Landlordism and Mathematical Laws

Thu, 6 Jan 1994 12:39:21 CST

D. Foss reraises the failure of landlordism to appear in some equations
I posted last year concerning the relationships between population
growth, areal expansion, land-use intensification, and malnutrition.
This time he does so with reference to a very tantalizing comparison
between recent Burundi and ancient Ireland. This sounds like an
excellent topic for considered application of the comparative method, to
shed light on a major overlap between specific and general
cultural-evolutionary processes--specifically, how control over
sub-optimal but still arable land is acquired in regions where pastoral
herding has prevailed. I must confess continuing inability to encompass
landlordism and other specific political-economic variables in my
equations; in my defense, however: I think the most useful working
hypothesis, for my purposes, continues to be that the pressing of
landlordly interests becomes viable chiefly under conditions of density
increase, and is to that extent not presumed to operate, "ordinarily,"
as an independent variable vis-a-vis density increase, intensification,
and malnutrition. I hasten to add that this is only"for my purposes";
for other purposes, this working hypothesis could be considered
tunnel-vision and/or politically reactionary. --Bob Graber