Now, I read a lot about ageing and its impact, but I had to smile at one interpretation I came across when I was researching the impact of an ageing population on the China subcontinent.
The article titled ‘Population Ageing in China: A mixed blessing‘ recounted the usual statistics on the rapid ageing of China, what contributed to this phenomenon and what impact it will have on their economy.
A long bow? You decide
What brought a smile to my face was the surprising conclusion drawn by the writer on a possible unforeseen outcome of this demographic shift. They argued that with the shift toward a larger proportion of the population getting older that this could bring the dawn of a new peace movement (my interpretation of their words).
The authors of the article suggested that with the physiology of ageing – that sees a lowering of testosterone levels – we might see a more complacent and less aggressive outlook from China. They also went on to explore the impact on the economy of an ageing population and how this might result in a redirection of state funding toward caring for its ageing population away from military funding.
A new peace movement
While I have pondered before the swinging 60s and the influence of the ‘peace and love’ movement this conclusion was a new one on me so of course it had to be investigated.
As I dutifully followed the links to the article I found that this argument was not just the imagining of the articles author but was based on considered analysis by Mark Hass.
The idea of Geriatric Peace had been fully explored in a paper by Mr Hass. He argues the potential impact of demographic shifts in the ageing of key economies, such as the US, China and others key nations from the perspective of the US role as a super power. His article was more concerned with the impact of ageing on the US’s influence and role in the world.
So while I saw some humour in the reference to ‘geriatric peace’ I was suitably chastened to see that it was a serious debate on the shifts in power and international politics that this demographic shift could have on the ‘world as we know it’ – I know – give it a rest!
Another perspective on global ageing
So while most of us think about global ageing as a health,economic and social challenge, yet others are looking at the phenomenon from a significantly different perspective.
I suppose the moral of this little journey for me – was that no matter how much you think you have read about the ageing of our world – there is always something new to ponder and place in the mix.