Twitter owner Elon Musk revealed his views on the role of education and the growth of “woke” politics during a recent guest appearance with Bill Maher, tying together the American educational system with the growth of far-left political thought.
Musk said that movements within the political left include anti-free speech efforts within academia. He said that such “indoctrination that’s happening in schools and universities” is “far beyond what parents realize.”
Maher asked Musk why he frames the “woke mind virus in really apocalyptic terms” and why Musk stated in the past that “it’s pushing civilization toward suicide.”
Musk responded by stating that he opposed “anything that is anti-meritocratic and anything that results in the suppression of free speech.”
He said that those elements of the “woke mind virus” are “very dangerous.”
“Even the questioning is bad,” he said.
Musk then told the audience, “I really can’t emphasize this enough, we must protect free speech.”
He said that those who engage in censorship will have it used against them in time.
The SpaceX founder stated that such a “woke mind virus” has been “a long time brewing” in schools and universities. He said that the educational experience for young people has changed dramatically over the past generation.
Elon Musk and Bill Maher discuss the Woke Mind Virus and free speech.
“I can’t emphasize this enough. We must protect free speech… the thing about censorship, for those who advocate for it, at some point that will be turned on you.”
The woke mind virus “has been going on for… pic.twitter.com/9UE9mXj0kQ
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) April 29, 2023
The Tesla founder has participated in a number of high-profile interviews in recent weeks. This included a far-ranging interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on a number of topics, from Twitter to artificial intelligence.
Musk and Carlson focused on the reasons that the Tesla chief purchased Twitter, with Carlson asking if it was “worth it.”
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” the billionaire told Carlson.
Musk said that his team has put “a lot of effort” to prevent misuse of the platform, including the introduction of the popular “Community Notes” feature. Community Notes allow users to right incorrect statements made on the platform.
“If the public is happy with it, that’s what matters,” Musk said. “And the public will speak with their actions.”