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Madmen in Authority: Adolf Hitler and the Malthusian Population Thesis


  • Ken McCormick

    (University of Northern Iowa)


Keynes famously asserted that dead economists exert influence on madmen in authority. For Hitler, the economist appears to be Malthus. Hitler was obsessed with the Malthusian idea that the amount of available land limits population. Hitler never gave credit to anyone else for his ideas, so it is impossible to be certain about their origin. A case can be made that Hitler was influenced by Malthus as interpreted by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, whose book The Third Reich captivated the Nazi party.

Suggested Citation

  • Ken McCormick, 2006. "Madmen in Authority: Adolf Hitler and the Malthusian Population Thesis," Journal of Economic Insight (formerly the Journal of Economics (MVEA)), Missouri Valley Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:mve:journl:v:32:y:2006:i:2:p:1-8

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-


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