Elon Musk Explains Why ‘Woke Mind Virus’ Is Pushing Civilizational Suicide

Elon Musk Explains Why ‘Woke Mind Virus’ Is Pushing Civilizational Suicide
Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition in Washington on March 9, 2020. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has provided more insight into why he believes the “woke mind virus,” or woke ideologies, are posing an existential threat to human civilization.

Musk, a self-described free-speech absolutist, discussed the subject last week during an interview with “Real Time” host Bill Maher.

The Tesla CEO said the so-called “woke mind virus” has been brewing in society for a long time, pointing to the indoctrination of “woke” policies at schools and universities as a possible foundation.

“You have talked about this woke mind virus in really apocalyptic terms,” Maher said to Musk. “You should explain why you don’t think it’s hyperbole to say things like it’s pushing civilization toward suicide. First of all, what is the woke mind virus?”

In response, Musk said: “I think we need to be very cautious about anything that is anti-meritocratic and anything that results in the suppression of free speech. So, those are two of the aspects of the woke mind virus that I think are very dangerous—that it’s often very anti-meritocratic and you can’t question things. Even the questioning is bad.”

“So, you know, another way to … almost synonymous would be cancel culture,” he added.

Maher then asked the SpaceX founder where the “woke mind virus” originated. Musk began using the term more often around the period he acquired Twitter, occasionally issuing grave warnings about woke ideologies destroying America.

“This woke mind virus, how did it start? Was it bats? Did it escape from a lab?” Maher asked Musk in a joking manner, prompting laughter in the audience. “I mean, what is your assessment of what—because it’s fairly recent. How did it start and why?”

“I think it’s actually been a long time brewing,” Musk responded. “The amount of indoctrination that’s happening in schools and universities is I think far beyond what parents realize,” he added.

Musk then argued that the educational experience present-day children are going through is vastly different from what he and others of his generation experienced, noting that there’ve been fundamental changes in educational policies over the last decade.

The trend of public schools expanding their educational handbooks to include gender ideology-infused lessons, race essentialism, and other politically sensitive topics has become a hot-button issue in recent years after many parents began protesting such decisions, urging schools to not include those lessons.

Musk also gave an ambitious remark about defending the First Amendment and freedom of speech, saying they are pillars of American society.

“I think we should be extremely concerned about anything that undermines the First Amendment,” Musk said. “The First Amendment is because people came from countries where they could not speak freely and where saying certain things would get you thrown into prison. And we were like, well, we don’t want that here.”

“I can’t emphasize this enough. We must protect free speech. And free speech only matters—it’s only relevant when it is someone you don’t like saying something that you don’t like. Because, obviously, free speech that you like is easy,” he continued. “So the thing about censorship and those who would advocate it, just remember that at some point, that will be turned on you.”

Meaning Behind ‘Woke Mind Virus’

In a post on Twitter in December, Musk said that “the woke mind virus is either defeated or nothing else matters,” prompting many users to ask him to define the term.

When Musk used the term previously, he did not explain in greater detail his opinion behind how it originated, but he was referring to the culture of political correctness pushing toward what he describes as civilizational suicide.

Last week, Musk brought up the term again amid nationwide debates over major businesses pushing an agenda many conservatives consider “woke” and “dangerous”—such as Bud Light’s and Maybelline’s partnerships with transgender personalities and Disney’s feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sparked by his “anti-woke” policies relating to children and education.

“In Florida, we are not going to back down to the woke mob, and we will expose the scams they are trying to push onto students across the country,” DeSantis said. “Florida students will receive an education, not a political indoctrination.”

In addition, the country has recently also turned to other serious discussions about whether or not gender surgeries should be conducted on children, another topic Musk outspokenly disapproved of on several occasions and many Americans also have doubled down on.

Pushing Woke Ideologies

In an interview with “American Thought Leaders,” Jeffrey Tucker, founder and president of The Brownstone Institute, warns that woke ideology has “taken over corporate America and education.”

“I once thought woke ideology would stay trapped in the universities among professors speaking nonsense to a bunch of incredulous students, that once students got into the free market, they would forget about it,” Tucker said.

“That didn’t happen,” he added. “Those ideologies bled out of the academy and into all the institutions, the corporate boardrooms, the investment stock portfolios, the government, and the media. It became a fast-spreading cancer.”

Meanwhile, as corporations increasingly take up woke ideologies based on race, gender, and climate change, conservative entrepreneurs are sensing a business opportunity.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action, pointed out that there is a “huge market” for such businesses.

Around half the nation is a potential market, Meckler says while estimating the number of customers among the voting-age public to be around 75–80 million.

“If I were not doing politics right now, that’s the space I would be in,” he said. “I would be looking at every market segment that I could, and I would be starting every kind of conservative company that I could.”

Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.

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