O rozwoju demograficznym i ekonomicznym optymistycznie. Uwagi o teorii ludnościowej C. Clarka

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Wydział Prawa i Administracji UAM

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An Optimistic View of the Demographic and Economic Development. A Commentary on C. Clark's Population Theory


The Malthusian debate continues. Its subject generally is the tendency to growth of population and all resources indispensible to life, the predicted end and desired correction of this tendency as well as the kinds and means of population policy. Optimists, pessimists, Malthusians, neo-Malthusians, anti- and non- Malthusians are recognized according to their attitude to this question. C. Clark who discussed his population theory in his work „Population Growth and Land Use" belongs to the optimists and non-Malthusians. He is far from the schematic attitude adopted in the debate. He does not accept the population catastrophe as the end of the present tendency of development He accepts the growth of population as a factor of social, economic and cultural progress. He demonstrates how humanity adapted itself to new conditions created by its development. He points to the possibilities of solving actual problems. Clark's optimism is particularly evident when he speaks about the possibility of feeding further milliards of people. It can be realized by the help of modern techniques utilizing large reserves of agriculture. In this way it is easy to get food for 47 milliard people taking the present standard of living in North America, or for 157 milliards on Japanese standards. Clark is an optimist when he affirms that the population growth was not a hindrance but a stimulant to all kinds of progress. Historians cannot prove that population decrease brought social, advantages but they can prove the reverse. The population growth was one of the main determinants in the development of an agrarian community and its transformation into an induis trial community. Population increase not only reduces the need of capital per production unit but also enforces its creation. There is no evident correlation, especially negative, between the growth of population and the rate of the income increase per capita. A population increase is associated with a general decrease in social differences and increased democratic tendencies in society. The assesment of the situation of children from bigger families is optimistic. There are no firm grounds fear that their social mobility is less in comparison with children from smaller families. The family of the atomic age has the prospects of full development. C. Clark's population theory has been verified by historical experience of various continents. It is not a mask for economic or political interests or a fear of loosing the demographic race of the West by the East or even a fear of beeing absorbed by the coloured people. On the contrary it is characterized by scientific and utilitarian umiversalism,, since it is to serve the development of all nations. The theory is of a persoinalistic character in the sense that its author emphasizes the primacy of man with his personal attributes: controlled behaviour and activity and freedom of choice.



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Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny 30, 1968, z. 2, s. 167-187



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego