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Elon Musk’s Weird Obsession With “Low Birth Rates” Takes an Ugly Turn

When the tech billionaire promoted a virulent speech by a Dutch white nationalist, it opened a window on a far-right movement to get people (some people, anyway) to have more babies.

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Getty
Elon Musk in Los Angeles, on April 13

Recently Elon Musk triggered outrage by promoting a vicious speech by a Dutch activist that pushed virulent white nationalist ideologies. Musk added that Europe is threatened by “low birth rates” that could lead to “dead civilizations.” What gets lost amid such controversies is that Musk regularly pushes ideas that are part of a genuine political movement shaped around long-term demographic anxieties. We chatted with reporter Gaby Del Valle—author of a new Politico piece about the first “Natal Conference,” in Austin, Texas, and the far-right movement to get (some) people to have more babies—who placed Musk’s talk about birth rates in a global political context.