When I worked at a geography magazine we fielded an article from an academic about how “Malthus was wrong”—so we can say, given that was academic consensus, that Malthus was right. Academics are reliably wrong, especially in the progressive-dominated humanities. Malthus must be right because if Malthus is wrong Darwinism can’t be correct. Darwinism depends upon the observations made by Malthus being so—if not, Darwinism is not real. Darwinism, in its own terms, is real—I don’t say it’s reality entire, since it excludes the qualitative element, and yet in its own terms it is supported by the evidence.
The people who deny Malthus don’t tend to deny Darwin as well—so they must be in contradiction somehow. They’re really in the same position as Marx and Engels; both welcomed evolution by natural selection warmly because it had atheistic implications—and Marx asked for Capital to be dedicated to Darwin (the request was refused); and yet Engels couldn’t fully accept that Malthusian thought applied to humans—he thought, as modern conservative progressives do, that human ingenuity would *always* transcend Malthusian limits. His grounds? Just because.
This situation pertains down to today—it’s connected to the hypocrisy, ably noted by Nick Land and the neoreactionaries, that says “Darwinism ends at the neck”; in other words, evolution may influence every other bodily organ but when it comes to the head we’re *all equal*. It just doesn’t follow; and so people take “half-Darwin”—say they are rational people who accept evolution by natural selection and yet claim everyone is the same and that Malthusian pressures do not apply to humans.
We should remember that Malthus was a parson and his essay on population was directed at a progressive—at William Godwin, the inventor of anarchism and demi-husband to the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. His idea that if we “shared the land” the world would “be a common treasury for all” came from the proto-communist Diggers in the English Civil War. “There’s more than enough for all, and ever will be.” It’s utopian Protestantism—as instantiated by John Lennon above, as sceptical about Malthusian thought as Godwin and Engels (because he’s on the left).
Malthus was a religious man who was pessimistic about human nature—he observed that man’s “passion for sexual satisfaction” would remain constant and was likely to do so forever; it could only be checked by abstinence (he judged this unlikely), vice (abortion, destruction of the marriage bed, homosexuality, and prostitution), or misery (poor conditions and mass death).
These conditions are fated to come about because food production increases in arithmetical proportions while population increases exponentially; so one will never catch up with the other—the bottleneck and kill-off is what Darwin noticed and applied to the pre-existent idea “evolution” to create evolution by natural selection. It comes from the right because it’s derived from nature and its observation—in the material sphere in this case, although that is ultimately the door to metaphysical reality. It’s based in a religious pessimism as regards man.
People tend to concentrate on the “misery” aspect—that’s what Paul Ehrlich and John Lennon, both contemporary popular figures, were on about when they talked about “the population bomb” (starvation explosion)—for and against. However, it’s worth considering “vice”. Why do you think the West has experienced a sharp increase in non-reproductive sex, in homosexual and transgender ideas, and abortion in recent times?
It’s because we’re under acute population pressure—when Shakespeare was alive there were about 5M people in what would become Britain, today there are 70M; and the government—being progressives like Godwin, Engels, and Lennon—doesn’t think it matters. In fact, they think it’s good to have more people because it grows some notional GDP figure (mostly fabricated) and that is “good”—even though almost all immigrants are drawn by the welfare state and add nothing to the economy.
Where I used to live in London it was not uncommon to find 12 or 15 Poles or sundry Eastern Europeans crammed into one 4-bed semi-detached house. When I would look for a room in a shared house, it was not uncommon to find that many people distributed into a multi-partitioned Victorian mansion—usually with two Italian au pairs sharing the same bed at the top (and a crude en suite bathroom added into what was once a drawing room but was now a “flat”). TB has returned because conditions are so cramped and because the immigrants habitually spit in the streets—a habit the British were disciplined out of about a century ago. The problem is that the newcomers are neither subject to Edwardian-style discipline nor are they British people who follow the rules (the council street signs that say “Don’t spit” go ignored—perhaps the spitters don’t even speak English).
Conditions are so crowded that I have seen old barges partitioned into individual rooms and heated by a coal stove—the situation is totally precarious and Dickensian. For £475 a month you can live in a tiny cell made from plasterboard with a padlock for a lock and a cold bulkhead that abuts the Thames to rest your head upon. The risk from fire or suffocation is considerable—and these barges are themselves overcrowded. At the same time, fewer people than ever can attain mortgages—with pressure increased by immigration and divorce and single mothers (the latter artificially increase the number of required homes, even as fewer are built). In other words, we’re being choked because resources are scarce—we’re under selection pressure.
It’s Soylent Green territory—and these people are mostly on the de facto state dole. It’s Lennon’s version of “letting nature balance things out”. Well, it happens automatically—just like proverbial lab rats driven mad in the overcrowded “rat utopia”, the population turns to sterile mating and homosexuality and “the violation of the marriage bed” and other “vices”, as described by Malthus. I sometimes see conservatives say “we must combat vice” and people “must have children”, but they don’t understand Malthus—it’s not about “will power”; it’s an observation about reality, if resources become scarce certain behaviours manifest to check the population increase—it’s not like you can “will yourself” out of it. The process by which we exit “vice” is the attendant population decrease.
We live in a Malthusian world right now, because Malthus was right—the world was always Malthusian (in the Kali-Yuga, anyway; it’s the fallen world we live in). The problem is that Lennon’s “letting nature balance things out” amounts to an abdication of responsibility—have lots of children, have none (whatever, it’s all good); it’s pseudo-religion—it’s acting as if the Golden Age is now (man is nature knowing itself so everything we do is “natural” and there’s no right or wrong—well, it’s natural to responsibly check the population too, John).
There are basically two leftist distortions of Malthus in circulation at the moment. The most advanced progressive position semi-rejects Malthus because they understand that his implications are all to the right. What they say, particularly climate change activists, is that only Westerners need to reduce their population in order to save the planet—and that’s because they consume a disproportionate share of the resources.
However, it’s wrong, for example, to demand contraception in Africa because that’s “white supremacy” and “genocide”—so Europeans need to auto-genocide to make up for the “sin” of polluting the planet. It’s not really Malthusian because it’s not consistently applied and Malthus would have said “some are ‘useless eaters’ who produce nothing and so should go to the wall” (his ideas were used to support the “poor laws” that amounted to early labour discipline, akin to the way the Thatcher Conservatives attempted to reduce the welfare state)—the climate change activists try to say Europeans are the “useless eaters”, except they’re not; they’re the ones who invented agricultural practices that provide superabundance.
These people are met by a conservative progressive position, relatively to the right, that says “have children, having children is good” because it is forbidden to say “have European children—who will be net contributors, not a net drain”; so they have to counter the progressive message in a non-racial way because they are themselves progressives. So men like Peterson and Musk say “have more children, it’s great—everything will be fine”; yet this is based not on Lennon’s “whatever” attitude but on the Engels “whatever”—on the view technology will “always” sort it out (this view is irrational, by the way—there are no grounds to presume that technological advance is inevitable, it’s mostly a faith-based argument because these people worship science and the machine). It’s also predicated on the idea that every human is equal and so every human birth is a “gain”, but that’s not true—most human births are “drain” births.
This idea that “technology will always improve, we will escape Malthus” highlights the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence says it “seems likely” given what has happened since the Industrial Revolution that we will always escape Malthus—wisdom says that while it may seem likely, it’s not prudent to assume it is so (the Industrial Revolution is only 250 years old—novel in historical and Darwinian terms, will it last?); and, besides, even if we can support an ever-growing population it will be riddled with vice because the tendency to vice will remain even if starvation vanishes (and will, in fact, be encouraged by abundance and detachment from nature)—it will be an ugly abundance.
In Musk’s case, it’s mostly a counter-signal—most very rich people in the West have few children (and the middle class can only afford two) so he has many children to be different and then says, “Have more children everyone, it’s great!” (but it’s impossible for middle class people to do that, so it’s actually a status-burn that demonstrates his elite status in two directions—it both countersignals his elite contemporaries and the middle class; only a white billionaire can fuck like a ghetto black, with many baby-mammas).
What gives the lie to the progressive conservatives is that they say that “climate change” and “fossil fuel shortages” are not problems but then get very voluble about the need to expand and maintain nuclear power. That’s because they know there is a problem and that the only workable solution to maintain industrial civilisation is nuclear power. Their views on population are just the typical progressive conservative riposte along the lines “all lives matter”—i.e. the left castigates the “rich white world”, the progressive conservatives say “the left are the real racists, technology will solve all our problems”.
Both positions are predicated on the idea that all humans are equal and make an equal contribution—neither side fully accepts Malthus (both actually disdain him and call the other side “Malthusian”). The reality is that the earth is chronically overpopulated, the West is chronically overpopulated (so much so it’s driving people mad and they’re cutting their balls off), and industrial civilisation is destroying nature. What we really require is a planned cull to cut the planet down to about 1.4bn people—that’s the responsible action that would avoid vice and misery (I assume most will not abstain, as did Malthus); and yet it’s the position nobody is prepared to elaborate or undertake—even though we have sarin.