Thomas Malthus, his flawed science and his flawed economics
It was Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), an influential British scholar, who first expressed the concern that food production could never cope up with human population. He assumed rather arbitrarily that population, when unchecked, grows in a geometric ratio, while food can increase only in an arithmetic ratio.
The two basic assumptions of Malthus, that population grows in a geometric ratio, and that food increases only in an arithmetic ratio, have both been proven false. If Malthus were right, the world would never have had sufficient food to feed everyone. Yet, the fact is that there is sufficient food in the world to feed everyone even today when the population of the world is nearly seven times what it was during Malthus's time, as has been attested by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The problem is not one of production but of access and distribution, and has mainly social and political causes.
Philosophically, Malthus's first major mistake was to assume that population depends only on the sexual attraction between man and woman, with no place for societal norms, chance, kinship patterns, culture, or economics (artificial contraception was not invented in his time, yet). His second major mistake was to assume no rule for technology in accelerating food production or increasing food yield per hectare. His third major mistake was to assume that every added human being is a mere consumer, not a producer; a liability, not an asset. His fourth major mistake was to assume that the haves would or should never give food, or the ability to produce food, to the have-nots and thereby provide for the means of their subsistence.
Because of these major mistakes, Malthus could deduce that population must always be kept in check. The problem which Malthus created in the world was to trigger the feeling that government officials and others at the helm of power must take upon themselves the task of ensuring, by whatever means which work, that the population is kept under check. Malthus himself opposed the so-called Poor Laws of England, arguing that depopulating the poor is a better tactic of reducing overall poverty and disease in England, than funding them.
Unfortunately, this quickly took a racial turn amongst those who hooked on to his message: it became very easy for politicians to target entire groups of people, entire races indeed, which they considered as "unwanted", for depopulation. Thus, Adolf Hitler could target Jews for depopulation in Germany, and American governments could target native Red Indians and Blacks for depopulation. It became easy for politicians to target communities which they hated or considered unfit to exist or reproduce, for depopulation by hook or crook. And sure enough, methods of both hook (intra-uterine contraceptive devices) and crook (mass abortion and sterilization) developed in the aftermath of Thomas Malthus.
Malthus's followers have come to adopt an even more ridiculous argument: that wherever there is poverty, the root cause is population. They now argue, and are adept at spreading the propaganda message that reducing population is a necessary (and sometimes sufficient) step for economic growth. Of course, ignorant and corrupt politicians simply repeat the words of others like parrots, but there is no dearth of civilian believers in this unscientific thesis. Because of these Neo-Malthusians, the disease of population control has spread to Africa and Asia, and it has become the pet project of Western developed countries to fund and orchestrate depopulation in these areas, in a veiled attempt to appropriate their natural resources.
Fact is, the root cause of poverty is not the existence or fertility of the poor, but their lack of education, coupled with other social and political problems. Those who take upon themselves the task of improving society, of reducing poverty, of removing social ills and reforming politics, cannot adopt the escapist technique of encouraging or coercing the poor to cut down their fertility in one way or the other. Their existence or fertility is not the problem; their poverty is the problem.
My humble request, to those who do not wish to take such responsibilities upon themselves, is to either support those who do wish to take such responsibilities, or simply not do any harm by encouraging governments and policies which are trying to recklessly depopulate our own brethren.
Malthus, 1798: An Essay on the Principle of Population, London, Printed for J. Johnson in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1798.
I will leave you with the following video:
To be continued.
In this series
The Dark Designs Behind Population Control - Part 1