AN ESSAY ON THE PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION - …

The tyrannical, statist purposes behind the "gun control" movement are thus revealed, as are the principles of Machiavelli's viewpoint, where the most successful rulers must be those who achieve good government, while good government is that which fosters the liberty, security, and prosperity of the citizens.

This I freely own, and 'twas indeed one principal design in offering it to the world.

It should be observed, that, by an increase in the means of subsistence, is here meant such an increase as will enable the mass of the society to command more food. An increase might certainly take place, which in the actual state of a particular society would not be distributed to the lower classes, and consequently would give no stimulus to population.


An Essay on the Principle of Population - Vol

What we need is a population living in the virtuous poverty of an "ecotopia," as in .

According to the World Population Data sheet, there will be about eight billion people by the year 2020, and this is due to its continuation of growth (Southwick 159).


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In the northern states of America, where the means of subsistence have been more ample, the manners of the people more pure, and the checks to early marriages fewer, than in any of the modern states of Europe, the population has been found to double itself, for above a century and a half successively, in less than twenty-five years. Yet, even during these periods, in some of the towns, the deaths exceeded the births, a circumstance which clearly proves that, in those parts of the country which supplied this deficiency, the increase must have been much more rapid than the general average.

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In the back settlements, where the sole employment is agriculture, and vicious customs and unwholesome occupations are little known, the population has been found to double itself in fifteen years. Even this extraordinary rate of increase is probably short of the utmost power of population. Very severe labour is requisite to clear a fresh country; such situations are not in general considered as particularly healthy; and the inhabitants, probably, are occasionally subject to the incursions of the Indians, which may destroy some lives, or at any rate diminish the fruits of industry.

Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?

[Daniel Donno translation, Bantam Books, 1981, pp.63-64; Italian text, , Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a., Torino, 2013 e 2014, pp.126-127]While this passage especially has often been interpreted as advice to completely unprincipled rulers for the purpose merely of promoting their own power, Machiavelli himself did not admire tyrants and did not endorse an amoral opportunism.