Outside the reign of science and technology a growing population will collapse upon itself as it meets Malthusian limits. But inside the reign of science a growing population creates a positive feedback loop wherein more people participate in scientific innovation, which brings better nutrition, more surplus, and more population which feed the cycle further.
Unfortunately, until the machine age, culture was the exclusive prerogative of a society that lived by the labor of serfs or slaves. They were the real symbols of culture. For one man to spend time and energy creating or listening to poetry meant that another man had to produce enough to keep himself alive and the former in comfort. In Africa today we find that the culture of slave-owning tribes is generally much superior to that of the tribes that possess no slaves.
It is meaningful the no-nonsense white spacesuit fashioned by the makers of Playtex girdles was the one that represented the American superpower on the moon. That at the culmination of the Space Race the Industrial Revolutions first great product and the machine age's first great success was making the poor "deceptively invisible," at the same time it was dressing our most visible display of wealth. (Continue reading conclusion.)In America it is this manufacturing that renders the poor deceptively invisible... they do not wear the uniform of the poor, nor do they dress in rags. Because of their clothing, they look more prosperous than they are, an amazing economic achievement on the part of the garment industry.
Jan Fabre, Old Spiritual Traveller (2001); Sunshine (2007);