Population. Is the World Over-Populated. Fact or Fiction?

Population Growth: Problem or Beat-up?

Population increases with scarcity: Low wages, fewer resources.

Population decreases with economic equality: Growth.

An exclusive focus on population not only obscures the complexity of the issues; it also plays on people’s prejudices.

Identifying the Problem.

1. Consumption levels.

2. Inequality of resources

3. Inequitable distribution of  populations.

4. Control of land/food production and distribution.

4. Internal logic of capitalism; The need for profits.

5.Humanism: The idea of history and progress.

6.Religion: Dogma and indoctrination.

7.Family.

8.The elimination of matralineal lines.

Antecedents: Empire.

Under imperial rule people are subjects, not citizens. The subject always has its ”other”; the object –the ”thing” to be used – for the purposes of advancing the Empire.

Empires need high population levels. The more people there are the  greater the need for industry and production, the larger the capital growth, the greater the defences needed for policing.

Rome.

The Roman Empire had high infant mortality, a low marriage age, and high fertility within marriage.   Half of Roman subjects died by the age of 5. Of those still alive at age 10, half would die by the age of 50. Roman women could expect to bear on average 6 to 9 children.

At its peak in the 160s CE, Rome had a population of about 60 million and a population density of about 16 persons per square kilometre. In contrast to the European societies of the classical and medieval periods, Rome had unusually high urbanization rates. During the 2nd century CE, the city of  Rome had more than one million inhabitants. No Western city would have as many again until the 19th century.

Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Indus Valley.

Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Indus Valley civilizations are noted for their dense populations, urbanization processes, and cultural innovation. These elements are tied to the growth of commerce and broader cultural interaction. That is, as Empires these civilizations can be thought of as collections of peoples, goods, and ideas whose existence and dynamism were built on movement and exchange. This can be seen in the movement and exchange of people, the movement and exchange of goods, and the movement and exchange of ideas, otherwise the commodification of all life.

 Britain’s Global Power.

After the American War of Independence Britain (1783) thirteen colonies  British   colonies in North America were overpopulated,  this caused Britain to  turn its attention towards Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. After the defeat of France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815), Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century (with London the largest city in the world from about 1830) and the ability to expand to India and South Eastern Asia.

Monarchy, Family, Community, Stability.

 Within the movement and exchange that epitomized the Indus, Mesopotamian, and Nile civilizations, rising Empires imposed a stability that occasionally resulted in greater interaction between states and peoples.   The most striking example of this greater interaction is trade, which in turn enforced the already existing system of a feudal class.

Colonization

Between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, Britain was the biggest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.   By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, one-fifth of the world’s population,  almost a quarter of the Earth’s total land area.

Development and growth in the colonies was predicated on migration and increased population. Migrants were encouraged to breed in order to grow the new nations.

(Importantly, nationalism is a necessary outgrowth of monarchy/Empire and colonization).

World War 1.

By the start of the 20th century, Germany and the United States of America  challenged Britain’s economic lead. Subsequent military and economic tensions between Britain and Germany were major causes of the First World War,  during which Britain relied heavily upon its Empire. The conflict placed enormous strain on the military, financial and manpower resources of Britain.

Britain gained more territory after the First World War, but it was no longer the pre-eminent industrial world power.

Changes in Social Structure.

The British nobility, in so far as it existed as a distinct social class, integrated itself with those with new wealth derived from commercial and industrial sources, but this expansion of the middle class did not preclude a similar rise of the labouring class who were subsequently influenced by the Bolsheviks.

In 2013 the British Class Survey found that only 25% of the nation’s population were classified as middle class.

The high end wealthy middle class elite constituted 6% of the population.

A new affluent working class (trades-people) represented 15%.

The service sector of the working class, chefs, nurses, carers etc. 19%.

The lowest, the precariat, 15%. These were van drivers, carpenters caretakers, shopkeepers.

 The British Class System.

Technically the changes to the class system happened at the top end, not the bottom end of the capital/class pyramid, whereby Prince William, a working military officer would be classified as middle class despite being heir to the British Throne.

A higher proportion of working class/cast/underclass will generally result in a higher population. The same system that applied to territories, protectorates and colonies applies to the labouring body of the workers.  The more one man/woman works and the lower the income, the more the necessity to breed additional workers and earners.

CAPITALISM AND EMPIRE FEED ON POPULATION GROWTH. ANY SOLUTION TO POPULATION MUST START WITH CHANGING CAPITALISM.