Cover image: McSorley’s Line Up by Clyde Singer, 1961. Ashcan School, Midwestern Museum of American Art.
So, I was on my weekly date with God, and I opened a book that I read from time to time and chose a chapter having to do with Pope Paul VI’s most famous – and hardly ever read – Encyclical from 1968, Humanae Vitae. The truth of the matter having to do with that particular Encyclical is that Paul VI turned out to be right in the end, even if he was vilified for putting his thoughts in writing and not putting the Catholic Church on even footing “with the real world.” That’s a subject for another post.
However, in reading the last chapter in the book I read from time to time, I came to the realization that what we are seeing at this point with the attempts to limit population numbers, and diminish the food supply in both quantity and quality has its roots in – and please don’t attack the messenger – The Enlightenment.
Yes. Sorry to say, but the ORIGINAL work on population growth observations as presented by the authors of the book I read from time to time comes to us from Thomas Malthus, an English philosopher and clergyman who first penned his observations in 1798. (Paul Ehrlich’s ideas in The Population Bomb weren’t exactly original.) Wiki describes the gist of it thus:
In his 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus observed that an increase in a nation’s food production improved the well-being of the population, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth, which in turn restored the original per capita production level. In other words, humans had a propensity to utilize abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living, a view that has become known as the “Malthusian trap” or the “Malthusian spectre”. Populations had a tendency to grow until the lower class suffered hardship, want and greater susceptibility to famine and disease, a view that is sometimes referred to as a Malthusian catastrophe. Malthus wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible.
Malthus saw population growth as being inevitable whenever conditions improved, thereby precluding real progress towards a utopian society: “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”. As an Anglican cleric, he saw this situation as divinely imposed to teach virtuous behaviour. Malthus wrote that “the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence”; “population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase”; and “the superior power of population is repressed by moral restraint, vice and misery”.
Malthus criticized the Poor Laws for leading to inflation rather than improving the well-being of the poor. He supported taxes on grain imports (the Corn Laws). His views became influential and controversial across economic, political, social and scientific thought. Pioneers of evolutionary biology read him, notably Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Malthus’ failure to predict the industrial revolution was a frequent criticism of his theories.
Malthus laid the “…theoretical foundation of the conventional wisdom that has dominated the debate, both scientifically and ideologically, on global hunger and famines for almost two centuries.” He remains a much-debated writer.
Debated, yes, but his observations remain, to an extent, true…and can be seen in a way as a basis for the argument in favor of limiting population growth, and all the “save the planet” rhetoric that keeps changing keywords and virtue signaling. Yes, as a clergyman, Malthus saw it as a duty to look after the poor, but there really isn’t much in the way of the Divine in how he presented his findings.
Food for thought when the movement known as “The Enlightenment” is revered among so many.
Just a reminder:
Of course, this does not mean committing felonies, but standing up to the forces that want to tear this nation – and humanity apart. The very people XVII told us will be destroyed by the time this movie comes to an end are currently roaming the halls of power…supposedly. It’s a sickening sight.
And now for something completely different.
Your weekly reminder to take the pledge:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
And now for the nitty gritty of the Q Tree 5 minute, stand up, Tuesday morning meeting version of the Daily Thread.
Guidelines for posting and discussion on this site were outlined by our host, WolfM00n. Please, review them from time to time.
The discourse on this site is to be CIVIL – no name calling, baiting, or threatening others here is allowed. Those who are so inclined may visit Wolf’s other sanctuary, the U-Tree, to slog it out with anyone who happens to still be hanging out there. There is also a “rescue” thread there for members of the Tree to rendezvous if the main site goes kablooey.
This site is a celebration of the natural rights endowed to humans by our Creator as well as those enshrined in the Bill of Rights adopted in the founding documents of the United States of America. Within the limits of law, how we exercise these rights is part of the freedom of our discussion.
Fellow tree dweller Wheatie gave us some good reminders on the basics of civility in political discourse:
- No food fights.
- No running with scissors.
- If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
And Auntie DePat’s requests as we are all, ahem, adults, although some of us are beginning to wonder what the threshold for true adulthood is:
If you see something has not been posted, do us all a favor, and post it. Please, do not complain that it has not been done yet.
The scroll wheel on your mouse can be your friend. As mature adults, please use it here in the same manner you would in avoiding online porn.
Thank you so much for any and all attention to such details. It is GREATLY appreciated by more than one party here.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright.  Give praise to the Lord on the harp; sing to him with the psaltery, the instrument of ten strings.  Sing to him a new canticle, sing well unto him with a loud noise.  For the word of the Lord is right, and all his works are done with faithfulness.  He loveth mercy and judgment; the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord.
 By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth:  Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel; laying up the depths in storehouses.  Let all the earth fear the Lord, and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him.  For he spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created.  The Lord bringeth to naught the counsels of nations; and he rejecteth the devices of people, and casteth away the counsels of princes.
 But the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever: the thoughts of his heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: the people whom he hath chosen for his inheritance.  The Lord hath looked from heaven: he hath beheld all the sons of men.  From his habitation which he hath prepared, he hath looked upon all that dwell on the earth.  He who hath made the hearts of every one of them: who understandeth all their works.
 The king is not saved by a great army: nor shall the giant be saved by his own great strength.  Vain is the horse for safety: neither shall he be saved by the abundance of his strength.  Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy.  To deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine.  Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector.
 For in him our heart shall rejoice: and in his holy name we have trusted.  Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in thee.
As always, prayers for the fight against that which seeks to enslave us are welcome. Via con Dios.