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Elon Musk mocked for telling Tucker Carlson ‘birth control and abortion’ may lead to collapse of civilisation

The Tesla CEO has long shared his stance on procreation and population decline posing a threat to civilisation

Meredith Clark
New York
Thursday 20 April 2023 10:28 BST
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Elon Musk has claimed that birth control and abortion may lead to the “collapse” of civilisation.

In his recent interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the billionaire tycoon spoke about how the “urge to have sex and procreate” has been “subverted” by birth control and abortion, leading to population decline.

“In the past we could rely upon, you know, simple limbic system rewards in order to procreate,” the Tesla CEO told Carlson on Tuesday. “But once you have birth control and abortions and whatnot, now you can still satisfy limbic instinct, but not procreate.”

The SpaceX founder felt that society hasn’t “yet evolved” to deal with the effects of contraception, because forms of birth control are “all fairly recent, in the last 50 years”.

“I’m sort of worried that hey, civilisation, if we don’t make enough people to at least sustain our numbers, perhaps increase a little bit, then civilisation’s going to crumble,” Musk said. “The old question of, will civilisation end with a bang or a whimper?”

He added: “Well, it’s currently trying to end with a whimper in adult diapers, which is depressing as hell.”

Unsurprisingly, Musk’s comments about birth control and abortion received a flurry of equally amused and angered reactions online following Tuesday’s interview with Carlson. For starters, many people pointed out that forms of contraception have existed far longer than just 50 years ago, like Musk claimed.

“Birth control and abortion…famously non-existent until 50 years ago,” joked one user on Twitter.

Some early records suggest that people have been using contraception for as long as, well, humans have been reproducing. The earliest forms of birth control date as far back as 1850 BC, in which Ancient Egyptian women mixed acacia gum with honey as a cervical cap to prevent sperm from entering the womb. Many plants such as the now-extinct silphium plant, Queen Anne’s lace seeds, and pomegranate seeds were also popular forms of contraception in ancient Greece and Rome. The invention of modern-day oral contraception was led by Margaret Sanger in the 1950s, and before that came the latex condom in the early 1900s. Of course, there was also the “pull-out” method too.

Despite the mass production of oral contraceptives and hormonal birth control methods, the human population has actually more than doubled in the last 50 years from 2.5 billion to 8 billion, according to the United Nations.

“This conversation alone is pretty amazing birth control,” tweeted someone else. “Women aren’t baby incubators, keep coming for our rights, we’re ready to keep fighting back. Deal with it you gross misogynistic bros.”

Musk, who himself is a father to nine children, has long shared his ideas of procreation and population decline posing a threat to civilisation. Last year, the billionaire tweeted that “population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilisation than global warming.”

In July 2022, Musk echoed a similar sentiment about declining birth rates after news broke that he secretly fathered secret twins with Neuralink executive Shivon Zilis.

“Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far,” he tweeted, making light of the reports. “I hope you have big families and congrats to those who already do!”

In fact, Musk made almost identical comments about the “crumble” of civilisation in “adult diapers” less than one year ago. He once again predicted that civilisation “will not die with a bang, it will die with a whimper in adult diapers” in an interview with The Financial Times last October, and said at an event in December 2021: “If people don’t have more children, civilisation is going to crumble – mark my words.”

Carlson has made his own fair share of sexist comments about women in the past. Despite the so-called “subversion” of the human “urge to have sex and procreate” due to birth control, Carlson himself once ridiculed the United States military’s efforts to be more inclusive towards women when he said that “pregnant women are going to fight our wars”.

The Fox News host also refused to apologise after he was heard comparing women to dogs in a resurfaced clip from 2007: “They’re extremely primitive, they’re basic, they’re not that hard to understand. And one of the things they hate more than anything is weakness in a man.”

After Musk’s comments about birth control and abortion circulated on social media, many people’s reactions to the Tucker Carlson interview were summed up in one tweet, which read: “I can’t think of two people who’s thoughts on sex I’d be less interested in hearing.”

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