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« The Tao of Personal Genomics | Main | Women and Children First: Confucius Would Agree »

January 15, 2009


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The basic argument is more Millsian than anything else; insofar as there's overlap between Daoism and Libertarianism, you can get away with claiming some affinity, I guess.

Fascinating piece, I hope you don't mind my using your piece as a source on my own blog (with credit, of course, you should have a trackback from it as well)

Ma Yinchu was wrong, even if he was both criticised and later rehabilitated for likewise wrong reasons. Malthusianism remains the pile of reductive old tosh it ever was and the political-economic causes for China's environmental problems and resource pressures should be sought elsewhere, largely in the dubious orientations of a development model that consistently robbed the farmers to build crappy heavy industry.

Thanks for the comment. You may be right: Ma may have been wrong in some ways, though I have seen others who have argued that he was not really Malthusian. But I think Ma was right in the more general sense that if moderate family planning had been started earlier, in the 1950s, perhaps there would have been less need for the more draconian one-child policy later in the 1980s. Certainly, Ma was wiser on population policy than Mao, who rejected as "bourgeois" the idea of diminishing marginal return to labor and thus thought that more labor simply meant more value created.

Please remove me from e-mail.
Thank you,
A Raft

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