Elon Musk told Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner that the US has “very, very ancient leadership.”
“For a democracy to function, the leaders must be reasonably in touch with the bulk of the population,” he said.
Musk said he’d like to see political leaders be within 10-20 years of the average population age.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a recent interview said that the United States has a “very, very ancient leadership” and questioned how leading figures can “stay in touch with the people” if they are several generations removed from most of the population.
The comments from the electric vehicle and clean energy company leader came this week during a conversation with Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California.
Musk spoke about everything from Russian President Vladimir Putin to revelations that he sometimes feels “lonely,” but he had pointed criticism for leaders whom he feels are disconnected from their citizenry.
When Musk was asked about humans having “a significantly increased lifespan,” he offered a straightforward view about human life.
“I don’t think we should try to have people live for a really long time,” he told Döpfner. “That it would cause asphyxiation of society because the truth is, most people don’t change their mind. They just die.”
He continued: “So if they don’t die, we will be stuck with old ideas and society wouldn’t advance.”
Musk then said that a “gerontocracy” — where a government is essentially controlled by citizens significantly older than the bulk of the population — is not healthy.
“I think we already have quite a serious issue with gerontocracy, where the leaders of so many countries are extremely old,” he revealed. “In the US, it’s a very, very ancient leadership. And it is just impossible to stay in touch with the people if you are many generations older than them.”
He added: “The founders of the USA put minimum ages for a local office. But they did not put maximum ages because they did not expect that people will be living so long. They should have. Because for a democracy to function, the leaders must be reasonably in touch with the bulk of the population. And if you’re too young or too old, you can’t say that you will be attached.”
Musk said that he’d like to see political leaders “be ideally within 10 or at least, 20 years of the average age of the population.”
He said that while he would like to sustain good health over an extended period of time, he doesn’t fear death.
“I am not afraid of dying. I think it would come as a relief,” he said in the interview.
Over the course of President Joe Biden’s tenure, Musk — who seemed pumped about the administration’s push to combat climate change early last year — began to criticize Biden, who is 79, over his failure to include Tesla in the national conversation about electric vehicles.
In January, the billionaire on Twitter blasted Biden as “a damp sock puppet in human form.”
Last month, the president during a speech called Tesla the country’s “largest electric-vehicle manufacturer” after facing repeated criticism for not acknowledging the company as a leader in the automotive industry.
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