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Surely, if he thought that suffering could be entirely extirpated, he would throw all his weight behind that solution.Population explosion will likely be the major issue of our time.I also didn’t expect the feminism, and the extension of the analysis from the Well, this was not quite what I expected.
Yes, he was opposed to the Poor Laws in England; but not because he cared little for the well-being of the poor.
Malthus genuinely, and for good reason, believed that simply giving money to the poor without increasing the food supply wasn’t likely to make their conditions any better.
Unfortunately, we now suspect that rather than preventing a calamitous collapse, the Green Revolution may just have forestalled a catastrophic one; the new farming techniques are destroying our soil. (See Charles Mann's cover story in National Geographic, September 2008 for more.) We need a new silver bullet. You might explain that it'll only result in decreased sensitivity and a shortage of socks, but he is going to keep at it with endless industry and innovation. We'll either be able to innovate fast enough to barely stay ahead of our own unforeseen consequences, or something else will happen. ETA: Cecily directs me to a couple of poems that say pretty much what I've said but much better and they rhyme. I’m not sure what exactly I expected from this little book.
He'll either get a girlfriend or die of autoerotic asphyxiation in his parents' basement. ) But it's human nature: show us a piece of land, and we will put stuff on it; give us an idea, and we will pursue it. Certainly, I expected to see Malthus’s oft cited argument concerning the rate of food production vs.
The tension he identifies between food supplies and population increase lead him to conclude that some poverty and suffering is inevitable, and that a perfect utopia is an idle dream.
But don’t mistake this realistic view of things for gloating about the destitution of the masses.So he sets out to prove that misery is essential to the development of man’s mind and heart.Interesting topics because I am participating in a library-based reading group that is spending the summer on Milton’s Paradise Lost.And when we look back at how much has already been done, we can thank Malthus for giving us a head start. The topic broadens into the public policy consequences of his theory and the metaphysical purposes of misery.Moreover, the writing is excellent; who expects Malthus to have a sense of humor?I also didn’t expect the feminism, and the extension of the analysis from the of the misery produced by the imbalance in population and agriculture.As a clergyman, Malthus understandably felt it incumbent on him to justify to man the ways of a God who would create such a law of nature.There are two ways to control this: decrease birth rate (preventive checks) or increase death rate (positive checks); if the first one doesn't happen, the second inevitably will.That general idea is so obvious that it seems hard to believe someone would have to come up with it, and Malthus is just the guy who laid it out most clearly.That's sortof the same as using Darwin to justify eugenics; there's a logical leap in the middle that makes no sense.There's a third way, first pointed out by Engels (the other dude who wrote The Communist Manifesto).