Letters to the Editor - Summer 1994

By Garrett Hardin
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 4, Number 4 (Summer 1994)
Issue theme: "The U.S. Congress and U.S. population growth"


I am finally getting around to reading the Spring issue of The Social Contract, beginning with your essay, 'End of the Migration Epoch?' which is absolutely magnificent. That double-column comparison of paradigms before-and-after is the right way to go. Your analysis renders nugatory 99.9 % of all that has been written about immigration during the past ten years. From now on, all discussions of this subject should begin with a close reading of your analysis. Your New Decalogue should be a fine way to force people to couch the moral problems in a rational framework.

I am greatly distressed with the pathological channelization of learning in the modern world. Let the director of the Harvard population office - or the Urban Institute, or the Princeton office of population affairs, or Julian Simon - say something about population and population nonsense is spread across newspapers and TV from coast to coast. But when a genuine 'contribution to knowledge' like yours is published in Michigan, I'm afraid that virtually no one notices. People in academia are trained to regard only certain sorts of publications as true publications (as needed to qualify for advancement up the academic ladder). Truly objective evaluation of publications is virtually non-existent in academia.

What to do? I don't know. I will use any chance I get to beat the drums for [your thesis]. Will reprints be available? ... If I were to teach in adult education (as I have in the past) I would certainly use your essay as the linchpin of a course on immigration. If I were thirty years younger I would be fighting to be given the chance to teach such a course to the citizens of Santa Barbara.

In the meantime, let me repeat my unqualified praise of your essay, while I set about reading the rest of the issue.


Garrett Hardin

Santa Barbara, CA

[Editor's note Reprints of the essay are available postpaid for $1.00 each. Readers also have our permission to copy the essay on their own.]

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I have just finished your article 'End of the Migration Epoch?'

I do not know of another grasp of the population situation as cogent. You are not only first in the subject, you are predicting history and timing it to boot....


Robert K. Graham

Foundation for the Advancement of Man

Escondito, CA

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