by Kit Knightly
Utopia and the Blackest Pill",
takes aim at perhaps
insidious propaganda narrative of all,
and one that is
very close to my heart:
This has been a personal bugbear of mine since I grew old enough to
detect subtext, but long before I could articulate exactly why:
The pervasive and
destructive idea that there are too many people...
A propaganda construct
that seeks to create contempt for masses of ordinary people, whilst
excusing hubristic and inhumane practices by institutions and
These destructive belief systems have come to the fore during this
"pandemic", made obvious by the fevered gleeful enthusiasm with
which so many took up the narrative.
the Coronavirus was Earth "sending
us a message".
Back in April, the
South China Morning Post ran
an article headlined:
Why Covid-19 is
a human overpopulation problem - Perhaps humans are the virus?
We've been told for
nearly two centuries that the planet is overpopulated, it has never
The idea there
are too many people (or soon will be) has been around since the
world's population was less than 1/10th of what it is
The crisis -
Paul Ehrlich's infamous "The Population Bomb"
- is yet to materialize, but,
since when did
failed predictions deter apocalyptic doomsaying...?
It's not hard to
see the appeal of the idea.
institutional level, overpopulation is a grand excuse.
Thomas Malthus predicted the overpopulation crisis in the
early 19th century, and claimed that mass want was
inevitable, he handed the ruling class a "get out of jail free"
spikes and living standards diminish anyone who campaigns for
change, or protests outside the seats of power, can be told,
not our fault there is suffering!
It's not our fault there is
It's your fault, you're reproducing too fast!
simply too many people!".
In that sense, it
is a lie which protects
the ruling class from the anger of those
But it serves another purpose too...
On a personal
level, "enlightened" members of the elite have always been keen to
write-off huge swaths of the population as surplus to requirements.
The idea of
...men and women
who hold themselves above the common folk based on their brains,
blood and gold, to preach mass-murder whilst hiding their
misanthropic god-complexes behind concern for the "common man", our
"future children", or "the environment".
eugenics and "useless eaters" and all those evil
ideas spread by technocrats and billionaires, who would never in a
thousand years considers themselves part of this supposed surplus.
People who convince the world
they are "good" by camouflaging their
insidious means behind supposedly 'beneficent ends'...
It's possible - and
easy - to refute these ideas intellectually.
The complete output
of all the farmland we currently use is enough to feed every person
on this planet,
plus another 3 billion people.
There are vast, vast amounts of
untapped resources available to us - including people themselves.
Each new person
born could be the genius who invents a way to increase crop yields
or better harness
geothermal energy or some other amazing step forward in societal
Even supposing we
were nearing any kind of purely hypothetical population ceiling,
there would be no need to do anything about it.
We're taught that at 12 years old, with diagrams and
big green arrows...
When there are lots
of rabbits, you get lots of foxes.
The foxes eat the rabbits, the
Fewer rabbits feed fewer foxes.
Fewer foxes means
the rabbits grow more numerous.
And so the cycle repeats...
This cycle has
maintained life on this planet for millions of years before humans,
and will do so for millions of years afterward. To seek to corral or
control nature has been historically shown to be both impossible and
So yes, it's
important to oppose the pervasive myth on a purely intellectual
But it's equally
important - perhaps more important - to oppose it on philosophical,
even spiritual level.
To hold fast against the idea that human life,
any life, can be reduced to a matter of cold arithmetic...
royals or 'scientists' have any kind of right to decide
exactly which people are necessary, and which are simply taking up
to outright, in full voice, reject the idea that some people don't
Or that people as a whole are an unnatural plague which
needs to be cured.
James Corbett puts
it well near the end of the above video:
You are not a
cancer on this planet, you are not a useless eater.
We do not
need drastic strictures of control over the human population,
both literal and metaphorical, in order to make the world
best-expressed rejection of the Malthusian belief system is from a
very appropriate source, given the time of year.
A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer
Scrooge famously says that if the poor are like to die they had,
"better do it, and decrease the
of Christmas Present offers this stinging rebuke:
Man, if man you
be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you
have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is.
Will you decide
what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the
sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live
than millions like this poor man's child.
And that, I think,
is a fine place to leave you...