Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Answer to wiseGEEK

Squeeze my mind. Develop the thoughts. In a matter I haven't consider before. A matter however that I find it crucial. Unprepared, but full of thoughts which I need to organise to reach to an answer. My answer.

Certainly there is a stalemate and a real problem. Populations do increase exponentially. But does agricultural produce increase arithmetically? I wonder? Since the time of Malthus, in the 18th century, agricultural produce has increased in unheard of levels of production, that Malthus and his contemporaries could never imagine. I would not attempt to make a comparison in terms of arithmetic or exponential increases since I lack the data necessary to do so, but I only have one thing in my mind. With the current level of the world population size, the world over, agricultural produce suffices to feed it.
And this in my mind provides the answer. That at whatever level population size increases, in whatever age this might be, past or future, agricultural production follows suit, human ingenuity provide and will continue to provide the answer.
Trying to apply Malthus's theories in an isolated way, for one or the other country instead of looking at the problem globally, is misleading to say the least, if not intentionally creating a doom and despair scenario in support for and justify the current trends for accumulation of wealth to a handful of individuals to the detriment of all the rest in humanity.

The logic is that if you share the spoils of economic growth to the masses, ignorant as they are, they will start reproducing like rabbits, hyper-exponential increase in population sizes, so cut their food supply, restrict wages, reduce earnings, tax them to the hilt, let them work from dawn to dusk to make ends meet, (here you have an added bonus as they would have less time to procreate).

Make everything possible, use every trick at your disposal, anything that you can.

Use the media to fill up their lives ... with useless trivial pursuits ... use up the little spare time they have .... drive them towards establishing comfort zones, push them in, isolate one from another, complete alienation ... along the lines of the old colonial british rule, a thousand times tried and tested, the trusty 'divide and conquer'.

Squeeze them as far as you can, use up the monies to alienate one from another, make 'making-more-money' a primary goal in their lives.

Trivialize their lives, their background, their roots, rob them of their dignity, instill in their minds how futile and insignificant the lives they live, are (so they think and they want us to believe), that they are but pawns in a game played by a handful of shrewd and cunning players.

Making the millionaires as the outshining models for every one to pursue, relentlessly, in every waking or not, moment of their lives. The relentless pursuit of making more money their only goal.

The waste of goods and resources a prerogative, a necessity and a supposed privilege of every individual. Turning free will into a wasteful pursuit, meaningless, empty of content.

Bombard them with messages how crucial is their contribution to the state's economic growth, to fight the monster of inflation, that eats up their meager salaries ... confuse the issues .. and continue to apply Malthus's doctrines, as mentioned in 'Europe 1780-1830'‎, book by Franklin Lewis Ford, in page 347, where

"all excess value produced by technical progress and increasing scale of manufacturing being reserved to the entrepreneur and such stockholders as have put up capital in his support."

The Malthusian trap, the continual proliferation of that myth serves one purpose only, to justify the model that promotes the ruthless exploitation of humanity by a handful of individuals, in comparison, holding tight on an illusion of power.

Power, a myth perpetrated and still surviving nowadays, mere figment more than reality itself, as their bearers stand on top of intricately woven but extremely fragile structures, precariously supported on proverbial glass pillars, that a mere flap of a butterfly's wings can trigger a collapse, the ground failing them underneath.

That any improvement in an individual's standard of living would come out of the good will of the millionaires and the like as again one of the thoughts put forward by Malthus states

"In the event, the 'possessing classes' showed themselves disposed, out of a mixture of ...(intentional or unintentional missing line in Google book's snippet search equivalent to ... good will and piety).... to deal back a fraction of the profits, in the form of largesse to schools, hospitals, orphanages and so on."

but he is wrong there too. Anything, since his time in the 18th century human individuals gained, it was not given, it was taken and will continue to be taken as the years go by.

Thomas Malthus, Darwin's and other of their contemporaries ideas of a human individual as prone to

start reproduce like rabbits ... treating the human individual a slave to his animal instincts .... lack the element of reason

do not hold.

Malthus's predictions are wrong. It is not the size of the populations that are the problem but the size of their bellies. An exponential increase of human individuals with oversized bellies.

An increase in girth, more likely.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Malthusian societies? Modern societies determined by bare subsistence wages?

I read in Franklin L. Ford, 'Europe 1780-1830, A General History of Europe' book, first published in 1970, Chapter XIII 'Intellectual Ferment in a Revolutionary Age', Malthus page 346,

"... The implications of his theory for a ruthless young capitalism were none the less apparent. If anything more than subsistence only breeds misery for the mass of mankind, then bare subsistence should determine wages, all excess value produced by technical progress and increasing scale of manufacturing being reserved to the entrepreneur and such stockholders as have put up capital in his support."

Bare subsistence to determine wages? Bare subsistence the criterion that economies is based upon? What human societies, in the world over, are built upon? And based on this criterion the mass of humankind is kept at subsistence levels, as these might fluctuate slightly from decade to decade, a slow linear process, whereas the excess value being reserved for the entrepreneur and such stockholders that put up the capital? An excess value that rises exponentially.

Can this be true? Is it the blueprint that modern societies use to construct themselves? Determine and define the interactions between their individual members? It is mentioned in this website by Gavin Kennedy, that

"... subsistence incomes had remained the lot of the population (the Malthusian trap) for millennia."

A trap by all means. It is generally acknowledged that as the years go by, the rich are getting richer and richer, the gap between low earners and high earners widens.

Franklin L. Ford writes about Thomas Malthus that

"No single writer did more to buttress the forbidding side of this doctrine of economics ruled by egoism and the free play of forces than did the Englishman Thomas Malthus."


"In 1798, disgusted by what he considered the vaporizing of men such as Condorcet and William Godwin, author of the utopian 'Social Justice' five years before, Malthus published an 'Essay on Population'".

And as Franklin L. Ford admits,

"This has continued ever since to influence not only economic thought but also the apologetics of imperialism and biological theories of environment and natural selection."

Looking back over the years Malthus influence is widespread in the way modern societies govern themselves, permeating key sectors throughout their structures. It is the way governments and states adhere to. An underlying factor in all the interactions between state authorities and their individual members.

But why did Malthus arrive to that notion?

As Franklin L. Ford, mentions

"Malthus did not seek to spell out any theory of wages of profits. Rather, he thought of himself as a scientific student of demography and, when he urged self-restraint in regard to procreation, as a moralist."


"For Malthus, the rationale of population growth, and hence of possible improvement in the masses' standard of living, was as clear as it was discouraging. Given man's capacity for propagation to the absolute limit of numbers supportable by any given level of food supply, the author saw no hope of lifting the race by increasing subsistence. Indeed, he argued, since food production could at the very best increase, generation by generation, in no more than an arithmetic progression -1,2,3,4,5- while population, left to follow its natural tendency, would follow a geometric progression -1,2,4,8,16- the 'improvement of mankind' was an illusion beckoning disaster. The only reason the worst does not happen, he explained, is that natural checks, including famine, pestilence, war and 'vice' (abortion and infanticide) prevent the possible rise in population from being fully realized."

So the fear of over-population? That is what drove Malthus to his notions? Governments and states, following in Malthus' steps, provide additional checks, along with the natural checks, to prevent the rise of populations to unsustainable levels? Doing anything possible, to strengthen the checks even to the point of harboring vice-inducing conditions, such as drug-trafficking, gun-slinging in America, or the vehement opposition against any demands for wage increases with the sole goal of restraining population growth?

Is that one of the ideals of humanity?