Scarcities and Societal Objectives

  • Claire Russell
  • W. M. S. Russell


Scarcity is essentially an excess of population over resources. ‘One cannot insist too often’, wrote William Vogt in his classic Road to Survival (1949), ‘that… population increase is, fundamentally, as much a physical process as though one burned down storehouses containing food.’ In short, we may sum up the concept of scarcity in the simple words spoken by Grettir in Louis MacNeice’s poem ‘Eclogue from Iceland’ (MacNeice, 1938, pp. 29–39): ‘too many people.’


Woollen Cloth Social Invention Population Cycle Military Expenditure Federal Reserve System 
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Copyright information

© Claire Russell and W. M. S. Russell 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Russell
    • 1
  • W. M. S. Russell
    • 2
  1. 1.David Higham Associates LtdLondonEngland
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of ReadingEngland

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