Saturday, October 9, 2010

Henry George Nails It

"Both the jayhawk and the man eat chickens; but the more jayhawks, the fewer chickens, while the more men, the more chickens," said the once-wildly popular economist, quoted by Jim Davies in the most succinct debunking I have read of late — Malthus' Mistakes.

"He failed to differentiate between human beings and 'lower' animals," says Mr. Davies of his subject, "and for a clergyman, that's particularly surprising. He noticed correctly that other species' populations are self-limiting, but not that the human animal had such capacity for rational thought as to adapt himself to such limits and invent ways to overcome them, to change his own environment."

Mr. Davies concludes, "Thomas Malthus failed to predict the future, but he didn't fail to leave a following. On the contrary, his errors permeate every power center in the world." Tolle, lege.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.