Thomas Malthus, famous dead "White Guy"
Well, depopulation has been something lately I feel I ought to be focusing: plans on the part of the elite for depopulation and eugenics and the propaganda/brainwashing people are subjected to in American society and Western society in general.
So, in keeping with that I started looking into Malthus hoping to trace the overpopulation and eugenics mythos from his time to ours.
The first thing I noticed is that he was actually opposed to those in his day that felt that humanity and human society were "perfectible", that progress was inevitable, and who believed that utopias could be created right here on planet Earth. In other words, he was a man after my own heart in many ways.
And who were these folk in 1798 when Malthus's Essay on Population was first published to whom he would have been directly opposed: They were Rousseau, Condorcet, and the anarchist, William Godwin.
Now these men had many good points and ideas, too.
It was Rousseau we can thank for the popularity of representative government in the eighteenth century that ultimately led to our own U.S. constitution -- a wholly admirable idea IMO. Wiliam Godwin was one of the first thinkers to question in full the need for state power -- for the power of coercion, and in his own way a man after my own heart. It was Condorcet who drew a connection between an educated and informed populace and the health of a representative republic. It was in this spirit he felt there was a connection between the progress of science and reason and the proper functioning of a republic. All admirable men in many ways, too, with admirable ideas.
But the dark side of Rousseau is the tyrrany of the general will and he has been interpreted as a champion of both republican government and the police state/dictatorship -- in fact, one can see in Rousseau's work how the one can easily morph into the latter. And in Godwin's utopian society, there is no need and, hence, no justification even to restrain men from doing those things they sometimes do to infringe on the liberties of others -- as if it were not sometimes necessary on the part of a legitimate and limited state. His idealism would strip the state of the power necessary to protect the liberties of its citizens. And finally Condorcet is also the father of modern technocracy, the idea that both nature and society are able to be engineered toward perfection.
In this light, the perfectibilism of the "enlightenment" needed opposing.
So, how did Malthus oppose them? With what arguments? Was he right in any way? In what ways was he wrong? Was he even a Malthusian? That is did he actually favor policies of active or even passive depopulation?
As the sole economist opposed to the Poor Laws, he was also the first to question the nascent socialism or proto-socialism that these laws embodied up until the modern era (post WWII). There are many things he might be admired for by he truth community today if his ideas were completely put in historical context, and his ideas on overpopulation (right or wrong) put in the proper persepctive.
In other words, he is not the monster liberals, and socialists and even anti-globalists might generally assume he was.
So, given all that, now I will look a little deeper at his actual thesis regarding population and its central tenets. First of all, setting aside issues of geometric and arithmetic progressions, the basic premise of his Essay is that unchecked by their environment, human populations will tend to increase or conversely that human populations will continue to increase unless checked by disease, lack of resources, or other environmental factors. Hardly metaphysically far-flung stuff, and in the agrarian society of his day, statements that were arguably true.
Nowadays, in the industrialized nations, indigenous birth rates are actually decreasing despite continuous economic growth more or less until fairly recently -- in fact, maybe, because of it. Before that, farmers and agricultural workers would tend to have as many children as they could.
Note, if you believe there is a sort of natural equillibrium between populations and the environment, there is no tendency toward a population 'crisis' and it is not apparent that Malthus felt his society was necessarily facing one. In fact, the whole idea that human society might tend to ward population crises might have been completely foreign to him.
Malthus was not, and is not Ehrlich. (We'lll get to that piece of work later.)
The UN estimates itself that human society will reach just such an equillibrium (in its official studies) that poulation will level off (for whateve reason) by its own estimates at about nine billion by mid-century -- though in other officail documents this same august body also suggests the need for drastic action to reduce the population back down towards one billion for the present 6.7 billion or so for the sake of the environment. The UN seems to be suffering from some insitutional schizophrenia on this point. This points to an esoteric hidden agenda, IMO.
In the end the only action he suggested taking to avoid the cyclical or oscillating suffering caused by this equillibrium was that people be encouraged to follow "moral restraint" by marrying later and practicing strict celibacy prior to marriage (hardly a radical suggestion at the time).
So, though he believed in a natural oscillation of population which he blieved could lead to some human suffering he did not believe that England in his day was necessarily heading to a "population crisis" and might have found it bizarrre to believe there are people today who believe the Earth is facing a population crisis.
In short Malthus wasn'nt necessarily a Malthusian in the sense that might be taken to day (or "neo-Malthusian" or whatever they might be called nowadays).
Anyways, this seems as good a place as any to begin this subject, though I intend to add a lot more material research regarding theories of population from Malthus' day to our own.
If anyone wants to learn more about Malthus, the man and the myth, start here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus