Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 11th, 2011

Population explosion? Will demographic reach a steady-state level? Part 1

Amazing, Thomas Robert Malthus wrote in 1798 his “Essay on the principle of population”.  He stated: “I think that I can frankly posit two postulates:

First, food is necessary for the existence of mankind; and

Second, the reciprocal passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain as it is today. I say that the multiplication power of people increases geometrically, far greater than the arithmetic increase of food supply.  The unbalance of these two multiplication powers have to be equalized to maintain nature law.”

Many deduced that Malthus was proposing eugenics (killing) policies in order for the food production and supply to be sufficient among the surviving people.

For example, the French Proudhon replied in 1848: “Malthus is the one extra man crowding earth.  The real problem is in the principle of ownership system (particularly real estates) that propagates unjust power for one class over others

Karl Marx also was unhappy with Malthus proposal; he wrote:

“Malthus is the enemy of the working classes. Malthus is the insolent sycophant of the ruling classes; he is guilty of committing sins against science and defamatory remarks against the human race.  Malthus abstract population law may applies to plant and animal species.  With historic human intervention, the problem is no longer over population, but the equitable distribution of wealth.”

These interesting heated debates were fine until earth mankind population reached 3 billion in the 30’s and kept climbing to reach 7 billion in 2011.

A few demographic scientists claim that earth population will stabilize at the number of 9 billion by 2050 and slowly progress to 10 billion in 2150.

Seven billion people is already one too many and a heavy burden, not simply to feed, and feed properly, but on the quality of life mankind is learning to acquire as rights on many levels.

Should a single vegetative individual of the rich classes be expected to live an extra decade at the expense of millions in poorer countries? Due to famine, malnutrition, curable diseases, massive exploitations and mono-agricultural production for the multinationals…

Should only boys be selected to live as it is regularly performed in India and China? Early abortion of girls…

Currently, you have all these people predicting that technologies applied in food production can feed the currently over 7 billion people and will provide for the 9 billion expected in the next three decades.

True, earth is crowded with 7 billion, but in fact, only two billion are living adequately, while 5 billion are barely surviving, and proportionally eating far less than any other animal species.

The surviving 5 billion people are reduced to subsiding on a couple low quality energy ingredients for their daily intake.

True, food production can increase to feed the 7 billion, but why only cows and “clean energy” substitutes are preventing the 5 billion to eat adequately?

In effect, Malthus nature law is effectively being applied:  The barely surviving 5 billion people are pressured to believe in religious dogma of accepting their precarious “fate” as nature or divine selection among eligible classes to govern and rule.

Occasionally, people revolted and violently to these stupid dogma and changed political structure for fairer distribution of food or wealth. In general, the power-to-be managed to quell these “self-righteous” uprising that were against divine prescriptions!

Things are changing:  Belief systems are changing.

People are very aware of the indignities heaped upon them by elite programs and policies, and are confident of their potentials as equal in intelligence, and in human rights and opportunities.

Food shortages, high food prices, and lack of jobs opportunities are catalysts in these current revolts in the Arab World States, but the main cause is the greater awareness, in this quick transmission of information, that dignity as equal has been trampled, and that grievous injustices have been applied on the common people.

The common people comprehend that the UN “human development indicators” means:  It is not acceptable that many classes within a society witness high rate of maternal mortality in giving birth, high rate of infantile mortality, high rate of juvenile (less than 5 year-old) mortality, high rate of adolescent (less than 20 of age) mortality, high rate of inability to read and write…

It is unacceptable that India with double the yearly income of Bangladesh witness a lesser performance than Bangladesh in Human Development Indicators:  It is unacceptable that India maintain the social and political structure of the “untouchable” classes as ordered by the Hindu religious clerics.

Every new born among the 7 billion has the odd of 7 to 10 to be raised in a poor country with very low rates in human development indicators.

What’s the difference among developing and developed democracies?  Successful Civil Wars?

There are major differences between developed and developing liberal democracies.  Before I expand with an example, there are three major factors for discriminating among various liberal democracies.

First, developed liberal democracies have stable and sustainable institutions to evaluating and proposing reforms based on specific programs.   Whereas developing democracies are barely skin-deep clones of previous colonial systems they are familiar with, which didn’t match the level of consciousness and awareness of the natives in real applications. Consequently, the lack of institutions to follow-up on any draft program for reforms generated haphazard systems that kept mutating as new “military” leaders came to power.

Second, developed democracies have diversified their economic bases in services, industries, and agriculture.  Statistics are kept and serious budgets are presented yearly.  This is not the case in developing “democracies”.

Third, cultural and educational activities are affordable in developed democracies.  Public libraries and community facilities are spread all over the land.  Thus, learning and culture are not exclusive to the elite classes, and common people have vast opportunities to learn and become free reflecting citizens, if they wish and want to.  This is not the case in developing democracies where activities are mostly concentrated in States Capitals.

The common denominator among the developed democracies is that they all experienced a protracted civil war with first, the objective of establishing a strong central power, and second, the alliance for a central power was the victor in the civil war.

Woo to countries waging a civil war and ending up without a definite victor. Woo to countries engaging in a civil war without a program of uniting the people and working on a vast basis of alliances among all religious sects of the middle classes.

The other main differences can be explained explicitly with examples.

Let me consider the case of Lebanon.  Lebanon experienced a savaged civil war in 1975 and lasted 13 years.   The war harvested 10% in casualties (300,000 of dead, physically handicapped, and mentally disabled individuals); it also affected 30% of the population in the forms of transfer to other localities, immigration, poverty, and family dislocation.

Before the civil war, Lebanon enjoyed a semi liberal democracy that set this State system apart from the surrounding Arab States political systems.  A semi liberal democracy means that the elite class (including the clerics of 19 religious sects) hold the levers for electing deputies and municipal councils that represent their interests: they were grabbing the power and went overboard, since major reforms could not be attained without sustained and pragmatic programs from the political movement.

Election laws are fundamentally biased toward the elite class in finance and feudal standing.

Lebanon of 1974, a year prior to the civil war, and particularly the Capital Beirut, experienced extraordinarily cultural, social, and political activities, quantitatively and qualitatively.

First, the number of women writers increased dramatically.  As Georges Rassi wrote: “In the Arab World, every woman writer is worth 100 free minded men”.

Second, many famous authors and poets opted to write columns in dailies; a move that brought them in close touch with the people and the daily difficulties.

Third, artists and thinkers from all over the Arab World settled in Beirut.  Most of these intellectuals were fleeing oppression and persecution for free expressions.  The Egyptian intellectuals flocked in great number as President Sadat had decided to connect with Israel and leave the Arab problems and the Palestinian cause way behind.

Fourth, the Lebanese TV witnessed a big jump in quality of local productions thanks to the director Paul Tannous.

Fifth, many cultural clubs were instituted, and Arab States organized exhibitions and cultural events.

Most importantly, women became very vocal and active for women rights and drastic reforms in the laws and social awareness.  Late author Mai Ghoussoub was very young then but she was one of the leaders of “Committees for Free women.”  Initially, men were permitted to join in the discussions until they proved to be elements of heckling and disturbances.  The committees of free women decided to meet among women because their cause must be priority in urgent reforms and not a usual side-show tackled by reformist political parties.

There were plenty of excuses, and still being voiced, laying the blame on regional and foreign powers battling for their interests and differences in Lebanon at Lebanon’s expense.  That may be the tip of the iceberg of material evidences hiding the real fundamental reasons.

Fact is, all regional and international powers had their secret agencies and services, their political parties, their dailies, magazines, airwaves and their representatives in the Parliament, executive branch and directors of public institutions.

In a fragile system based on officially recognized 19 religious sects enjoying the rights of sole civil administrators of their caste members, the “citizen” is identified by his religious sect.  The only evidence of a State in Lebanon is issuing passports to “citizens” and printing currency.

It is interesting that France and the USA were battling out the Lebanese radio airwaves.  It is reasonable to foresee what happens when reforms are voiced in demonstrations and marches when the rest of the Lebanese were entirely ignored by the central government and the political movements.

Outside Beirut, the Lebanese were living the same traditional culture as during the Ottoman Empire and organized under the caste system of religious sect and feudal landlords.

It was a great opportunity to realizing Ben Gurion strategy: “The Zionist State has two main enemies:  the religious and ethnic diversities in Lebanon and Iraq.  These two States have to be disintegrated into ethnic cantons”  Kissinger of the US and the Egyptian President Sadat made sure to keeping the fire on and pull this civil war to its devastating consequences.

Note 1: A sample of the most active cinema directors are:  Maroun Baghdadi, Jean Cham3oun, Silvio Tabet, Samir Ghossayn, Samir nasri, Berhane Alawiyeh, Heini Srour, Rafic Hajjar, Akhdar Hamina, Nabil Maleh…




June 2011

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