Many writers have spoken of intentional plans by certain Elite to
thin-out the world’s population; it’s a recurring theme among
so-called conspiracy theorists.
There are frequent references to
"useless eaters", which includes the bulk of mankind. Most, when
hearing of plots to depopulate the planet, simply say under their
breath, "Yeah, right," or more often, while shaking their head,
But when there is a careful examination of writings
by prominent authors of this century, pieces of the puzzle certainly
do fall into place - pieces which support the contention that there
are certain individuals, if not entire governments, who have
implemented a program of global genocide in an effort to salvage and
What you will be reading in this series on Depopulation Of A Planet
are selected writings from a wide cross-section of viewpoints and
political leanings. I will be using "their" own documents, their own
words, to weave a fabric which, in the end, will be a tapestry of
undeniable clarity for those with eyes to see.
Without the historical foundation upon which to base understanding,
writing about current efforts at depopulation, through the use of
viruses and microorganisms, would have far less significance. So
please stay with it as you read and it will come together.
that some of this initial material may seem dry, but it is important
for a broader understanding of this critical and timely issue.
Thomas Robert Malthus was a person of the English State Church and
an economist who lived from 1766-1834. He is best known for his
writing An Essay On The Principle Of Population, published in 1798.
His main idea is that populations increase more rapidly than food
supplies. So, he claimed, there would always be more people in the
world than can be fed, and wars and disease will be necessary to
kill off the extra population.
Malthus did not claim to be the originator of this idea, although it
has come to be known as the "Malthusian Theory". Malthus based his
argument on the works of Condorcet, David Hume, Adam Smith,
Sir James Steuart, Townsend, Franklin, and others.
Malthus’ Essay suggested to
Charles Darwin the relationship between
progress and the survival of the fittest. This was the basic idea in
Darwin’s theory of evolution.
GEORG WILHELM HEGEL
Turning to the New American Encyclopedia, we read,
Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher of idealism who had
an immense influence on 19th and 20th-century thought and history.
During his life he was famous for his professorial lectures at the
University of Berlin and he wrote on logic, ethics, history,
religion and aesthetics.
The main feature of Hegel’s philosophy was
the dialectical method by which an idea (thesis) was challenged by
its opposite (antithesis) and the two ultimately reconciled in a
third idea (synthesis) which subsumed both. Hegel found this method
both in the workings of the mind, as a logical procedure, and in the
workings of the history of the world, which to Hegel was the process
of the development and realization of the World Spirit (Weltgeist).
Hegel’s chief works were Phenomenology of the Mind (1807) and
Philosophy Of Right (1821). His most important follower was
In the book edited by Carl J. Friedrich entitled The Philosophy of
Hegel, Hegel writes in The Philosophy of History,
"In the Christian
religion God has revealed Himself, giving to men the knowledge of
what He is so that He is no longer secluded and secret. With this
possibility of knowing Him, God has imposed upon us the duty to so
know Him. The development of the thinking spirit, which has started
from this basis, from the revelation of the Divine Being, must at
last progress to the point where what was at first presented to the
spirit in feeling and imagination is comprehended by thought.
Whether the time has come to achieve this knowledge depends upon
whether the final end of the world has at last entered into actual
reality in a generally valid and conscious manner."
Hegel concludes with,
"World history, with all the changing drama of
its histories, is this process of the development and realization of
the spirit. It is the true theodicy, the justification of God in
history. Only this insight can reconcile the spirit with world
history and the actual reality, that what has happened, and is
happening every day, is not only not ’without God’, but is
essentially the work of God."
In his work A History Of Western Philosophy,
"Throughout the whole period after the death of Hegel, most
academic philosophy remained traditional, and therefore not very
important. British empiricist philosophy was dominant in England
until near the end of the century, and in France until a somewhat
earlier time; then, gradually, Kant and Hegel conquered the
universities of France and England, so far as their teachers of
technical philosophy were concerned."
"[Condorcet 1743-1794]...was also the inventor of
Malthus’s theory of population, which, however, had not for him the
gloomy consequences that it had for Malthus, because he coupled it
with the necessity of birth control. Malthus’s father was a disciple
of Condorcet, and it was in this way that Malthus came to know of
Of Hegel, Russell writes in part,
"Hegel does not mean only that, in
some situations, a nation cannot rightly avoid going to war. He
means much more than this. He is opposed to the creation of
institutions - such as a world government - which would prevent such
situations from arising, because he thinks it is a good thing that
there should be wars from time to time.
War, he [Hegel] says is the
condition in which we take seriously the vanity of temporal goods
and things. (This view is to be contrasted with the opposite theory,
that all wars have economic causes.) War has a positive moral value:
’War has the higher significance that through it the moral health of
peoples is preserved in their indifference towards the stabilizing
of finite determinations.’"
Still quoting Bertrand Russell, "The Philosophical Radicals" were a
Their system gave birth to two others, of more
importance than itself, namely Darwinism and Socialism. Darwinism
was an application to the whole of animal and vegetable life of Malthus’s theory of population, which was an integral part of the
politics and economics of the Benthamites - a global free
competition, in which victory went to the animals that most
resembled successful capitalists.
Darwin himself was influenced by Malthus, and was in general sympathy with the Philosophical
Radicals. There was, however, a great difference between the
competition admired by orthodox economists and the struggle for
existence which Darwin proclaimed as the motive force of evolution.
’Free competition,’ in orthodox economics, is a very artificial
conception, hedged in by legal restrictions.
You may undersell a
competitor, but you must not murder him. You must not use the armed
forces of the State to help you to get the better of foreign
manufacturers. Those who have not the good fortune to possess
capital must not seek to improve their lot by revolution.
competition,’ as understood by the Benthamites, was by no means
"Darwinian competition was not of this limited sort; there were no
rules against hitting below the belt. The framework of law does not
exist among animals, nor is war excluded as a competitive method.
The use of the State to secure victory in competition was against
the rules as conceived by the Benthamites, but could not be excluded
from the Darwinian struggle. In fact, though Darwin himself was a
liberal, and though Nietzsche never mentioned him except with
contempt, Darwin’s Survival Of The Fittest led, when thoroughly
assimilated, to something much more like Nietzsche’s philosophy than
These developments, however, belong to a later
period, since Darwin’s Origin Of Species was published in 1859, and
its political implications were not at first perceived."
In his 1843 writing from The Kreuznach Manuscripts: Critique Of
Hegel’s Philosophy Of Right [from Discussion Of The Princely Power,
Comments On Hegel’s 279] Karl Marx writes:
"Democracy is the truth of monarchy; monarchy is not the truth of
democracy. Monarchy is forced to be democracy as a non sequitur
within itself, whereas the monarchical moment is not a non sequitur
within democracy. Democracy can be understood in its own terms;
monarchy cannot. In democracy, none of its moments acquires a
meaning other than that which is appropriate to it.
Each is actually
only a moment within the whole demos. In monarchy, a part determines
the character of the whole. The whole constitution has to take shape
of this firm foundation. Democracy is the type or species of the
constitution. Monarchy is a variety, and indeed a bad variety.
Democracy is ’form and content’. Monarchy is supposed to be only
form, but it falsifies the content.
"In monarchy, the whole, the people, is subsumed under one of its
particular modes of existence, that of the political constitution.
In democracy, on the other hand, the constitution itself appears as
only one determination, and indeed, as the self-determination of the
people. In monarchy, we have the people of the constitution; in
democracy we have the constitution of the people.
Democracy is the
riddle of all constitutions solved. In democracy the constitution is
always based on its actual foundation, on actual man and the actual
people, not only in itself, according to its essence, but in its
existence and actuality; it is postulated as autonomous. The
constitution is seen as what it is, the freely-created product of
One could say that in some respects this is also true of
constitutional monarchy, but what specifically differentiates
democracy is the fact that in democracy the constitution is only one
particular moment in the existence of the people, that the political
constitution does not itself constitute the state.
"Hegel begins with the state and turns man into the state subjectivized; democracy begins with man and makes the state into
man objectivized. Just as religion does not create man but man
creates religion, so the constitution does not create the people but
the people create the constitution. In certain respects, democracy
bears the same relation to all other forms of state as Christianity
bears to all other religions. Christianity is religion par
excellence, the essence of religion, man deified as a particular
Similarly, democracy is the essence of every constitution;
it is socialized man as a particular constitution. Democracy is
related to other constitutions as a species is related to its
varieties. But in democracy the species itself appears as a
particular [form of] existence, as one therefore that appears as a
particular type vis-a-vis other particular [individual] existences
that do not correspond to their essence.
Democracy is the Old
Testament in relation to all other forms of state. Man does not
exist for the law, but the law exists for man. In democracy law is
the existence of man, while in other forms of state man is the
existence of law. This is the fundamental distinguishing mark of
Marx concludes with,
"In all states other than democracy the state,
the law, the constitution is dominant without actually dominating,
i.e., without penetrating materially the content of the remaining
non-political spheres: in democracy the constitution, the law, the
state itself as a political constitution is only a
self-determination of the people, a particular content of theirs.
"It is self-evident, incidentally, that all forms of state have
democracy as their truth, and are therefore untrue in so far as they
are not democratic."
In a correspondence of 1843, which was an exchange of letters
between Marx, Ruge, and Bakunin concerning the prospects of social
and political emancipation, Marx writes,
"Man’s self-esteem, freedom, must be awakened once more in the heart
of these men. Only this feeling, which disappeared from the world
with the Greeks and vanished into the blue mists of heaven with
Christianity, can once more transform society into a fellowship of
men working for their highest purposes, a democratic state.
"Those people, on the other hand, who do not feel themselves to be
men become appendages of their masters, like a herd of slaves or
horses. The hereditary masters are the point of this whole society.
This world belongs to them. They take it as it is and as it feels.
They take themselves as they find themselves and stand where their
feet have grown, on the necks of these political animals who know no
other destiny than to be subject, loyal and at their master’s
"The world of the Philistines is the political kingdom of animals;
if we have to recognize its existence then we have no alternative
but simply to accept the status quo. Centuries of barbarism created
and shaped it and it now exists as a consistent system, whose
principle is the dehumanized world. The perfected world of the
Philistine, our Germany, naturally had to lag far behind the French
Revolution, which restored man to himself.
A German Aristotle, who
would take his Politics from our conditions, would write on the
’Man is a social, but a completely apolitical, animal’."
Further on, Marx continues,
"To be sure, in times when the political state as such is born,
violently, out of civil society, when men strive to liberate
themselves under the form of political self-liberation, the state
can and must go on to abolish and destroy religion. But it does so
only the way that it abolishes private property, by setting a
maximum, providing for confiscation and progressive taxation, just
as it abolished life by establishing the guillotine.
In moments when
political life has a specially strong feeling for its own
importance, it seeks to repress its presuppositions, civil society
and its elements, and to constitute itself as the real, harmonious
species-life of man. It can do this only by entering into violent
contradiction with its own conditions of existence; it can do so
only by declaring the revolution to be permanent; and the political
drama therefore necessarily ends with the restoration of religion,
of private property, and of all the elements of civil society, just
as war ends with peace...
"We have shown, then, that political emancipation from religion
leaves religion standing, even if not as privileged religion. The
contradiction in which the follower of a specific religion finds
himself in relation to his citizenship is only one aspect of the
universal secular contradiction between the political state and
The consummation of the Christian state is a state
that recognizes itself as state and abstracts itself from the
religion of its members. The emancipation of the state from religion
is not the emancipation of actual man from religion."
In Capital, Marx writes,
The laboring population
therefore produces, along with the accumulation of capital produced
by it, the means by which itself is made relatively superfluous, is
turned into a relative surplus-population; and it does this to an
always increasing extent.
This is the law of population peculiar to
the capitalist mode of production; and in fact every specific
historic mode of production has its own specific laws of population,
historically valid within its limits alone.
An abstract law of
population exists for plants and animals only, and only insofar as
man has not interfered with them.
Bertrand Russell writes in A History Of Western Philosophy,
philosophy of history is a blend of Hegel and British economics.
Like Hegel, he thinks that the world develops according to a
dialectical formula, but he totally disagrees with Hegel as to the
motive force of this development. Hegel believed in a mystical
entity called Spirit, which causes human history to develop
according to the stages of the dialectic as set forth in Hegel’s
Why Spirit has to go through these stages is not clear. One
is tempted to suppose that Spirit is trying to understand
at each stage rashly objectifies what it has been reading. Marx’s
dialectic has none of this quality except a certain inevitableness.
For Marx, matter, not spirit, is the driving force. But it is a
matter in the peculiar sense that we have been considering,
wholly dehumanized matter of the atomists.
This means that, for Marx, the driving force is really man’s relation to matter, of which
the most important part is his mode of production. In this way
Marx’s materialism, in practice, becomes economics."
THE FABIAN SOCIETY
In one of his Fabian Essays [The Fabian Society], entitled
George Bernard Shaw wrote the following in 1889,
analyses begin with the cultivation of the Earth. To the mind’s eye
of the astronomer the Earth is a ball spinning in space without
ulterior motives. To the bodily eye of the primitive cultivator it
is a vast green plain, from which, by sticking a spade into it,
wheat and other edible matters can be made to spring."
"It was the increase of population that spread
cultivation and civilization from the center to the snow line, and
at last forced men to sell themselves to the lords of the soil: it
is the same force that continues to multiply men so that their
exchange value fails slowly and surely until it disappears
altogether - until even black chattel slaves are released as not
worth keeping in a land where men of all colors are to be had for
nothing. This is the condition of our English laborers today: they
are no longer even dirt cheap; they are valueless, and can be had
On overpopulation Shaw writes,
"The introduction of the capitalistic
system is a sign that the exploitation of the laborer toiling for a
bare subsistence wage has become one of the chief arts of life among
the holders of tenant rights. It also produces a delusive promise of
endless employment which blinds the proletariat to those disastrous
consequences of rapid multiplication which are obvious to the small
cultivator and peasant proprietor.
But indeed the more you degrade
the workers, robbing them of all artistic enjoyment, and all chance
of respect and admiration from their fellows, the more you throw
them back, reckless, on the one pleasure and the one human tie left
to them - the gratification of their instinct for producing fresh
supplies of men. You will applaud this instinct as divine until at
last the excessive supply becomes a nuisance: there comes a plague
of men; and you suddenly discover that the instinct is diabolic, and
set up a cry of ’overpopulation’.
But your slaves are beyond caring
for your cries: they breed like rabbits; and their poverty breeds
filth, ugliness, dishonesty, disease, obscenity, drunkenness, and
murder. In the midst of the riches which their labour piles up for
you, their misery rises up too and stifles you. You withdraw in
disgust to the other end of the town from them; you appoint special
carriages on your railways and special seats in your churches and
theaters for them; you set your life apart from theirs by every
class barrier you can devise; and yet they swarm about you still:
your face gets stamped with your habitual loathing and suspicion of
them: your ears get so filled with the language of the vilest of
them that you break into it when you lose your self-control: they
poison your life as remorselessly as you have sacrificed theirs
You begin to believe intensely in the devil. Then comes
the terror of their revolting; the drilling and arming of bodies of
them to keep down the rest; the prison, the hospital, paroxysms of
frantic coercion, followed by paroxysms of frantic charity. And in
the meantime, the population continues to increase!"
In George Orwell’s classic
Animal Farm, he writes,
"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face
it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we
are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies,
and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last
atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has
come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in
England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year
old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery
and slavery: that is the plain truth.
"But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this
land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those
who dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no! The soil of
England is fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording
food in abundance to an enormously greater number of animals than
now inhabit it.
This single farm of ours would support a dozen
horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheep - and all of them living in a
comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining. Why
then do we continue in this miserable condition? Nearly the whole of
the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings. There,
comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a
single word - Man. Man is the only real enemy we have.
from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is
abolished for ever.
"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does
not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the
plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord
of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the
bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he
keeps for himself.
Our labour tills the soil, our dung fertilizes
it, and yet there is not one of us that owns more than his bare
skin. You cows that I see before me, how many thousands of gallons
of milk have you given during this last year? And what has happened
to that milk which should have been breeding up sturdy calves? Every
drop of it has gone down the throats of our enemies. And you hens,
how many eggs have you laid in this last year, and how many of those
eggs ever hatched into chickens? The rest have all gone to market to
bring in money for Jones and his men.
And you, Clover, where are
those four foals you bore, who should have been the support and
pleasure of your old age? Each was sold at a year old - you will
never see one of them again. In return for your four confinements
and all your labour in the fields, what have you ever had except
your bare rations and a stall?
"And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach their
natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky
ones. I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred children.
Such is the natural life of a pig. But no animal escapes the cruel
knife in the end. You young porkers who are sitting in front of me,
every one of you will scream your lives out at the block within a
year. To that horror we all must come - cows, pigs, hens, sheep,
everyone. Even the horses and the dogs have no better fate.
Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their
power, Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat
and boil you down for the foxhounds. As for the dogs, when they grow
old and toothless, Jones ties a brick around their neck and drowns
them in the nearest pond.
"Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this
life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid
of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost
overnight we could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why,
work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human
race. That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion!
I do not know
when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred
years, but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet,
that sooner or later justice will be done. Fix your eyes on that,
comrades, throughout the short remainder of your lives! And above
all, pass on this message of mine to those who come after you, so
that future generations shall carry on the struggle until it is
"And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No
argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that
Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of
the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves
the interests of no creature except himself.
And among us animals
let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All
men are enemies. All animals are comrades."
In the Foreword to the 1946 (second printing) of the classic novel
Brave New World, first published in 1932, author Aldous Huxley
"There is, of course, no reason why the new totalitarians should
resemble the old. Government by clubs and firing squads, by
artificial famine, mass imprisonment and mass deportation, is not
merely inhumane (nobody cares much about that nowadays); it is
demonstrably inefficient and in an age of advanced technology,
inefficiency is the sin against the Holy Ghost.
A really efficient
totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive
of political bosses and their army of managers control a population
of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their
To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day
totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors
and school teachers. But their methods are still crude and
unscientific. The old Jesuits’ boast that, if they were given the
schooling of the child, they could answer for the man’s religious
opinions, was a product of wishful thinking.
And the modern
pedagogue is probably rather less efficient at conditioning his
pupils’ reflexes than were the reverend fathers who educated Voltaire. The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been
accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing.
Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view,
is silence about truth.
By simply not mentioning certain subjects,
by lowering what Mr. Churchill calls an "iron curtain" between the
masses and such facts or arguments as the local political bosses
regard as undesirable, totalitarian propagandists have influenced
opinion much more effectively than they could have done by the most
eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals.
But silence is not enough. If persecution, liquidation and the other
symptoms of social friction are to be avoided, the positive sides of
propaganda must be made as effective as the negative.
important Manhattan Projects of the future will be vast
government-sponsored enquiries into what the politicians and the
participating scientists will call "the problem of happiness" - in
other words, the problem of making people love their servitude.
Without economic security, the love of servitude cannot possibly
come into existence; for the sake of brevity, I assume that the
all-powerful executive and its managers will succeed in solving the
problem of permanent security. But security tends very quickly to be
taken for granted. Its achievement is merely a superficial, external
revolution. The love of servitude cannot be established except as
the result of a deep, personal revolution in human minds and bodies.
To bring about that revolution we require, among others, the
following discoveries and inventions.
First, a greatly improved
technique of suggestion - through infant conditioning and, later,
with the aid of drugs, such as scopolamine.
Second, a fully
developed science of human differences, enabling government managers
to assign any given individual to his or her proper place in the
social and economic hierarchy. (Round pegs in square holes tend to
have dangerous thoughts about the social system and to infect others
with their discontents.)
Third (since reality, however utopian, is
something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent
holidays), a substitute for alcohol and the other narcotics,
something at once less harmful and more pleasure-giving than gin or
And fourth (but this would be a long-term project, which it
would take generations of totalitarian control to bring to a
successful conclusion) a foolproof system of eugenics, designed to
standardize the human product and so to facilitate the task of the
In Brave New World this standardization of the human
product has been pushed to fantastic, though not perhaps impossible,
Technically and ideologically we are still a long way from
bottled babies and Bokanovsky groups of semi-morons. But by A.F.
600, who knows what may not be happening?
Meanwhile the other
characteristic features of that happier and more stable world - the
equivalents of soma and hypnopaedia and the scientific caste system
- are probably not more than three or four generations away. Nor
does the sexual promiscuity of Brave New World seem so very distant.
[Let me remind you this was written in 1946.]
There are already
certain American cities in which the number of divorces is equal to
the number of marriages. In a few years, no doubt, marriage licenses
will be sold like dog licenses, good for a period of twelve months,
with no law against changing dogs or keeping more than one animal at
As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom
tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs
cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered
territories) will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction
with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope and movies
and the radio, it will help to reconcile his subjects to the
servitude which is their fate.
"All things considered it looks as though
Utopia were far closer to
us than anyone, only fifteen years ago, could have imagined. Then, I
projected it six hundred years into the future. Today it seems quite
possible that the horror may be upon us within a single century.
That is, if we refrain from blowing ourselves to smithereens in the
Indeed, unless we choose to decentralize and to use
applied science, not as the end to which human beings are to be made
the means, but as the means to producing a race of free individuals,
we have only two alternatives to choose from:
either a number of
national, militarized totalitarianisms, having as their root the
terror of the atomic bomb and as their consequence the destruction
of civilization (or, if the warfare is limited, the perpetuation of
or else one supra-national totalitarianism, called into
existence by the social chaos resulting from rapid technological
progress in general and the atomic revolution in particular, and
developing, under the need for efficiency and stability, into the
welfare-tyranny of Utopia. You pays your money and you takes your
Mark Twain in The Mysterious Stranger writes,
"And what does it
amount to?" said Satan, with his evil chuckle. "Nothing at all. You
gain nothing: you always come out where you went in. For a million
years the race has gone on monotonously propagating itself and
monotonously re-performing this dull nonsense to what end? No wisdom
can guess! Who gets a profit out of it?
Nobody but a parcel of
usurping little monarchs and nobilities who despise you; would feel
defiled if you touched them; would shut the door in your face if you
proposed to call; whom you slave for, fight for, die for, and are
not ashamed of it, but proud; whose existence is a perpetual insult
to you and you are afraid to resent it; who are mendicants supported
by your alms, yet assume toward you the airs of benefactor toward
beggar; who address you in the language of master toward slave, and
are answered in the language of slave toward master; who are
worshipped by you with your mouth, while in your heart if you have
one you despise yourselves for it.
The First man was a hypocrite and
a coward, qualities which have not failed yet in his line; it is the
foundation upon which all civilizations have been built."
In a lecture titled The Population Explosion, delivered at Santa
Barbara, California. in 1959, Aldous Huxley said,
"Today I want to
pass on to what is happening to the human species and to think a
little about what our philosophy and our ethical outlook on the
subject should be. This lecture is essentially about human numbers
and their relation to human well-being and human values in general.
"Needless to say, any accurate estimation of human numbers is very
recent, but we can extrapolate into the past and come to what seem
to be fairly good conclusions. Although there are some fairly wide
margins of difference among the experts, the numbers they come to
are roughly in agreement. They agree that in pre-agricultural days,
for example in the lower Palaeolithic times, when man was a
food-gathering creature, there were probably not more than twenty
million humans on this whole planet.
In later Palaeolithic times,
after organized hunting had been invented, the number probably
doubled. We can make a rough estimate of what an organized hunting
people could do because we know how many Indians were present in
North America when the white man arrived - not more than one million
in the entire North American continent east of the Rockies - and
this gives one an indication of the extremely low density of
population possible in a hunting economy.
"The Great Revolution came about 6000 B.C. with the invention of
agriculture, and the creation of cities in the next millennia. By
about 1000 B.C., after five thousand years of agriculture, there
were probably about one hundred million people in the world.
"By the beginning of the
Christian era, this figure had a little
more than doubled: it was somewhere between two hundred million and
two hundred and fifty million - less than half the present
population of China. The population increased very gradually in the
following years; sometimes there were long periods of standstill and
sometimes there were even periods of decrease, as in the years
immediately following 1348, when the Black Death killed off 30
percent of the population of Europe and nobody knows how much of the
population of Asia.
"By the time the Pilgrim fathers arrived in this country, it is
estimated that the population of the world was about twice what it
had been on the first Christmas Day - that is to say, it had doubled
in sixteen hundred years, an extremely slow rate of increase. But
from that time on, from the middle of the seventeenth century, with
the beginnings of the industrial revolution and the first
importation of food from the newly developed lands of the New World,
population began rising far more rapidly than it had ever risen
"By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, the figure
for the human population of the world was probably around seven
hundred million; it must have passed the billion mark fairly early
in the nineteenth century and stood at about fourteen hundred
million around the time when I was born in the 1890s. The striking
fact is that since that time the population of the planet has
It has gone from fourteen hundred million, which is
already twice what it was at the signing of the Declaration of
Independence, to twenty-eight hundred million. And the rate of
increase now is such that it will probably double again in rather
less than fifty years.
"Thus the rates of increase have been increasing along with the
absolute increase in numbers."
[Please remember, this was written in 1959. The world’s current
population is rapidly approaching the 7 Billion figure - those are
not "official" numbers, however.]… [and 8 billion now in the year
2000 - update]
Still quoting Huxley:
"Let us now ask ourselves what the practical alternatives are as we
confront this problem of population growth. One alternative is to do
nothing in particular about it and just let things go on as they
are, but the consequences of that course are quite clear: the
problem will be solved by nature in the way that nature always
solves problems of over-population - when any animal population
tends (a) to starve and (b) to suffer from severe epidemic and
"In the human population, we can envisage that
the natural check on
the unlimited growth of population will be precisely this: there
will be pestilence, famine, and, since we are human beings and not
animals, there will be organized warfare, which will bring the
numbers down to what the Earth can carry.
What nature teaches us is
that it is extraordinarily dangerous to upset any of its fundamental
balances, and we are in the process of upsetting a fundamental
balance in the most alarming and drastic manner.
The question is:
Are we going to restore the balance in the natural way, which is a
brutal and entirely anti-human way, or are we going to restore it in
some intelligent, rational, and humane way? If we leave matters as
they are, nature will certainly solve the problem in her way and not
"Another alternative is to increase industrial and agricultural
production so that they can catch up with the increase in
This solution, however, would be extremely like what
happens to Alice in Through The Looking Glass. You remember that
Alice and the Red Queen are running a tremendous race.
astonishment, when they have run until they are completely out of
breath they are in exactly the same place, and Alice says,
our country...you’d generally get to somewhere else - if you ran
very fast for a long time as we’ve been doing.’
’A slow sort of country!’ says the Queen. ’Now here, you see, it
takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you
want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as
"This is a cosmic parable of the extremely tragic situation in which
we now find ourselves.
We have to work, to put forth an enormous
effort, just to stand where we are; and where we are is in a most
undesirable position because, as the most recent figures issued by
the United Nations indicate, something like two-thirds of the human
race now lives on a diet of two thousand calories or less per day,
which - the ideal being in the neighborhood of three thousand - is
definitely a diet of undernourishment."
Further into the speech, quoting Huxley again:
"The third alternative is to try to increase production as much as
possible and at the same time to try to re-establish the balance
between the birth rate and the death rate by means less gruesome
than those which are used in nature - by intelligent and humane
methods. In this connection it is interesting to note that the idea
of limiting the growth of populations is by no means new.
In a great
many primitive societies, and even in many of the highly civilized
societies of antiquity, where local over-population was a menace,
although less fearful than the natural means, the most common was
infanticide - killing or exposing by leaving out on the mountain
unwanted children, or children of the wrong sex, or children who
happened to be born with some slight deficiency or other. Abortion
was also very common.
And there were many societies in which strict
religious injunctions imposed long periods of sexual continence
between the birth of each child. But in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries various methods of birth control less fearful in nature
have been devised, and it is in fact theoretically conceivable that
such methods might be applied throughout the whole world.
"What is theoretically possible, however, is often practically
almost impossible. There are colossal difficulties in the way of
implementing any large-scale policy of limitation of population;
whereas death control is extremely easy under modern circumstances,
birth control is extremely difficult.
The reason is very simple:
death control - the control, for example, of infectious diseases -
can be accomplished by a handful of experts and quite a small labour
force of unskilled persons and requires a very small capital
"The problem of control of the birth rate is infinitely complex. It
is not merely a problem of medicine, in chemistry, in biochemistry,
in physiology; it is also a problem in sociology, in psychology, in
theology, and in education. It has to be attacked on about ten
different fronts simultaneously if there is to be any hope of
And, continuing later in Huxley’s speech,
"Merely from a technical and temporal point of view, we are
obviously in a very tight spot. But we have also to consider the
political point of view. There would undoubtedly have to be either
world-wide agreement or regional agreements on a general population
policy in order to have any satisfactory control of the situation at
all. But there is absolutely no prospect at the present time of our
getting any such political agreement."
"Now we have to ask ourselves what our attitude should be towards
these problems. We come to the other end of the bridge. We pass from
the world of facts to the world of values. What we think about all
this depends entirely on what we regard as the end and purpose of
human life. If we believe the end and purpose of human life is to
foster power politics and nationalism, then we shall probably need a
great deal of cannon fodder, although even this proposition becomes
rather dubious in the light of nuclear warfare.
But if, as I think
most of us would agree, the end of human life is to realize
individual potentialities to their limits and in the best way
possible, and to create a society which makes possible such a
realization and philosophical way about the population problem. We
see that in very many cases the effort to raise human quality is
being thwarted by the mere increase of human quantity, that quality
is very often incompatible with quantity. We have seen that mere
quantity makes the educational potentialities of the world
We have seen that the pressure of enormous numbers
upon resources makes it almost impossible to improve the material
standards of life, which after all have to raise to a minimum if any
of the higher possibilities are to be realized: although it is quite
true that man cannot live by bread alone, still less can he live
without bread, and if we simply cannot provide adequate bread, we
cannot provide anything else. Only when he has bread, only when his
belly is full, is there some hope of something else emerging from
the human situation.
"Then there is the political problem. It is quite clear that as
population presses more and more heavily upon resources, the
economic situation tends to become more and more precarious.
there is a tendency in precarious situations for centralized
government to assume more and more control, there is therefore now a tendency towards totalitarian forms of government, which certainly
we in the West find very undesirable.
But when you ask whether
democracy is possible in a population where two-thirds of the people
are living on two thousand calories a day, and one-third is living
on over three thousand, the answer is no, because the people living
on less than two thousand calories will simply not have enough
energy to participate in the political life of the country, and so
they will be governed by the well-fed and energetic.
militates against quality."
"Finally, the unlimited increase in human numbers
practically guarantees that our planetary resources will be
destroyed and that within a hundred or two hundred years an
immensely hypertrophied human species will have become a kind of
cancer on this planet and will ruin the quasi-organism on which it
lives. It is a most depressing forecast and possibility.
"I think one can say from this last point that the problem of
quality and quantity is really a religious problem. For, after all,
what is religion but a preoccupation with the destiny of the
individual and with the destiny of society and the race at large?
This is summed up very clearly in the Gospel when we are told that
the Kingdom of God is within us but at the same time it is our
business to contribute to the founding of the Kingdom of God upon
We cannot neglect either of these two aspects of human
destiny. For if we neglect the general, quantitative, population
aspect of destiny, we condemn ourselves, or certainly our children
and grandchildren, as individuals. We condemn them to the kind of
life which we should find intolerable and which presumably they will
find intolerable too.
"There are no certain theological objections to population
limitation. Most religious organizations in the world today, both
within and outside the Christian pale, accept it. But the Roman
Catholic church does not accept any method of population control
except that which was promulgated and made permissible in 1932 - the
so-called rhythm method.
Unfortunately, where the rhythm method has
been tried on a considerable scale in an undeveloped country such as
India, it has not been found to be very effective.
The fact that the
Church recognizes this problem was brought home very clearly in 1954
at the time of the first united Nations Population Congress, which
took place in Rome, when the late Pope, in an allocution to the
delegates, made it quite clear that the problem of population was a
very grave one which he recommended to the consideration of the
"We can conclude, then, by saying that
quite clearly one of the gravest problems which confront us, and the
choice before us is either to let the problem be solved by nature in
the most horrifying possible way or else to find some intelligent
and humane method of solving it, simultaneously increasing
production and balancing the birth rate and the death rate, and in
some way or other forming an agreed international policy on the
To my mind, the most important prerequisites to such a
solution are first of all an awareness of the problem, and then a
realization that it is a profoundly religious problem, a problem of
Our hope, as always, is to be realistically
LETTER TO U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL U THANT
August 30, 1965
My Dear Mr. Secretary General:
The United States
Government recognizes the singular importance of the meeting of the
second United Nations World Population Conference and pledges its
full support to your great undertaking.
As I said to the
United Nations in San Francisco, we must now begin
to face forthrightly the multiplying problems of our multiplying
population. Our government assures your conference of our
wholehearted support to the United Nations and its agencies in their
efforts to achieve a better world through bringing into balance the
world’s resources and the world’s population.
In extending my best wishes for the success of your conference, it
is my fervent hope that your great assemblage of population experts
will contribute significantly to the knowledge necessary to solve
this transcendent problem. Second only to the search for peace, it
is humanity’s greatest challenge. This week, the meeting in Belgrade
carries with it the hopes of mankind.
Lyndon B. Johnson
POPE PAUL VI
HUMANAE VITAE (1968)
"The changes which have taken place are in fact
noteworthy and of varied kind. In the first place, there is the
rapid demographic development. Fear is shown by many that world
population is growing more rapidly than the available resources,
with growing distress to many families and developing countries, so
that the temptation for authorities to counter this danger with
radical measures is great.
Moreover, working and lodging conditions,
as well as increased exigencies both in the economic field and in
that of education, often make the proper education of an elevated
number of children difficult today.
"This new state of things gives rise to new questions. Granted the
conditions of life today, and granted the meaning which conjugal
relations have with respect to the harmony between husband and wife
and to their mutual fidelity, would not a revision of the ethical
norms in force up to now seem to be advisable, especially when it is
considered that they cannot be observed without sacrifices,
sometimes heroic sacrifices?
"...conjugal love requires in husband and wife an awareness of their
mission of "responsible parenthood," which today is rightly much
insisted upon, and which also must be exactly understood.
Consequently it is to be considered under different aspects which
are legitimate and connected with one another.
"In relation to the biological processes, responsible parenthood
means the knowledge and respect of their functions; human intellect
discovers in the power of giving life biological laws which are part
of the human person.
"In relation to the tendencies of instinct or passion, responsible
parenthood means that necessary dominion which reason and will must
exercise over them.
"In relation to physical, economic, psychological and social
conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the
deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by
the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the
moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate
period, a new birth.
"These acts, by which husband and wife are united in chaste intimacy
and by means of which human life is transmitted, are, as the council
recalled, "noble and worthy" and they do not cease to be lawful if,
for causes independent of the will of husband and wife, they are
foreseen to be infecund, since they always remain ordained toward
expressing and consolidating their union. In fact, as experience
bears witness, not every conjugal act is followed by a new life.
has wisely disposed natural laws and rhythms of fecundity which, of
themselves, cause a separation in the succession of births.
Nonetheless the church, calling men back to the observance of the
norms of the natural law, as interpreted by her constant doctrine,
teaches that each and every marriage act ("qui libet matrimonii usus")
must remain open to the transmission of life.
"In conformity with these landmarks in the human and Christian
vision of marriage, we must once again declare that the direct
interruption of the generative process already begun, and, above
all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if for therapeutic
reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of regulating
"Equally to be excluded, as the teaching authority of the church has
frequently declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or
temporary, whether of the man or of the woman.
"Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of
the conjugal act or in its accomplishment, or in the development of
its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means,
to render procreation impossible.
"To rulers, who are those principally responsible for the common
good, and who can do so much to safeguard moral customs, we say: Do
not allow the morality of your peoples to be degraded; do not permit
that by legal means practices contrary to the natural and divine law
be introduced into that fundamental cell, the family. Quite other is
the way in which public authorities can and must contribute to the
solution of the demographic problem: namely, the way of a provident
policy for the family, of a wise education of peoples in respect of
the moral law and the liberty of citizens.
"We are well aware of the serious difficulties experienced by public
authorities in this regard, especially in the developing countries.
To their legitimate preoccupations we devoted our encyclical letter
But, with our predecessor Pope John XXIII,
we repeat: No solution to these difficulties is acceptable "which
does violence to man’s essential dignity" and is based only "on an
utterly materialistic conception of man himself and of his life" The
only possible solution to this question is one which envisages the
social and economic progress both of individuals and of the whole of
human society, and which respects and promotes true human values.
"Neither can one, without grave injustice, consider Divine
Providence to be responsible for what depends, instead, on a lack of
wisdom in government, on an insufficient sense of social justice, on
selfish monopolization or again on blameworthy indolence in
confronting the efforts and the sacrifices necessary to insure the
raising of living standards of a people and of all its sons."
"I do not wish to seem over dramatic, but I can only conclude from
the information that is available to me as Secretary-General, that
the Members of the United Nations have perhaps ten years left in
which to subordinate their ancient quarrels and launch a global
partnership to curb the arms race, to improve the human environment,
to defuse the population explosion, and to supply the required
momentum to development efforts.
If such a global partnership is not
forged within the next decade, then I very much fear that the
problems I have mentioned will have reached such staggering
proportions that they will be beyond our capacity to control."
UNITED NATIONS WORLD POPULATION CONFERENCE
Resolutions and Recommendations
The World Population Conference, having due regard for
human aspirations for a better quality of life and for rapid
socio-economic development, and taking into consideration the
interrelationship between population situations and socio-economic
development, decides on the following World Population Plan of
Action as a policy instrument within the broader context of the
internationally adopted strategies for national and international
POPULATION GOALS AND POLICIES
Recommendations for Action
According to the United Nations medium population
projections, little change is expected to occur in average rates of
population growth either in the developed or in the developing
regions by 1985.
According to the United Nations low variant
projections, it is estimated that as a result of social and economic
development and population policies as reported by countries in the
Second United Nations Inquiry on Population and Development,
population growth rates in the developing countries as a whole may
decline from the present level of 2.4 percent per annum to about 2
percent by 1985; and below 0.7 percent per annum in the developed
countries. In this case the world-wide rate of population growth
would decline from 2 percent to about 1.7 percent.
Countries which consider that their present or expected rates of
population growth hamper their goals of promoting human welfare are
invited, if they have not yet done so, to consider adopting
population policies, within the framework of socioeconomic
development, which are consistent with basic human rights and
national goals and values.
Countries which aim at achieving moderate or low population growth
should try to achieve it through a low level of birth and death
rates. Countries wishing to increase their rate of population growth
should, when mortality is high, concentrate efforts on the reduction
of mortality, and where appropriate, encourage an increase in
fertility and encourage immigration.
Recognizing that per capita use of world resources is much higher in
the developed than in the developing countries, the developed
countries are urged to adopt appropriate policies in population,
consumption and investment, bearing in mind the need for fundamental
improvement in international equity.
Consistent with the Proclamation of the International Conference on
Human Rights, the Declaration of Social Progress and Development,
the relevant targets of the Second United Nations Development Decade
and the other international instruments on the subject, it is
recommended that all countries:
Respect and ensure, regardless
of their overall demographic goals, the right of persons to
determine, in a free, informed and responsible manner, the
number and spacing of their children
Encourage appropriate education
concerning responsible parenthood and make available to
persons who so desire advice and means of achieving it
Ensure that family planning,
medical and related social services aim not only at the
prevention of unwanted pregnancies but also at elimination
of involuntary sterility and sub-fecundity in order that all
couples may be permitted to achieve their desired number of
children, and that child adoption be facilitated
Seek to ensure the continued
possibility of variations in family size when a low
fertility level has been established or is a policy
Make use, wherever needed and
appropriate, of adequately trained professional and
auxiliary health personnel, rural extension, home economics
and social workers, and non-governmental channels, to help
provide family planning services and to advise users of
Increase their health manpower
and health facilities to an effective level, redistribute
functions among the different levels of professional and
auxiliaries in order to overcome the shortage of qualified
personnel and establish an effective system of supervision
in their health and family planning services
Ensure that information about, and education in, family planning
and other matters which affect fertility are based on valid and
proven scientific knowledge, and include a full account of any risk
that may be involved in the use or non-use of contraceptives.
It is recommended that countries wishing to affect fertility levels
give priority to implementing development programs and educational
and health strategies which, while contributing to economic growth
and higher standards of living, have a decisive impact upon
demographic trends, including fertility. International co-operation
is called for to give priority to assisting such national efforts in
order that these programs and strategies be carried into effect.
While recognizing the diversity of social, cultural, political and
economic conditions among countries and regions, it is nevertheless
agreed that the following development goals generally have an effect
on the socio-economic context of reproductive decisions that tends
to moderate fertility levels:
The reduction of infant and
child mortality, particularly by means of improved
nutrition, sanitation, maternal and child health care, and
The full integration of women
into the development process, particularly by means of their
greater participation in educational, social, economic and
political opportunities, and especially by means of the
removal of obstacles to their employment in the
non-agricultural sector wherever possible. In this context,
national laws and policies, as well as relevant
international recommendations, should be reviewed in order
to eliminate discrimination in, and remove obstacles to, the
education, training, employment and career advancement
opportunities for women
The promotion of social justice,
social mobility, and social development particularly by
means of a wide participation of the population in
development and a more equitable distribution of income,
land, social services and amenities
The promotion of wide
educational opportunities for the young of both sexes, and
the extension of public forms of preschool education for the
The elimination of child labour
and child abuse and the establishment of social security and
old age benefits
The establishment of an appropriate lower limit for age at
The projections of future declines in rates of population growth,
and those concerning increased expectation of life, are consistent
with declines in the birth rate of the developing countries as a
whole from the present level of 38 per thousand to 30 per thousand
by 1985; in these projections, birth rates in the developed
countries remain in the region of 15 per thousand.
To achieve by
1985 these levels of fertility would require substantial national
efforts, by those countries concerned, in the field of
socio-economic development and population policies, supported, upon
request, by adequate international assistance. Such efforts would
also be required to achieve the increase in expectation of life.
In the light of the principles of this Plan of Action, countries
which consider their birth rates detrimental to their national
purposes are invited to consider setting quantitative goals and
implementing policies that may lead to the attainment of such goals
Nothing herein should interfere with the sovereignty of any
Government to adopt or not to adopt such quantitative goals.
JIMMY CARTER’S MESSAGE TO CONGRESS
MAY 23rd 1977
"Rapid population growth is a major environmental problem of world
dimensions. World population increased from three to four billion in
the last 15 years, substantially canceling out expansion in world
food production and economic growth of the same period.
"Without controlling the growth of population, the prospects for
enough food, shelter, and other basic needs for all the world’s
people are dim. Where existence is already poor and precarious,
efforts to obtain the necessities of life often degrade the
environment for generations to come.
"It is, of course, up to each nation to determine its own policies,
but we are prepared to respond promptly and fully to all requests
for assistance in population and health care programs.
direction, the Department of State and the Agency for International
Development stand ready to cooperate through international
organizations, through private voluntary organizations, or through
direct contacts with other governments."
On page 65 of Population: Opposing Viewpoints, we read,
"According to the United Nations, which follows these things
closely, some 5.3 billion people enlivened our planet by 1990. By
November 1992, that number will have increased to 5.5 billion, an
addition nearly equal to the population of the United States. Or
course no one, including the UN, has a reliable crystal ball that
reveals precisely how human numbers will change.
Still, people have
to plan for the future, and so the UN’s analysts and computers have
been busy figuring what might happen. One possibility they consider
is that future world fertility rates will remain what they were in
1990. The consequences of this, with accompanying small declines in
death rates, are startling.
By 2025, when my now-16-year-old
daughter will have finished having whatever children she will have,
the world would have 11 billion people, double its number today.
Another doubling would take only a bit more than 25 years, as the
faster-growing segments of the population become a larger proportion
of the total. At my daughter’s centennial, in 2076, the human
population would have more than doubled again, passing 46 billion.
By 2150 there would be 694,213,000,000 of us, a little over 125
times our present population."
PRINCE PHILIP OF GREAT BRITAIN
On March 30, 1990, The Washington Post reported Prince Philip as
making the following statement:
"We are constantly being reminded of
the plight of the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the diseased.
What does not make the headlines is that even if the proportion of
those unfortunate people remains the same in relation to the total
population, their number is bound to increase as the size of the
population as a whole increases...
The best hope of limiting the
increase in the number of such people would be if the world
population could be stabilized."