Elon Musk’s utopian town will disappoint — like most company towns

Published March 27, 2023


The Washington Post published an op-ed by Victoria Wolcott, on billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s plans for building a utopian community outside of Austin, Texas. “Musk has repeatedly invoked the term ‘utopia’ when discussing his plans, but history suggests that his plans may actually fall into a very different tradition: that of a company town,” writes Wolcott. “America’s utopian communities have historically promoted egalitarianism, equality and alternatives to capitalism. On the other hand, company towns have controlled and exploited a trapped workforce. While the former influenced organized labor and more than a century of social movements, the latter did not live up to its promise — presenting a cautionary tale for Musk.”

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