[Marxism] Overpopulation/ seeking a framework of discourse
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Wed Apr 14 10:47:38 MDT 2004
In a message dated 4/12/2004 9:06:11 AM Central Standard Time,
gadfly at EXITLEFT.ORG writes:
so, any attempt to control population growth is portrayed as a sort of
police state. how exactly is the alternative (of this so-called
revolution that reduces this and disbands that) imposed on the people? the
last section of #3 is an attempt at demonizing the position you disagree with.
1. The revolution begins and is effected on the basis of changes in the means
of production – the technological regime, which is turn unravels the
structure of the old existing society and creates new classes, class forces and form
of social organization. The evolution of the technological regime imposes the
revolution on people. People imposed political forms of social organization on
people as society leaps to a new basis that allows the further development of
the new technological regime or rather productive forces. Revolutionaries do
not create “the revolution” but rather the political forms.
2. There is a complex set of factors that determine population growth rates
and these factors are absolutely ignored under the ideology of "carrying
capacity of the earth." It would seem that the concept "carrying capacity of the
earth" examines population growth rate on the basis of external collusion between
people and resources/mode of production, distribution and consumption. (In
Lou P. case he admits and examines the property relations). That is to say the
approach is that the population has double over "X" amount of time and given
this rate, if this trend continues the earth will have "X" + "X" +"X" amount of
people in say 50 years.
Marx argued this question of overpopulation, which is to say this is not a
new issue. Marx deployed a concept called the "law of population." Those within
the Marxist method and tradition, are compelled to try and unravel what
constitutes the inner working of this "law of population" to verify the projections
of many who view over population and population trends as an urgent program.
The earth is not overpopulated or rather the over population problem we face
in today’s world is the existence of far too many bourgeoisies and those
regarded as capitalists. This is a serious economic, social and political problem.
The withholding of life reproducing factors from billions of people is a
question of property plain and simple.
Has the quantitative mass of people on earth outstripped the earth’s organic
"infrastructure" and threaten the metabolic processes constitute the earth
bio/eco-sphere? The so-called "carrying capacity" of the earth means the earth's
metabolic processes cannot sustain our current population and its projected
There is not a shortage of food on earth. The apparent shortage is a function
of the bourgeois property relation as it governs reproduction and as it arose
Food stuff is withheld and wrong foodstuff is imposed on the people through
the bourgeois property relations. The concept “wrong foodstuff” requires an
understanding of properties, organic and inorganic and mans authentic metabolic
process. Our most ancient quest as a species has been for nutrition, not “food
stuff” as such.
Several factors determine family size and the rate of reproduction of the
species, that can be abstracted based on a comparison between agricultural
society, industrial society and post-industrial society. At least this approach
pushes us in the right direction of unraveling the "law of population."
At the base of this phony issue of over population is consumption. The issue
of over population is a phony issue created by the ideologists of the
bourgeoisie. It is a phony issue as it is currently posed, because the pressure on the
earth resources means these resources as they are organized by capital or
4. For those outside the Marxists tradition it is valid to ask “exactly what
is it that we as a society are consuming?” The military requires over 20% of
our petroleum consumption. The vast areas – stretches of earth, occupied by
just America’s military infrastructure is a waste of space and energy. The
automobile as the embodiment of the bourgeois property relations and consumer of
fossil fuel has to be looked at in its connections as and within the industrial
What are we eating – consuming, that not only cause obesity to be the number
one killer in America but requires an energy infrastructure for reproduction?
Is there anyone in America prepared to advance an argument in favor of the
candy bar industry (chocolate industry), the potato chip industry, the soda pop
industry, the hamburger industry, and the corresponding packaging industries in
which these commodities appear? These are “needs” created and/or
reconfigured on the basis of bourgeois property. How many cups of coffee do you need, and
why do you drink it in the first place? Our species did not emerge with a
coffee cup in hand and a spontaneous impulse for Colombian coffee. The origin of
need has to be ascertained.
How many cups, plates, knives and folks, ash trays, pants, shirts, shoes,
diamond rings, gold tickets (chains, rings and the ungodly gold grills – teeth),
refrigerators, dish washers, individual heating and cooling units, sheets,
bedspreads, brands of toothpaste, brands of everything, kinds of vehicles, loafs
of bread, potatoes, carrots and other man made products do you “need.” Why
one feels they need these things are part of the problem and the essence of
bourgeois ideology and the bourgeois production and reproduction of “needs.”
Mother’s cookies will not escape examination. Let us leave mother alone and
examine the cookie and the energy infrastructure that arise to make these
cookies possible. Where did this need for cookies originate?
The communist revolution is founded on a revolutionary critique of all of
that in existence and mother’s cookies fall under examination. I of course will
be charged with attacking the saintliness of mother’s cooking. My mother -
bless her heart, was no good cook and generally cussed when preparing the meals
for six children and two adults. This had something to do with father “capturing
her” at age 14. She of course was pregnant at age sixteen and I was born when
she was a ripe twenty. Her cooking and knowledge of foodstuff was inherited
and her skill evolved based in the continuous evolution of artificial needs
created by the bourgeoisie, or rather bourgeois property.
Mother’s cookies and “good wholesome” food is neither good nor whole, but
the historically inherited diet, reconfigured on the basis of industrial man and
The women factor or emancipation looms large in the issue of overpopulation
and is more complex than simply birth control. One has to question the concept
of “controlling birth” – birth control, and “controlling population growth”
under conditions of bourgeois property.
Why do you eat donuts, which require configuring an energy infrastructure to
create all that is needed to mass produce donuts? Here I shall be hunted down
– not by the political police, but the police proper for attacking their
snack food. How invented the “snack” and “snacking?”
Marx said property has made us stupid and it has.
Every commodity – whether good or bad, is a draw on the energy infrastructure
and a commodity existence as a commodity, impacts and reconfigures the energy
infrastructure in its image, as . . . a commodity. The idea that this
question of overpopulation is not that of a property relation as it creates needs is
not well thought out.
There is an intimate interactive “connection” between population, over
consumption in the imperial centers, obesity as the number one cause of death in
American society, the historic crisis of overproduction, the specific circuit of
reproduction driven by profit motive, the technological revolution and our
discussion to grasp this relationship as a totality. Actually, “connection” is
the wrong concept because we are talking about a totality and seeking
appearance forms of fundamentality.
The irreducible unit in all our discussions is man himself or women herself,
and the physical properties of what they consume.
An immense amount of destruction of productive forces and commodities of all
kinds is an attribute of bourgeois production, as is the withholding of
scientific knowledge that could grow vegetation and fruits without soil. The current
housing shortage on earth is a result of the bourgeois property relations.
The apparent water crisis facing the hoards in the less developed countries is
the result of the bourgeois property relations.
5. The law of population begins with an understanding that sex between man
and women is and has always been the basis for reproduction of the species. In
as much as female – women, carries and delivers the babies from her body, her
social role in history has to be examined. We are talking about the Women
Question or rather Women’s emancipation from men and not an abstract mode of
production. However, the gage of woman’s emancipation “measure” the distance she
has travel away from being an appendage of the labor of man or her man.
Let us return to mother and her cookies as a sex slave and appendage to the
labor of man in the industrial system.
Mother was 14 when she fell under the spell of father and father was 20,
having joined the army at age 15 – he was a big fellow. Mother was pregnant at age
16 and there was outrage that demanded farther “do the right thing” and
marry her, which he did. That is to say that the demand was to conform to the
industrial form of male/female bonding – marriage, with all its social
consequences. Forms of marriage change under the impact of the mode of production in
material life, which is why I advocate abolition of marriage as an institution.
Male-female bonding will not be abolished, only it’s property form. The social
configuration has to be factored into the law of population because we are
talking about social relations in general, not simply the relations of production.
The evolution of the role of female in society as dependent upon men and an
appendage/dependent to the laboring of men, within an agricultural society
creates certain quantitative boundaries for child reproduction. Various
quantitative boundaries in the evolution of the industrial system, impacts and calls
forth specific and changing forms of the family. Everything is involved including
the level of consumption, what is consumed that determines the health of the
offspring, the degree of understanding of life and the impulses and attitude
towards family size as a survival mechanism.
The mode of production has everything to do with this and this includes the
evolution of our attitude towards love and sex-love. We have long ago moved
from group sex-love to an evolving form of individual sex love or the abolition
of marriage in common. Women have only recently won the “political rights” to
say not to sex.
Not only does our current mode of production no longer gives economic impetus
to a conscious striving for large families – 6 – 14 children, or 6 – 14
pregnancies, and a conscious striving to value male over females, but there no
longer exists an ideological infrastructure campaigning for the large family.
Everyone knows what sex is and apparently no one gets enough or the kind of
sex they desire in a consistent manner. Sex between men and women is the basis
of child production, but other factors impact how the sex drive is manifested.
The women factor is an important lens through which we attempt to view this
question of population growth and its curves.
The woman as sex object is different under agricultural relations and her
being as a sex object under industrial relations and more different in the post
industrial society. Woman’s continuing emancipation is cardinal and not simply
from the point of view of political rights – birth control and the right to
say no, but as she exists as an appendage and subject to labor requirements.
The sex drive is also manifest on the basis of consumption – literally what
we eat, and how the human organism is stimulated. This aspect is extremely
complicated and requires professional study outside my range. I have considered
the question on the basis of the difference between stimulation and frequency.
Clean human beings – that is those freed from 90% of wrong consumption, have a
different sexual urge and response than polluted man who craves perpetual
stimulation to “feel alive.” The craving for stimulation – the deployment of a
catalyst to feel, is a different sex urge based on a clean body that can feel
and realize the “stimulation” based on the frequency of cell structure.
Hence the mass deployment of sex devices and machines – sex tools, at this
stage of bourgeois property.
The law of population is driven by a complex of many factors that one must
learn how to think about. Posing the question in a “proper” framework at least
opens our minds to a radically different approach.
This question of eating and consumption as it was inherited and evolved on
the basis of bourgeois property is the essence of the meaning of social
revolution in the means of production and the communist revolution. Man pollutes
because he is polluted and this pollution is reproduced in a widening circle of
production under the impact of property.
To my knowledge no one has every raised these questions or written about them
as a totality, and I choose to exercise the right of “first discovery” and
to declare this a communist approach to man and environment.
What is being stated is that the root of man has to be examined before he
becomes alienated from himself, and as he is driven by what he eats. And how he
in turn reproduces himself and alters his surrounding on the basis of the
objectification of his labor and historical ignorance of science.
The quest to examine the actual physical properties of our historic
consumption pattern is a breakthrough in the realm of economics, and economics is the
story of how we reproduce and exchange what we consume.
Overpopulation is a bogus concept and thoroughly bourgeois as it is presented
on the basis of “the carrying capacity of the earth.” The question of over
population in our history has always been an ideological expression of
property. We are not even close to exceeding the “carrying capacity of the earth.”
The barrier that has been hit is that of bourgeois property as a system of
A new horizon has opened. The number one cause of death in American is over
consumption, but it has taken decades for this very real issue to be flushed
out into the open and a fight within public opinion can now take place.
6. DMS presentation of the question of over population, the bourgeois
property relations at the base of reproduction, the falling rate of profit, why price
cannot be confused with value, why it is a mistake to pose the question of
over population in the framework of Thomas Malthus is accurate.
The communist workers, Marxists and radical economists cannot approach any of
these social questions from the standpoint of bourgeois economics. Economics
must serve society and this is a partisan issue.
Marx “Economic and Philosophic Manuscript of 1844” contain the method
deployed in the conception of “needs” and reproduction.
We are not faced with a crisis of over population on earth today or in the
foreseeable future. What is challenged is the future one envisions. My personal
vision of the future is predicated on the destruction of all forms of
property, not simply bourgeois property. I do not advocate public property forms but
rather a transition in society that destroy all forms of property.
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