The politics of overpopulation

Overpopulation3 It is not the case that an unbridled population growth causes hunger

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 Source: Paul Kwabena Wadie

I do not know what the Bearded Old Man above meant when He decreed that the descendants of Abraham would multiply to numbers above the sand on the seashore and the stars in the sky. Especially so, when the land He gifted them, is smaller than the size of present day Ghana.

Indeed, the Israel as we know it today is the state of Israel which is geographically restricted with a government elected by popular vote. It would be very difficult for such an area to house people of such numbers.

Even more difficult, when you consider that some people are claiming citizenship of Israel by their membership of the religious sect founded by Jesus, who is also called Christ.

But probably, what God really meant was the nation Israel. For a nation is naturally larger than the state. The state is created from the nation which is naural and is primarily a tool for governance. Membership of a state is citizenship and that of the nation is nationality.

I am tempted to veer off my main topic and rather treat the topic 'nation, state and the nation-state. But that would have to wait for now.

Ceding to the dictates of God, the people of Israel set out to fulfill the Creator's promise by multiplying in numbers. But the people of Israel from the time of Prophet Abraham have never been stationed in one place.

From Prophet Abraham's journey to Ur through the Joseph led emigration to Egypt and the modern scattering in Europe and probably Nigeria and Ga land in Ghana, the Israelis have literary tried to fill the earth as promised by God.

Indeed, it is recorded that Hitler alone killed some 6 million Jews (Israelis) in his infamous genocide. Mind you, the grand scheme to exterminate the Jews, was not planned and executed only in Germany. It was an Europewide project and the numbers would be more than quadruple that of Germany.

Talking about huge nations of relatively small geographical states, Japan, India, China, Indonesia and Malaysia all come to mind. At one point, China alone had a quarter of the world population. Considering the fact that Cain also massacred a fourth of the world population, according to the bible, the global population would have been a quarter higher than it is today. In effect, the world is underpopulated.

So what is this craze about overpopulation and it's prescribed panacea of family planning imposed on Africa by Europe. Mind you, the (population explosion theory Essays on the principle of population 1798) by Malthus where he predicted famine as a result of disconnect between population growth and food production has proved to be just theory.

Yes! There was famine in Ireland. And other places like India ; and currently the horn of Africa. But like Ireland, it was as a result of sheer exploitative policy driven by despicable desparadoes bent on taxing and working their fellow human beings out of existence.

In the case of Ireland, for instance, it was a policy of usury, harsh tenancy agreement, forced Labour etc which caused the famine that heralded the exodus of most Irish people to the United States.

So it is not the case that an unbridled population growth causes hunger or underdevelopment. It is rather an unfair endogenous and exogenous political and economic practices that cause underdevelopment.

In Ghana, the most sparsely populated areas are incidentally the most deprived areas. It is also true that the highly populated areas are also rich in resources. And that is so because in Africa, we equate resources to material resources only.

At least in Japan, we have been told that, what accounts for it's economic success is it's highly knowledgeable and skilled population rather than a vast natural resources; a function of an effective educational system.

So let our leaders re-dedicate themselves in the fight against poverty. A fight which is fought with knowledge and skill. Knowledge and skill which is mainly thought in well structured educational institutions. Anything else leads to a deteriorating standard of living.

In fact, family planning is a natural outcome of a highly educated society which also leaves in its wake an ageing society. A society that is naturally in crisis as Europe is waking up to today.

Columnist: Paul Kwabena Wadie