Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Population Cycle Drives Human History - from a Eugenic Phase into a Dysgenic Phase and Eventual Collapse

Weiss, Volkmar (2007): The Population Cycle Drives Human History - from a Eugenic Phase into a Dysgenic Phase and Eventual Collapse. Published in: The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies , Vol. 32, No. No. 3, Fall (2007): pp. 327-358.

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Abstract

In the period before the onset of demographic transition, when fertility rates were positively associated with income levels, Malthusian pressure gave an evolutionary advantage to individuals whose characteristics were positively correlated with child quality and hence higher IQ, increasing in such a way the frequency of underlying genes in the population. As the fraction of individuals of higher quality increased, technological progress intensified. Positive feedback between technological progress and the level of education reinforced the growth process, setting the stage for an industrial revolution that facilitated an endogenous take-off from the Malthusian trap. The population density rose and with it social and political friction, especially important at the top of the social pyramid. Thus, from a certain turning point of history, the well-to-do have fewer children than the poor. Once the economic environment improves sufficiently, the evolutionary pressure weakens, and on the basis of spreading egalitarian ideology and general suffrage the quantity of people gains dominance over quality. At present, we have already reached the phase of global human capital deterioration as the necessary prerequisite for a global collapse by which the overpopulated earth will decimate a species with an average IQ, still too mediocre to understand its own evolution and steer its course.

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