Header Ads

Header ADS

Population value

From Conditions for the material life of society

Lectures delivered at the Higher Party School under the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, MOSCOW


Fedoseev P.N.

In his work On Dialectical and Historical Materialism, Comrade Stalin brilliantly developed the Marxist critique of that sociological theory which sees the main cause of the development of society in population growth. Comrade Stalin proved that population growth is not and cannot be the main force in the development of society, which determines the nature of the social system, the physiognomy of society.

The question of the role of population in the development of society arose with all its acuteness even in the period of the disintegration of feudalism and the establishment of bourgeois society. Between the defenders of the feudal aristocracy and the ideologists of the bourgeoisie, fierce bulwarks flared up on this question.

The ideologists of the rising bourgeoisie justified the beneficial effect of population growth as the main force of social development. Proponents of this sociological theory argued that population density is a decisive condition for the development of society, that the faster the population grows, the faster society itself develops. This direction in sociology was closely connected with the theory of labor value put forward by bourgeois economists. Recognizing that the value of goods is determined by the amount of labor expended on their production, the representatives of this theory taught that the welfare of society will be the higher, the more labor is applied to the production of goods. Of course, by the well-being of society they understood the growth of the wealth of the bourgeoisie, and they saw the purpose of labor in multiplying this wealth of the capitalist class.

The 17th-century English economist William Petty believed that population growth was the basis of all wealth. A sparse population, he wrote, is real poverty; a nation of eight million heads is twice as rich as a nation that has only four million in the same area.

Such views on the role of population were subsequently developed by English economists: James Mill, Thomas Godskin, and others. Mill wrote in his book The Elements of Political Economy that social relations and labor productivity depend on population density. Similar considerations were expressed by Godskin in his Popular Political Economy. When the number of workers increases, he wrote, the productive power of society increases in a complex proportion obtained by multiplying the increase in the number of workers by the result of the division of labor among them.

The doctrine that population density is the main force in social development once expressed the ideology of the bourgeoisie in its struggle against the "unproductive estates" - the nobility, the clergy - against the aristocratic monarchy with its huge mass of officials and numerous servants. This doctrine at that time had a certain progressive significance. But it is clear that, speaking on behalf of the whole of society, the bourgeoisie fought for its own class interests, for the transfer of economic might and political power from the hands of the feudal lords to the hands of the capitalists.

The ideologists of the bourgeoisie advocated the progress of science, industry and agriculture, and declared that the improvement of production techniques could ensure the production of an ever greater quantity of consumer products. They believed that population growth would be accompanied by a more rapid increase in the production of means of subsistence, and consequently, the needs of an increasing population would be increasingly satisfied.

These ideas about the steady progress of human society were especially persistently promoted by the ideologist of the French bourgeoisie of the 18th century, Condorcet. In his book A Sketch of the Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, Condorcet argued that the improvement of production would result in a reduction in the time and labor required for the manufacture of commodities, and a continuous increase in the means of subsistence. “Then,” he wrote, “by cultivating a smaller land area, it will be possible to obtain a mass of foodstuffs of much greater utility and higher value than a large area gave before ... So, not only the same land area will be able to feed a larger number of people, but each of these, the one who works less hard will eat more rationally and will be better able to satisfy his needs.(Condorcet. Sketch of a historical picture of the progress of the human mind, p. 239.)

The bourgeoisie, striving for power, accused the landed aristocracy of having reduced the population to poverty, and pretended to be the guardian of the interests of the masses. She presented her enrichment from the exploitation of the working people as the growth of social wealth, as the general progress of human society.

The ideologists of the landed aristocracy, justifying the domination of landowners, tried to prove that the masses themselves were to blame for the poverty of the population, since they multiply too quickly. Thus, a school appeared in the history of sociology that considers population growth an evil that leads to poverty and to all sorts of disasters in public life. This anti-scientific and reactionary point of view was developed by some economists of the 18th century and was preached with particular vehemence by the English economist Pope Malthus.

In his book An Essay on the Law of Population, Malthus argued that population always puts pressure on the means of subsistence, that the means of subsistence grow exponentially, and the population increases exponentially. The increasing growth of the population beyond the means of subsistence at its disposal is, according to Malthus, the cause of all poverty, all vices. “The main and continuous cause of poverty,” says Malthus, “depends little or nothing on the form of government, or on the unequal distribution of property; - the rich are not able to deliver work and food to the poor; - therefore, the poor, by the very nature of things, have no right to demand work and food from them. (Malthus. Essay on the law of population, vol. II. p. 341. Ed. 1868.)

Malthus' book on population, published in 1798, was intended to serve as a weapon against the popular indignation that had increased under the influence of the French Revolution. Revealing the social roots and party orientation of the Malthusian theory of population, Marx wrote: “The great noise caused by this pamphlet is explained exclusively by party interests. The French Revolution found passionate defenders in the British realm: the "population principle", slowly developed in the eighteenth century, then proclaimed with trumpets and drums in the midst of a great social crisis as an incomparable antidote to the theory of Condorcet and others, was greeted with jubilation by the English oligarchy, which saw in him is the great eradicator of all aspirations for further human development.(K. Marx and F. Engels. Works, vol. XVII, p. 677.)

Marx showed the complete inconsistency of the Malthusian theory of population by proving that the so-called overpopulation is not at all some kind of natural law of nature, that it is generated by certain historical conditions, namely the capitalist conditions of production. Criticizing the misanthropic theory of Malthus and his supporters, Marx wrote: “... the conservative interests, of which Malthus was a servant, prevented him from seeing that the excessive lengthening of the working day, together with the extraordinary development of machines and the exploitation of female and child labor, should have made a significant part of the working class, especially with the end of the demand created by the war and the British monopoly on the world market. It goes without saying that it was much more convenient, much more in line with the interests of the ruling classes,(K. Marx and F. Engels. Works, vol. XVII, p. 577.)

Marx showed with irresistible accusatory force that Malthus defended the interests of the aristocracy against the bourgeoisie and the interests of both of them against the proletariat. “Malthus defended the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie only insofar as they are identical with the interests of land ownership, the aristocracy, i.e., against the mass of the people, against the proletariat; but where the interests of the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy diverge and hostilely oppose each other, he takes the side of the aristocracy against the bourgeoisie. (K. Marx. Theories of surplus value, vol. 11, part 1, p. 204. Ed. 1936.)

The conflict between the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy during the period of the struggle of the bourgeoisie for political power did not prevent the subsequent unification of the ideological views of these two exploiting classes. The spearhead of Malthusianism was directed against the masses of the people. The bourgeoisie, as it asserted its dominance, willingly adopted the Malthusian ravings as a weapon in the struggle against the rising labor movement.

Already in the works of Ricardo, along with criticism of the extremes of Malthusianism, there is an acknowledgment, with certain reservations, of the main thesis of Malthus. “... Although under the most favorable circumstances,” wrote Ricardo, “the possibility of growth of productive forces probably exceeds the population’s ability to reproduce, such a state cannot continue for a long time, because with a limited amount of land and unequal quality, its productivity with each new increase capital attached to it will decrease, while the ability of the population to reproduce continues to remain the same. (David Ricardo. Works, vol. I, p. 51. Ed. 1941.)

Ricardo argued that in underdeveloped countries, where there is an abundance of fertile land, it is possible for a long time to satisfy the needs of a growing population. As for the developed European countries, here, in his opinion, the growing population puts pressure on the means of subsistence, and the only way out is to reduce the population.

Tracing the development of bourgeois political economy, Engels already in 1843 noted its transition to the position of Malthusianism. She, as Engels pointed out, successfully fought against Malthusian absurdities, but in the end she again came to Malthusian conclusions.

Bourgeois theories of population in all their varieties, both in the West and in Russia, have long since become the ideological stronghold of reaction. The theory that considers population growth to be the main driving force of historical progress has also come to such an end.

In Russia, the supporters of this sociological theory were M. Kovalevsky, P. Milyukov, and other bourgeois historians and economists.

M. Kovalevsky wrote: "Long-term research led me to the conclusion that the main factor in all changes in the economic system is nothing more than population growth ". (MM Kovalevsky. The development of the national economy in Western Europe, p. 2. Ed. 1899.) He argued that the change in the forms of the national economy, the change in the forms of life, depends on the rate of population growth. The forms of the national economy, Kovalevsky wrote, do not follow each other in an arbitrary order, but are subject to a well-known law of succession. The most important factor in their evolution is at each given moment and in each given country the growth of the population, its greater or lesser density.

The propositions about the decisive role of population growth in the development of society, being extremely one-sided, nevertheless at first expressed some anti-serfdom, democratic tendencies and were directed against the theory that sees the driving force of history in an absolutist state. However, from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, these provisions in the works of Kovalevsky took on a reactionary meaning. The development of the working-class movement in Russia under the banner of Marxism aroused furious anger among the bourgeoisie. The ideologists of the bourgeoisie intensified their attacks on the theoretical foundations of proletarian socialism, trying to undermine the materialist understanding of history.

The theory of the decisive role of the population in the development of society was used by Kovalevsky and his like-minded people to fight against Marxism. In the preface to Montesquieu's book On the Spirit of Laws, published in 1900, Kovalevsky openly contrasts his theory of population with the Marxist understanding of the laws of social development. He argues that population growth does not depend on changes in production, but itself causes these changes. In theory and politics, Kovalevsky becomes a spokesman for the ideas of the counter-revolutionary liberal bourgeoisie of Russia.

Miliukov's theory of population acquired an openly reactionary character. This "theoretician" of the Cadets used the theory of population to justify the exploitation of labor by capital, to justify colonial expansion. “... The population of every country,” Miliukov wrote, “has a tendency to increase by itself, spontaneously, automatically, and ... such an automatic increase in the population is the main impetus forcing people to increase the amount of labor necessary to maintain life and change its form ". (P. Milyukov. Essays on the history of Russian culture, part 1, p. 21. Ed. 1909.)

Thus, Miliukov explains the increased exploitation of labor not by the laws of capitalism, not by the capitalist unlimited thirst for profit, but by the automatic growth of the population, by the fact that with an increase in the population people need to work harder for their own subsistence. Shamelessly justifying the ever-increasing attack of capital on labor, Miliukov declared that as the population grew, the tension and intensity of labor must inevitably increase.

Among modern bourgeois sociologists and economists of the West, there are also quite a few supporters of the theory of population growth, which, of course, is regarded as an object of capitalist exploitation. So, for example, the American professor-economist Spiegel in the book "Current Economic Problems" proves that the larger the population, the larger the market for sales, goods, and the cheaper the labor force. He tries to convince the bourgeoisie that population growth is beneficial to it.

However, it should be emphasized that the vast majority of modern ideologists of the bourgeoisie are peddlers of cannibalistic Malthusian theories.

In the epoch of imperialism—the epoch of decaying capitalism—the relative and absolute impoverishment of the working class sharply intensified, the oppression of capital over labor intensified unusually, and at the same time the waves of the liberation movement of the masses against the exploiters rose high, especially under the influence of the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution. In the struggle against the revolutionary movement of the toiling masses, the imperialist bourgeoisie, which makes huge profits from the poverty, ruin and starvation of the masses, tries to impress upon the working people that the growth of poverty is a natural and inevitable law of life, that poverty is not the result of capitalist exploitation, but the consequence of rapid population growth.

The reactionary theories of population are now being widely used by the imperialist bourgeoisie to justify the thoroughly rotten capitalism and to defend imperialist expansion. The ancient nonsense of Malthusianism has now become a fashionable commodity in the ideological market of the imperialists. Bourgeois economists, politicians and philosophers call for the extermination of tens of millions of "surplus population". There were special treatises preaching cannibalistic theories of Malthusianism. Such are the books published in the United States in recent years: Pearson and Harper's World Hunger, Vogt's The Path to Salvation, Freeman's Social Decline and Revival, and many others. These misanthropic writings "prove" the need to reduce the population by more than half and contain a direct, open call for the extermination of the "surplus" masses of the people.

Here are some of Vogt's misanthropic revelations: "Unfortunately, despite the war, German atrocities and malnutrition, the population of Europe, not counting Russia, increased from 1936 to 1946 by 11 million people." Or else: "The most terrible tragedy for China would now be a decrease in the death rate of the population ... famine in China, perhaps, is not only desirable, but also necessary." Vogt is ready to welcome all disasters and catastrophes, as long as they lead to a sharp reduction in the population.

In justification of capitalism, bourgeois economists, sociologists and publicists are actively spreading the opinion that the reason for the decline of European countries is population growth. In July 1948, the American journal Foreign Scam published an article by the former president of the American Sociological Society, Rupert Vance, "Malthus and the Principle of Population." The author of the article complains that over the past 150 years the world's population has doubled. “The most characteristic feature of this development over the past period of time is the overpopulation of Europe,” he assures.

And so, the overpopulation of Europe—that, it turns out, is the cause of the decline of the European capitalist countries, that, it turns out, is the threat to civilization.

The notorious English philosopher Bertrand Russell develops the same theory. In the American magazine United Nations World in August 1948, Russell published an article on the causes of the decline of modern civilization, in which he tries to prove that the population has grown too large, that the birth rate is increasing very rapidly, that there will not be enough means of subsistence for the modern generation, and with As the population continues to multiply, the entire human civilization will be in jeopardy. “If the world's population,” Russell threatens, “grows, it will be impossible to feed it. Therefore, a civilized society can be sustainable if the birth rate is so low that it does not lead to a strong increase in the population.

Not so long ago, Dudley Barker's book "The Need for People in the Commonwealth of Nations" was published in England, in which the author states that out of 50 million people in the British Isles, 20 million are surplus population and must emigrate. Without this, according to Barker, it is impossible to raise the standard of living of the population of England.

At the same time, Barker says nothing about the fact that the British government is not concerned with raising the living standards of the population, but with a fabulous increase in the profits of the capitalists and with a continuous increase in expenditures on armaments, on preparing for war. The well-known English progressive scientists Bernal and Cornforth, in their book Science in the Struggle for Peace and Socialism, report eloquent facts about where the attention of the ruling circles of England is directed. Of the total amount of funds intended for scientific research, about 80 percent. spent on the creation of new types of weapons, only 3.5 percent. - for work in the field of agriculture and 1.5 percent. - research in the field of medicine.

Capitalism has long been rotten, and this is the reason for the decline of the capitalist countries. However, bourgeois ideologists insist that all troubles stem from rapid population growth. At the same time, the fact, which is in blatant contradiction with this "theory", that economic decline is most pronounced in those countries in which population growth has slowed down and even stopped for a long time, is discounted. In England, in the decade from 1931 to 1941, population growth was four times lower than in the last decades of the 19th century. In Belgium, on the eve of the Second World War, population growth ceased, and in France the population began to decline, the birth rate became less than the natural population decline. World War II and its aftermath led to a further drop in population growth.

Nevertheless, the thesis of "overpopulation" has become the official doctrine of both the ruling circles of the imperialist powers and right-wing socialist traitors, who in this respect also sing along to the imperialist predators. The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the three main capitalist powers—the United States, Britain, and France—held in London in May 1950 raised the “problem of excess population in Western Europe” and decided to look for opportunities for widespread resettlement of people from Western European countries.

Shortly before this meeting, the Daily Mail, in cooperation with UNESCO, published a series of articles on the topic "Food and population". In the articles of Aldous Huxley, which opened this series, the demand was put forward for the establishment of a single world policy of population reduction, which should be forcibly imposed on all nations. Comparing these demands with the London Declaration of Acheson, Bevin and Schumann, it is easy to see that the bourgeois propaganda about overpopulation is inseparably linked with the aggressive plans of the imperialist warmongers, with their striving to suppress the democratic movement in the countries of Europe.

It is clear that the misanthropic theory that declares millions of people "superfluous" and demands "in the name of civilization" to reduce the population of the earth is a very unreliable ideological prop for imperialism. This vile theory arouses the burning hatred of the masses of the people towards the capitalist system, which makes millions of people unemployed, poor, hungry, homeless, dooms them to extinction. The ideologists of imperialism, who declare that millions of people are "superfluous people," involuntarily admit that capitalism has become a brake on progress, that it dooms humanity to the pangs of hunger and want, to extermination and death.

In a situation of a growing new economic crisis, when the already low standard of living of the working people is falling even more, when in the capitalist countries tens of millions of unemployed and semi-unemployed are already doomed to the torments of poverty and hunger, the bourgeois governments are sharply reducing budget allocations for the needs of the population, cutting even those beggarly unemployment benefits, which, under the pressure of the working class, were introduced in some states. It is characteristic that here, too, the bourgeoisie, in order to justify its vile policy, brings on the stage pseudoscientists who are trying to prove that state assistance to the unemployed is illegal, that it suppresses "freedom of the individual." This is treated with a serious air of scholarship, for example, by the American journal Sociology and Social Research. In No. 3 for 1949 on p. 200 of that magazine says so directly: “Government should not provide jobs for the people or rescue them from the scourge of unemployment. This is a matter of individual enterprise and private charity.”

Capitalism dooms tens of millions to unemployment, hundreds of millions to poverty and unbearable suffering, and the "scientific" lackeys of the bourgeoisie prove that all this is in the order of things, that this manifests "individual freedom"! The bourgeoisie commits the gravest crimes and atrocities against the people and forces its "theoreticians" to whitewash capitalism, to prove the natural inevitability of the suffering of the working people.

Bourgeois police officers from science, for example, are strenuously spreading the theory of "decreasing soil fertility", which is a kind of Malthusian nonsense. This notorious theory teaches that the additional investment of labor and capital in the soil cannot supposedly lead to an increase in the productivity of the land, that the limited area of ​​​​cultivable land is an insurmountable obstacle to increasing food production. Preachers of the "law of diminishing fertility" assure that the earth is not able to feed the growing population. The reactionary theories of Weismannism-Morganism serve the same purpose of scientifically justifying the exploitation and poverty of the masses, denying the possibility of remaking plants and animals in the interests of increasing food resources. The "learned" clerks of the bourgeoisie are attacking Michurin's biology with furious malice, for it exposed the deceit propagated by bourgeois geneticists that, due to the immutable laws of nature, it is impossible to increase the production of food and satisfy the needs of all people. The zealous lackey of imperialism, the English biologist J. Huxley, in two issues of the English journal Nature in 1949, published a voluminous article on Soviet genetics, in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that in the USSR, science is viewed as an activity intended to achieve practical results. Huxley vehemently defends Mendelism, although he himself admits that it has never benefited people in their practical lives. J. Huxley systematically appears in the press and on English radio with the Malthusian call to limit population growth.

The decay of the capitalist economic system is particularly evident from the fact that the bourgeoisie openly proclaims that the aim of science is not to rid the population of poverty, but to justify the poverty of the population, to glorify wars of extermination and all sorts of disasters.

The reactionary delusions of Malthusianism are now in the arsenal of the imperialist aggressors, the instigators of a new war. The imperialist invaders, who are preparing a new war, are trying to sow contempt for people, devalue human life, instill an ideology of misanthropy, and establish a barbaric cult of extermination of people.

The German fascists furiously preached the theory of human extermination and carried it out with frightening cruelty. The Nazis inspired their adherents that the Germans did not have enough "living space", that the world must be conquered by the Germans, that for this it is necessary first of all to oust and exterminate the Slavic peoples - Russians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Belarusians. The Nazis called for killing anyone who did not want to bear the yoke of the German imperialists. Millions of people killed and tortured by the Nazis, mechanized human extermination in Majdanek, Auschwitz and other fascist death camps—such are the fruits of the misanthropic theory and practice of the Nazis.

The German fascists were the party of the most predatory and predatory imperialists among the imperialists of the world. After the defeat of Hitlerite Germany, the role of the most predatory and predatory imperialists was assumed by the American monopolists, striving to win world domination. The American imperialists and their European accomplices have become the mouthpieces of a man-destroying ideology.

Modern Anglo-American Malthusians trumpet furiously that wars between peoples are inevitable because of the too rapid growth of population and, in connection with this, the equally rapid decrease in the resources of nature. Thus, the editor of the American magazine Posholation Bulletin, Barch, in his article “How Many People Can the Earth Feed,” asserts that only one third of the current population can be provided with a living wage, that the causes of the two past world wars are rooted in this lack of means of subsistence. “In connection with the growth of population,” concludes this “learned” warmonger, “there is a constant threat of a third world war.” With their "scholarly" chatter the Malthusians are trying to relieve the imperialists of the responsibility for unleashing predatory wars, to sow false fabrications among the masses about the causes of wars,

The English philosopher fanatic Russell, who preaches Malthusianism, has been making vile calls for war against the peoples of the Soviet Union for a number of recent years. This vicious reactionary claims that he preaches "war in the name of the abolition of wars." The philosophizing cannibal sees the path to peace in destroying the Soviet Union, strangling the liberation movement throughout the world, creating a "united world government" based on the Anglo-American armed forces. This predatory "superstate" should, Russell teaches, regulate population growth and establish "order" in the world.

The struggle against the yoke of imperialism and destructive wars includes, as a necessary condition, the exposure of the spiritual fumes with which the bourgeoisie is poisoning the consciousness of the masses. Marxism-Leninism is waging a merciless war against bourgeois ideology, including against the reactionary Malthusian nonsense. The history of the Bolshevik Party gives a majestic picture of the struggle of Lenin and Stalin against all manifestations of bourgeois ideology, against all sorts of enemies and perverters of Marxism.

Leading the struggle of the working class to overthrow the rule of the exploiters, for the socialist reorganization of society, developing Marxist science in the course of this struggle, Lenin and Stalin dealt a crushing blow to all sorts of bourgeois theories of population.

Lenin subjected the Malthusian views of the bourgeois ideologist Lange, whom Marx had denounced as a preacher of pompous, grandiloquent ignorance, to devastating criticism. Refuting Lange's fabrications with numerous facts of living reality, developing a Marxist critique of Malthusianism, Lenin made a remarkably deep conclusion about the approach to the study of the laws of population. “The conditions for human reproduction directly depend on the structure of various social organisms, and therefore the law of population must be studied for each such organism separately, and not “abstractly”, without regard to historically different forms of social organization. (V. I. Lenin. Works, vol. 1, p. 433.)

Lenin, with all sharpness and ruthlessness, exposed the Malthusianism of Struve, that hardened apologist for the bourgeoisie. Struve vigorously promoted the thesis that "overpopulation is caused by a discrepancy between reproduction and the means of subsistence." Criticizing this vile Malthusian thesis, Lenin wrote: “Overpopulation in agricultural Russia is explained by the domination of capital, and not by the lack of correspondence between reproduction and the means of subsistence of the population. (Ibid., p. 458.)

Lenin showed how Struve shamelessly and impudently embellishes and justifies capitalism, explaining the ruin of the peasantry not by the growth of capitalism, but by "population growth."

Lenin opened the deepest gap between the reactionary Malthusian preaching, which expresses the fear of the perishing classes of historical development, and the socialist ideology of the proletariat as the worldview of a militant, viable, growing, strengthening class, to which belongs the future. To the base and cowardly, life-hating and self-serving Malthusian fabrications, Lenin countered with the great life-affirming worldview of the working class, imbued with deep historical optimism and unshakable faith in the triumph of socialist ideals.

“The working class does not perish, but grows, grows stronger, matures, unites, becomes enlightened and becomes tempered in the struggle. We are pessimists about serfdom, capitalism and small-scale production, but we are ardent optimists about the labor movement and its aims. We are already laying the foundation of a new building, and our children will complete it.

That is why - and only because of this - we are unconditional enemies of neo-Malthusianism, that trend for a philistine couple, hardened and selfish, who mutters frightenedly: if only, God forbid, we could hold out somehow, but it’s better not to have children ...

Conscious workers will always wage the most ruthless struggle against attempts to impose this reactionary and cowardly teaching on the most advanced, strongest, and most ready for great transformations class in modern society. (V. I. Lenin. Soch., vol. 19, pp. 206-207.)

In his brilliant works on the agrarian question, Lenin revealed to the roots the reactionary essence of the "law of diminishing soil fertility." Bulgakov, Maslov and other bourgeois and Menshevik economists acted as ardent preachers of this "law" in Russia, and in the West - Brentano, David and many other bourgeois and social reformist ideologists.

Criticizing the "law of diminishing soil fertility", Lenin proved that "this is vulgar bourgeois apologetics."

Malthusianism and, in particular, the "law of diminishing fertility of the soil" served and serve as a direct justification for the exploitation and poverty of the masses, parasitism and violence of the ruling classes. They are also a direct justification for imperialist conquests.

The imperialist essence of this "law" was frankly blurted out by the German economist David. He assured that this "law" did not allow increasing the amount of products on a limited land area, that due to the "law of declining harvests" German agriculture was not able to produce the required amount of grain. From here, a bridge was laid to crazy ideas about expanding the "living space" for the Germans.

Exposing the inconsistency and reactionary nature of the "law of declining harvests" propagated by David, Lenin wrote:

“The bourgeois apologist naturally seeks to ignore the social and historical causes of the backwardness of agriculture, shifting the blame on the “conservative forces of nature” and on the “law of diminishing fertility.” Nothing but apologetics and stupidity is contained in this notorious law. (V. I. Lenin. Works, vol. 13, p. 160.)

On the basis of a generalization of the great experience of socialist construction in the USSR, Comrade Stalin completely exposed the inconsistency of the Malthusian theories, completed the defeat of the reactionary ideas about the insurmountable limitation of the natural resources of nature. Comrade Stalin showed that "overpopulation" and "shortage of land" in tsarist Russia had nothing in common with the laws of nature, that both "overpopulation" and "shortage of land" had disappeared as a result of the socialist reorganization of agriculture. In his famous speech at the conference of Marxist agrarians, Comrade Stalin said:

“Many people then thought that this shortage of land was absolute, that is, that in Russia there were no more free lands suitable for cultivation. What actually turned out? Now it is absolutely clear that there were and remained tens of millions of hectares of free land in the USSR, but the peasant had no opportunity to cultivate them with his miserable tools ...

The significance of the collective-farm movement in all its phases, both in its primary phase and in its more developed phase, when it is armed with tractors, lies, among other things, in the fact that the peasants now have the opportunity to put abandoned lands and virgin lands into action. This is the secret of the enormous expansion of the sown area during the transition of the peasants to collective labor. (I.V. Stalin. Works, vol. 12, pp. 155-156.)

The socialist industrialization of the country and the collectivization of agriculture opened up hitherto unknown sources for the development of social productive forces and an increase in the means of consumption for the population. The implementation of the great plan for the transformation of nature on the vast territory of the country, the construction of grandiose power stations, canals, and hydraulic structures for the development of the economy, obtaining high and stable yields, is new evidence of the inexhaustible strength of the socialist economic system, which ensures a steady increase in the material well-being of the working people. The practice of socialist construction in the USSR overturned and dispelled to dust all bourgeois fabrications about the limited resources of nature.

Michurin's biology, with irrefutable scientific evidence, confirmed the Marxist thesis that with the destruction of capitalism, the barriers that prevent people from becoming masters of nature and managing it in the interests of man collapse. The great scientist I. V. Michurin already in the first decade of Soviet power heralded the onset of a new era of people's attitude to nature, predicted an incalculable increase in natural wealth as a result of man's transforming activity. “...Now that humanity has reached a higher point of its development in the path of its evolution, it can no longer be dependent on chance, it will not be satisfied with the handouts of nature blind to its needs. Now the time has come when a person can not only make dead mechanisms of various machines, but also create living organisms of new plant species, and in the future, probably,(I. V. Michurin. Works, vol. I, pp. 434-435.)

Socialist society knows no barriers to mastering the forces of nature. Socialism has no "superfluous people", each person under socialism has a worthy place in life, each person is provided with creative work according to his abilities.

In the conditions of Soviet society, where the exploiting classes have been destroyed, crises and unemployment, ruin and poverty of the masses have been eliminated, where the material well-being of the working people is steadily increasing, the population is growing rapidly. In a speech at a conference of advanced combine and combine operators, Comrade Stalin said: “Now everyone here says that the material situation of the working people has improved significantly, that life has become better, more fun. This is, of course, true. But this leads to the fact that the population began to multiply much faster than in the old days. The death rate has decreased, the birth rate has increased, and the net increase is incomparably greater. (I. Stalin. Speech at a meeting of advanced combine and combine operators with members of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks and the government, p. 7. Gospolitizdat. 1947.)

In Soviet society, tens of billions of rubles are annually spent on social insurance for workers and employees, on free medical care for the population, on benefits for mothers with many children and single mothers, and on improving public health. The attention of the Party and the government to the improvement of the life of the working people is vividly illustrated by the data on the scope of housing construction. In 1946-1949, dwellings with a total area of ​​over 72 million square meters were built and restored. In addition, 2.3 million residential buildings have been built and restored in rural areas during this time. The tireless concern of the Party and government for raising the material well-being and improving the living conditions of the working people ensures a rapid population growth, unknown and impossible in the capitalist countries.

In a socialist society, where social property provides unlimited possibilities for the development of productive forces, where there are no exploiters and parasitic consumption, where material wealth serves the whole of society, the problem of "overpopulation" cannot even arise. The number of workers and employees in the national economy of the USSR is steadily increasing. In 1930 there were 14,530,000 workers and employees in the country; in 1938, 28 million. Despite the heavy losses in people during the war, the number of workers and employees in the post-war five-year plan increased rapidly and already in 1949 exceeded the pre-war level by 15 percent. With any increase in the able-bodied population, we cannot have unemployment, and labor power always finds an active use in socialist production.

Malthusian anti-scientific theories are also refuted by the practice of socialist construction in the countries of people's democracy, in which the material well-being of the masses is steadily increasing and the number of workers and employees in the national economy is constantly growing.

In the capitalist countries, "overpopulation" arises not because there is a lack of "living space" and means of subsistence, as the imperialists assure and "justify" their "learned" clerks, but only because all wealth belongs to a handful of exploiters, that private ownership of the means of production hinders the development of the productive forces, leads to anarchy of production, to crises, which in turn lead to the destruction of the productive forces, to the waste of material values, to an increase in unemployment, and to the growing impoverishment of the masses. And that is the only reason why the mass of working people is not provided with the most necessary means of subsistence. In the imperialist policy and practice of population reduction, the hostility of capitalism to progress and civilization is most clearly manifested,

Comparing the two systems of life—capitalism and socialism—the peoples of the whole world see more and more clearly that capitalism threatens the very existence of mankind, that the development and flourishing of human society is inevitably connected with the victory of socialism. Only socialism brings the peoples material security, peace, freedom and happiness.

Whatever political motives may be guided by supporters of the theory of population, this theory does not withstand scientific criticism. Supporters of this theory cannot explain why in different countries the growth rates and population density are not the same, which determines the population growth itself. Moreover, this theory does not give an answer to the question why a given social system is being replaced by just such and such a new social system, why the primitive social system has been replaced by a slave-owning system, the slave-owning system by a feudal system, and not by any other system.

Population growth, as Comrade Stalin notes, has an influence on the development of society, facilitates or slows down this development. But this influence is not decisive. If population growth were the determining force in the development of society, then the type of social system, the level of development of society, would depend on population density. However, the facts show that the level of development of society, the forms of social life are not determined by the density of the population. For example, the population density in Belgium is 26 times higher than in the USSR, but in social development Belgium lagged behind the USSR by a whole historical era. In Belgium the capitalist system is still dominating, but in the USSR capitalism has long been abolished, a socialist society has been built and a gradual transition is being made from socialism to communism.

Population growth is included in the concept of the conditions of the material life of people. Naturally, where the population is small, it is difficult to expect a rapid development of the productive forces. On the contrary, where the population is larger, there are more opportunities for the rapid development of the productive forces. Thus, population, just like the geographical environment, can be a more favorable or less favorable condition for social development, but cannot be the main force causing changes in social life.

“Of course,” Comrade Stalin writes, “population growth has an influence on the development of society, facilitates or slows down the development of society, but it cannot be the main force in the development of society, and its influence on the development of society cannot be a determining influence, since in itself population growth does not provide a key to explaining why a given social group is replaced by just such and such a new system, and not by some other, why the primitive communal system is replaced precisely by the slave-owning system, the slave-owning system by the feudal system, the feudal system by the bourgeois, and not by some other or in another formation." (I. Stalin. Questions of Leninism, p. 549.). Population growth is not and cannot be the main force in the development of society. On the contrary, population growth itself depends on the nature of the social system, on the mode of production of material goods. Each social system has its own laws of population. In bourgeois countries, where the ruin and poverty of the masses is increasing, population growth is sharply curtailed or stops altogether. In some bourgeois countries the population is even falling. In the conditions of Soviet society, where crises and unemployment, ruin and poverty of the masses have been eliminated, where the material well-being of the working people is steadily rising, the population is growing rapidly.

Thus, it is not the growth of population that determines the development of society and the nature of the social system, but, on the contrary, the growth of population depends on the nature of the social system.

Consequently, the development of society, the change in the nature of social life, cannot be explained either by the properties of the geographical environment or by the growth of population, the development of society and the nature of the social system are determined by the development and nature of the mode of production of material goods - the main force in the system of conditions for the material life of society.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.