Here, Malthus examines the tendency of human numbers to outstrip their resources, and argues that poverty, disease, and starvation are necessary to keep societies from moving beyond their means of subsistence.
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By Jason on 18-04-14
An interesting period piece, who's time has come.
What did you like best about An Essay on the Principle of Population? What did you like least?
It is a wonderful window into the colonial mind of the late eighteenth century. Many of his viewpoints are so screamingly politically incorrect as to have me laughing out loud, yet there was a strong argument that ran through the essay that I found myself unable to refute. I loved his somewhat archaic yet delightful use of the English language. My criticism is that he had one central argument which whilst well made, he did not really develop any further, rather just kept illustrating repeatedly by way of different examples.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
Hey, I think the guy is essentially correct, and we are seeing the truth of his predictions being lived out around us every day. That was very interesting. I'm not sure if Godwin stole his girlfriend in adolescence or something, but his grinding an axe on Godwin's eralier work became tedious.
Have you listened to any of Gareth Armstrong’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I don't believe I have. I enjoyed his performance very much.
Do you think An Essay on the Principle of Population needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
It would be tricky, 200 years after the fact, but of course this essay is a milestone in societal discourse. It is so frequently referred to that to all intents and purposes, much has been built on this work.