The first command of God to man, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it," would be frustrated. The apprehensions of the Malthusians as to an excessive increase of mankind, with its attendant dangers, would be realized in particular places, while nineteen-twentieths of the earth lay neglected in a state of nature. The desert would be left alone in its glory.
Although as a general thing marriage is more attractive to the people than to the bourgeoisie, there are many proletaires, Malthusians without knowing it, who fear the family and go with the current. Thus, as workingmen are flesh for cannon, workingwomen are flesh for prostitution: that explains the elegant dressing on Sunday.
And again, let one man, or half-a-dozen men arise, who believe that the world is not the devil's world at all, but God's: that the multitude of the people is not, as Malthusians aver, the ruin, but as Solomon believed, "the strength of the rulers"; that men are not meant to be beasts of prey, eating one another up by competition, as in some confined pike pond, where the great pike having despatched the little ones, begin to devour each other, till one overgrown monster is left alone to die of starvation.
Thus, as the great political world is at present divided into Tories, Whigs, and Radicals, this little sequestered district was divided into parties, which, for the sake of distinction, we shall denominate Jervisines, Braikenites, and Malthusians.
"Again, I did not mention what reduces John Mill's school to something worse than negative error, the certainty that their doctrine will not be obeyed by any but those whom we would desire to have the peopling of the earth, viz. the people of most intellect. In every moral aspect of the case, John Mill is opposed to Malthus, and his followers have no right to call themselves Malthusians.
The faith of Christians angered him because he was more pessimist than a healthy man should be. In the same way the Malthusians by instinct attacked Christianity; not because there is anything especially anti-Malthusian about Christianity, but because there is something a little anti-human about Malthusianism.
The world has neither enough food, nor enough love, for the young that are born into it. We have more mouths than we can fill, and more books than we can buy. Well, the publisher and collector of limited editions aim, in their small corner, to set a limit to this careless procreation. They are literary Malthusians.
I may be a member of an exhausted race, that is quite possible, but between the devotion to our species which is professed by these would-be re-peoplers of countries, and the purely selfish preoccupation of the Malthusians, my sympathies are all with the latter. I see nothing beyond the individual in this sex question beyond the individual who finds himself inhibited by sexual morality.
This conclusion was favourable to the Malthusians: they repeated their assertion, that "he was a thoughtfu callant, and that he had determined not to marry at all;" while the others, if they did not "hide their diminished heads," were at least compelled to hold their peace.
But these wise Malthusians were so thoroughly convinced of the infallibility of their theory that they did not for one moment hesitate to cast the poor into the Procrustean bed of their economic notions and treat them with the most revolting cruelty.