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Where Actual Ageism Exists in Society


To build on Paul’s post from earlier, I basically think the whole idea of “ageism” that has come up in recent years is effectively an old white person’s version of “reverse racism,” i.e. complete grievance bullshit by people unwilling to see society change. In a society dominated by Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (whoops!), Joe Biden, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, Steny Hoyer, and the rest of the gerontocracy that dominates modern America, there is no realistic systemic discrimination against old people in this country. At the very least, claiming that these geezers need to step back and let people with full brain and physical power have their time running the country is hardly an unreasonable request.

What I think is actually happening here is that Boomers don’t want to get old, they don’t want to admit they are getting old, they are used to using this kind of individualistic identity politics language, and so they throw it out anytime someone suggests that maybe someone who is 80 is not ideal for leading the nation. It’s effectively a made up sense of grievances. Are there cases where actually older people are discriminated against? Sure. If you want to see actual discrimination, see what happens on Wall Street when people in their 50s are let go to be replaced by the latest 23 year old. But in terms of systemic discrimination to the point that this needs to be discussed, give me a break.

Where there is actual ageism in American society is….against the young. The way that youthful people are told they don’t know what they are talking about, that they are not serious individuals, that they need to sit back and listen to their elders, all this garbage, that’s actual ageism. That this is extending into people’s 40s and 50s now–the nation is becoming like a 17th century Puritan family where Daddy controls everything about their sons until the day he dies, even if he is 90 and the oldest son in 72–is indicative of the tyrannical power aging Boomers have over our society. And if you really want to see this in action, hang out in mixed communities of young activists with older established activists. The level of condescension is gross, especially coming from old union leaders who have been fat and happy in their jobs since 1982 and have no intention of leaving before they die. Trust me, the labor movement is horrible about all of this and has been basically forever, the ultimate example of rule by gerontocracy. And you see how nimble and ready for the 21st century organized labor has been….

Not to mention think of all the ridiculous media stories about “millennials,” which now includes everyone under like 45. Avocado toast is ruining the housing market!

In any case, old people need to quit complaining. You’ve already burned the planet to a crisp and led to rising fascism. Maybe give someone else a chance to fix it? And if you want to focus on oppression, maybe focus on real oppression rather than someone saying maybe you should retire at age 77.

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