As I mentioned at the end of my last post, there is a sense in which ending aging and death presents even a greater conflict of goods than reducing infant mortality. I am referring to what Flyss pointed out.
Flyss is of the post- postmodernist generation, for whose members a class- and power-based analysis of history is as natural as breathing. And the images that this perspective have brought to light are truly chilling.
I have always accepted that when anti-aging technology becomes available, it will be made available first for the wealthy and the powerful. That is only to be expected. But what I had not considered prior to is that these early adopters will do their best to keep the technology away from others. Worse, if they fail to prevent widespread life extension, or even if they anticipate failure, they will seek by all possible other means to save themselves and their friends and family from the dire consequences of exponential population growth. They will use everything they have: their money, their power, and their new longevity.
One might object that the powerful and the super-rich are not currently able to have their own way. But once immortality is an option, the stakes rise asymptotically upward. For when we take risks, we risk only a mortal lifespan; for an immortal, infinity is in the balance. It is plausible to suppose that there is nothing a person would not do to preserve an eternal life. (See this post for a quasi-theoretic analysis of the stake change.)
Thus, we can expect a massive amplification of eternal quest by the privilege to preserve their privilege. If they win, they will enjoy infinity. If they lose, infinity will be snatched from them. With stakes like that, it will be truly a battle royal.
However, now another thought strikes me:The current Immortals would have the same concerns and desires. They may already be at war with us.
[Portion of this thread continued in this post.]