VIDEO: Thanos Was Wrong about Humanity


Our friends at the American Enterprise Institute have a great video series in which they explain important issues, each in only 60 seconds. A very-short format like this can do wonders to help clarify one’s argument and stay focused on only the most relevant aspects of an issue. I experimented with a similar, not-quite-as-short video format long ago (in the early days of YouTube) with The Simpleton’s Guide.

One recent “AEI in 60 Seconds” video uses a pop culture hook to discuss an important topic CEI has been addressing since long before the YouTube era—the theory that overpopulation and resource depletion are leading us into a catastrophe. Referred to as “Malthusianism” after early overpopulation theorist Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), this dismal set of assumptions about human growth lies at heart of the modern environmental movement. And what pop culture reference has brought Malthusianism to mind this time? Thanos from “Avengers: Infinity War,” of course.

AEI’s Michael Strain isn’t the only one to see Thanos as an incarnation of modern environmental thought. Charles Mudede of Seattle alt-weekly newspaper The Stranger wrote last year that “A Fucking Liberal Is the Villain of Avengers: Infinity War” and Aaron Saad asked, around the same time, in Ricochet, “Is Thanos a shitty environmentalist?

To learn more about why Malthus was wrong about the future of humanity, see the work of optimist and visionary Julian Simon.