Elon Musk says he’s ‘not right wing’ but ‘woke mind virus pushing civilisation toward suicide’

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Elon Musk has said he’s not right wing but described ‘wokeness’ as a “mind virus” that is “pushing civilisation towards suicide” in a new incendiary tweet.

The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who took over as owner of Twitter earlier this month, made the comments on the social media platform on Friday afternoon.

He had asked his 119 million followers: “What do you think of the culture war?”

One Twitter user, an anonymous author and poet, responded: “I think the Right needs to start funding more artists, filmmakers and writers instead of politicians and super-PACs.

“You don’t win a naval war without any ships, and you can’t win a culture war without any culture.”

Responding to this comment, Musk wrote: “I am neither conventionally right nor left, but I agree with your point.

“The woke mind virus has thoroughly penetrated entertainment and is pushing civilization towards suicide. There needs to be a counter-narrative.”

Musk has been an outspoken critic of so-called “wokeness” - a word typically used to describe those alert to social injustice.

His comments on Friday follow his controversial decision to grant amnesty to Twitter accounts previously banned from the social media platform, which some critics say amounts to “opening the gates of hell to some of the worst people on the internet”.

How the process will work has not yet been disclosed.

But the amnesty could reinstate a range of controversial figures who were banned for breaching the site’s rules around hateful conduct, inciting violence or spreading misinformation.

That list of suspended accounts includes former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins, conspiracy theorist David Icke, and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

Rapper Wiley – who was banned in 2020 for antisemitic comments – and Father Ted creator Graham Linehan, who was also banned in 2020 for breaking Twitter rules around hateful conduct with comments about trans people, could also return to the platform.

Earlier this week, Musk announced Donald Trump’s account was being reinstated. The Republican former US president was previously banned from Twitter after a pro-Trump mob attacked the US Capitol on January 6 2021.

Musk made the announcement after holding a poll that asked Twitter users to vote on whether Mr Trump’s account should be restored - the “yes” vote winning, with 51.2%.