July 1957

An Essay on Population.

Author Affiliations

Vols. I and II. By T. R. Malthus. Price, not given. Pp. 315. Everyman's Library, E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 300 Fourth Ave., New York 10; S. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., Aldine House, 10-13 Bedford St., Strand, London W. C. 2, 1952.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(1):169-171. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260070183023

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Darwin and Malthus ended the complacency of all thoughtful men when they showed that the earth is too tiny to give food and room to all living creatures. Philosophers since their day have realized that living implies eating, and in a pecking order with certain sinister aspects. Eat until eaten rather than eat or be eaten. There is naturally no guarantee that shrinking the world's population would change the law of the jungle, but there would be jungle enough to go around. In short, while Malthus' remedy, population restriction, would not bring us to Utopia, the opposite process, unlimited expansion of the population, insures trouble and invites disaster. And disaster will prove fatal to our way of life, if not to life itself.

"Has man a future?" This question can be answered favorably only if there is an affirmative answer to the question, "Has the intellect a function?"

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