'Big Thinking' PhD Thinks That Old People Maybe Should Consider Killing Themselves

(AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
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Nazis were keen on eliminating undesirables. Why allow “unproductive” people to drain the resources of the state? The Soviets employed similar tactics. Mao’s purge was designed to liquidate those the state didn’t want. It’s been done for millennia but with the rise of modernity and the embrace of Christianity, we tended to warm to the concept that older people have both a tangible and intangible worth, not just to the nuclear family but to society at large. With age comes experience. With age comes knowledge.


In less than two weeks, my dad will celebrate his 100th birthday. He still motors around pretty well. He’s not what he was at 50 but he’s still a wealth of knowledge. But Richard Hanaria would prefer that my dad had died years ago. Hanaria has a Ph.D. from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, is a present Fellow at the University of Texas, and is president of a 5013c nonprofit called: The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology.” He would prefer that old people would reflect on what a burden they are, and consider killing themselves. Apparently, Hanaria would prefer that my dad had found a corner and died in it 30 years ago. To Hanaria my dad isn’t even cannon fodder. At least fodder has a function, my dad is a burden, draining resources. He was and still is, taking up space in Hanaria’s world.

Is that an exaggeration or hyperbole? Here is his tweet:

Hanaria was more measured in a November 2022 essay, where he layered nuanced facts to draw overbroad conclusions. He wrote:


Anyone who has ever seen an elderly relative fumble with a touchscreen has to sympathize with tech companies trying to transition to a younger workforce. It is little wonder that IBM can’t compete with Google in cutting edge industries. It is a much older company, and therefore cursed with unproductive employees it can’t get rid of, while this is less of a problem for more recent arrivals. Although age discrimination laws apply equally to hiring and firing, in practice it’s probably easier to legally justify relying on objective criteria in the hiring process, as an initial rejection by a firm is much less likely than cutting ties to cause feelings of anger, which can lead to a lawsuit.

Old people are not only protected against younger workers with better brains, but also those with better bodies.

Hanaria aligns with a Yale professor who advocates mass suicide to solve the “aging problem” in Japan. I think it’s an effort to soften the ghoulishness of asking the aged to do society a favor, and just die.

Sure he wants all old people to die and “maybe” not ALL old people should commit suicide at once. I mean, think of the mess if they all did it at once. Right, Richard? Technically I am in the category that Hanaria would like to throw in a wood chipper. I am in my 60s and I am just breathing air I don’t deserve.


A thousand Nazi ghouls would be proud of you, Richard. Someday, and that day is coming, when you forget where you laid your keys — that will be the day that a new cadre of Soylent Green goons will come knocking. Don’t resist, Richard, it will be for the best. I’m sure you’ll understand.

Many reacted as I did.


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