Reverend, Philosopher, Economist, Educator (1766-1834)
Thomas Malthus was a renowned British Cleric who made significant contributions to the field of political economy and, most famously, demography.
Malthus’ theory on population growth asserted that mass starvation would manifest because the growth rate of the population would overtake the growth rate of food production. Reverend Malthus claimed that population would grow too fast as a result of the inevitable passion between the sexes.
However, he argued that population could be controlled naturally (by disease and starvation) or by human interference (abortion, infanticide, delayed marriage and celibacy). Malthus defends his assertion that mankind must interfere to hold back population growth by arguing that suffering is inevitable when there is over-population. His theory had a major influence on Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace and the formulation of the theory of natural selection.
“The superior power of population cannot be checked without producing misery or vice.”
“The histories of mankind are histories only of the higher classes.”
– Thomas Malthus