Ageism As Economic Fear

Anne C. makes a case for ageism, in the sense of opposition to healthy life extension medicine, as irrational economic aversion. I'd call it common deathism, and it comes in varying shades of knowing or unknowing callousness. "It makes plenty of sense that a lot of what manifests as 'ageism' is actually a kind of economic phobia -- non-wealthy older people are considered (like disabled people, regardless of whether or not they would classify themselves as 'disabled') to be 'bad investments' with regard to employment, medical care, other forms of support, etc. This, combined with the independence myth can lead to particularly pernicious conditions for many. ... it's becoming more and more clear to me that, for instance, biogerontology is not likely to get much further unless great strides are made socially to affirm the value of older people and not push them to the corners, marginalize, or warehouse them by default." There are many explanations for this sort of thing; I favor fear of age-related degeneration as a contributing factor. Out of sight is out of mind, and no-one wants to think about what they believe to be inevitable suffering. But this behavior is now hindering progress that could plausibly lead to the repair of aging and radical life extension in our lifetime, if we all but put our shoulder to the wheel.

Link: http://www.existenceiswonderful.com/2007/11/rethinking-longevity-discourse-yes.html

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