Let’s be informed voters – together

A Wahlplakat of a party that claims to be fighting for eternal life

There was an election for the Berlin House of Representatives in 2021 and for various tedious reasons it was a right cock-up. There followed months of discussions and disagreement before it was eventually decided to redo the election this year. We will be voting tomorrow.

In the weeks leading up to the election, something happens which I have only ever seen in Germany: stiff signs made of correx (deeply environmentally unsound) are strapped with cable ties (which probably end up in the waterways) to every single lamppost and vertical pole in the city. They accumulate until there are four to five signs on each pole. The mainstream parties tend to hover at the lowest acceptable point, around the height of a tall person, while the horrible racist parties tend to occupy the highest-up point on each pole to try to avoid the risk of people taking them down or vandalising them  – some people just can’t take a hint, I guess. And then, if they are lucky, there is sometimes space in the middle area for the weird fringe parties. The parties who are only there to shout about veganism, the spoof parties whose only goal is to be amusing, the young people’s parties who claim to have a new, radical approach if people would only vote for them (which they never do). And then there is one that has been inordinately bothering me since it slid into the market.

It is the ‘party’ advertised in the sign in the image above. Their signs are everywhere, which is surprising because it suggests they have a pretty generous budget. Each one is a variation on the same theme: for example, in the photo, the sign reads

“How old do you want to live to be? 80, 100, 500? Vote now!

Take part in the survey on our website
For the faster development of research which, by healing damages [to the body], will prevent people from dying of age-related illnesses or old age and allow them to live heathily for thousands of years.” (the last part is highlighted)

So, uh. Here’s another one of their signs.

Another sign for the crazy party

This one says “An infinitely long life – for everyone.”

At face value, then, this is literally a political party that is fighting for people to live forever. And, like, what?! They can’t be serious, surely. But on the other hand, these signs are expensive and the name of the party – the “Partei für schulmedizinische Verjüngungsforschung” is too long and multisyllabic to be a joke. But on the other other hand, their logo is two circles with circular arrows going between each of those circles which is so delightfully meaningless that this could indeed be an elegant parody. Who knows? Not I, because up until now I have resisted the urge to research these guys. I wanted us to go on this journey together.

So this is an experimental format which as far as I am aware has not yet been tried by any mainstream journalistic platform. We are making history. First of all, I am going to sum up my hypotheses of what on earth is happening. Then, I am going to read up on what this party is actually about, and then I am going to report back in the second half of this blog post. Feel free to turn this experience into some kind of bingo or drinking game, because I have a feeling it’s going to be wild.

Part 1 – Theories for what the heck is going on here:

1. Often, an illness research charity will be founded and/or chaired by people who have lost their dearly loved ones far too early or traumatically after a battle with said illness. I posit that this party was founded by people who, too, have lost beloved friends and family members, but at an age that would be considered a really long run of it; comfortable, expected deaths, at the grand age of 91 after a rich life, where most people would say “Ah, what a shame, but they had a good innings eh?”.

I imagine that when the people in this party lost their friends or family members to old age they felt that 91 was not nearly a good enough innings; they shook their fists at the sky howling “Is’t e’en so?! Cruelty, thy name is age! Any time less than infinity is too short a time for my grandmother to have graced the world!!!” And then, face mottled and puffy after hours of violent sobbing, they swore an oath to make sure that some day no one would have to die a timely, expected death of natural causes ever again.

2. This could indeed be a joke or performance art piece dreamed up by students to highlight the impotent egotism of mankind.

3. This is a party populated entirely by extremely old people who are afraid of inevitably shuffling off the mortal coil and so have decided to devote the rest of their remaining time fighting to make it slightly more evitable.

4. This whole ‘live forever’ sales pitch is a front for what the party is actually trying to push through. Their real goals are so creepy and unsavoury that they had a brainstorming session to figure out an alternative angle that they could use to sell themselves to the regular Joes and Joans on the street. Perhaps this is actually a party that wants to return to the age of unethical non-consensual medical experiments on oppressed minorities. Perhaps they, in contrast to the Tierschutzpartei (animal protection party), want more animal testing; there’s nothing they love more than to see a chimp with electrodes sticking out of its cranium. Perhaps it’s a bunch of blokes who are hoping for increased medical research resulting in even more treatment options for erectile dysfunction, but are shy about putting that on a poster, so they thought they’d expand their brand message to living forever.

Those are my theses about the ‘Live Forever (not even by uploading your brain to a computer) Party’. Now time for a brief research break; take this opportunity to place bets on whether you think any of the four hypotheses listed above are the solution.


Please enjoy this relaxing music during the interval:



None of my theories were true. This is a real, serious group of people. People who genuinely have founded a political party to support more investment in research to combat the processes of aging that lead to death.

It was founded by a biochemist in Berlin and to their credit the party does not wish to be involved in any other political issues whatsoever, so they are very much sticking to their lane and there seems to be no hidden agenda as per theory 4. They have also explicitly stated that they are not open to a coalition with the (racist, hyper-conservative, assholish) AfD, which is nice and somewhat of a surprise if I’m being honest. I fully expected this to go down the meandering but well-trodden pathway towards eugenics propaganda at some point but perhaps we’re safe.

First of all, then, take a look at their video advertisement for their 2023 election campaign. It features a bunch of people from two distinct age groups – so young as to not even be developing chest hair yet, and visibly grey-haired so therefore signifying old people – in a struggle against someone who is trying their best to look like the grim reaper but chiefly giving heavy Emperor Palpatine vibes as he sits with a calm grimace observing people making their vote.

Chiefly this party is supporting its arguments with a selection of videos from various well-known ‘factoid’ Youtubers such as CGP Grey and Kurzgesagt – the kind of Youtube channels that pose questions like “What if humanity is actually aliens in a simulation and also the trolley problem somehow?” and then answer the question with a mixture of engaging rhetoric and cute animations. This is not a criticism of these channels; their whole point is to inspire curiosity and get people thinking on philosophical, existential levels about things we otherwise take for granted. It’s a noble goal. It is perhaps not a scientific basis for an entire political movement but WHAT DO I KNOW.

The supporting evidence also features a pretty incoherent speech by former football-man Eric Cantona. He says, succinctly (in his acceptance speech for a footballing award), that scientists will soon figure out how to stop aging, and so the only remaining causes of death will be accidents and war; yet, he says with palpable disappointment, accidents and war will only increase. With that, abruptly, the speech comes to an end. Let’s just take a second to enjoy this screenshot of Eric Cantona’s colleagues receiving his wisdom.

A screenshot of the video 'Eric Cantona gives interesting acceptance speech'

The title of this video is “Eric Cantona gives *interesting* acceptance speech” (my emphasis)

The homepage of the party to prevent anyone ever dying of old age also includes an explanation of their logo, undermining the derisive comment I made earlier of that same logo.




The logo of the party explaining how it demonstrates the process of cell damage due to aging followed by cell regenerationThey clarify that the logo symbolises the cycle of cell damage due to aging, led by an arrow labeled ‘future medicine’ to a stage of cell regeneration and repair. The cell regeneration step then leads cyclically back to the first step via a red arrow labeled ‘time’. I guess this kindof works conceptually although the concept of the diagram is muddied with additional arrows which point in different directions to the other arrows and have a semantic rather than illustrative function as per the main arrows in the diagram. Which is to say, this whole thing could do with some tidying up.

The concept this party is trying to sell is that we could reach a future where people get older for a while until they reach a certain threshold of crustiness at which point modern medicine could intervene and reverse the aging process by a limited amount, presumably enough to keep one within the upper and lower brackets of ‘sexy and virile’.

A diagram of the cycle of damage and repair

The party thus proposes a cycle of damage and reversal of said damage forever. But before you start throwing arguments around – legitimate, obvious arguments, some might say, such as “Won’t that just mean the world ends up wildly overpopulated?” – don’t worry, because they have written a very extensive FAQ debunking all of these concerns. In regards to the population crisis issue, they answer that solving age-related death is a beneficial thing because fewer and fewer people are having babies. They talk about some mathematical formulas which explain the solution but then admit that at some point in the distant future we will indeed need to think about keeping the population under control. They reassure us that it will be fine because there’s lots of technology being developed for sustainable energy and lab-grown meat, so we’ll be able to cover all these additional immortal people, and even if we have to resort to birth rate reduction measures surely that is better than hundreds of thousands of people dying each year due to old age?

At which point I have to ask: is it? Is it better? Is it in any way imaginable that it will be a good thing to have a world full of billions of 20-60 year olds never dying and facing the prospect of working at their insurance firm literally forever? Of course it is a meaningless value judgement to state that dying of old age is ‘natural’ or ‘necessary’, but that’s not an argument to invest huge amounts of scientific resources into preventing aging entirely. Their argument is essentially “Why not?”, but the right argument to do anything is never “why not?” but rather “Because…”.

I urge you to browse this section of their website, tellingly titled ‘Concerns and Objections’, because the list of potential concerns and objections is hilariously long and covers everything from “But won’t it be boring to live forever?” to my personal favourite, “Won’t we be more vulnerable to parasites if we live forever and don’t get stronger as a species through genetic mixing?”. They even address a question which I don’t think anyone was asking: “If we live forever, isn’t there a danger that we might turn back into babies?” I don’t know anyone who might be concerned about that, but we all live in a bubble and I’m so glad that the Live Forever Party is listening to even marginalised voices. If you don’t have time to read through this page and possibly send it through Google Translate, I can save you some time: the answer to all the concerns and objections chiefly boils down to “Don’t worry, I’m sure it will be fine, and also in the future there will be cool new technology (that we are currently unable to imagine) that will solve this problem!”

I cannot speak for the populace but I, personally, cannot imagine a worse fate than living forever. And at this current moment, with the world careening head-first towards a traumatic climate catastrophe, it feels like living a short life may well be a blessing. But for those of us who may feel that indeed, it is more important to invest our scientific heavy-lifting into bigger issues like the climate crisis, the party is prepared! They have an argument for that too: getting older causes more suffering to more people than any other issue on the planet, and also we have enough resources to deal with more than one problem at once so just calm down.

I have a couple of off-the-cuff counter-arguments to this. Firstly, it may be true that getting older causes a bunch of suffering, but so does having a uterus and all uterus-havers of the world are just being left to grin and bear it so it seems like ‘net amount of suffering caused’ is not a persuasive metric. See also: mosquitoes, poverty, having a song you hate stuck in your head when you’re trying to get to sleep. Secondly, there is no estimating the suffering the climate crisis will cause us but when it does finally descend and we are all living emaciated in underground burrows waiting for the wildfires to finish sweeping down Simon-Dach-Straße, the least of our worries will be arthritis. And thirdly: you have to admire the chill of the argument “let’s just, like, fix all the other stuff and also the stuff we’re asking for, broseph.” Sure, we have resources to deal with more than one problem at once, but that doesn’t mean we can solve everything at the same time or that it’s not important to prioritise carefully – this argument is so fluffy it blew away in the wind the moment it hit my computer screen.


Interestingly, the main members of this party are not, like my third theory, all elderly people uneasy with mortality. They all seem shockingly young and, uh…well, uh…sorry, hang on, I’m really not sure what’s going on here.

A team photo of the party members all wearing white shirts for some reason

Leon, could you stand right at the back please? No, further back. Further. No, further. That’s great – and close the door on your way out could you

This handsome young supporter has been a busy bee hanging up signs – but something scary is happening with his amputated leg, or is it a growth coming out of his abdominal cavity? and also is he sitting on a table or something? what is happening

A smiling young supporter of the party

You know, I think the more I read about this party the more unstable I am becoming. Is it possible for a political campaign to give you dementia? I think I have to close these tabs and wrap this research up before I lose years of my youth to these people.

I do already know who I will be voting for tomorrow, but I won’t tell you who. I can, however, confirm that I will not be voting to live forever.

Rose T