Population Control Issues

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Avengers: Infinity War provokes the human mind especially in terms of population control. At the moment, many people are already exposed to family planning methods with the hope of reducing the human population in the world. However, Thanos’ approach towards preserving natural resources and ‘saving the world’ through killing half of the world’s population is an extreme act of Malthusianism.

Thanos thinks that his choice of genocide as population control is an act of bravery. To him, this is an act of salvation to restore the universe. But why does he wait until he has all the infinity stones with him to do so? Well, even if his idea to save the universe actually works, he will have killed 50% of the population. But since Thanos claims to have infinite power, why did he not channel it to doubling the resources?

Thanos’ theory of killing people to control overpopulation in the world supports extreme Malthusianism. Thomas Malthus, an author of ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population’ in 1798 came up with interesting yet sad propositions of population control. While his approach did not entail genocide, like Thanos, he supported extreme hunger, warfare, and even disease as a means to control the population (Foundation for Economic Education para.5). During that time, the rate of population growth was higher compared to the resources available. Unfortunately, in the early 1800s, some governments such as Britain intentionally hungered their citizens to prevent them from getting more children (Potenza para.6). Malthus might have had good intentions but there were other ways the population could have been controlled.

Malthusian thinking can be depicted as shallow and one directional. Thanos did not stop to think about other ways of increasing resources. Instead, he only saw reducing the population as the only way to keep up with the resources available. Malthus used the same line of thinking, only that his ways were more lenient. Fortunately, innovation and technology proved his theory wrong resulting in the increased resources in the world (Potenza para.8). Years later, people are living in skyscrapers due to the necessity created, which is said to be the mother of innovation!

Considering Thanos’ proposition to wipe out half of the population, it is impossible to think about the different kinds of innovations that would be locked out. For instance, what if one of them was Vincent Cerf whose work allows us to have the internet today or those biologists who continue to find a cure for diseases? Such only creates more doom in the world than the light it is supposedly required to. Arguably, there is much more that people can do with the available resources through life-changing innovative ideas.

Interestingly, despite his Malthusian ways, Thanos provides humans with a chance to evaluate their ways, especially regarding resources. According to the United Nations, the human population by 2050 is expected to reach 9.8 billion. With the current pollution rates, important resources such as water, plants, and animals are already being threatened (Potenza para.10). Thus, Thanos might just be a messenger for change in the world through technological and other innovative ways to control the harm done to the universe.

Regardless, the problem is definitely not overpopulation, but the lack of creators and innovators for the resources to accommodate the existing human population. Dubious methods such as murder, the introduction of diseases or extreme hunger are not the answer. Instead, people should employ their innovative skills to make the world’s resources enough for all.

Works Cited

  1. Foundation for Economic Education. “Thanos, Like Malthus, Is Wrong about Population Control.” 2018, https://fee.org/articles/thanos-like-malthus-is-wrong-about-population-control/. Accessed 11 February 2019.
  2. Malthus, Thomas Robert. An Essay on the Principle of Population. 1872, https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-raHCYn6f28C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=%22An+Essay+on+the+Principle+of+Population&ots=LDzuMzGsdB&sig=44diETYc6pslmWP5Ih2N3RoLUAU&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22An%20Essay%20on%20the%20Principle%20of%20Population&f=false. Accessed 11 February 2019.
  3. Potenza, Alessandra. “Thanos’ plan in Avengers: Infinity War has historical precedent, but he applies it wrong.” The Verge. 2018, https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/4/17319992/thanos-plan-avengers-infinity-war-historical-precedent-science-malthus. Accessed 11 February 2019.
  4. United Nations. “World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100.” 2017, https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2017.html. Accessed 11 February 2019.

Cite this paper

Population Control Issues. (2021, Aug 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/population-control-issues/

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