Tag: memes

Elon Musk’s Bizarre Twitter Marketing Strategy

Nickolas Roberson | United States

Elon Musk is quite a curious and peculiar individual. The man has 120-hour work weeks and sleeps in his factories for days at a time, and he has also been seen insulting an analyst during a Tesla earnings call. Musk also appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast, discussed his companies and smoked a blunt, and has been accusing the British diver, Vernon Unsworth, who helped save 12 members of a junior Thai soccer team trapped in a cave, of pedophilia; the investor and business magnate is constantly stirring up a storm. Yet there is one thing that is the most peculiar of them all: his Twitter account.

The utilization of Twitter by CEOs of major corporations is usually very limited; their posts and tweets are low in frequency and presence, yet high in rectitude. The Twitter account of Jeff Bezos, founder, and CEO of Amazon is a prime example of this, with his postings consisting of the political support, history, and news concerning Amazon.

These corporate executives have surrounded themselves with and have had their lives consumed with the professionalism that runs rampant in corporate culture, with its pressed suits and ties, firm handshakes, and lack of personalization. They refuse to relax, unwind, and have some fun in their lives. However, Elon Musk appears to be breaking the mold of this, with postings such as this:

That’s right, one of the brightest minds of this century, the CEO of multiple, billion-dollar corporations, and the man pushing humanity to the stars is asking his 23 million followers for memes. A meme, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc. that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way.” They’re the iconic Grumpy Cat, the mocking Spongebob, and the “nothing but respect for MY president” phrases that are posted and flood all of our social media accounts.  Yet this meme Tweet is not the first, and most certainly not the last, bizarre Tweet that Musk has shared with the world. There are others such as this, where he compared major social media sights to popular video games:

Or when Musk confessed his love and passion for anime, and that he owns a Wolverine chibi:

… after which he was quickly locked out of his Twitter account:

There was even a string of Tweets where Musk talked about his presumed past life of being a sponge:

Social media plays a major role in everyone’s lives; in the year 2005, only 5 percent of Americans used a form of social media, but that figure increased to 69 percent by the year 2011.  Thus, by posting memes and bizarre Tweets in general, Musk is marketing himself and his companies to the individuals who are entranced by “meme culture.” He is marketing especially towards Generation Z, who are young adults and teenagers born between the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. Of people who are between the ages of 18 and 29, 88 percent of them use social media; these forms of social media include, but are certainly not limited to, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.

These individuals utilize social media differently than past generations, spending much more time on it than any other generation and by using it mainly for entertainment, rather than connecting with friends. Vibrant pictures and videos garner the attention of these young people, especially memes, with nearly every teenager today being absolutely absorbed by and addicted to memes. This addiction was confirmed back in 2016 when Google Trends discovered that “memes” surpassed “Jesus” in the number of searches on Google platforms. That’s right, the central figure of the largest religion in the entirety of this Earth, with 2.4 billion religious followers, was deemed less searchable than funny and absurd images on the Internet by the tech junkies of the world.  

Thus, by marketing his Twitter toward this “meme culture,” Musk is also gaining the attention of these young people, allowing his companies to create a customer base which will last for years to come. His absurd tweets begging for memes and discussing the Precambrian era aren’t instances of insanity as suggested by his stockholders and major figures in politics and media, but are a strategic plan to further the longevity of his businesses: Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, and the plethora of other ventures that the billionaire has started.


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No, Jesus Was Not a Socialist

By Ian Brzeski | United States

On countless occasions, I have either seen or heard that Jesus is a socialist. I see it through memes, I hear it through others. It’s complete and utter nonsense.

Let’s spot the differences in these two cases. In the first scenario, let’s say that you are walking down the street and a man comes up to you asking for money. He says that he runs a charity to help out the poor, and you decide to donate because you feel that it would be beneficial towards his cause. In the second scenario, you decide not to give the man any money at all. The man is upset at this and decides to pull out a gun, forcing you to donate to meet the threshold he needs to raise. In both of these scenarios, the man got the desired money and was able to help the poor.

The differences are clear. In the first scenario, you voluntarily gave up your money whereas, in the second, the man coerced you to. Objectively, the way the man acted in the second scenario is immoral, even though he gave the money to the poor.

Now, why is it different when the government takes your money through taxation? The government sets up programs for the poor, asks you for money to help fund the programs, and if you don’t give them your money, they throw you in a rotting cell for the rest of your life. That sounds eerily similar to the second scenario that I presented. The government uses a form of coercion in the same way that the man coerced you. Andrew Lepore writes a fantastic article which really delves into why just because you or somebody else benefits from taxation doesn’t mean that it’s morally justifiable in any way whatsoever.

Now let’s get to why Jesus is not a socialist. First of all, Jesus preaches about helping your neighbor and caring for the sick and the poor. He tells you to spread the Good News. It seems to some that socialists preach the same, but this is simply not true. Jesus never said that you can force somebody else to live by your values.

You should hope that people want to give back to their community or to the poor out of the goodness of their heart. You have every right to tell somebody that they should give to the poor, and to spread Jesus’ message. However, there’s a reason that Jesus never says that it’s okay to force somebody to live by His message. If somebody is going to hoard all their money, then they are well in their right to do so. You cannot, in good moral standing, throw somebody in prison on the premise that they are a subjectively bad person. The only just reason to do so is if they infringe on someone else’s rights. Not giving money to somebody else is not an infringement of their rights.

I urge people to not be that guy. I urge people to live by Jesus’ message even if they don’t believe in his divinity. The majority of people in this world are good. There are plenty of people who will give back to their communities; many celebrities already do. Ellen DeGeneres, for example, loves giving money to people who need it. Whether those people directly need it or are raising awareness for a cause, she will provide. There are plenty of other examples of celebrities giving back to their communities. There are millions of everyday normal people who give money and time to charities and other organizations and may even be incentivized to give more if the government didn’t already steal their money.

Socialism requires the government to use a coercive force to redistribute the wealth among everybody even if the majority of the people did nothing to deserve that money. It is completely immoral as it lines up with the second scenario I presented to an even bigger extreme. When Jesus tells somebody to go out and take care of the sick and the poor, he is saying for you to go out and voluntarily do it, and not to have a governing body force people to do it. If anything, Jesus is way more of a voluntaryist than a socialist, as the latter requires force which he opposed.


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Beyond The Wall: An Interview With Mance Rayder

Mance Rayder is an author, podcast host and libertarian minded activist. His newest book, Freedom Through Memedom: The 31-Day Guide to Waking Up to Liberty, is available on Amazon and you can listen to his podcast, Beyond The Wall, on his website: http://freemanbeyondthewall.com.

71 Republic’s Spencer Kellogg spoke by phone with Mr. Rayder on a host of topics ranging from the meme market to communism.

On Communism:

My grandmother’s whole family, with the exception of one person, was exterminated by it. Communism takes away free will. It takes away any hope and motivation. The people that I see promoting it have never lived under it. To the contrary. They’re promoting it from their air conditioned house, on their iPad, drinking their custom coffee. And they don’t realize that all that shit is going away. Where does it work? The only place that can make it work a little bit they have to use capitalism and we see that failing. People will point to the Scandinavian countries and they don’t realize that if you look at the reporting on their debt you will see they’re screwed.

On Freedom Through Memedom & Daily Devotionals

I decided to go to church and for a few years I went to seminary. In the meantime, I was doing some accounting for a Christian bookstore and I noticed these things called daily devotionals. They seemed to sell very well. When I decided to write the first book, my idea was a 31 day “devotional.” I call it a study guide but it’s designed to read one meme and a commentary each day. I progressed it in such a way that by day 10 people would question the existence of the government and by day 20 I wanted them to see that there were groups out there who were trying to take away their freedoms by influencing the government. Then the last 11 days are about destroying any hope that they would have that government is actually a good thing.

On 9/11:

I was for finding the people who planned 9/11 and killing them. Scott Horton talks about in his book how it seemed like they could’ve done that. They could’ve taken out Bin Laden and all of his guys in one strike. They were dropping daisy cutters when they could’ve just ground this thing to a halt. I wanted justice for the people who were responsible for 9/11. I remember, it was a Sunday, I was out eating dinner with my friend after they dropped bombs on Afghanistan and he said to me “this doesn’t make any sense.” If anything, it should’ve been Saudi Arabia. I started doing more research and realized they will never invade Saudi Arabia because we’re in bed with them.

On Identity Politics:

This is an example of a subject that is a minority but it’s a vocal minority and they’ve come off the college campuses and are influencing human resources and major corporate business. Some people say I shouldn’t care about it because it’s the free market but I can care about it all I want. I can say that this is going to destroy business and our cultures. The few freedoms we have, we are going to lose. It’s a small minority. If you go to the grocery store and you ask the average person, “What do you think about identity politics?” They’re going to look at you and say “What!? Never heard of it.” It’s just these loud people on social media that are influencing policies. It’s always a small minority which is why I believe anarchists, voluntarists, minarchists and libertarians can influence society if we try. We need to get educated and start talking. That’s what my first book is about. I’m trying to do my part.

What it means to be a voluntarist:

To me it means complete freedom of association. The ability to associate with whoever I want. I want to be able to leave my house and walk to the convenience store and be left alone. What I mean by left alone is that I want to be left alone by authorities. If I’m walking and I happen to be carrying a beer, I don’t want a cop pulling up to me and engaging me. If a cop pulls up to me and engages me and I am doing nothing to hurt another person or property I should have the ability to walk away and tell him to go fuck himself. But I do not have the right to do that. If I tell him to go fuck himself, he has been given the authority by people who do not possess that authority to escalate the situation up to and including killing me. Being a voluntarist is being able to control your own life and do as you wish as long as you’re not hurting another person or their property.

On LP Infighting and Ron Paul:

We don’t need any new ideas. The new ideas seem to be going the way of Nicholas Sarwark style libertarianism where you ask Tom Woods to sign a paper saying he’s not a fascist. Or criticize him because five years ago Woods had someone on his podcast who turned out to totally abandon his principles. My thought on all of that is that if you want people to get excited about libertarianism, the most excited I’ve ever seen libertarians was around Ron Paul’s message. Get somebody to parrot Ron Paul’s message and believe it! Let’s continue this, let’s continue growing. One thing I know about Ron Paul is that he brought a lot of people over to libertarianism and within a couple years most of those people became anarchists and voluntarists. That’s an important thing. I think if somebody was preaching that kind of message again you could get anarchists off the couch to support it.

On The Libertarian Party:

To me, the Libertarian Party sounds like The Republican Party with George Bush in 2000. Michael Malice has this phrase, “conservatism is progressivism going the speed limit.” So whatever progressives are doing five or six years down the line, conservatives will eventually adopt it but it just takes longer. And I think that’s what has happened with The Libertarian Party. In wanting to become more mainstream, they are adopting more of the mainstream. Bill Weld is terrible. If you would’ve created a scenario where you said “we’re going to have this guy as our Vice Presidential candidate and two weeks before the election he’s going to endorse Hillary Clinton for President!.” And the presidential candidate is going to be so fucked up on weed he’s not going to be able to answer any questions. I don’t even have a problem with that but it’s just that Gary couldn’t handle his. You could’ve put John McAfee up there, he’s high as shit all the time, but he makes sense! He sounds way more libertarian than Gary Johnson.

On Memes, Trump & The Younger Generation:

The meme market is a free market. The first memes I saw were on Ebaums world. Most of the memes on there were humorous and they were meant to make you laugh. I really enjoyed them. I put up a website that was called Sports Team’s Motivation and it was basically just memes making fun of athletes. I did that for about six months before I got bored with it. There is so much hero worship in the world it’s easy to piss people off. When I started seeing that memes could actually convey a message was right around 2010 when there was a lot of talk about gun control. The pro gunners on social media started making some good memes and I saw it becoming very popular.

Certain segments will tell you they (memes) won the election for Trump. I think that enough memes were put out there absolutely exposing what a complete disaster that Hillary Clinton is that I think it could’ve had a big influence on a lot of people. Especially young people. It appears that there are a lot of young people that are trump supporters. They don’t care about his non existent monetary or trade policy but they like the fact that he is politically incorrect and that he specifically doesn’t like the left and the left culture. I think that brought a lot of young people in who wanted to vote for him.

On The Culture Wars of America:

It’s always been a fight for culture. Even when the Declaration was being written. You had the Quakers in Pennsylvania who were very straight laced. No whiskey and no sexual talk. Then you had Ben Franklin, who also happened to be from Pennsylvania, but he reveled in those things. There were the guys in Massachusetts who were a bunch of loud mouths who complained about everything and then the people in Virginia who were the actual thinkers. From the very start you had cultures fighting against each other. It’s been a cultural war the whole time. What bigger culture war was there than the war of northern aggression? Some people like to call it the Civil War. The South wanted to leave, they wanted to be left alone and the North said no. Most honest historians will tell you that by that time slavery was on its way out. That’s just before the industrial revolution, slavery had what 10-15 years left in it? There were already people in the South who were starting to speak out against slavery. Times change. Think about how conservatives felt about gay marriage in 2003. It’s 2018 and it’s not even on their radar.

On Bake the Cake:

If it’s my store I should be able to do whatever the hell I want to do as long as I’m not hurting someone. If I tell somebody, “no I don’t want your business,” I’m not hurting them. The same thing happened in Oregon. In the book I’m writing right now I used the Oregon case rather than the Colorado case. Oregon is extremely liberal. A woman, that everyone loved, refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding and the community itself came down upon her. The prosecutor came down on her. She had a settlement against her for $160,000 that basically destroyed her business.

On Iceland:

There are only 250,000 people on the whole island. They’re getting away with doing some socialism but still, it’s the most expensive country on the planet. Iceland was the closest I’ve ever been to an anarchist society. I never saw an authority figure while I was there. I never saw a police car or police officer. There may have been some plain clothed officers but I never saw any. The people seemed to do what they want and get along very well. I was there in November of 2017 and the whole previous 11 months they had two murders and both were committed by tourists. When one of the girl’s bodies went missing it was the people who went out and found her voluntarily. It’s very free. They’re not looking to pull you over for speeding.

OPINION: Trump Retweets – The Good, The Bad, and the Memes

Noah La Vie| Des Moines, USA

President Trump retweets; sometimes they’re from fans expressing their favor with his operations, sometimes they’re unknowingly Mussolini quotes, and sometimes they’re what can only be described as internet spawn: memes.

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Trump retweeted @fuctupmind at 9:58PM on September 13th. The gif shows Trump hitting a gold ball into the back of Hillary Clinton, knocking her over.

The reaction was instant and vitriol. Some calling him a misogynist for showing a man knocking down a woman. Other’s cited his lack of judgment and making light of a serious moment. In all this few people were as loud as CNN. Not only was the username of the person in question “CNN Sucks” but their previous tweets allowed CNN to cast the twitter user’s qualities onto the President, implying that the President was personally endorsing this Twitter user’s ideas. The general reaction of the largest media organizations seemed to be of indignation and a general call of misogyny.

Continue reading “OPINION: Trump Retweets – The Good, The Bad, and the Memes”