Age Without GraceNicholas R. Jeelvy
Here’s an uncomfortable truth: You are going to die. Not right now, probably not all that soon, but you will.
Here’s an even less comfortable one: Before you die, you’ll get old. Not all of you, but most will. Your skin will lose its luster, your hair will go gray or fall out, your strength, vitality, and energy will leave you. Your worst enemy will be your stomach. Your organs will show signs of imminent failure. You’ll become slower, remembering will be a chore, and you’ll be crankier. The world will be one big unruly child bebopping and skedaddling across your lawn and all you’ll be able to do is shake your cane at it, powerless to stop the inevitable march of time. And make no mistake, time will march on you and ravage you like a steppe nomad bursting into a late-stage degenerate civilization’s repository of gold and women.
Well, you can take action to mitigate the effects of time and live your golden years in relative comfort. You need to work out, eat right, and above all, have a family, have children and grandchildren who will give you purpose into your old age. And still time will run you down like yonder savage horseman.
Time has done a number on Joe Biden. He has hairy legs and they turn blond in the sun, so he learned about roaches and children jumping on his lap. He loves children jumping on his lap.
A major candidate for President of the United States of America is having an extended senior moment while African Americans in Wilmington, Delaware, laugh at his garrulity. Moments like this make you appreciate being young and in full command of your faculties. My grandfather, God rest his soul, couldn’t walk for the last two weeks of his life, found it difficult to move in the last 6 months, but God be praised, remained sane and his speech made sense until the end. Joe Biden is a source of amusement to us, but let’s not forget that this guy has a serious shot at the presidency. This doddering old pantaloon is gonna have access to the nuclear football. For eight years, he was one prep overdose away from the presidency.
The rest of the presidential field is similarly wizened. The four people likeliest to become the next president, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, are all septuagenarians. Michael Bloomberg, a late joiner who might just be the sanest choice in the Democratic field, is 78. Rounding out the Boomer Brigade is Bill Weld, whose pitiful attempt to primary Donald Trump doesn’t even evoke the satirical aspect of a Vermin Supreme campaign. Then it’s a drop down to Marianne Williamson who’ll be a spry whippersnapper of 68 come Inauguration Day 2020.
It’s interesting that the Dissident Right got really excited about Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang, who at ages 38 and 44 are some of the youngest in the field. Make of that what you will.
Between Sloppy Joe’s hairy legs and roaches and Bernie’s heart attack, this raises serious questions about the quality of leadership America’s ruling class has to offer. I won’t jump on the Trump health scaremongering train, but I will point out that even a relatively healthy 74-year-old man doesn’t have the same energy he did when he was 54. Even if he does, indeed, have a young wife. Maybe that’s why he delegates everything to Kushner.
Time grinds everything down, every man is eventually conquered by time. Gerontocracy is rule by men who are either defeated or are about to be. It is also the hallmark of dying regimes – before they go tits up, countries are ruled by the old. The old usually lack the energy to fight the entrenched interests. Inertia and sclerosis are the rule. Plunderers move in to strip-mine the realm as wizened Fisher-Kings resign themselves to their fate and maybe shake their canes impotently at the plunderers. Sometimes they tweet about how they’re monitoring the situation.
The problem with the political class is reflective of a broader problem in the West, where wealth inequality between the old and the young is becoming scary. Now, nobody in their right mind would argue for intergenerational redistribution of wealth to achieve equality between the generations. The old have been around for longer and they therefore have more – this is very natural. There is however a difference between the old having more than the young and the old having everything and the young nothing. Especially if the young are being priced out of the housing market. No house means no roots means no family. We in the Dissident Right like to speak of a traditional family, where the husband is the breadwinner and the wife is the homemaker, but in reality, young people cannot afford to live like this, nor can they afford a house even on two incomes. Living in a pod is a necessity of modernity.
Now, the lack of upward mobility is not entirely the fault of the old – the political elites have their own reasons for keeping the young impoverished and on the edge of poverty). Yet it’s helpful to think of labor-driven wealth generation not only as the leveraging of skill/knowledge inputs for money in the market, but also as securing market access for oneself, in order to leverage those skills and knowledge. Imagine the world’s greatest computer scientist magically teleported to the 16th century, or a desert island with no internet connection. His skill is now useless. If we cannot access the market, it might as well not exist.
The flipside of securing market access, the ugly side if you will, is erecting barriers to entry for people who would access the market once you’re on the inside. To not do so is to risk dilution of one’s market power through the laws of supply and demand. Those who are out want in, those who are in want to keep others out. However, those who are in want new people to come in, preferably through them, to do their bidding and enhance their status within the market by being part of their patronage network. Those out want in, but they want to guard their insider status once they’re in.
A consensus, therefore, arises of a semi-permeable barrier to entry in the market, and the way in was “the old boys’ network.” The problem with admitting new kids through the old boys’ network for the older boys, however, is that new kids are always a threat to old men – those young whippersnappers are faster on their feet, have more energy and are hungrier (which should never be underestimated as a motivator). They are a threat to your position, their ambition is boundless – some of them succeed in reaching the top through shortcuts and do not honor the pecking order.
In the olden days, the old made peace with their eventual replacement by the young by engineering the rise of their young, so that at least the guy taking your job is your son. The problem, as usual, is individualism. You can always slam the door shut or only admit relative incompetents (nonwhites) in order to protect your status against the encroachment of youth. Once you start guarding market access for yourself and start defining “me” as not “me and my people,” where people can mean anything from your nation to your family, but as actually “me,” well, then, you’re enriching yourself at the expense of the next generation’s market access. You’re pulling up the ladder behind you; you’re devouring the future of the young for your own narrow, shortsighted, hedonic interests.
I am always shaken to the core by the tales of the old men who would “go hunting” in the dead of winter, when food was scarce, in order to increase, if even by a tiny margin, the likelihood of their family’s survival. Our lives are our most precious possessions, to give them away is the ultimate sacrifice. To judge oneself too weak to contribute, to humble oneself to the reality of hunger and cold is the ultimate humility. To take the step away from the hearth and into the frozen wilderness, to give oneself entirely over to the darkness of deep, cold winter is a kind of heroism.
As the snows close in on Europe and North America, I think to myself, what is the exact opposite of this sacrifice? And the answer barges in with the social graces of a scantily clad 63-year-old cougar on the prowl for man-flesh: the reverse mortgage. I can think of no bigger fuck-you to the next generation than devouring one’s accumulated property to have one last piss-soaked hurrah before croaking, instead of bequeathing them an inheritance. After all, the proverbial 63-year-old cougar needs money for her plastic surgery, her trashy clothes, and her travels to poorer climes where young men are willing to overlook a dearth of fertility markers for a wad of American currency, and I doubt that Social Security covers those expenses. And who cares if your children resent you for your callousness and profligacy? You can always hire Mexicans to swap out your bedpan in hospice care.
Oh, and you’ll of course keep voting for and donating to yesterday’s politicians and boost yesterday’s ideas, crowding out the politics and ideas of the young. Baby Boomers hurl shovelfuls of money at Ben Shapiro and TPUSA in order to relive their Reaganite glory days, thereby preventing the rise of serious alternatives in both the political and ideas realm – we had the Groyper Wars in part due to this. One can hardly bring up any form of state intervention in the economic system, even if only to reassert sovereignty in the economic sense without loud harrumphs about “soshulism.” And good luck getting these stubborn oldsters to admit that the old boy networks they used to get in and then dismantled were actually good things.
The internet has more than enough bitter denunciations of boomers and boomerism. I don’t want this to be the takeaway from this article.
Personally, I have been lucky. My elders have been, on the whole, fair to me. My other grandfather, who is still alive, is one of those oldsters who rages against the dying of the light, but not in a futile and vainglorious revolt against aging, but in fighting like a lion for the prosperity of his children and grandchildren. As we walk through town, those old eyes still twinkle when they see “for sale” signs – grandpa’s always had a nose for real estate. We go to his orchard to pick apples, and I bring a friend to help – and to assess the viability of setting up a cider brewing operation. Grandpa already has a general idea on how to do it – he doesn’t even know what cider is, but he knows growing, he knows producing, he knows buying and he knows selling.
He says to me, “I will be gone in 10 years, most likely.” My heart sinks and I bow my head. He grabs my hand. No, Nicky, listen to me. I will be gone in 10 years, but you can run this property. I don’t think your mother is interested. The land over here is good, but back home it’s no good for agriculture, you might want to develop it. We were talking about the foot path, you should get the city to pay for it, even if you do build it yourself. Your brother and cousins are still young, you’ll have to help them. He pauses. He gets lost deep in thought. If you don’t know him, it looks like a senior moment, but it’s not. I too sometimes stop mid-sentence to think. I feel the weight of the land pressing down on me. Our people lived here. My grandpa’s grandpa was headman of this village.
So, instead of the usual “well, I’m a baby Boomer and I am nothing like that” in the comments, how about you oldsters do something for the youth. It doesn’t have to be much. Often, what the youth craves more than resources, or even market access is respect. For God’s sake, don’t do the reverse mortgage thing – if you really do have to mortgage your property, take out a loan to help your children start a business (which is what my grandfather did for my mother). Transfer knowledge and essential skill, transfer your invaluable experience. Accept the fact that you’ll probably be gone from the world sooner rather than later and set your affairs accordingly – think about how your estate can be used to further ideas which will protect your progeny.
Stop thinking of yourself as “me,” but as us. You are your children, your grandchildren, and your extended genetic group – your nation. This is good general advice for the young, as well. Seek out your elders, especially those worthy of respect and reverence and learn from them. Loneliness is a scourge characteristic of our age – none are worse affected by it than elders.
Most importantly, for elders, understand that at some point you have to make way for the youth. Not only because it’s their turn, but you’ll also save yourself some embarrassment. The last thing anyone needs is to be caught on video talking about their hairy legs and children on their lap. Have the decency to age gracefully and not get too deep into politics – it is, after all, a young man’s game.
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I have an anecdote about the boomer mindset.
I am middle aged, and fortunate enough to have a job which promises a pension when I retire. Of course, I’ve seen a lot of older people retire from my workplace over the years. Pension rules allow for a reduced benefit retirement if one wishes to retire at 55, and then there is a hit you take with social security if you retire early. Still, the option is available, and pension benefits increase each year that you wait to retire until around 62, at which point you are essentially working for “free” (or at least a much smaller salary if you do the math) if you keep working. The only valid reason to work past this point is if you still have a lot of debt to pay off.
Yet, I see many many people wait until they are in their late 60s to retire. Literally because they are afraid that the lifestyle they are accustomed to will suffer. It is not enough to wake up each and every day completely FREE to do whatever you want (like maybe spend the day at the library reading free books or even taking nice walks in the park). They want to still be able to eat delivered pizza or Applebee’s every evening and fill their Dodge Hemi with $40 in gas to cruise around town. They can’t imagine not having that extra $1k to spent at the casino every few months or downsizing their 3000 sq/ft home to a more economical 2000 sq/ft.
But more importantly, they can’t imagine just being old and not part of the machine anymore. If they have a supervisory role, they can’t imagine not feeling important and having subordinates. If they are in sales, they can’t imagine life without hustling to best their last month’s numbers. If they are in a technical career, they can’t imagine lifting their nose from the computer or machines that they are intimate with in order to socialize with new people.
I can literally think of 1000 different things I’d love to pursue when I retire, and few of those things cost a lot of money. All I need is a roof over my head, transportation, and food in the pantry.
Sticking around well past my due date only serves to lock a younger person out of good employment.
Having said that…corporate America isn’t helping the matter. Often, people aren’t replaced when they retire, so freeing up a job for a younger person is not always the outcome. We truly are a decaying carcass of a nation, with carrion cracking open the bones to get at the marrow.
Well, true, I would not run out of things to do either—principally MORE CHESS!
But there are expenses you are not taking into account. The rising cost of health insurance for one will gnaw away at your substance like a slavering rat. Pundits have been predicting another seventies style inflation for some time now, which would decimate the savings of us little people. Unforeseens such as major house repairs. were it merely a matter of standard of living I would already have quit, lol.
I understand that. (Health costs as an example)
It is unfortunate that the culture shift that occurred while boomers were in their prime was such that obesity, smoking, drug use, etc skyrocketed, carrying with it the health problems you would expect from living life like there’s no tomorrow.
Seriously, I’m not pegging this entirely on boomers. Millennials will actually be far, far worse. The glaring difference will be that they won’t even have any children to concern themselves about leaving an inheritance to, nor likely a surviving spouse, and will have every reason to suck the marrow from the bones until they take their very last dying breath.
I can’t see a return to 70’s style inflation any time soon. Wages continue to decline or remain relatively stagnant in real terms. Consequently, private debt levels are also high as workers make ends meet by re-mortgaging the house. 30 years ago, central banks would have used lower interest rates to stimulate economic activity, but when you get official rates below 3% this option is worn out.
All that’s left to drive ‘growth’ is a bigger population. Capitalism’s end times – I hope.
A great essay. As a person-of-Boomer (Late), I want to say that I never felt like things were all that great and they’ve only seemed to get worse. At the risk of seeming reductionist, I’m not sure anyone would notice how community-destroying self-indulgent a lot of Boomers are if the economy had just not been gutted starting in the 80’s. The Cloud People will always keep the Dirt People scrambling for scraps if they can. It’s one of the reasons why I hope that our younger members keep their eye on the economic ball as the influence (and ultimately, power) of the Right grows. Propose an economic solution that balances economic security with ‘entrepreneurship’ — a truly populist economics — and people who might be less enthusiastic about some Right ideas will support us.
Lastly, Nick touches on the perennial questions: What do the old owe the young? What do the young owe the old? What do the almost-dead owe the not-quite-born? It is in our feelings about these questions — and the answers that we give — that poetry merges with politics.
Our souls are made to be part of a great chain of life.
The problem with your analysis is that it is state intervention particularly in the creation of money and credit that has created the current sorry situation. Protectionism (which is what I presume you mean by asserting economic sovereignty), by protecting vested interests, will only make it worse. Economic efficiency and wealth are not the highest human values, but the government has acted for decades under the pretext at least of promoting them, and the result has been the destruction of those parts of life which give it meaning.
Learn some economics and you could be dangerous.
The money supply will always be under control of the government. The best we can do is have a sane government which will lead to a sane monetary policy and sane economic policy. Personally, I don’t think the government needs to do much, just throw its weight around a little to send a signal to billionaire oligarchs that they are subordinate to the state – something akin to what Putin did with the Russian oligarchs. Also, interfering in the market itself is probably a bad idea, but controlling market access is definitely something the government should do.
Russia today has a freer internal market than the US or EU, but the government does intervene when it needs to, primarily to safeguard the health of the nation. This is good because a healthy nation means strong soldiers, very important to the state. My position is: markets yes, intervention sparingly, dogmatic adherence to economic liberalism (or economic statism for that matter), no. Read my essays “Tradition Isn’t Socialism” and “Work Stinks” on this very site to get a better picture of my economic ideas.
How many young people take wisdom from their elders today; or even still have them around to do so? Generation Z will be raised by the internet and very subversive elements.
The defining Boomers were the hippies whom threw everything away, Gen X were the Beavis and Butthead types so excessively willing to destroy what came before and an unwillingness to learn, Millennial are defined by misguided social justice and anxiety from being the generation entering the internet, and Generation Z are between scoffing at their elders for destroying their race and heritage or scoffing at their elders for being racist bigots whom won’t allow them their transgender rebellion.
From class warfare to (or back to) generational warfare. All while we are removed from our countries, culture, replaced, and bred out of existence.
I’m tired of people saying truth matters; there are so many different ways to waste a peoples energy guiding them to seeking out or rebelling against false structures and false truths depleting their minds in that their most defining years are spent wailing against a dirt pile never once glancing at truth.
You appear to labor under the misapprehension that there aren’t ample oldfags on the internet supplying callow youth with the challenges to their egos that their daily circles have failed to.
Growing old isn’t for sissies because life itself isn’t for sissies. It’s also not the doom that the writer of this maundering piece seems to think. It’s only a vast exercise in degeneration if one has devoted his or her life to degeneracy. Yes, chaos can reach in and make all one’s efforts gang agley. But that is as true at 20 as it is at 60 or 70, and with a well lived life an oldfag has more resources of experience, temperament, and perspective to adapt to it.
That is the Democrats’ problem. Not age, but a life spent in pursuit of and slavery to wrong ideas, experiences, and people. Joe Biden was as big a maundering bullshitter in the 1970s as he is today. The difference is that his masters have him courting ghetto blacks in Wilmington (to keep with the example of the pool appearance) in 2019 rather than nubile high school and college girls, as in 1974.
These aren’t people flawed by growing old. They are flawed by never having grown up. They are grasping at straws of intensified sexual degeneracy, gun grabbing, climate horror stories…all in a desperate attempt to recreate their massive victories of the 1960s and 1970s: youth “culture” delivering their agenda youthful votes.
‘The problem, as usual, is individualism..’
And communitarian spirit is white-anted by ethnic diversity – a point well understood by our captains of industry. The following is copied from a report by the Australian Population Research Institute.
“In 2000 The Australian Financial Review reported the following advice from the CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland: if you want to wind down the welfare state in any country, bring in more immigrants.
In the banker’s own words:
“One reason for advocating more relaxed immigration polices — more openness to people who want to move to wherever there are opportunities — is that it is impossible to sustain a wealth redistribu- tion welfare state with open immigration. So, if one wants to get rid of the welfare state, one ought to be promoting an open immigration policy.”
The research reported in Welfare, Ethnicity and Altruism suggests that the banker is right. Some of the authors argue that the negative effects of ethnic diversity on collective support for social wel- fare are slight or that, depending on how you measure ethnicity, the effects are strong, though possibly limited to transfer payments rather than to expenditure on public goods. Others report that ethnically diverse nations give less in foreign aid than ethnically homogeneous ones.”
Trust Funds are the way to pass wealth from generation to generation. The rich have always managed to keep their wealth through Trust Funds, and families keep their grand homes and ‘family jewels’ — probably gold coins and silver dinner-ware — so that no one in the family goes broke unless they are complete ‘wastrels’. I have a small trust fund, left me by an uncle, of $750 every three months, which works out to $250 a month, $80 per week, enough for groceries for a single person and a meal out. Three or four more such funds would almost pay the rent.
But the best give from Uncle A. was his constant lecturing to ‘save your money’, ‘ save at least 10% of every dollar you earn’, ‘get a job and stick with it’, and ‘you don’t need that nonsense’ — referring to all the trinkets I would talk about wanting. So, I did all that, worked 53 years as a secretary for various firms, saved my money, tried to study finance and the stock market in my spare time, made some good investments and some really bad ones (!), and finally just settled on saving money into a 401K and an IRA right along. That, plus Social Security and a county pension, keep me off the streets. Unfortunately, I never had a family, so I have no ‘trust fund to leave it to’, but I surely have some needy organizations in mind. And if those in our WN movement could begin considering Trust Funds for their families and interlocking familial trusts, we could make a lot of progress in our dreams of ‘a nice white country’. I seriously suspect that Familial Trusts are the secret at the core of the ‘Jewish Problem’ we find so tiresome. I don’t consider it a problem, but rather a learning opportunity — because it is exactly what we should be doing.
You make some excellent observations here, but I take issue on one point:
Gerontocracy is rule by men who are either defeated or are about to be. It is also the hallmark of dying regimes – before they go tits up, countries are ruled by the old. The old usually lack the energy to fight the entrenched interests. Inertia and sclerosis are the rule.
I’m not trying to be autistic here, but one could just as easily argue that before regimes or even civilizations go under, they are ruled by the young, and that it is under the paternal guidance of the aged that they achieved their greatest heights. Louis XVI, the last king of France, was 35 when the revolution overturned his rule. Nicholas II was 37 for the dress rehearsal in 1905, and still south of 50 when Russia fell to the Bolsheviks. Rome’s last emperor was a mere boy, as was China’s.
In contrast, Rome experienced its greatest successes under elderly, experienced statesmen, some of them outrageously old. The Senate, as its Latin name indicates, was a body of old men, and the cursus honorum excluded the young from rising too quickly without acquiring the decades of experience that come with age. Youthful (or rather middle-aged) energy could be an asset for military command, of course, but many of the greatest men to serve as consul or dictator governed in their seventies, including Cincinnatus and Fabius Maximus.
In Sparta, the minimum age to even be eligible for the governing council, the Gerousia, was 60 – once again, as the Greek as well as the Latin implies, this was literal gerontocracy. A free male was not even a full citizen until the age of 30. We know of many Spartan warriors to serve in combat well into their 70s; Agesilaus was in his 80s. A quick glance at Germanic societies show a similar phenomenon: here again, while a younger wartime chieftain, a la Tacitus, might come in handy, these were by no means societies ruled by the younger set, as the etymology of ealdorman suggests.
The difference, of course, is that these were all traditional societies, with male rites of passage and clear benchmarks that ensured those at the top had experienced what those at the bottom were going through. Today, that is no longer the case, and much of the inter-generational animosity comes from the younger generations resenting the Boomers for having had it better, for reasons you ably explained. I’m no fan of the 1970s, yet I confess to having had daydreams about being shot back in time, at my current age, to 1970. With any luck, I’d be dead before Obama took office, having had a full life. Of course, there are any number of other eras that would be preferable, but I do envy those who are about to depart this world: this is the worst they’ll ever see. In the same vein, I wish my children could have experienced childhood in the 1980s.
Apart from that one quibble of mine, I enjoyed this one the most of your articles. This inter-generational “intersectionality,” call it what you will, is going to be a big issue for some time to come, as the Boomers age, younger White age groups are overwhelmed by immigration, and as declining birth rates ensure more of what I call inverted-triangle families, many of whom are out shopping this time of year: four grandparents, two parents, and one child.
To all my compatriots:
Every generation has its inferiors. Every generation has its excellent few. Every generation has its muddled middle that are excellent in some areas and inferior in others. Every generation is the product of forces both under their control and beyond their control, mostly the later. Generational generalities are sometimes spot on, and sometimes ridiculous, and are always a waste of time.
Intergenerational warfare is hugely unproductive – corrosive, actually – for any political movement. It should be condemned wherever it rears its ugly head. There are many boomers in our movement. I’m one. None of the usual generalities apply to me. I tire of the unearned insults based on stupid generalities. The bottom line: we do better pulling together toward our goals than to waste our energies fighting each other. Assume the best motives of your compatriots regardless of their age. Direct your negative energies at your enemies. Don’t make enemies of your friends.
Brilliant!! Ideas, that I have settled on as being absolutely valid, after observing, not just seeing, how the world really works. How “things” really are.
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