Should overpopulation be a concern?


Should overpopulation be a concern?

For the vast majority of human evolution, mankind lived in relatively small, nomadic tribes where economies were limited and capital was difficult to build and maintain, making survival difficult, and requiring the engagement of all members of the tribe in the division of labor according to their unique capacities. Two million years of human evolution have hard-wired this way of life into the genetic fabric of modern humans. 

The advent of agriculture allowed humankind to settle in one place and produce enough food to free creative energies to develop and accumulate the capital needed to further improve his quality of life. As capital accumulated, difficult tasks became easier and less time consuming, allowing even greater dedication to other pursuits, like science, which further facilitated the accumulation of even more advanced capital, and so on. 

Naturally, as capital accumulated in more permanent settlements, economies evolved and matured and life became easier. Urban centers are where life is the easiest, and survival is less dependent on physical and intellectual discipline. As the division of labor becomes highly evolved in urban areas, each individual becomes more estranged from the realities of survival and lower-level production and lacks the experience necessary to understand the processes by which his way of life has arisen. This separation from reality makes the individual more susceptible to misinterpretation of observation and therefore more likely to prescribe bad solutions to perceived problems (many of which may be wholly imagined), thereby creating more problems. This phenomenon may be further inflamed by the attraction pathological personalities may have to population centers, in order to prey on others, manipulating misconceptions for their benefit. 

It seems that an accumulation of capital may be accompanied by an accumulation of both power and bad ideas. Power, through pathological personalities manipulating misconceptions for their benefit and bad ideas, through undisciplined thought and the lack of experience to correctly interpret reality. It seems possible that the very accumulation of capital that makes life easy may also facilitate, over time, social disruption. More and more people are, understandably attracted to the ease of life in urban centers and, therefore, fall victim to the problems described above, compounding the dysfunction of society. 

If the above is correct, it is conceivable that the dysfunctional society of urban centers may use their wealth and power to overrun the stabilizing influence of rural areas, thereby inducing some level of wide-ranging social self-destruction. Population growth may become terminal due to a flaw in the evolutionary path of humanity, or continually bump up against a limit of advancement where natural social cohesion finds some level of equilibrium with, for lack of a better phrase, capital-induced social dysfunction. 

Conceptual logician, libertarian philosopher, musician, economist, almost-ran businessman and other stuff.
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