By Yves Charbit
According to present knowing, Malthus used to be adversarial to an far more than inhabitants since it triggered social sufferings, whereas Marx was once beneficial to demographic progress in as far as a wide proletariat used to be an element stressful the contradictions of capitalism. this can be regrettably an oversimplification. either raised an identical an important query: while regarded as an monetary variable, how does inhabitants healthy into the research of monetary progress? even supposing they all started from an identical analytical viewpoint, Marx confirmed a truly various analysis from that of Malthus and outfitted a social doctrine no much less divergent. The ebook additionally discusses the theoretical and doctrinal contribution of the liberal economists, writing on the onset of the economic revolution in France (1840-1870), and people in their modern, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who shared with Marx the denunciation of the capitalist approach. via paying cautious realization to the social, monetary, and political context, this e-book is going past the shortcomings of the class among seasoned- and anti-populationism. It sheds new mild over 19th century controversies over inhabitants in France, a case learn for Europe.
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Extra info for Economic, Social and Demographic Thought in the XIXth Century: The Population Debate from Malthus to Marx
Short-Term Demographic Responses In response to the fluctuation in the demand for labour resulting from phases of recession and recovery, the population, in order to maintain its standard of living, adjusts the age of marriage while the married population uses contraceptive methods whenever necessary (Fig. 5). Industrial production – Prudential restraint + + Standard of living Fig. 5 Third model. Short-term demographic responses But though it is logical that there should be an interaction between prudential restraint and the standard of living (as shown by the double arrow in the figure) prudential restraint cannot have a long-term effect on production because, according to the classical theory, the demand for labour always controls its supply and that is why a single arrow links prudential restraint and industrial production in Fig.
In spite of the lack of clarity in his thinking and even though all we have are often incidental remarks, it is possible to reconstitute Malthus’s answers to this objection. His arguments changed over the years. In 1798, in the f rst Essay, he maintained that the true cause of the rise in wages was “an act of compassion in favour of the poor”. 77 Observations on the Effects of the Corn Laws. .. Quoted by Dow, 1977: 309. Also see Essay, 7th edition, II: 103. 78 Principles: 167. On the other hand, Malhus claimed that the Irish peasants’ misfortune was a result of their dependence on the potato as a staple food and wages were low because the price of potatoes was low.
48 Essay, 7th edition, II: 254. 26 2 Population, Economic Growth and Religion From where could such a demand arise? 50 Which were the groups having sufficien savings to make investments? 53 Nor did Malthus rely on the big landowners, although they were very rich and had considerable savings. g. Ireland and New Spain). Other sources of the demand for labour were domestic and international trade, which stimulated the desire to consume by offering new products, and finall “unproductive” persons in the sense that they did not contribute directly to agricultural or industrial production but had an income.