A Single-Issue Political Party for Longevity Science

In a number of countries one plausible path to advocacy for a cause is the establishment of a single issue political party - see, for example, the original Green Party or Pirate Party as successful examples of the type in Europe. The Russian longevity science community is beginning to take this approach: "On July 19, we made the first step towards the creation of the Longevity Party. The initiative group of 10 people gathered together in Moscow to establish the first political party aimed at extending human lifespan using technological advances. ... Among these 10 people were Mikhail Batin, Alexey Turchin, Leonid Kaganov and Elena Milova. This is the very first step in the long and hard process of legally registering a political party. I believe this is one of the most important things that happened in the past few years in fighting aging. Nowhere in the world ever before have people expressed their desire to live longer in the form of a political movement. ... The main goal of the Longevity Party is to increase human lifespan so that people could live for as long as they would like to and remain young and healthy. We would like to achieve this goal by promoting scientific research and technological advances in regenerative medicine, genetics of aging and longevity, neuroscience, computer modeling of biological processes and other areas of life extension. ... The next big thing we need to do is to finalize the Program of the Party. Then we have to have at least 2 people in 42 regions of Russia as representatives of the Party and have the founding meeting after which the Party can be registered and eventually appear in the voting ballots. Our goal is to influence the authorities to support life extension technologies and increase funding for research aimed at improving people's health and extending longevity."

Link: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/konovalenko201207261


This is not something that interests me. And I can not believe that there are many people that are interested in a political party with the longevity as its sole goal. I find the very idea odd.

Posted by: JohnD at July 27th, 2012 12:49 PM

JohnD - Are you suggesting that when countries around the world work to improve life expectancy that they're doing something odd?

That's all longevity is - life expectancy. And might I add, if you read this blog, the longevity being referred to here is healthy life expectancy.

Personally, I find it odd (and morally repellent) that you would criticize a single-issue life-span party and not a single-issue piracy or environmentalist party.

Posted by: Ranjit Suresh at July 27th, 2012 6:36 PM

Well said Ranjit!

Posted by: Louis Burke at July 28th, 2012 4:05 AM

ranjt, to answer your question, no. Obviously if I am a regular reader and poster on this blog then I in favor of live extension science. I merely think the idea of a single issue party to be silly. Where is it that you think I said that other single issue parties were less silly? So, I am repellent in your eyes because I failed to provide a long winded monologue on all my political views?

Posted by: JohnD at July 29th, 2012 11:26 AM

Listen, if you post a brief comment that a single-issue longevity party is silly or odd, then you bet you're going to be questioned on it.

And since aging is the leading moral issue today, given the prospect of being able to do something about it in the next century, then yes I reserve the right to call such a view repellent. Your comment implies that longevity as a sole goal for a party is bizarrely myopic. Considering more suffering and death is caused by aging than any other cause, or indeed all other causes combined, I couldn't disagree more.

Posted by: Ranjit Suresh at July 29th, 2012 3:25 PM

Single issue parties are not so rare. In fact most of the independentist parties belong in this category.
They usually pursue a single radical idea, but longevity science requires a radical paradigm shift, so why not?

Posted by: Aury78 at July 30th, 2012 7:58 AM

Honestly, I cannot believe most people don't support or unaware of research being done to decrease aging and achieve biological immortality. We talk about in society as death being one of the greatest of all evils yet not a lot of support goes to this.

Posted by: Ben at May 14th, 2013 4:04 PM

I can think of no more urgent goal due to wide ranging benefits that defeating age related decrepitude would bring to society. Many nations face severe economic issues in relation to their aging populations.

Posted by: Neil at May 23rd, 2013 5:19 AM

I would like to live longer than merely 70 years. That´s just not enough. I think this research goal into biological immortality is also good, not only for in the long run but for the short run. If you studie this field then you are bound to find something that can benefit humans that are maybe sick to have longer lives. This is and always will be the next step in human evolution. Why not live 1000 years? 1000 year old Einstein would have been beneficial to humanity.

Posted by: Víkingur Másson at November 9th, 2013 7:33 PM

I am in the process of setting up the Life Extension, Science and Technology Party (LESTp) (Australia) in Australia to run Senate candidates for the next Federal Election (due late 2016). While it is not strictly a "single-issue" party, all the other policies will stem from the central premise of extending the duration and quality of life is a good thing, and that all policy decisions have ramifications for this central objective.



Posted by: Philip Rhoades at September 10th, 2014 11:31 AM

We definitely need something like this in the United States! The United States is such a great country with an incredible potential to change the world, but it's quite a shame that we spend so much money destroying stuff via the military. If we turned our attention to maintaining health and attaining an indefinite healthy lifespan instead of spending hundreds of billions of dollars on war, there is a very good chance that this would succeed and all the pain experienced as one gets older would become a distant memory. Imagine not having a solid, concrete 120 year ceiling on how long you can live. The knowledge of when you are going to die disappears with indefinite life extension.

Plus, living an indefinite life span would make people care more about the environment and the future, since most of us would still be alive to witness the consequences of our actions (like non biodegradable plastic and burning fossil fuel) one millennium ago.

For anybody who is against this, seriously ask yourself the question "Would I rather be strong, happy and active or weak, frail, and sick?" If your answer to this question is being strong, happy and active, you are in support of this cause. Why would the passage of time suddenly make it more appealing to be weak, frail and sickly? Being 100 years old versus being 20 years old really should not have to do with how one would feel about the matter- nobody likes being sick, at any age. Ask an "old" 95 or 100 year old person in a nursing home if they would like to be wiry and strong again, and common sense says that the answer is yes.

We the people need to fight for this to end all the pain and suffering experienced by "elderly people". Getting old, as we know it today, February 6, 2015, is no fun! Progressing slowly and painfully towards an obvious end is a future that nobody deserves- so, as a society, it is our duty to fight to put an end to this madness. Let's all live to see the year 3000 !

My name is David Mesrobian, and I speak as an advocate for the life extension movement to give every human being the choice of "Do I want more time to live?" A greater number of people fighting for the cause will reduce the amount of time it takes to succeed.

Posted by: David Mesrobian at February 6th, 2015 9:21 PM

I'm rather saddened that there is not further support for this initiative. Many of the ethical concerns surrounding immortality are rendered moot when you look at the evidence. For example, increasing standard of living has lead to a decrease in birth rates and thus population growth. Countries with older populations, on average, have far lower natural population growth, despite their lower death rates.

Furthermore, whether immortality is desirable or not for the majority of people is not entirely relevant; if a long life is seen as undesirable, then pass laws to allow for legalized euthanasia so those who view a long life as undesirable can die when they want to, and those that view a long life as desirable can live however long they want (ideally, accidents would still put the average life expectancy somewhere in the hundreds of years if we somehow completely got rid of death by natural causes).

Posted by: Erik Nielsen at February 23rd, 2015 5:48 PM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.