An Ageing System
It’s always puzzled me, this thing about people getting right-wing as they get older. You’d think that the opposite would happen.
I mean, as you get older, you notice that the world keeps having the same problems, and that they tend to have the same underlying causes, and that nothing is ever done about them. You notice more and more of the same kinds of scandals reoccurring over the years, time and again, and always based upon imbalances of power, and upon powerful people being unaccountable. You’re more likely to have a mortgage and debts, the older you are. You’re more likely to owe lots of money to banks and credit agencies, and to be crippled by these debts. You’re more likely to have health problems, and thus to need medical care, and thus to see that the Health Service is underfunded and overstretched. You’re more likely to realise that your investments and savings (if you have any) don’t pay off in anything like the way you’re told they will when you’re younger. You’re more likely to worry about how you will look after yourself and your partner in old age. You’re more likely to notice your retirement receding into the distance. You’re more likely to find yourself paying through the nose for medications that go with age, medications your parents didn’t have to pay through the nose for. You’re more likely to meet more and more people of different ‘races’ and nationalities, and thus to notice that they’re not too different to you. You’re more likely to have been mistreated at work, or sacked, or been forced to find second jobs or third jobs. You’re more likely to have seen talentless people around you rising while you stay still, simply because they were born with advantages you never had. You’re more likely to have lived through several wars and recessions instead of just one or two. You’re more likely to have observed the way the world’s weather systems have catastrophically changed even in the last few decades. You’re more likely to have seen friends’ lives ruined by discrimination or depression or stress. You’re more likely to have seen your parents face an uncertain and neglected old age. And you’re more likely to have kids and grandkids, and to see all the challenges they face. A restricted job market, more and more pressure on them to work harder to have a chance of being employed one day, the escalating cost of further and higher education, more debt earlier in life, less chance of being able to afford to buy a house or even move out of their parents’ home, spiraling costs of living, less social safety nets, a squeezed education system. And on and on it goes.
Decades of life means decades of observing the world getting worse, and the so-called solutions never working, and the so-called progressive parties always selling people out, and the persistence of poverty and corruption never being addressed, and inequality and injustice always being at the root of the problems.…