T. Robert Malthus


T. Robert Malthus' Home Page

Some short takes:

I do not understand why Malthus is not given more space in social theory books. . . He did not claim that population would soon outstrip its resources and that society would collapse. . . His essay merely points out that our ability to produce children will always outstrip our ability to provide energy for their survival, and because of this simple fact, we can never achieve the "great society" anticipated by his contemporaries. . . .Note Malthus' reliance on empirical data in supporting his arguments. . . Population must be kept in line with what the society can produce in the way of sustenance, and every way available to keep this population in check (including birth control) has negative consequences for society (which prevents "any great future improvement"). . . Malthus' basic insight had a significant impact on Darwin, Wallace, and Spencer in their development of evolutionary theory.

In his own words:

  ©Frank Elwell
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