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Why America is becoming the world's greatest gerontocracy

Declan Lynch


Back in the time of the Cold War, you would sometimes see pictures in the paper of the members of the Politburo of the Soviet Union.

They were old men, for the most part, who by their very oldness were telling us that something was seriously wrong in the way they did things over there - it suggested that holding on to power was the only ambition of those who were in public life, to the extent that they would hold onto it way beyond the point where they could be of use to anyone except themselves.

Communist China seemed to be running a similar kind of an old-folks show - indeed both countries were commonly descried as "gerontocracies". Which clearly wouldn't help them much, in their engagement with the modern world.