Marx’s analysis of labor exploitation, coercive capitalist competition, and possible systemic collapse is once again as challenging and relevant today as it was during his lifetime. This article introduces his dialectical approach and his theory of the coercive competition which drives capital accumulation. Population change is approached through Marx’s theory of capitalism’s reserve army of labor. Among the features of the current demographic landscape discussed are low reproduction rates in the developed world, the south-north migration of a now-global reserve army, robotic technology, and climate change.
Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council.