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I can imagine your favorite spectrum of possible society models, without hierarchy and patriarchy as well. The problem is, those models do not address inevitable population limitations neither explicitly nor inherently.

But they do.

Want fewer kids in a non-industrial society? Give women the power over how many kids they give birth to. Women invest most per kid, and in a non-industrial setting takes a mortal risk for every kid.

Then add long breast-feeding period for each kid to decrease fertility and some knowledge of herbs that induce abortions.

Now you have your hippy stone age society. Not that far from what many believe stone age societies looked like (in the absence of proof I remain agnostic, stone age societies were imho probably very diverse).

The command-control structure that you seem to want to place as a control on population growth is more likely to been the reverse (though as far as I know actual policies to affect population growth is a phenomena of the 19th and 20th centuries).

Hierarchial, patriarchial agriculture societies has tended to have more kids then more loose nomadic societies next door. And over all, that has been a succesful strategy. Outbreed the neighbours, take their land with or without genocide (the expansion of Europeans that is connected to the industrial revolution saw quite a few of those).

But we have entered a new, interesting world. In 1900 the birth rates had come down to reproduction rates in Sweden, England, France and Germany (according to Livi-Bacci). Since then more and more countries has joined the club where the command-control structure needs to bribe women to keep above reproduction rate. Where that will take us remains to be seen.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jul 2nd, 2015 at 03:49:20 PM EST
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