Thursday, 13 November 2014

Who will support the childless elderly?

Fascinating discussion. Many people in the comments saying they intend to take their own lives when old, plus a few challenges to the sanctimony of parents.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/12/ageing-without-children

35 comments:

  1. I'm always amused that people assume their children will take care of them in old age. It doesn't seem to happen all that often.

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  2. Breeding slaves,are we?

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  3. I'm currently dealing with my elderly parents' "end of life issues". Even though I am not a hands on caregiver, it is hell to watch their health slowly fail.

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    1. Sorry to hear that, Unk. I think my own such dealings (w/ parent) are just around the corner. It is an ugly time for all involved. As we've discussed in the past, I plan to check out before things go too much further downhill for me, personally. I hope it's doable... Where did I read the quote that (paraphrased) said, "old folks' homes are filled with people who planned to kill themselves before they 'got like this'"? Kind of unsettling.

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  4. ....who isn't sanctimonious....?!

    Here, there or anywhere....

    ?!

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  5. "god baby"

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/536978/Baby-born-India-four-arms-legs

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    1. ...or the result of rampart inbreeding in rural India!

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  6. Karl,

    The older I get the less patience I have for aesthetics. The reality of the world is too powerful and grim for me to find much solace in the arts. That's why I find those who wallow in 'art for art's sake' pretty intolerable, to be honest. And a lot of the time, it is an excuse for boundless egotism and wallowing narcissism. I've come to totally despise aesthetes, and I say that as a man who enjoys literature (sometimes, anyway) and classical music. Art may be consoling and entertaining, but in the face of the world's misery it counts for nothing ultimately.

    -----

    Well said.

    Art is nothing compared to humanity. Nothing at all


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    1. Thanks, NY. Judging from your profile you've had plenty of experience to back up that judgement.

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  7. Damn, comments are closed. Wanted to write to that one stupid fuck who wrote that welfare in Germany is thanks to the turkish and italian immigrants. The turks, LOL! Go to Berlin Neukölln, most live off of welfare themselves (Hartz IV). Bismarck introduced social welfare in Germany long before any turks lived there. It's shit like that that makes me hate the internet. The poster is simply butthurt that his crap country does not have welfare, the greatest invention of all time. The turks, my god, the turks! Fuck, how dumb can one be? It was the post-war generation that strengthened Germany again, and _italians_ immigrated because no one wanted to be garbagemen. The turks, on the other hand, are mostly economic migrants. You'll hardly find an educated turk from Istanbul in germany, most are uneducated peasants (and most seem to be inbred). No, sir, reading comments like these, as said, makes me want to cancel my internet connection. Living in the woods, far away from such morons, and only reading what I want to read, like great literature (greek classics in the original), this is the only way one can live nowadays. And to that fucker playing down the role of art: I bet he worships science and technology, like most idiots nowadays. Thing is, to understand art, you need more brains than to appreciate technology. Any idiot can use high-tech that he doesn't understand at all, but no idiot can read, say, Goethe, and appreciate it, because he has not the brains for it. Schopenhauer = greatest person who ever lived, if it wasn't for such people, I don't know how I could have coped during my shitty life. There's a lot of misery in the world, but we must understand that this would not exist if people weren't retards and simply stopped having children. No life = no misery. Can't get any simpler. I don't have any children, either, and still am alive. Heck, I don't even have a wife and get by fine. So why should I be understanding when some megahorny fucks pop out child after child? STOP THIS POLITICAL CORRECT BULLSHIT! I'M SICK OF IT! And fuck the lies (like the lie above about turks and kurds). STOP THIS MADNESS!

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    1. You're a racist fuck, dude

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    2. And you're a retard with rose-coloured glasses who thinks that the differences between the arabian world and the west does not exist. Fucktard! Read this:

      http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-14344559.html

      I _live_ in a german city with a high turk population, I was mobbed by turks in school. Why would I not voice my opinion and say that our cultures too different, that they are only in germany because of the money and welfare? The few turks who are actually decent can be counted on two hands. Come to Berlin Neukölln, you retarded piece of shit. Same goes for the whole Ostblock: polish or romanian people are often here for the money they get for free. Again, see Berlin. But oh, you're one of those uneducated americans who speak only one language and don't visit other countries. Good luck living in turkey as a western christian man, good luck, man! And I'm of course a proud reactionary: I hate political correctness. It's also true that intelligence and talent is inherited genetically (more than 3/4, read Dr. Dr. Weiss). Am I a Nazi because I believe this? No, I'm just following the science on that topic.

      Oh and: why oh why are so few french or english people in germany? Because their countries don't _suck_! You're just one of those butthurt `progressives' that think I'm a racist for calling asshole assholes. I have nothing against immigrants, iff they are well-adjusted people who don't have contempt for western culture, who don't kill their sisters or daughters because they are friends with a western man. And who can speak my language, since I would also learn the language of the country I want to live in for the rest of my life (and most turks don't want to leave germany, even though I have to suffer through their contempt for this country every time the weather is rainy or so). But most don't even speak the language! Fuck, only a retarded asshole could not see that this system does not work. Look at norway or sweden or finland: these are examples of countries that simply rock. I wish I could live there, but my language skills aren't up to the task. And I'm no fuck, I studied classical philology and philosophy, I'm more educated than most turks living in germany -- they are the reason germany was so poor in the PISA test. It's because they don't know our language. But enough of this, you're simply not worth wasting my time.

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    3. To add to my second post: maybe I overreacted a little. What I wanted to stress is that turks and italians did nothing to build up the welfare state in germany. It was Bismarck. Seeing that most turks live on welfare, this is hilarious, and only someone really uneducated could write something like this. Reading books helps, especially history books about the country you write. As germany is my native country, I read a lot about it, and not a single time did someone claim such a bullshit. Welfare state due to the turks! God! And you're one of those idiots who even support such a LIE. My grandparents worked hard to rebuild germany after the war, not the turks that were not even wanted by germany, the US made it possible that so many turks could leave their country. The funny thing is: when I was in turkey, a turk told me that most turks who are in germany are those that turkey itself does not want in its country. It's country population, i.e. uneducated and, yes, often inbred. In my town there was even someone who, because the green party made it possible with their Familienzusammenführung, that turks living here could also move their family here. About 200 people moved in because of this, and were, of course, send home again when this was noticed by german authorities. So, please shut the fuck up about stuff you have no clue about. I'm living in a town with many turks. Read Sarrazin for a funny rant against the turks, not that I'm a supporter of him, but there is some truth in it.

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    4. I know people like you: you are a supporter of getting as many foreigners in your country, but when it comes to your own kids or place to live, you yourself move are faaaar away from those you let into your country. No one wants to send his child into a class where only 5 of 30 children speak german ... in germany! It's just hilarious and disgusting. Another reason to have no kids, they would grow up in an uncultured country. I know no single turk who reads or values Goethe, most are simply after the money

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    5. German culture is poison. This is true of all cultures, but particularly the wretched bowels of Europe we call Germany. Antinatalism for all, not antinatalism for some.

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  8. Looking after the elderly has quite a lot of backing for it, a whole corporate industry with the backing of all the pensions funds that it could ever need. Care could be better if it were oriented to keeping individuals in their homes and their homes part of whatever 'community' the elderly are part of, thus going for maximum engagement, reducing cost and putting the maximum amount of money back into community, though bankers etc earn their bonuses on the back of cost and excess which may be the problem. So who would be best to care for the elderly? If the elderly/infirm are those from 60 plus to 100 plus then anyone in their 50s upwards are the best equipped to do it-they can see it coming through the care they might give. From my memory of the BBC's Alistair Cooke as his close friends and contemporaries died he said he liked making new friends with the generation below him, I think he was right.

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  9. Who would support us? I suspect the social services could still be available here for our old age. Although, the childless elderly will be the most affected by the shortcomings, such as a lack of professional caregivers. Still, I rather "kill myself" (through euthanasia) than die with a legacy of slave grooming. If I can't live how or as long as I want, what worth is there in vainly stretching my stay at a cost of gratuitous suffering for myself and designated victims? I can't think of any; only the failure to have outgrown one's primal instincts even on the eve of life, still like a little infant fighting off sleep.

    Over the years the balance has kept on shifting more and more from when I'd die to how I'd die and with accrual since my only remaining grandmother began dementing. Though she has 5 children and 9 grandchildren, her children all have a life of their own and as to her grandchildren -- to be brutally honest -- she already is dead to our generation. So, now she's in a home and is visited weekly by our parents, who occasionally volunteer to wipe her bottom for her when the order takes too long. Maybe it's that they too, expect us to wipe theirs in turn, but I won't be one of them. Wiping another person's arse is part of parenthood and parents, like my sister, can have all of that. Pretty much every human finds it revolting to deal with the feces of an adult other and I know that's the case of my mother who nevertheless dutifully sets the good example. So, I don't want to be one to make a reluctant caretaker scrape a living off his arse; it would just be degrading for both of us. I also can't allow myself to finish my days as -essentially- an orphan baby, distressed by the wiling of other orphan babies and perfectly abusable because I am not expected to recover in any way again. I grow ever more firm in this resolve, for I realise I only enjoy aesthetics and discussion and have every reason not to outlive the capacity for those distractions from life.

    But all this reminds me ... as a child, I -- and presumably most everyone -- never wanted to get old, though I wished to live at least "a hundred years". Now, everyone is forced to give up on living very long without growing too old. But maybe, just like we have to give on having it both ways, we have to give up on having either of ways?
    Isn't the childless choice after all also not the more provident choice to enjoy life more rather than to enjoy more life?

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    1. On that last note, yes. I intend to retire younger than "normal" and blow my brains out when I become feeble or run out of money... whichever comes first... probably the latter. During my brief(?) taste of honey, I will be trying to ascertain whether life really can be "worth living" under ideal circumstances. This little experiment should be enlightening, as this has been a burning question for me--you see, I tend to blame the work imperative for most of my misery (but perhaps I'm being shallow). The big question is, how long to continue slaving 'n' saving before I finally take the plunge? There really is no right answer. The longer I work, the longer I can sustain myself after I finish working, but the older I'll be (and presumably less valuable my life will be... i.e., the shorter the window of time before I become feeble). Also, do I want to live relatively well and blow through my nest egg at breakneck speed, or live modestly in order to stretch it out (but enjoy less, during that time)? I am by no means wealthy, but I have to find a way to live for at least a little while without working before I die. If I knew I had to work up until I drew my last breath (or even up until my body no longer complied with my brain's directives), nothing could stop me from ending it all right this very moment. In my mind, there'd by no point whatsoever to going on.
      To speak more to the topic of the original post, the issue of who will care for me when I can no longer care for myself is moot. I'm fully determined to end things before reaching that point. It's just a matter of choreographing what leads up to that event as well as I can, given my lack of a crystal ball and the difficulty inherent in weighing the pros/cons associated with the different paths to that end.

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    2. Anon, I could almost have written your above post myself... I certainly have no intention of becoming the physical and mental shell my mother has become or becoming impoverished.

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    3. Children cannot conceive of themselves as fully grown and what responsible adulthood might be (many adults misconceive adulthood too for that matter) so the idea of a child conceiving of the idea of receding personal capacity, and memory-and on the basis of that not really wanting to live, is really rather absurd. Though many children can find life unpleasant due to their health or external social pressures which leave them depressed that is not the same itch as the itch in an adult who insists on the 'the right to die when where and how they want'. Staying childless is one way of being a better adult than you might have been otherwise and feeling younger, as if you don't necessarily want to abandon life that readily if you have your health and make good choices in life.

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  10. Karl,

    I have an off topic comment.

    I feel it is a basic human right to die with dignity at a time of one’s choosing, REGARDLESS of circumstances, situation or medical condition. To this end I believe that Dignitas style clinics should be made available for all those who need them in as many locations as necessary.

    At present this right is denied to so many thousands of suffering individuals purely to satisfy the whims of a religious and natalist driven orthodoxy. If we do not have rights over our own bodies, then we do not have any rights at all. In my view it is unforgivable keeping someone alive against their will and who no longer wants to be here. Society condemns so many to die alone in agony, to die from very violent deaths or continue living in pain from botched suicide attempts. It is a simple enough request to have drugs like Nembutal (Pentobarbital) readily made available, to aid a peaceful and dignified exit from this world. And not to have Big Brother dictating to us what is in our best interests. We are all adults and capable of making life (and death) choices for ourselves.

    So I now suggest there is an immediate change in the law to allow not only assisted suicide for those who desire it, but also drugs like Nembutal to be made available on prescription for the purposes of ending life. Suicide is not illegal and should be made much easier to carry out, without incurring discrimination, blame, stigma or criminality of any kind. It is indeed the human rights issue of the 21st Century.

    C.

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    1. The pieces of shit running our societies are generally smart enough to know that keeping a maximum number of people breathing isn't a goddamn moral issue, as they pretend it is when pandering to the majority, but a matter of maximizing the product (fighters, farmers, tax payers) of THE STATE.

      Even a kid dying of cancer represents a sweet profit.

      Profit and power. It's the reason why even the most liberal governments will never fully decriminalize suicide.

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    2. All about the shekel goys. That's why you can't just wait on the legal and helpful assistance of the powers that be. If you're really serious about this pull an Adam Lanza. There's never a voluntary solution to this problem.

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  11. One more thing...

    Last night Steven Pinker tweeted the following:

    @Sapinker: Stop Whining, Be Happy http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/stop_whining_be_happy

    @sapinker: Let's give thanks and stop whining this holiday season—the world has never been better: http://t.co/kZNiEfotaj via @TIMEIdeas

    --------

    You would think a cognitive scientist at Harvard would know better than to say ignorant bullshit like this, but here we are.

    Jeez!

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  12. This is a great article, and a reality antinatalists need to plan for, practically speaking. I wonder how many people in the Western world still have children largely as a type of old age insurance.

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    1. Personally, I have no intention of getting old (or ill) to the point of incapacity. If you follow my meaning.

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    2. Sure, but I think there will be a number of elderly people, antinatalists included, who won't want to off themselves and will get quite old. It's sad/scary to think of what will happen to them if they haven't prepared enough financially.

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  13. http://theviewfromhellyes.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/a-guide-for-the-perplexed/

    Sister Y is no longer really an antinatalist

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    1. Social belonging trumps everything.

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    2. What did that link say???

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    3. Basically that she couldn't condemn those who procreated.

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  14. By my favorite philosopher:

    "Temples and churches, pagodas and mosques, in all countries and ages, in their splendour and spaciousness, testity to man's need for metaphysics, a need strong and ineradicable, which follows close on the physical. The man of a satirical frame of mind could of course add that this need for metaphysics is a modest fellow content with meagre fare. Sometimes it lets itself be satisfied with clumsy fables and absurd fairy-tales. If only they are imprinted early enough, they are for man adequate explanations of his existence and supports for his morality. Consider the Koran, for example; this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need for countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value. Such things show that the capacity for metaphysics does not go hand in hand with the need for it..."

    Like Schopenhauer, I absolutely prefer the Upanishads.

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