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Elon Musk warns of dangers of world government

 February 17, 2023

Entrepreneurial tech billionaire Elon Musk delivered remarks this week at a major international gathering that seemed counterintuitive and shocked many who heard it.

In an address to the World Government Summit, Musk actually warned about the inherent danger a "single world government" would pose to human civilization more broadly, Fox Business reported.

Musk was not in attendance physically at the Summit being held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates but delivered his brief speech remotely through a video call to the gathered attendees.

A "single world government" risks civilizational collapse

"I know this is called the World Government Summit, but I think we should be a little bit concerned about becoming too much for a single world government," Musk said. "We want to avoid creating a civilizational risk by having -- frankly, this may sound a little odd -- too much cooperation between governments."

"If you look at history and the rise and fall of civilizations," he continued. "Throughout history, civilizations have risen and fallen, but it hasn't meant the doom of humanity as a whole because there have been wholly separate civilizations that were separated by great distances."

The CEO of Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX then referenced the downfall of the late Roman Empire with the rise of the Islamic Empire as an example of the point that he sought to make.

"Say like, while Rome was falling, Islam was rising," Musk said. "The Caliphate was doing incredibly well while Rome was doing terribly. And that actually ended up being a source of preservation of knowledge, for many scientific advancements."

According to Business Insider, Musk's dates were likely a bit off in that comparison as the general historical consensus is that Roman Empire fell at some point in the fifth century while the so-called "Golden Age" of the Islamic Empire didn't really rise until some point a few hundred years later in the eighth century.

Nations should be "a little bit wary of cooperating too much"

"And so, we want to be a little bit cautious about being too much of a single civilization, because if we are too much of a single civilization, then the whole thing may collapse," Musk warned.

"I'm obviously not suggesting war or anything like that, but I think we want to be a little bit wary of cooperating too much," he said.

Musk then suggested something along the lines of American-style federalism, in which the several states have a measure of autonomy to try different things -- some of which will succeed as others fail -- without necessarily impacting each other negatively while still being connected within the broader union.

"That sounds a little odd, but we want to have some amount of civilizational diversity such that if something does go wrong with a single part of civilization that the whole thing doesn't collapse and humanity keeps moving forward," he added.

Musk has also warned about declining birth rates and civilizational decline

Business Insider noted that this actually isn't the first time that Musk has warned of the potential for civilizational collapse, as he did so in 2021 at the annual CEO Council hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

At that time, he pointed to declining birth rates around the world and cautioned, "Look at the numbers -- if people don't have more children, civilization is going to crumble."

Musk further reiterated that warning, albeit with a bit of humor, in a July 2022 tweet in which he wrote, "Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far."

As for his decision to speak out against a single world government at the literal World Government Summit on Monday, Musk tweeted the next day that it "Seemed like the right venue."