Commentary: The Specter Of Robert Malthus, Part 4, Final

This is a continuation from Part 3, and the final article commenting on the economics of Robert Malthus. Let us review what is at the core of Malthusian philosophy.

Malthus asserts that an axiom of nature is that the rate of food growth is slower than the rate of human population growth. Thus, the solution to this problem is to let people die of starvation – per Malthus. He even promotes the idea of spreading epidemics purposefully to reduce the human population (COVID?). He justifies this by saying that anyone that breaks the law of nature and creates more children than there is food to feed them, deserves this just punishment of starvation which comes directly from the hand of God.

Thomas Robert Malthus Wellcome L0069037 -crop.jpg

What is really scary about all this is that Malthus is an ordained Anglican minister. He has been trained in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Old Testament, New Testament, St. Thomas, St. Augustine, Aristotle, Plato, Homer, and Virgil. I know what he is angling at. This concept of Natural Law is actually very popular among established world religions.

Here is that idea in a nutshell. Malthus is alluding to an old idea that God’s punishment for sin is baked into the natural laws of the universe. For instance, if you start experimenting with drugs, you will become an addict, and probably overdose and die. Or this, if you start acting like a buffoon, then you will actually become a buffoon by habit. You see, the punishment is in the behavior.

The problem is that Malthus tries to extend this thought to the human lives of children. In essence he is saying, “you have too many children, then you deserve to lose them via starvation”. This idea is so obviously insane that I do not have to produce a counter argument.

About 90 years after Malthus’ book, another fellow in England, named John Hobson, wrote a book called, “The Evolution of Modern Capitalism”. This is a really good book in that Hobson points out that the reason for economic collapse is overproduction via 24 hour machine operation in factories. He says that with machines, there is no way that a nation’s population can consume all that production. In his day, when nations overproduced, instead of paying higher wages and lowering the cost of those things produced, thereby allowing the poor to purchase it; capitalists would sit on their cash and force their government to find new markets for the excess production in overseas colonies. This sounds familiar: Boston Tea Party.

It was this economic and political environment of the 1700s and the 1800s that created the perfect conditions for the introduction of Communism. Karl Marx saw, somewhat correctly, that private property is the problem. What he is referring to is that in a modern society, the common man has No Exit. The average guy is forced to into a type of slavery because all the means of making a living are already owned by the “fat cats”: land ownership, factory ownership, etc. Marx’ solution was to strip the rich of their property; but, this is ridiculous, because ownership is a natural human right.

All I do know is that letting people starve to death is not a viable option. People will fight to stay alive. This solution is not moral nor sustainable. Are you hearing me Big Brother?

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