The Marxist Critique
Marxists belie~e that the Malthusian thesis’. that population must exceed the food supply may hold true but only.in exploitative social systems. They argue that capitalist colonialism has forced poor nations to produce and
export specialty foods to rich countries, instead of concentrating upon producing foods needed to feed their own people [George, 977; Lappe 1977J. Marxists argue that when a social revolution ends exploitation
and brings a just distribution system, improved economic conditions will bring about a reduction of population growth. Thus, overpopulation is not the cause of poverty, but poverty is the cause of overpopulation [Cereseto,
1977). Marxists may be correct that developing . countries suffer by growing export crops [Nations and Kramer, 1983]. In most communist countries, food production has lagged, and many have had to import food. The People’s’ Republic of China, the world’s largest communist
country, offers an interesting example of the contrast between theory and practice. At the World Population Conference in 1974, the Chinese followed Marxist ideology and bitterly attacked efforts at population control, while demanding that references to their own birth control measures be kept off the official agenda [Hemmer, 1975]. More recently, China has officially encouraged birth control, and it now operates the most population Control measures found anywhere in the world. Apparently, the reality of population pressure overcame ~e appeal of Marxist ideology.