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A Counter Claim to the Malthusian Theory on Food Production - Research Paper Example

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A Counter Claim to the Malthusian Theory on Food Production: An Emphasis on Today's Developing Countries In 1798, Reverend Thomas Malthus asserted that “food production is exponential in nature and population growth is geometric”…
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A Counter Claim to the Malthusian Theory on Food Production
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Download file to see previous pages Malthus argues that the society needs to act to prevent such a thing from happening to the human race. He therefore states that people should be encouraged to come up with systems and practices that will ensure that population growth is checked (Malthus 72). He proposes 'positive' population growth checks like increase in death rate and preventive checks like low birth rate (Malthus 72). Although his argument might have been relevant in his time and might still be relevant in this generation, there are many flaws in his argument that are going be explored in this paper. This is in line with the connection of Malthus' ideas with modern day societies, particularly the societies most at risk of the claims he made – the developing world. This paper argues that Malthus' theory is NOT relevant to today's society because there are many ways that the problem of he raises can be dealt with in our modern era. The paper makes a claim that developing countries are NOT at risk of extinction or harmful practices because of population growth. Rather, developing countries today can maintain a steady population growth with corresponding improvements in technology, national structures and global interdependency. With these arguments, the paper seeks to prove that the threats of population growth are not applicable to today's society. Critique of Malthus' Position In the book, An Essay on the Principle of Population Malthus drew the attention of Britain and Europe to the dangers of population growth. It was in line with what became known as the Malthus Iron Laws which suggests that when population increases, there will be a large supply of labor and employers will exploit workers by offering lower wages, thereby increasing poverty. To an extent, I agree with this in the present world, because in a nation like China, wages are extremely low because there is a high population and there are no wage regulation laws (Cooke 152). However, this claim puts the independence of Malthus into question. Right after the claim of the Iron Wage Laws come into prominence, Malthus comes up with this theory that population grows geometrically and food production grows exponentially? Was he writing this essay on the basis of empirical facts, or was he just being pessimistic to put fear into the people of Britain so that they controlled the population. Before Malthus wrote this book, there was no official census in Britain. It was this book that Malthus wrote which made Britain begin to count its people in 1800, two years after Malthus wrote this book (Davey XX). This suggests that Malthus only penned down this model on the basis of his personal sentiment without checking the population of any group of people. This is because Britain was one of the most advanced nations in the world. So if there was no system of taking populations on a regular and accurate basis, where did Malthus draw the conclusion that populations increase geometrically? And which farms did he study to identify that food production is exponential. This therefore suggests that the conclusions of Malthus were based on personal sentiments and had little facts to back them. Another issue is about the way agriculture was carried out in the time of Malthus. Most people were involved in subsistence farming. Walters state that in the 1700s, 95% of people in England fed themselves through subsistence farming (36). This, again suggests that the proposition put forward by Malthus was based on a world where there ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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