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Byron Shire
June 16, 2024

Gerontocracy rules, okay?

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Joe Biden. Source: ABC.

The American president displays the unmistakable signs of old age. 

He shows a frailty in his movements, and a tendency to forget names.

Hopefully he will live a lot longer, because his office provides him with an around-the-clock medical team dedicated to keeping him as healthy as a 79-year-old man can be, but the dark angel is on his way.

Joe and an extra decade is a fifty-fifty bet, but there’s another old man I expect to soldier on for a long time yet: the 92-year-old Rupert Murdoch.

Biden is a millionaire whose current healthcare is subsidised by the American taxpayer owing to his presidential role. 

When he retires from office he will have to settle for the level of medicine millionaires can afford.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation publishes a number a number of north coast newspapers.

Murdoch on the other hand is a multi-billionaire, so he can afford to pay a thousand times more than Biden for his therapies. 

He can in fact keep a whole mobile hospital wing in attendance, as well as in-house doctors to comb the various fields of medicine for any new treatments he may require in the future.

It’s not just remedial medicine either: experimental science, funded by Rupert’s fellow billionaire hopefuls, continues to search for means to stop or reverse the aging process.

Murdoch’s wealth is matched by far less than one per cent of one per cent of the population, so the price of artificial longevity is too steep for it to become available to everybody.

We are left to consider the existence, and consequences, of a mere handful of individuals continuing to accumulate capital and power through unnaturally long terms of life.

This is a theme science fiction writers have often examined. 

Author Iain M Banks saw a future where the abolition of scarcity, through advanced technology, creates a culture that frees humans from selfishness and power-hunger, and therefore the technological extension of life applies to all citizens.

But Banks was an old Scottish lefty; most other writers have seen longevity as one of the advantages of the super-rich, which they won’t be inclined to share. 

The series Altered Carbon is an example of this dystopia, with the ‘Meths’ (Methuselahs) becoming all-powerful, and indeed treated by some as gods.

These are depictions of a possible future, but the impacts of unnaturally extended lives are already present.

When a Murdoch, or a Palmer, a Rinehart or a Koch, continues to poison society with greed and extremism long after actuarial tables declare them past their expiry date, then right-wing power is over-represented.

Continue the trend long enough and there will be a small class of ancients who own everything, including the air we breathe.

The irony is that an extremely long life might be able to confer greater wisdom than we normally acquire in our brief, mayfly-like existence, but only unreflective narcissists will be able to buy this time.

David Lovejoy, Echo co-founder

News tips are welcome: [email protected]

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  1. Murdoch and Palmer and Rinehart actually produce things people want. Don’t conflate them with the spuriously rich and powerful.
    False scarcity is method of controlling populations. Who’s telling you the world is falling a part and wanting to sell you green things? Don’t forget to go get another of there jabs.

  2. I reckon the current U.S. president is about the best we can hope for; he’s no Trumpet! No real ‘damage control’ is needed as yet.
    Still I look to many of our OZ population & I wonder how long it will be before there’s the ‘unity’ most of us long for. Don’t let us
    have to chase a caring, sensible future in circles of turmoil. Meantime – have a great day [if possible] & remember those who are
    still struggling home wise – work wise plus – health wise. We are all needed by another when times are low. Think. Step up.

    • There was once a leader that did bring all the warring factions together. He was a vegetarian street artist. He past the first laws prohibiting cruelty to animals and regulated against barbaric slaughtering practices. Invented parent pensions for single Mothers. Regulated private firearm ownership. Dragged his country out of complete economic collapse and made it one of the wealthiest in the world, but with strict environmental controls to make sure it didn’t harm the ecosystem he loved so much. And even free annual holidays to expensive resorts for all poor people to get them out into nature. He even got the kids into out door activities to eliminate youth crime. Plus of course, he arrested all the banking elites for their crimes.

      This of course caused wealthy elites around the world to turn on him and jinn up a war to depose him and plunge the country back into debt slavery. He showed the world that you could make money without impoverishing the masses. Everyone can be dragged up together. So he had to die.

      The documentary is free on bitchute (The Greatest story never told), or at thegreateststorynevertold.tv


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