Mathus’ Essay on Population at Age 200

“Mathus’ Essay on Population at Age 200: A Marxian View,” Monthly Review, vol. 50, no. 7 (December 1998), pp. 1-18. DOI: 10.14452/MR-050-07-1998-11_1

Since it was first published 200 years ago in 1798, no other single work has constituted such a bastion of bourgeois thought as Thomas Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population. No other work was more hated by the English working class, nor so strongly criticized by Marx and Engels. Although the Malthusian principle of population in its classical form was largely vanquished intellectually by the mid-nineteenth century, it continued to reemerge in new forms. In the late nineteenth century it took on new life as a result of the Darwinian revolution and the rise of social Darwinism. And in the late twentieth century Malthusianism reemerged once again in the form of neo-Malthusian ecology.


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