The Malthusian Trap: The Failure of Proudhon

  • Yves Charbit

All through the nineteenth century, the two progressions of Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population proved to be a dangerous trap for the social reformers nurtured by the heritage of the Enlightenment and the French revolution of 1789. It was believed that the pressure of population on the means of subsistence acted like a noose that becomes tighter when population grew too fast and all attempts to redistribute wealth in a more egalitarian manner came to nought. Such is the meaning of the allegory of the banquet figuring in the second edition of the Essay published in 1803 which was later dropped by Malthus because it seemed inhuman.


Free Trade Moral Philosophy Geometrical Progression Social Criticism Fertility Control 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Charbit
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR CEPED (Université Paris Descartes-INED-IRD)Université Paris DescartesFrance

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