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Overpopulation Myths

Socialism and Birth Control.

Has France Abolished Unemployment?

Recently the claim has been made that poverty and unemployment have been abolished in France, and one of the explanations given for this achievement—a surprising one if true—is the popularisation of Birth Control. Before we examine this to see what there is in it which might be copied in this country, it will be necessary to glance at the causes of unemployment.

It is really not at all a difficult problem. We do not need to look for a solution at the uttermost ends of the earth, because it is here, right before our eyes.

The Slaughter of the Innocents

 A Neo-Malthusian Fable

 It seems strange at a time when proletarians are being butchered by millions, to find Neo-malthusians still advocating the reduction of the population as the cure for all social ills; yet such is the case. In a booklet ['How to Prevent Pregnancy.' G. Hardy, Paris, 19l6.] recently published in English it is roundly asserted that the limitation of births “means simply the suppression of misery, the solution of the social question.” Simply that!

 Socialists are in no way opposed to the diffusion of complete scientific knowledge in sexual matters; they fully recognise the right of men and women to limit the number of their offspring on grounds of personal health and comfort. Neo-malthusians, in fact, have a wide field for useful activity, but their ambitions outstrip their means. They offer a check pessary for the earthquake!

Limits to Capitalism

One of the barriers to the spread of our ideas is “the media”. This is not just because the media consciously sets out to put forward the prevailing ideas of capitalism but because, as the saying goes, “bad news is good news” and sells newspapers. An example of this is the preoccupation of the media with “doom merchants” such as The Club of Rome. Who instigated a research programme resulting in a book called The Limits of Growth, in 1972. This became world-famous for its forecast of overpopulation and exhaustion of resources, especially food.

That was the bad news. The good news, however, was completely ignored by the media. This was the subsequent report made in connection with a project on “problems of population doubling and food supply” also instigated by the Club of Rome. In this report the authors compute the “upper limit of what can be grown on all suitable agricultural land” and in so doing contradict the “Limits to Growth”.

Myth of Overpopulation

According to T. A. Pahl. in a letter in the Johannesburg Star (27 February) under the heading ‘Villain is high birthrate', “irresponsible black birthrate" is the cause of poverty, hunger disease, housing problems. unemployment, etc. This racist version of discredited Malthusianism is just as false as it was originally, in 1798.

Of course, no proof is offered, nor is possible. for this miserable doctrine. On the other hand, according to Dr Org Marais. Deputy Minister of Finance: “About 1.7 percent of the total tax-paying public pays 73 percent of the country's tax” (Star, 16 February). The Receiver of Revenue has also shown that about one-third of workers in this country do not earn enough to be liable for any Income Tax.

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