Monday, October 31, 2011

World's Best Halloween Costume: Population Bomb

For those looking for a population bomb Halloween costume there would be many choices. After all it may turn out to be another Y2K. Or it could be Rwanda. Or Somalia. Or Even the U.S.

How about dressing up like Anglican clergyman Thomas Malthus. In 1798 he predicted humankind would eat itself out of existence.

There would be plenty of backup from war and disease. Greed figures in there somewhere.

"The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man," he wrote.

Malthus might be writing slogans today for the Occupy Wall Street activists. He stated that misery and vice were useful tools for making the world live in poverty and repression.

Many believe his doomsday predictions have been proven wrong. How so? This week the U.N.  announced the world's population had reached 7 billion.

Earlier predictions said it would be 9.3 billion by 2000. It may well become an explosion. There seems no will on the planet to stop it, other than greed.

What happened? More prosperous countries began to find large families inconvenient. Along came AIDS and other diseases. War was/is never far away.

Many scientists say the Earth cannot sustain such larger numbers. Others are more skeptical. Perhaps we can have an Green Internet and download food; more likely people will starve but not enough to die. Pogo once quoted a Russian leader as saying shortages will be divided among the peasants.

"Famines do not simply occur _ they are organized by the grain trade," wrote Bertolt Brecht, who wrote "The Three Penny Opera" with Kurt Weill before they fled Hitler's Germany.

His "How Fortunate The Man With None," which is available in numerous versions on YouTube from Brecht's play "Mother Courage" relates his zeitgeist in a beautiful and powerful manner reminiscent of Jim Morrison's "The End."

1 comment:

  1. When we turn over our means of food production to multinational corporations, we have lost the ability to control our lives. What will be next? the commodification of water? of air? Nope, they're already being sold off.