Petersen describes Daniel Malthus as "a gentleman of good family and independent means Warrington was a dissenting academywhich closed in ; Malthus continued for a period to be tutored by Gilbert Wakefield who had taught him there. There he took prizes in English declamation, Latin and Greekand graduated with honours, Ninth Wrangler in mathematics.
Adam smith is regarded as the founding father of our current economic system and the ideas of Malthus which are presented in this book serve as a solidifying justification to further support the capitalist class system.
As much as I detest the inhumane and completely debunked conclusions of this book, I did give it 2 stars, rather than one.
This is because i do think the book is important a I read this book because it has been recommended as one of the influences for the modern capitalist system.
This is because i do think the book is important as a way of peering deeply into the severely flawed mechanics and ideology which supports our modern system. A very good example of a bad example, so to speak. The basic idea of the book is that if humans all had their basic needs met, then they would reproduce exponentially, covering the Earth and destroying the habitat.
Therefore the majority, the poor and working classes must always live in poverty, starvation and disease, in order to keep their numbers in check. Almost any attempt to create a more equal society, to lift the lower classes up out of poverty or feed them, runs against nature and would An essay on the principle of population text harmful to the whole, to the survival and fitness of the "race".
He goes on further to explain how the higher classes are exempt from this rule because of their "christianly" well-breeding and self restraint. In short, he justifies a world where the few live in luxury, ease and plenty while the masses of humanity toil for them, largely starving and dying off to keep population in check.
All the while he claims that these views are actually the findings of reason and science. To support his claims of scientific evidence, he uses a long list of outdated assumptions, truncated examples, biased hypothetical scenarios and religious rhetoric.
One particularly absurd claim I can remember is when he said such and such is true "because, as science has proven, the Earth is 5, or 6, years old. I wonder what scientific text he researched in order to come up with that figure. Anyway, I think this book is very important, not only as an amusing peek into the past when people believed absurd notions for lack of more accurate data.
It is important because such a dangerous amount of people still believe the basic idea today, in spite of the vast information, research and data which has long since disproved his ideas. Not only have the ideas been thoroughly disproved from many angles, but we actually are actually still living in a system which was founded on and supports these beliefs.
First of all, is his main premise, that if humans have enough of the basic necessities of life and are not controlled by poverty and starvation, then they will multiply at an exponential rate, causing overpopulation. It has been shown that this is actually the opposite of what has been later observed in our world.
Women in poor countries tend to have less children as they are able to receive proper nutrition, clean drinking water, education, etc Women also have less children when basic medical treatment is available.
It has been shown that in situations where there is a high infant mortality rate, there is also an even higher birth rate.
I won't pick apart every one of Malthus' numerous incorrect assumptions here but I will say that I think the mistake ultimately lies with his incorrect beliefs as to what "human nature" is. This is very common and seems to be a root issue especially then, and even now. Unfortunately, belief systems are slow to adjust to new information and there is a dangerous 'culture-lag'.
Human nature has long been thought of as an force that comes from within the person and cannot be changed, only managed.
It was assumed that human nature is selfish, greedy, aggressive and competitive In ancient times, this view was supported by religions especially Malthus' own obviously Christian bias.
Later, psychology took the same view, except in its own language with people like Frued, and finally came the study genetics which further seemed as if "human nature" comes from within, deciding how we will be and behave.
It turns out that very little of behavior is programmed by the actual genes. The genes merely give options for traits that can be expressed.
It is eventually the social environment that decides which traits do become expressed. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University is one of many biologists who show that human behavior is very adaptable, not fixed.
It is influenced by the environment, not from within. This completely changes the conversation as to what a healthy society should be, because the conclusions of people like Malthus, Adam Smith and capitalism in general rely on the belief that humans are only self-interested, selfish and competitive.
It has been said that capitalism, with its inequality, competition and scarcity-based mechanisms is the ideal system to harness and work with this selfishness that is human nature.
In fact, selfish and competitive traits are a response to a highly competitive, scarcity based social system, not the reverse.In the last Teacher's Corner, we saw how badly Malthus' arguments in An Essay on the Principle of Population (, first pub.
), have been misunderstood and misrepresented by detractors from his own day and ours. A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah Thomas Robert Malthus FRS (/ ˈ m æ l θ ə s /; 13 February – 23 December ) was an English cleric and scholar, influential in the fields of political economy and demography.
Malthus himself used only his middle name, Robert. In his book An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus observed that an increase in a . November The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself.
THIS essay examines the idea of tolerance in our advanced industrial society. The conclusion reached is that the realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.
click here Energy and Human Evolution by David Price. Please address correspondence to Dr. Price, Carpenter Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY