Forward: The Intentional Limits to Growth

“We believe then and now, there are no limits to growth and human progress when men and women are free to follow their dreams.” – Ronald Reagan

Are you still trying to figure out what the President’s campaign slogan, “Forward” means?

In 1798, Thomas Malthus’ “An Essay on the First Principles of Population” became the precursor to countless evils and the justification for murdering millions of people.

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In his essay, Malthus argues as follows:

  1. Food is necessary for human existence.
  2. Human population tends to grow faster than the power in the earth to produce subsistence.
  3. The effect of these two unequal powers must be balanced.
  4. Population control is needed to maintain this balance.
  5. Because humans reproduce irresponsibly, eventually the population will exceed the available food supply.
  6. The resulting catastrophe, known as the “Malthusian Catastrophe”, will consist of famines, wars, and disease outbreaks.
  7. We can still avoid this catastrophe if we increase the mortality rate and decrease life expectancy.
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Malthus’ ideology was kept in check in a world governed chiefly by the Judeo-Christian worldview. People not only believed the biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it,” they also acted upon it. For this reason, the Malthusian model sputtered until the rise of secular humanism.

Then in 1972, the Club of Rome, an elitist global think tank, published a book entitled, The Limits to Growth, which addresses the Malthusian dilemma of an overpopulated world from a strictly secular viewpoint.

The Limits to Growth offers a somber outlook with its three main conclusions. It claims the limits to growth will be reached by 2072, resulting in a sudden decline in the world’s population. The Limits to Growth also claims it is possible to alter the growth trends and create a sustainable world. Finally, the book urges the sooner we get started modifying the growth trends, the more likely we are to create this sustainable world.

Jorgen Randers, a co-author of The Limits to Growth, recently addressed the forty-year anniversary of his earth-shaking book. To attain a sustainable world, he claims we must increase access to healthcare and education, stop using fossil fuels, and invest in green technology. We must also modify the markets and modify democracy, too. In addition, we must be willing to lower our standard of living today.

Can we all agree that we currently have an administration that implements this very same ideology?

As we contemplate the consequences of intentionally limiting growth, we must consider one more of Randers’ visions for a sustainable planet: a decline in population will lead to a decrease in GDP, which will stimulate rising unemployment, thus triggering the need for a rationing of paid work. This is the path to socialism. This is the way Forward.

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