Capitalism will always be a system of profound inequality, no matter what happens to the birthrate ….
Discussions of population and food supply which leave out power relations between different groups of people will always mask the true nature of food scarcity — who gets to eat and who doesn’t — and lead to “solutions” that are simplistic, frequently oppressive and which, ultimately, reinforce the very structures creating ecological damage and hunger….
Globe, Inc. is “overpopulated.” And as long as access to food and other resources is determined by inequitable power relationships, it will remain so.
Because no matter how much food is produced, how few babies are born or how dramatically human numbers fall, it is the nature of the modern market economy remorselessly to generate “scarcity.”
Blaming such socially-generated scarcity and ecological degradation on “overpopulation” or “underproduction” has long provided the more powerful with an explanation for human misery that does not indict themselves and that legitimizes various ideologies of exclusion.
Without changes in the social and economic relationships that currently determine the production, distribution and consumption of food in the world, there will always be those who are judged “surplus to requirements” and who are thus excluded from the wherewithal to live.
The human population could be halved, quartered, decimated even, yet hunger would still remain. So long as one person has the power to deny food to another, even two people may be judged “too many.”
From “Too Many for What? The Social Generation of Food ‘Scarcity’ and ‘Overpopulation’,” by Nicholas Hildyard. Published by The Corner House. Read the full article here