Myth of Overcrowded Britain

February 2024 Forums General discussion Myth of Overcrowded Britain

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 106 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #131345
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

     “Over the next 25 years, Scotland’s working age population will grow by only 1 per cent, compared with an increase of 25 per cent in the pension age population. It is welcome that people are living longer but this underlines the importance of migration to our economy." – SNP minister Fiona Hyslop

    #131346
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    August 1968 

    Quote:
    Is Britain overcrowded? This is a big myth. In any event, the figures for population per square mile do not allow us to say that an area is inhabited by too many people because it cannot sustain them. There is another factor which must be taken into account: the man-made means of production. In 1801 there were 12 million people in Britain, in 1851 22 million, in 1901 38 million and today about 54 million (of whom less than one million are “coloured”). Britain has been able to sustain an increasing population because of the ever-increasing productivity of the man-made means of production. In fact, of course, it does not make sense to take one part of the world in isolation from the rest. Britain, through the international division of labour, is part of the world economy and the earth could sustain many times its present population. If the politicians who talk about Britain being overcrowded really believed it they would also be advocating increased emigration, birth control, abolition of family allowances, the end of tax discrimination against single people and childless couples, and so on. They would also be instituting internal migration controls (giving us all “passes” as in Russia and South Africa): if Wolverhampton or London were overcrowded then they would be trying to stop people moving there from Glasgow and Wales as well as from overseas. But they are not, are they? This “overcrowded” argument is pure nonsense. It is only in vogue because it appears to be a respectable, rational argument for an immigration colour bar.

    http://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.com/2018/02/letters-should-immigration-be.html

    #131347
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    An interesting article on urbanisation and how unsustainable it is and will be.https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/16/are-modern-cities-sustainable/" Tokyo requires an area twice the size of Japan to maintain it."The fact that the author highlights Tokyo shows that immigration is not the root cause of the problemOur case is that following the arguments of Marx and Engels, socialism cn only solve the town/country dilemma

    #131348
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant
    Vin wrote:
    TheMightyYoghourt wrote:
     Look, even in the hallowed microcosm of this forum where maybe twenty people contribute in a regular and suitably religious fashion, it just takes one Vincent with his threats of violence that he was once capable of visiting on his opponents to demonstrate how impractical socialism is.  Imagine this forum with twenty thousand contributors.  One thousand of whom are Vin Marratty. Form 'F', anyone?

    Can you offer any proof for this? I have never committed any act of violence and anyone who knows me would testify to that.You are a coward hiding behind a silly psuedonymI again remind the Party that it is open to prosecution for Libel.  

    If I may, one cannot be 'prosecuted' for libel in England & Wales (assuming that will be the jurisdiction, I cannot speak of elsewhere).  One issues a civil action for libel.  It is not a criminal matter.  I will allow that you may be using the word 'prosecution' in a looser, generic sense.It is also possible that you are a paragon of the Chancery Bar, with an Oxbridge Double First, – either a QC or about to be made one -who strikes fear into pseudo-socialist neo-Marxist charlatans the world over, dictating writs to your much put-upon senior clerk (BA 2.2. English with Drama, Bath Polytechnic, 1992) while filling out the Times crossword [you will need to be, if you actually want to sue somebody for libel].I might add that it is actually potentially defamatory in itself to groundlessly accuse somebody of libel.

    #131349
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    And once again this forum is being de-railed by those who are unable to rise above being baited. No wonder people like Ike treat us like a joke.

    Joking aside, let me assure you that I do not regard the SPGB or its case in any sense as a joke.  I have never said as much and never would.  I take socialism very seriously and I maintain that it is possible and could happen.  My contributions are in the spirit of debate, nothing more.  I could be wrong.  

    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    I would have liked to see other contributorss offer their info on de-population of areas of Britain.Ireland another region that certainly isn't over-crowded once outside Dublin City

    Am I to take it from this that you think a higher population is a 'good' in its own right?  I know you're just responding to an argument put by anti-immigration people, but I'm trying to fathom the logic.  Even if a country has lots of open spaces, how does that justify open borders or mass immigration, especially when it goes against workers' wishes?  Isn't there an argument that, first, open space is a good thing to preserve for its own sake, and second, open space is not necessarily habitable, and third, a higher population would put strain on space due to the need for supporting infrastructure?  These seem reasonable arguments to me, and that's before we even get into the arguments about ethnic cohesion and the problems caused by imposing diversity on people due to taking a purely 'economic' view of everything.You call this "racism", which I think is a made-up word used against workers you don't like.  Are Norwegians racist if they want to keep Norway ethnically Norwegian?  Can you not understand that the motivation to keep Norway Norwegian or England English or Germany German might have behind it something deeper than sentimentality and that workers have real concerns?  Such concerns, when expressed, don't make somebody a lackey for the local ruling class. Britain once had a modern population of 30 million or so.  I should like to see us return to that.  In an ideal world, I would like the entire country to return to forest and woodland and become wild, made up of a population of strong, independent people who can look after themselves and have little need of the state or money or capitalism.  Wanting less people around is not to say I think people should have less children, rather I think the priorities of the country should change.  We don't need incessant growth. Less people would be a better quality of life and result in a hardier and more independent-spirited people – who might be more inclined to ditch capitalism.  When it comes to population, I believe in quality over quantity.  I don't see the benefit of having more people just for the sake of it.

    #131350
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    If I may, one cannot be 'prosecuted' for libel in England & Wales (assuming that will be the jurisdiction, I cannot speak of elsewhere).  One issues a civil action for libel.  It is not a criminal matter.  I will allow that you may be using the word 'prosecution' in a looser, generic sense.

    Although this user is going off-topic once again, his latest unsupported assertion requires clarification/correction..An organisation or individual CAN be prosecuted by another organiation or individual and such an action would be a 'legal proceeding' https://www.blakemorgan.co.uk/news-events/news/brief-guide-tort-defamation/  Prosecuteverbpast tense: prosecuted; past participle: prosecuted1.institute or conduct legal proceedings against (a person or organization).2.continue with (a course of action) with a view to its completion."a serious threat to the government's ability to prosecute the war" (WIKI)  One can also be prosecuted and sent to prison for spouting racist bigotry and hatredIt is no longer acceptable or legal to claim the colour of the skin or the birth of origin makes one person inferior to another.   

    #131351
    moderator1
    Participant

    Reminder: 1. The general topic of each forum is given by the posted forum description. Do not start a thread in a forum unless it matches the given topic, and do not derail existing threads with off-topic posts.

    #131352
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Are Norwegians racist if they want to keep Norway ethnically Norwegian?

     My aunt certainly would have considered it racist since she is a Shetlander who married a Norwegian during the war (he was a Shetland Bus resistance fighter) and settled in Norway and before you say being Shetlander made her half-Norse anyway by blood, the family were relatively recent newcomers to Shetland. (It is interesting that the Norwegians rejected the Nazi Nordic propaganda) My cousins would be appalled that being born and brought up in Norway deprived them of their Shetland heritage. Although it was misinterpreted, i recall the Communist Manifesto saying:“The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life."  Explained by Engels in the Housing Question as  "the isolation and stupor in which it has vegetated almost unchanged for thousands of years." They were not referring to the peasants in the sense of being idiots – living in a state of stupidity – but that urbanisation created a lot more social interaction – widened their culture…and dare i say again – makes people cosmopolitan in their thinking. I think it has been verified that where there are high numbers of migrants there is more acceptance, and it is in regions with lesser numbers that oppose immigration more – because they have less contact and relations with them – the unknown does result in fear. But as you pointed out smaller towns have more community and as Rothesay on Bute discovered, refugees settled there were integrated very easily into small-town daily life. 

    #131353
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Sorry for that bad formatting…that happens occasionally on this website forum

    #131354
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant

    Again, this is where we differ in sensibility: – to me, rural (pagan) existence is superior to urban;- to me, cosmopolitan means global diversity, not local diversity.We are looking at things from completely different angles – hence our disagreements.By the way, coincidentally I was reading a certain famous author the other day who quoted that very passage of Marx's and predictably misinterpreted it as a slander on rural life.  While I disagree with Marx on the point, I do agree that it is a misinterpretation to say that he was attacking rural folk for being rural.  As with most things, quotes are not properly studied and are taken out-of-context by people who do not respect books and ideas and are more interested in social approval than proper scholarship – something that grates with me.The reason I know you are correct is due to my fluency in Marx's native language and also some background ideas/thoughts on the evolution of language.  Words like 'bigot',. 'idiot', etc. in this context are just dysphemisms for somebody who stands up for himself.  The cultural meme of the village idiot probably has this origin as a slander against rebellious peasant folk.  The term 'Nazi' has a closely-related origin in Bavarian slang as the word for an 'idiot' or 'simple' person, having the exactly similar meaning to Marx's use of those terms.

    #131355
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    And once again this forum is being de-railed by those who are unable to rise above being baited. No wonder people like Ike treat us like a joke.

    Joking aside, let me assure you that I do not regard the SPGB or its case in any sense as a joke.  I have never said as much and never would.  I take socialism very seriously and I maintain that it is possible and could happen.  My contributions are in the spirit of debate, nothing more.  I could be wrong.  

    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    I would have liked to see other contributorss offer their info on de-population of areas of Britain.Ireland another region that certainly isn't over-crowded once outside Dublin City

    Am I to take it from this that you think a higher population is a 'good' in its own right?  I know you're just responding to an argument put by anti-immigration people, but I'm trying to fathom the logic.  Even if a country has lots of open spaces, how does that justify open borders or mass immigration, especially when it goes against workers' wishes?  Isn't there an argument that, first, open space is a good thing to preserve for its own sake, and second, open space is not necessarily habitable, and third, a higher population would put strain on space due to the need for supporting infrastructure?  These seem reasonable arguments to me, and that's before we even get into the arguments about ethnic cohesion and the problems caused by imposing diversity on people due to taking a purely 'economic' view of everything.You call this "racism", which I think is a made-up word used against workers you don't like.  Are Norwegians racist if they want to keep Norway ethnically Norwegian?  Can you not understand that the motivation to keep Norway Norwegian or England English or Germany German might have behind it something deeper than sentimentality and that workers have real concerns?  Such concerns, when expressed, don't make somebody a lackey for the local ruling class. Britain once had a modern population of 30 million or so.  I should like to see us return to that.  In an ideal world, I would like the entire country to return to forest and woodland and become wild, made up of a population of strong, independent people who can look after themselves and have little need of the state or money or capitalism.  Wanting less people around is not to say I think people should have less children, rather I think the priorities of the country should change.  We don't need incessant growth. Less people would be a better quality of life and result in a hardier and more independent-spirited people – who might be more inclined to ditch capitalism.  When it comes to population, I believe in quality over quantity.  I don't see the benefit of having more people just for the sake of it.

    I just had a DNA test and It emerges that my DNA make up is as follows:54% Irish – no great surprise there24% British mainland – again no great surprise12% Western European – Perhaps a bit of a surprise3% Iberian – Perhaps Spanish sailors shipwrecked off Mayo after the Armada?3% Italian Peninsula – Lots of Romans up in the North East manning Hadrian's Wall (which for the information of Southern based media does not mark the border between Scotland and England!!!)2% Greek – No bloody idea1% Georgian Caucasus – ?????1% Eastern European Jew, again no idea.The point is that we are all mongrels and  the idea that there are "ethnic Norwegians" is as improbable as the idea that there are "ethnic British". You spoke in one of your earlier posts about Vikings and the fact that they were ethnically European. I worked for a long while with families on the Northumbrian side of the Borders, Black and Blackmore (Black Moor) is a very common surname and there is lots of evidence that many families are descended from the Black legions posted on the Roman Wall, living there for centuries before the Viking invasions.If your going to start dividing people up by "ethnicity" then there are going to be bits of me scattered all over the globe, wouldn't it be ironic if the bit of me that is "ethnically" Jewish was my foreskin.

    #131356
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant
    Bijou Drains wrote:
    I just had a DNA test and It emerges that my DNA make up is as follows:54% Irish – no great surprise there24% British mainland – again no great surprise12% Western European – Perhaps a bit of a surprise3% Iberian – Perhaps Spanish sailors shipwrecked off Mayo after the Armada?3% Italian Peninsula – Lots of Romans up in the North East manning Hadrian's Wall (which for the information of Southern based media does not mark the border between Scotland and England!!!)2% Greek – No bloody idea1% Georgian Caucasus – ?????1% Eastern European Jew, again no idea.The point is that we are all mongrels and  the idea that there are "ethnic Norwegians" is as improbable as the idea that there are "ethnic British". You spoke in one of your earlier posts about Vikings and the fact that they were ethnically European. I worked for a long while with families on the Northumbrian side of the Borders, Black and Blackmore (Black Moor) is a very common surname and there is lots of evidence that many families are descended from the Black legions posted on the Roman Wall, living there for centuries before the Viking invasions.If your going to start dividing people up by "ethnicity" then there are going to be bits of me scattered all over the globe, wouldn't it be ironic if the bit of me that is "ethnically" Jewish was my foreskin.

    I'm not sure how to respond to this since it's self-evident to me that ethnicity is a socially-constructed concept.  I know that my Britishness is an invention.  But it represents a shared heritage and experience over at least centuries, and the result is a shared way of life and understanding of certain things, the components of what we call a 'culture'.  I'm not suggesting that that identity is to be preserved in aspic and is unevolvable, but nor do I think it can be disregarded as a factor in the direction that individuals and societies should go.  You are free to disagree and say that there is no such thing as identity, humans are mechanistic cogs and all that matters are the social relations and forces of production.  You're entitled to take that view.  I respectfully disagree, sir!

    #131357
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    You should read some of our anti-nationalist posts on the blog Socialist Courier, Ike, especially at the time of the 2014 referendum. Much of the separatist argument was made on cultural/heritage basis. Yet the most successful pro-sovereignty ads was the one which had a variety of immigrants supporting Scottish independence.And as you well-know at one time, the real bitter division was not nationality or race but religion. Thankfully, that bit of cultural heritage is fading away and in a generation or two will be a distant memory. However, i think every Scot can offer a personal anecdote of this bigotry. We still have a segregated school system. Just an example of it is herehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_David%27s_Roman_Catholic_High_Schoolhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalkeith_High_School

    #131358
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    Bijou Drains wrote:
    I just had a DNA test and It emerges that my DNA make up is as follows:54% Irish – no great surprise there24% British mainland – again no great surprise12% Western European – Perhaps a bit of a surprise3% Iberian – Perhaps Spanish sailors shipwrecked off Mayo after the Armada?3% Italian Peninsula – Lots of Romans up in the North East manning Hadrian's Wall (which for the information of Southern based media does not mark the border between Scotland and England!!!)2% Greek – No bloody idea1% Georgian Caucasus – ?????1% Eastern European Jew, again no idea.The point is that we are all mongrels and  the idea that there are "ethnic Norwegians" is as improbable as the idea that there are "ethnic British". You spoke in one of your earlier posts about Vikings and the fact that they were ethnically European. I worked for a long while with families on the Northumbrian side of the Borders, Black and Blackmore (Black Moor) is a very common surname and there is lots of evidence that many families are descended from the Black legions posted on the Roman Wall, living there for centuries before the Viking invasions.If your going to start dividing people up by "ethnicity" then there are going to be bits of me scattered all over the globe, wouldn't it be ironic if the bit of me that is "ethnically" Jewish was my foreskin.

    I'm not sure how to respond to this since it's self-evident to me that ethnicity is a socially-constructed concept.  I know that my Britishness is an invention.  But it represents a shared heritage and experience over at least centuries, and the result is a shared way of life and understanding of certain things, the components of what we call a 'culture'.  I'm not suggesting that that identity is to be preserved in aspic and is unevolvable, but nor do I think it can be disregarded as a factor in the direction that individuals and societies should go.  You are free to disagree and say that there is no such thing as identity, humans are mechanistic cogs and all that matters are the social relations and forces of production.  You're entitled to take that view.  I respectfully disagree, sir!

    I don't disagree that having a culture is an important aspect of well being. I am not in favour of a homogenised Socialist Society, a kind of marxist McDonaldisation of the globe. However neither do I see culture as being necessarily tied only to ethnicity. In my youth I was invovled in pigeon racing and there is definitely a pigeon racing culture which connects those invovled in pigeon racing regardless of ethnicity or geography.There are lots of other cultures, there is an SPGB culture, there are drug cultures, music cultures, food cultures, etc. We all have multiple cultural identities at any one time. For instance I am a Northerner, which amongst other things, means I say thank you to the bus driver, I am also a pub goer, which means no matter what fracas is breaking out, I will always ensure that a person carrying several pints of beer is protected from the dreaded fate of spilling beer. As stated earlier I can converse with pigeon fanciers about the use of pot eggs and the widowhood system, as well as understanding the etiquette of ADM and conference. I was brought up living next to an Anglo/Burmese family and can make a very good bitter melon curry, my family are of Irish origin (mainly) and so I am also happy to have a conversation about the (remot)e possibility of mayo ever winning the Sam McGuire again, I speak Dialect Geordie to some of my friends using loan words from Romany (Gadgie and Charva, for instance) and I don't see any of this as a negative or a dilution from my feelings of self worth or my heritage.The fascinating thing about them is that although they seem to be immutable the fact is that they are all ever evolving. In my area the group of people who seem most likely to use Geordie dialect appear at times to be the Sikhs. I have worked with lots of people from immigrant communities in Newcastle who when asked if they were British will say no, but when asked if they are Geordies will say Whey Aye!

    #131359
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Once again, we are finding out that previously thought unsettled lands actually was home to a teeming population.https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/27/lost-amazon-villages-uncovered-by-archaeologists

    Quote:
    Once people thought the Amazon was a near-uninhabited rainforest before the Europeans turned up, but researchers say they have found new evidence that it was, in fact, a hive of human activity and home to millions of people…“The idea that the Amazon was a pristine forest, untouched by humans, home to scattered nomadic populations … we already knew that was not true,” said Dr Jonas Gregorio de Souza, first author of the study from the University of Exeter. “The big debate is how populations were distributed in pre-Columbian times in the Amazon.”..the southern rim of the Amazon alone could have been home to between 500,000 and one million people…the arrival of Europeans quickly took its toll. “We know that diseases travelled much faster than people and probably this population was already weakened by diseases brought by Europeans even before the Europeans set foot on the area,” he said. 
Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 106 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.