Friday, June 15, 2007

Limitations of Human Society, part 2

Times today,
“I will explain it to you,” said one looter, Mazen Qasas, 34, a vendor. “I am 34. I am married. I have six children. I am looking for a lamp, anything I can sell or use for my poor house. We are very poor.
And if he rubs the lamp....

Mazen Qasas is right. That IS the problem. Gaza has among the highest fertility rates in the world - 5.64 children per woman. Afghanistan is higher still - 6.64 children. If most of them survive, the population of each place will triple every generation. It might be coincidence that two of the places with the highest population growth rates are also the most chaotic. Or it might not.

One might also consider that in the context of the whole world. World population has been growing steadily for two hundred years and is not expected to peak until 2050. It may be that all the causes we assign to world problems are wrong, and all the shootings and oppressings that go on are really expressions of a larger problem.

One can certainly suspect a connection in China. China was appallingly poor and lost in the chaos of war, revolution, and the Cultural Revolution until strict population control was introduced. Since then China has prospered.

It might be, as Pogo once observed, that, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

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