[tags: Malthus Principle of Population]

  English economist Malthus is best known for his hugely influential theories on population growth.

If we are looking for 'some unsurmountable limit in the long run', as opposed to a 'constantly operating check', we may take a hint from something which Malthus himself said, in another connection: 'Though I may not be able, in the present instance, to mark the limit at which further improvement will stop, I can very easily mention a point at which it will not arrive.'68 In 1956 Professor W.

Consider, for instance, how much more quickly we in Britain could hope to replace those existing schools which are out of date if only we could divert to this purpose some of the funds which are at present required to pay for the provision of new school places for additional children.67 The whole obvious yet constantly andoften wilfully neglected point is summed up for me by a poster which I saw recently in Singapore.

Thus in the , after first insisting that reason asks man 'whether he may not bring beings into the world for whom he cannot provide the means of subsistence', Malthusat once notices -- notwithstanding that his argument is officially concerned only with food supplies -- that 'In the present state of society, other considerations occur.

Thomas Robert Malthus was the second and last son in a family of eight.

it must be allowable, if it throws light on the subject, to make a supposition respecting the increase of food in a limited territory, which, without pretending to accuracy, is clearly more favourable to the power of the soil to produce the means of subsistence for an increasing population, than an experience which we have of its qualities will warrant.21In the as in the final the stress is on such expressions as 'can be supposed' and 'if I allow'.

In the year of his graduation Malthus also took Holy Orders.

Let us then take this for our rule, though certainly far beyond the truth; and allow that by great exertion, the whole produce of the Island might be increased every twenty-five years, by a quantity of subsistence equal to what it at present produces.

An Essay on the Principle of Population - Wikipedia

I thought of his clear exposition of 'the positive checks' to increase .

Malthus begins by marvelling at the enormous numbers of the Chinese, and picks on three causes of this immense population:

First, the excellence of the natural soil, and its advantageous position in the warmest parts of the temperate zone .

Malthus came to prominence for his 1798 essay on population growth

In the Malthus writes:

The sum of all the positive and preventive checks, taken together, forms undoubtedly the immediate cause which represses population; but we never can expect to obtain and estimate accurately this sum in any country; and we can certainly draw no safe conclusion from the contemplation of two or three of these checks taken by themselves,because it so frequently happens that the excess of one check is balanced by the defect of some other.43
Again in we read:

Robert Malthus's words have been persistently misinterpreted to justify cruelty in the name of the species or the population.

By promoting, and where necessary practising, moral restraint we can reduce the sum of vice and misery which would otherwise be the necessary consequence of the operation of the principle of population.

As we pass the bicentennial year of the publication of his Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Robert Malthus is still very much with us.

For in his , completed early in 1822, he wrote:
If, above all, it were once clearly understood, that it was not disreputable for married persons to avail themselves of such precautionary means as would, without being injurious to health, or destructive of female delicacy, prevent conception, a sufficient check might at once be given to the increase of population beyond the means of subsistence; vice and misery, to a prodigious extent, might be removed from society; and the object of Mr Malthus, Mr Godwin, and every philanthropic person, be promoted by the increase of comfort, of intelligence and of moral conduct, in the mass of the population.

Essay explains different methods of coerced population control through forced abortions, sterilizations, genocide and AIDS.

But this device was then by those who knew of it associated exclusively with extramarital or pre-marital activities; and it was to be used -- in what later was to become a cant phrase -- 'for the prevention of disease only'.

the first two chapters of his “Essay on the Principle of Population ..

Much later, in 1848, we find John Stuart Mill writing, in a book addressed to a public familiar with the ideas of Malthus:
That it is possible to delay marriage, and to live in abstinence while unmarried, most people are willing to allow; but when personsare once married, the idea, in this country, never seems to enter anyone's mind that having or not having a family, or the number of which it shall consist, is amenable to their own control.'40
It appears that the ideas both of prudential (as opposed to ascetic) sexual restraint within marriage and of contraception within marriage first began to win currency in England in the 1820s.