Lifeboat Capitalism, Catastrophism, Borders

An essay on the intersections between neomalthusian and evangelical understandings of borders, ‘natural disasters,’ and population theory. It traces the thread of, and modifications within, the Protestant theology that informed Adam Smith’s moral economy, Thomas Robert Malthus’ theory of population, and contemporary evangelical views of climate change and salvation. It also includes some critical remarks on Foucault, by way of clearing the space to be able to discuss the significance of malthusian and neomalthusian theories; including a shift within theories of evolution in the 1930s (and malthusianism in the late 1960s) that converged with a politics of racial segregation, nationalism and the growing historical importance of migration controls.

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