re-border controls / malthus

Michael Luftmensch MLuftmensch at
Fri Feb 16 18:55:49 MST 1996

re-border controls /malthus

Lisa, excuse my lack of clarity. My point is quite simple: Malthus took
border controls for granted. He considered them to be natural. Hence, his
population model had no spatial dimension.

Immigration didn't solve Ireland's problems, but it did alleviate them.

Colonial plunder provided much of the capital for the industrialization of
Europe and many a crisis in its development has been attenuated by exporting
it abroad.

This is part of the historical context of border controls. The exchange has
never been equal. The colonies never had colonies of their own to plunder and


Potatoes were brought over to Europe from the New World and have fed millions
of people. The history of Ireland, for instance, is tied up with the history
of the potato.

But the indigenous people of Peru, who developed the potato, have received
nothing for the staple that has fed so many Europeans and Americans.

They didn't take out a patent. All that bio-engineering, and what do they
have to show for it? An export economy dominated by the United States - which
is impoverishing them.


When you write that the real short-term survival
interests of workers stuck for now in capitalism are ignored by calling for
the abolition of  border controls, which workers are you referring to?

Those within the borders of the United States, or those on the face of the

While the Earth is a natural limit, the border controls of the USA are
institutionalized violence. Neo-Malthusian population experts, however, take
them for granted. Should we do the same?


     --- from list marxism at ---


More information about the Marxism mailing list