merits of this discussion

Charles Brown cbrown at
Tue Nov 11 11:45:34 MST 2003

 Marxist materialism does consider population growth independently of mode
of production at certain levels of analysis of the development of society.
See _The German Ideology_, for example, where population growth is given as
an independent _cause_ of the changes in modes of production, that is,
property regimes; in other words, Marx and Engels indulge in a bit of
speculative population growth science, and in doing so, they are not in the
reactionary traditions David cites below.   

In general, once again, David's position seems unaware that Marxist
materialist analysis ( as found in Marx and Engels writings , some cited by
Lou and myself on this thread) is not in every concrete situation confined
to the assumption of total determination by capitalist property relations. 

Sure, in this epoch of a capitalist property regime those laws of motion
_must_ be considered in a Marxist analysis of any situation. But Marxism is
always in principle open to the possibility that natural factors can impact
events "under" capitalist relations of production ( or any other relations
of production) _and_ can force a change in the relations of production or
mode of production. 

"The" issue on this thread is "what is Marxist materialism ?" Is it only
economic materialism, or is it economic and biological materialism ?

All material sciences have been put to reactionary purposes and proposals
by bourgeois scientists.  To claim , as David does, that engaging in a
natural science and its impact on society necessarily confines a Marxist to
the conclusions and prescriptions of reactionary scientists in the same area
would be to ban Marxists from all natural science

From: "dmschanoes" 

To Louis: The fact that this is a Marxist list requires us to determine the
social origins and function, the history of "too many people," "zero
population growth," -- and that history shows the legacy of Malthus to be an
ideological attack on the poor, the weak, and the disabled. There is no
presentation of this issue in history that has not included "solutions"
involving attacks on the poor-- and particularly attacks on poor women. That
is the historical reality. Although its been some 30 years since I last read
it, Chase's Legacy of Malthus nails the history pretty well.
There has never been, and can never be, examination of the issue of
population outside the social determinants of reproduction of human beings
within a specific economic, again class, organization. There is no science
of population growth that is not, sooner or later, social darwinist,
socio-biological, pseudo-genetic, because the issue really isn't the
capability of nature to support the human population, but the capability of
the society, since human beings exist in a social organization.

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