What is gerontocracy?

A principle of governance in which all power (officially or in fact) is in the hands of elders. While the word “gerontocracy” itself appeared at the beginning of the 20th century and was used in relation to all kinds of societies, from the aborigines of Australia to the top of the United States, in the future it may take on a much creepier and more concrete form. We are gradually approaching the point where human lifespans are greatly increased – it is possible that then the elderly will have far more power and money than the young; simply because they will have time to accumulate it. Such a system of society has been described in many science fiction novels.


The problem is 2024 

The aging of legislators is not the only trouble Americans are worried about. In recent years, the topic of age has also become applicable to presidents, who are getting older every year. In 2016, 70-year-old Trump became the oldest first elected president of the United States. In 2020, however, Trump was surpassed by Joe Biden, who was elected at 78.

Against this backdrop, there has been a noticeable increase in conversations about the health of first responders. Trump had to publish mental tests to answer critics who feared for his sanity. Under Biden, almost every self-respecting expert has become a “medical doctor” – talk of dementia has become an integral part of his presidency.

The Oldest U.S. Presidents

Joe Biden 78
Donald Trump 70
Ronald Reagan 69
William Harrison 68
James Buchan 65
George W. Bush 64
Zachary Taylor 64
Dwight Eisenhower 62
Andrew Jackson 61

Others are convinced that the main cause of gerontocracy is structural imbalances in the political system, which simply do not allow young people to come into power in a timely manner. The older generation of Americans has money and useful acquaintances at their disposal. Young people have none of this, and they have to earn their start-up capital under not very favorable economic conditions.

According to University of Pennsylvania Professor Kevin Munger, the two-party system played a role in the aging of the American establishment.



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