You seem have no idea what I just wrote and you replied to a ghost article you thought I wrote. You may not have understood my article.
Look at an earlier, highly sarcastic, post of mine.. In this post I argue that the world “can’t afford old people anymore”. You might agree that in fact I support in some part your analysis. I do however think your conclusion is spectacularly flawed.
Yes I do agree our western world economic foundations are built on proverbial quicksand. Yes I agree we are headed for the perfect storm of societal disaster. But I disagree with the components of this storm and the eventual outcome. Let me summarize:
Motivation and Education requirements
Our educational systems are a sham. How we educate our youg is short of a disaster. We don’t educate most kids – we ‘store’ them when parents are off working off debts. This in itself is the most spectacularly demotivational message when can send to our kids – look at your parents kids and ask yourself do you want to be just as unhappy and stressed as they are?
We have been training children for 30 years as factory workers or civil servants. School is an exploitative, outdated, alienating system that kills the human spirit and any sense of independent ambition. Our kids do no longer believe that school anything but marginalizing and humiliating. This is a cornerstone of the reason why we do no longer have motivation in people.
That and television. Or passive entertainment. We are a society saturated by authoritarian factory worker values while we long since drifted from that to an automation society and from that to an information society. People arte bred to “grow up” and be bored shitless. And as a result kids as a rule are untrained to deal with the society we are in. They do not have the aptitude to deal with our collective future, and do not feel affinity with it, and by far to big a degree do not trust in it. Everyone under 30 is in some degree tainted by it, especially anyone trained for a middle class and ‘lower’ job.
The younger they are the more likely the kids are to realize they get a shitty deal. Why make an effort when you will be paying you student debts for decades? Why even give a flying hoot about your employers when the whole career path feels like a suffocating obligation?
Haves and Owes
Capitalism in its current form is a sham. I am not saying it doesn’t work or that I make an ‘anti’-capitalist argument here. What I am saying is that capitalism, in the definition that a small corporate elite gets to impose their design on society, irregardless whether or not we as a society can trust them.… I say we cannot.
I say corporations are a people-hostile entity. I state ‘corporatism == kleptocratism‘.
And it isn’t just the dead cliches of environment or third world exploitation or producing weapons or dumping waste – the real problem with corporations is they they have become transnational and can use people as raw material. That’s right, our problem is that corporations can blackmail any government to provide them with the lowest tax regimen and in doing so benefit only their shareholders (and in some cases, scam their shareholders and only benefit their highest executives as well) . I think in ten years time this will have sunk in and all these people will literally go to prison.
It has been an international societal pyramid scheme and the whole corporate system has been a confidence scam.
Disinterest in everything falling apart
If you aren’t part of ‘society’ then give a damn about it? Too many people are actually closed to cheering for its collapse. Ask yourself – how many people feel they are essentially happy and living fulfilling lives? Lots of people simply do not and if you pay attention you’ll notice those people look forward to death.
We are as a modern society not merely slowly collapsing out of apathy, simply because most of us have lack of faith we can have it as easy or as rich as the generation before us – no we are also collapsing because of endemic short term vision.
We as a society are blind to resource depletion. Let’s not even start about biosphere extinction or dying bees or oil spills or pollution or ozone layer depletion or global warming.
Resource depletion is a catastrophe beyond words, and the worst depleting resource is the depletion of oil. I know, I know, both sides in the Peak Oil debate are happily accusing each other of cognitive dissonance and polarized arguments, but the evidence that before 2025 our diversified economies will be in effect collapsing is out there for all to see. It isn’t even a topic of debate anymore – even the big oil companies fully acknowledge it. And even then the average imbecile civilian keeps assuming we’ll have engines running on water ready to save us.
Implementing alternative energies at the maximum pace would only be a fragmentary solution – we can cover less than a third we need if we invest all we can invest. Implementing alternative energies would ratchet up prices of minerals and metals on the international markets by an order of magnitude greater than the already unsustainable prices we have today. And actual solutions – such as implementing SSPS are widely discredited or alleged to be ‘irrelevant’ or ‘incredible’ or ‘science fiction’.
On all fronts we are sailing into cliffs of unsustainable economical growth curves. We are headed for destitution and the end of democratic societies within my plausible lifetime. Sure I write this and I know that next week my pal transhumanists will be insisting “I am probably pessimistic because of SAD again”. But seriously, this is not the case. We cannot move into anything else than collapse because all this has been institutionalized by pathological, production oriented short term thinking. There are alternatives to this way of doing business or conduction democracy but they would decapacitate our leadership and corporate elite classes from their plush positions. I don’t see any revolutions happening until it simply is too late.
Too bad, Larry Niven warned us of this decades ago.
Consolidated up the eyeballs
However by far the worst
lie crime enacted on the people by the currents geopolitical science is the lie perpetuated we have something like ‘economic growth’.
We do not have economic growth.
We have for the last half century have had massive increases in productivity, and only a small portion of even that ended up with the average shmoe like you and me. The fact of the matter is we don’t actually need all these people to do anything like “real work’, and the work done is either soul-deadening, exploitative, very dirty or dangerous. We could fire a third of all people and probably end up doing the remaining work even cheaper and more efficiently.
I dare to say we have had economic shrinkage in the last 2 decades, as the input energy price squared against human labor has been going up, the amounts of people competing for the share of available work and income has been going up sharply, the price of commodities and life in general has been going up, while the marie antoinettes of this world have cheated all of us out of an ever bigger slice of the proceedings.
lie crime perpetuated on you and me is that we can have a fair share.
We can not get a “fair share”. There isn’t enough work left to be done, squared against the appreciable reward we get for it. This is because corporations have intentionally and systemically been degrading the value of human labor against that of machines, computers and robots.
This is going to get far far worse. I predict you that from before 2000 effective unemployment has gone up and will continue to go up by at least a % per year. This is in effect predation by the corporate sector on people and free countries.
Now what do we do with old people?
I bet you, within a few decades the first politicians will start suggesting : euthanasia!
The fact of the matter is we have on the one hand an undermotivated work force (anyone under 30), and on the other end a demographic of people (most people over 55) that no employer will ever hire, while corporations outrace each other to replace jobs and automate and streamline and outsource. How much economic value do you think a generation of people forced to become diaper changers will do?
Because that is where we are setting ourselves up to become.
What we do is to offer these things to the old and the young:
offer a world, as quickly as possible, where the operating paradigm isn’t an atrocious cycle of birth, consumer, taxpayer, mortgage wage slave, pensioner, corpse.
This is not a way to live anymore.
I can’t believe in it and I’d rather be dead than become a wage slave. I happen to have severe mental issues that disqualify me from being implemented in the labor force, but even in the most rosy scenario you can bet the next decades of my life won’t be anything humane.
I will probably end in me being poor as a rat, toothless, slowly dying from neglect and utterly depressed and medicated up the eyeballs at age mid 70s in some half decaying and overcrowded old age home. You can bet your ass that before I am there I’ll walk in a corporate or govenment building with a jerrycan of kerosine, a gun and a phosporous torch and cause me some damage while saving me a shitload of pain. If they catch me while trying what will they do with an old woman in her 70s? Berate me?
So how do we do that – simple, by giving anyone a credible chance at extended life. We can do so now – aging is clearly a disease. Hence curing the damage wrought by age related societal decay is the biggest opportunity for liberating spectacular economic gains. And profit will be just the beginning.
At this stage aging is a personal disease, an existential disease, a philosophical disease and a societal disease.
Anyone with a bit of sense will realize that if we throw enough money at it we can halt – if not actually reverse – all human aging. We don’t need a generation of scientists or a manhattan project to research robust life extension.
A modest investment of money, a fraction of an average war these days, could easily create a series of treatments that could extend everyone’s life, at the very least in the rich nations, by decades. And those extra decades will be decades where even better treatments will emerge.
That’s why I say that – if we gave a damn and had any sense of perspective – the first human to live a thousands years has is already in her twenties.
This isn’t business as usual
We stumbled in this nightmare because of demographic shifts that allowed people to become far smarter in little over a century. Look at population education levels in 1910 when compared to 2010.
Now square that against population levels in 1910 squared against 2010. We went from 1.7 billion to over 7 billion in a single century. Look at cars energing tis century. Or industrialization. Or fighting disease. Or the internet – hell look at what we did 2 generations ago – we flew people top the moon for peace sake.
All the world’s people woke up in ways we haven’t seen ever before in this planet. We are now collectively not merely a biological force, we are an extinction event and a geological motor.
And what for? To get screwed over my those in charge? Because arguably that always seems to happen, irregardless whether or now we have enlightenment, industrialization, democratization, popularization, commercialization, emancipation, unionization, automation, capitalism or communism. We cannot trust our fellow humans anymore than we can trust ourselves. We are an unsanitary, unchaste, incontinent species of pathologically self-interested short term thinkers.
As soon as society extends the biological lifespan of humans this will signify a massive change in the thinking of everyone – we’ll have to deal with the shit we leave behind.
Someone who intellectually understands he or she may live to be centuries will not accept incompetence destroying his or her chances to live that long and live that long as anything other than a slave.
Right now we can all arguably say – what the fuck do I care, for as long as I live I am screwed over by ‘them’ and in a few decades I’ll be dead anyways, what the fuck do I care?
So – that was what my objection the the OP article was all about. It is a far more fundamental objection as you can see.