There are people who consider the population problem the most important and pressing social issue. The prophets of doom who argue that the world has an overpopulation crisis are helping our masters. The idea that the Earth already or soon will have too many people for its possible food supply is completely bogus, regardless of all those articles you read about it carrying capacity and how many other Earths are required to support our population. When those predictions are made they are completely isolated from the social relations which produce the problems and they also give support to the logic the people are incapable of solving any problem and must be controlled by experts and eugenics.
The fear of overpopulation is an ancient one. It existed with the Greeks and Romans and again at in the Middle Ages. Plato and Aristotle were swayed by it, and Voltaire published a treatise on the subject in the first quarter of the 18th century. Other authors followed him until finally these fears finally cumulated in the 19thC writings of Malthus and the 20thC of Paul Ehrlich. They focus on the “excess” of people and the “lack” of food and not to the manner in which it is produced and distributed. The “overpopulation” proponents divert the justifiable anger of the people forced to live with poverty and hunger from attacking the ruling class that is responsible for those conditions to a ’blame-the-victim’ attack. This overwhelming concern for the problem of overpopulation is in sharp contrast to the lack of concern for other issues which the ruling class cannot solve and has no intention of attacking. The population scare is an attempt to take the blame off the ruling class, protecting their position in society. The idea is to blame the people for breeding too much, for consuming too much, for polluting the environment too much. The campaigns and the policies they push have nothing to do with what’s good for humanity. Humanity is the workers of the world and our interests and those of the capitalist class are miles apart. Capitalists get workers to blame themselves for their misery and suffering. They shift the cause and pass on the blame. It is the perfect alibi. Bourgeois ideology brings us the myth of overpopulation to explain hunger and poverty.
All sorts of “scientific” theories have been conjured up to justify the exploitation and oppression of the working class. All manner of arguments has been presented to get people to view themselves rather than the system as the source of their problems and divert workers’ discontent and anger.
Men and women are not having more children, the birth rate is dropping but child mortality rates are decreasing while people are living longer, the death rate, too, is falling. Babies aren’t dying needlessly and our elderly aren’t dying before their time. Isn’t this to be celebrated? On present projections, there will be an increase of population in a socialist society but the fear of insecurity and shortages will have disappeared. There need be no fear that a population increase will mean extra privation and suffering. We say there are far too many capitalists but by no means enough workers, each new birth adds something precious towards the future. Every child is born with a brain and pair of hands, the task we face is to make rational use of them.
The doom-sayers see starvation ahead unless rigid population control is imposed do not stand for continued human progress. These are not the prophets who will lead the peoples of the world into lands “flowing with milk and honey.” Only in a socialist World will benefit all of the peoples of the world, because only a socialist economy can support the sustainable food production and its rational distribution.