Thomas Robert Malthus once presented a gloomy view of the world… that if population persists in its boom, nature, and eventually the whole of mankind, must definitely suffer because of the finite amount of resources that are available to feed the infinitely increasing number of mouths (excluding those of the animal kingdom).
In Robert Heilbroner‘s discussion of Malthus’ theory, he gave a rather riveting comment on how birth control could have played a central role in the scaling down of the predicted doom that was to come:
“Birth control seems to have been practiced by the upper classes all through history, which is one reason why the rich got richer and the poor got children… On the farm, children can be assets; in the city they are liabilities.”
I can’t agree more with him.
It’s still a cruel reality that the poor propagate themselves at what is considered to be the speed of light on earth, and that the rich stubbornly believes in doing otherwise, with a crudely formulated excuse that it is all in the name of mankind. It is, of course, also due to another simple reason, that of affordability – birth control is a luxury that only the rich could afford, and to afford to call it a need rather than a want.
Still, Heilbroner’s discussion of such a problem does not reveal any possible solutions of how a careful balance between the needs of human beings and the management of what is available on earth can be attained. And these solutions will not be discovered for a long time to come as long as optimistic people are around – the blood-sucking capitalists of society.