Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Exorcising the ghost of Malthus

Guest post: Harry, on the misanthropy (so, disregard for life) of the lawless elite

UD sometimes hosts guest posts, some by request, some by promotion of comments. This is one of the latter. A key point is his note that the toll of our living posterity in the womb is now two billions (I can readily show 800+ millions and can plausibly support the 1.4 billion statistics I have seen). Similarly, the mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic shows sobering disregard for life and duties of care. We need to ask how we have come to this, within living memory of the Nuremberg trials. Without endorsing beyond “this is food for thought” we need to consider Harry’s concerns and considerations: >>The outrageous corruption of the godless elite is finally coming into the light of day. Read More ›

A note on technology-driven economic long waves (aka, the ghost of “Kondratiev” roars)

Nikolai Kondratiev was a Russian economist in the 1930’s who was shot by Stalin on September 17, 1938, because he had the integrity and courage to say the economic crisis of that decade, on statistical evidence, was largely a generation(s) length cyclical oscillation; not the Crisis of Capitalism leading to global Socialist Revolution that Marxist theory as understood by Stalin demanded. (Echoes in current debates on trends vs oscillations in climate trends etc are not coincidental. [Note, climate, technically, is a 30+ year moving average of weather.]) Joseph Schumpeter picked up his thought, and there has been a (somewhat marginalised/ “misunderestimated”) school of thinking on long waves across time. One aspect of that, has been a focus on how key Read More ›

Energy transformation vs. the ghost of Malthus

Our civilisation is haunted by the ghost of the Rev. Thomas Malthus. His core vision of resource exhaustion and population crashes haunts our imaginations. As BBC profiles in brief: Malthus’ most well known work ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population’ was published in 1798, although he was the author of many pamphlets and other longer tracts including ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Progress of Rent’ (1815) and ‘Principles of Political Economy’ (1820). The main tenets of his argument were radically opposed to current thinking at the time. He argued that increases in population would eventually diminish the ability of the world to feed itself and based this conclusion on the thesis that populations expand in such a way Read More ›