk received Brazil’s Order of Defense Merit after negotiating the launch of Starlink in the Amazon rainforest.
He was also named Time’s Person of the Year in 2021 and received the Oslo Business for Peace Award in 2017.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk visits the site of the Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.
Elon Musk visited the site of the Nazi German World War II death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau after facing criticism for subscribing to an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and allowing hate messages on his social media platform, X
Pictured: SpaceX Falcon 9 carries Starlink satellites on January 28. Starlink has proven to be a lifeline for Ukrainian forces fighting the Russian invasion in Eastern Europe.
Nilsen’s Progress Party has self-identified with classical liberal views, espoused by people such as John Locke and Adam Smith. Some They have described the party as supporting both “conservative liberalism” and “right-wing populism”.
His nomination places Musk among the prominent activists vying for this year’s Peace Prize.
Nominees include British environmentalist David Attenborough, Australian activist Julian Assange, Pope Francis, UN chief António Guterres, Palestinian journalist Hind Khoudary, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Colombian President Gustavo Petro and former US president Donald Trump.
The prize is one of five Nobel Prizes created in the name of Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1901.
The most recent winner is Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian human rights activist, “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all.”
In 2022, Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, the Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties shared the award.
The organization said: ‘Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their countries of origin. For many years they have promoted the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens.
‘They have made an extraordinary effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the importance of civil society for peace and democracy’
The winner is selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a group of five appointed by the country’s parliament.
Over the years, the award has generated some controversy. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 after reaching an armistice with Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki, but launched a devastating military campaign in the northern Tigray region just months later in November 2020. .
‘He felt that he had a lot of international support and that if he went to war in Tigray, nothing would happen. And he was right,” stated former administrative official Gebremeskel Kassa. reflectedquoted in a New York Times article after the invasion.
In 2012, demonstrators in Norway marched on Oslo to protest the decision to give the prize to the EU at a time of debt crisis.
The ‘Nobel Peace Prize Initiative 2012’ protest joined forces with Noway’s Eurosceptic ‘No EU’ group and members of left-wing parties, unions and charities to argue that the award was unjustified and devalued.
Heming Olaussen, leader of No to the EU, criticized the decision given the social and economic unrest in the EU, the growing youth unemployment in southern Europe, the trade policy directed towards developing countries and its arms profile.
Henry Kissinger received the 1973 Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the end of the Vietnam War. Historians have condemned Kissinger for his influence on policies that led to the deaths of millions of people while in office and the perpetuation of foreign wars.