Thomas Malthus

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Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-02-131834-12-23) was an English demographer and political economist best known for his pessimistic but highly influential views on population growth.

Sourced

Essay on the Principle of Population (1798; rev. through 1826)

  • The most successful supporters of tyranny are without doubt those general declaimers who attribute the distresses of the poor, and almost all evils to which society is subject, to human institutions and the iniquity of governments.
  • If I saw a glass of wine repeatedly presented to a man, and he took no notice of it, I should be apt to think that he was blind or uncivil. A juster philosophy might teach me rather to think that my eyes deceived me, and that the offer was not really what I conceived it to be.
  • The germs of existence contained in this spot of earth, with ample food, and ample room to expand in, would fill millions of worlds in the course of a few thousand years.
  • The perpetual tendency of the race of man to increase beyond the means of subsistence is one of the general laws of animated nature, which we can have no reason to expect to change.
  • The immediate cause of the increase of population is the excess of the births above deaths; and the rate of increase, or the period of doubling, depends upon the proportion which the excess of the births above the deaths bears to the population.
  • The main peculiarity which distinguishes man from other animals, is the means of his support, is the power which he possesses of very greatly increasing these means.
  • The finest minds seem to be formed rather by efforts at original thinking, by endeavours to form new combinations, and to discover new truths, than by passively receiving the impressions of other men's ideas.

External links

Malthus's population essay

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