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Criticism of the Malthusian Theory of Population

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Criticism of the Malthusian Theory of Population

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  • Feb. 2009
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Criticism of the Malthusian Theory of Population

The Malthusian thesis was an unwarranted, hasty generalization which was logically unsound. .Naturally Malthus has been the target of scathing criticism by both friends, and foes. Among those who joined the fray, the names of Godwin, Cannan, Nicholson, Membort figure prominently. Godwin observed about it as “That black and terrible demon which is always ready to stifle ,the, hopes of humanity.” Maithus himself’ regarded his first essay as an unsatisfactory statement of the principle of population.. Therefore he revised and rewrote the first edition. It seems strange, therefore, that many of his critics have written as though they were unaware that the 1st edition of the essay had ever been revised, expanded and. ,modified Despite the statistics covering many countries incorporated in his later editions, it is felt that his views were over simplifications The theory is criticized on the following grounds

(1) The basic assumptions of the Malthusian theory are, correct (a)The operations of the law of diminishing returns can be postponed indefinitely Malthusian notion on food supply is based on a Static economic law, i.e. , the law of diminishing returns Maithus could not foresee the miracles of technical progress over a period of time which have swayed the law of diminishing returns As a result of which food supply has increased much faster than the arithmetic progression (b) There is no direct relationship between sexual instinct and child bearing In fact the desire to have children is a noble objective based on social religious and geographical conditions, while the sex instinct is a base natural desire (c) The postulation that an improvement in standard of living leads to an increase in population is not borne out by facts. The choice before an educated couple is to have a ‘baby’ or a’ baby Austin and very often it is the car that wins The greater the malnutrition the more the fecundity and frenzy for...

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