新概念英语Lesson 40 Themes and Variations 主旋律与变奏曲

Populations increase and decrease relatively not only to one another, but also to natural resources. In
most parts of the world, the relation between population and resources is already unfavourable and
will probably become even more unfavourable in the future. This growing poverty in the midst of
growing poverty constitutes a permanent menace to peace. And not only to peace, but also to
democratic institutions and personal liberty. For overpopulation is not compatib1e with freedom. An
unfavourable relationship between numbers and resources tends to make the earning of a living
almost intolerably difficult. Labour is more abundant than goods, and the individual is compelled to
work long hours for little pay. No surplus of accumulated purchasing power stands between him and
the tyrannies of unfriendly nature or of the equally unfriendly wielders of political and economic
power. Democracy is, among other things, the ability to say 'no' to the boss. But a man cannot say
'no' to the boss, unless he is sure of being able to eat when the boss's favour has been withdrawn.
And he cannot be certain of his next meal unless he owns the means of producing enough wealth,
for his family to live on, or has been able to accumulate a surplus out of past wages, or has a chance
of moving to virgin territories, where he can make a fresh start. In an overcrowded country, very few
people own enough to make them financially independent; very few are in a position to accumulate
purchasing power; and there is no free land. Moreover, in any country where population presses
hard upon natural resources, the general economic situation is apt to be so precarious that
government control of capital and labour, production and consumption, becomes inevitable. It is no
accident that the twentieth century should be the century of highly centralized governments and
totalitarian dictatorships; it had to be so for the simple reason that the twentieth century is the
century of planetary overcrowding.

New words and expressions 生词短语
precarious a. 不稳定的perilous 山势险恶的,危险的
poverty n.贫困
I live in poverty. / I’m poverty-stricken. / My family is poverty-stricken.
constitute vt. 构成 constitute a menace 构成威胁
compatible with 和……处的来
incompatible
The meal is tolerable. 这饭还说的过去。
The meal is intolerable 这饭真差。
virgin work 处女作 virgin soil 处女地 virgin voyage 处女航 Virgin Mary 圣母玛利亚
apt a.易于 apt to / be apt to theme song 主题歌