Interesting thoughts, but in the US, life expectancy is decreasing, and it’s not near 90 today. It’s not even close to 80. And a lot of people aren’t fully retiring nowadays.
I grant you, though, that America is drowning in a sea of conservative rhetoric and thought right now, with beliefs and attitudes and worldviews that are, at their essence, anti-social.
And, also, that white Boomers lived in unique circumstances that made some of them so wealthy that they cannot possibly spend their savings before they die. But we’re not talking about a majority of them, and subsequent generations did not share the Boomers’ fortunate circumstances. White and wealthy, over-65 and expecting to live until 90, assuming that everyone else is just like them…this is a small group, and they’re dying off, so, in that sense, their lack of perspective and empathy is a temporary concern at most.
The anti-social problem is more serious one. We seem to be living through the biggest reflection exercise in human history. A couple billion Westerners are questioning everything about Western civilization right now.
Is democracy really better than having a king? Are all people really deserving of equal rights and justice? I mean, shouldn’t that have some context that respects national borders or regional cultures? I’ve been in America longer than others. Shouldn’t that count for something? If no one else thinks or cares about striking a balance between individual rights and the common good, then why should I? Sure, the Earth’s atmosphere is fragile and we may face extinction if we don’t do something about it….but tell me why I should care. Seriously, work is slavery, life is suffering, and our governments have become unfixably corrupt. They are willing to let me fall into poverty, yet they strive to maintain my labor slavery without providing me enough to live on. So why should I care about what happens to other people? It isn’t fair. If the world doesn’t care about me, then I’m not going to care about the world. Burn it all down. Let God sort it out.
This is the mindset we are actually dealing with, I think. It’s anti-social, if you think people mostly operate from human instincts. If you think people mostly operate from culture, it’s anti-Enlightenment or anti-Western political philosophy.
Either way, the public reflection that’s going on right now is much more foundational than people want to believe.
I also think it’s manipulated. Progress has always encountered philosophical and practical resistance from those who see their power and profits at risk. But usually that resistance likes to stay out of sight. In our case, it’s not. It’s visible. Powerful media outlets are pushing political propaganda to begs people to put themselves before the common good, to prefer a king’s version of fairness and justice rather than democracy, and even to overlook and denigrate the contributions of science, which surely has solutions to offer for a better future.
I have trouble believing that business people and politicians, in simple pursuit of utilitarian control and profits, would go after the established progress of Western civilization just as a means to an end. I smell a different rat.