BTW, Speaking about justice…

Out with the old, in with the new… Or keep all?

Posted on: February 27, 2010

Disempowerment and marginalisation is closely linked to social exclusion. Individuals and groups are unable to assert their rights, prevented from full participation in social, economic and political life. This view gives the notion that exclusion is socially determined, not taking into account natural determinants of disempowerment such as aging.

While who is excluded/included change over time, aging is a natural phenomena and is experienced by all individuals at all timeframes. Aging does not depend on social and political factors, nor it is affected by public governance strategies. People simply get old, no matter what. What differs is the lifespan of individuals, increasing with efforts of prolonging life.

Mortalities are avoided, but not accompanied by increased decision-making capacities or structures to help decision making for the aging population. As one grows older, his/her capacity to make decisions diminish – mentally and physically. After a certain age, they are excluded from society (most apparent: from the workforce), bearing risks of financial poverty which strains public resources.

If mortality can be avoided, how much resource/effort are we willing to put into providing basic goods and ensuring justice as fairness for the old? Does marginal utility apply here? Are we harming ourselves by providing the old with intergenerational equity?

What policies then should be made regarding the exclusion of older people? What governance mechanism can include older people without too much collateral damage? What are the collateral damages of including older people? Are we better off if we do not regard “avoiding mortality” as a moral responsibility?

-JB on making governance work for old people


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Lishia Erza

Searching for answers about life, these are the ones I have found.

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  • kefirlime: Please do share. Thanks for loving it :P On a more serious note... it is worrying that we have taken for granted (even forgotten) about the essence o
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