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Malthus, he declared, had “entered on a desert land, and, like the first discoverers of countries, set up a symbol of occupation and without further ceremony said, ‘It is mine’”. The main question was whether the forces of procreation were the sole source of population growth.It should be noted that according to Malthus’ “axiom”, human institutions could play no more than a secondary role in population developments.In “the great lottery of life”, he wrote, some would have to “draw a blank”—a statement understood to demonstrate his profound inhumanity and leading Proudhon to retort: “There’s only one man too many on earth—Mr.
In fact, population growth drove people to the margins of subsistence in an already impoverished environment.
In comparison with a couple of centuries earlier, Europe had fewer forests and less wildlife.
Was this the effect of a natural law or simply of the “law of very artificial life” (Godwin), which advantaged a handful of individuals?
If man’s perfectibility was unlimited, then there was no reason to fear world population growth.
, published in 1830, in which the author stands by his population principle despite all the vigorous attempts to refute it.
As in 1798, he denounces the unintended consequences of welfare laws, which amounted to “the concession of a right of full support to all that might be born.” The fact was that the wellbeing an individual might be allotted could bring about deterioration for a considerable segment of society.
Climate conditions were unfavorable due to the Little Ice Age and the landscape showed signs of severe degradation because people pushed agriculture into marginal areas.
In the cities a lack of knowledge about hygiene led to epidemic disease and, in combination with food shortages, led to a high mortality.
The mathematical basis of this idea is the principle that the population is growing in a geometrical rate: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 etc.
The food supply on the other hand increased only in an arithmetical fashion: 2, 4, 6, 8 etc. the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”.