But this is not even true in history. There are many examples where civilizations crash after consuming too many resources, and their science does not find an “out.” Find me an example of such a critic who influences world economic policy.
You are quite correct, there are lot of examples of civilisations dying out because of lack of resources. But not of the biological species home sapiens. We are with 7 Billions now!
See here a few examples of this way of thinking.
The American economist Henry Charles Carey rejected Malthus’s argument in his magnum opus of 1858-59, The Principles of Social Science. Carey maintained that the only situation in which the means of subsistence will determine population growth is one in which a given society is not introducing new technologies or not adopting forward-thinking governmental policy, and that population regulated itself in every well-governed society, but its pressure on subsistence characterized the lower stages of civilization.
Some 19th-century economists believed that improvements in finance, manufacturing and science rendered some of Malthus’s warnings implausible. They had in mind the division and specialization of labour, increased capital investment, and increased productivity of the land due to the introduction of science into agriculture (note the experiments of Justus Liebig and of Sir John Bennet Lawes). Even in the absence of improvement in technology or of increase of capital equipment, an increased supply of labour may have a synergistic effect on productivity that overcomes the law of diminishing returns. As American land-economist Henry George observed with characteristic piquancy in dismissing Malthus: “Both the jayhawk and the man eat chickens; but the more jayhawks, the fewer chickens, while the more men, the more chickens.” In the 20th century, those who regarded Malthus as a failed prophet of doom included an editor of Nature, John Maddox.
Economist Julian Lincoln Simon has criticised Malthus’s conclusions. He notes that despite the predictions of Malthus and of the Neo-Malthusians, massive geometric population growth in the 20th century did not result in a Malthusian catastrophe. Many factors may have contributed: general improvements in farming methods (industrial agriculture), mechanization of work (tractors), the introduction of high-yield varieties of wheat and other plants (Green Revolution), the use of pesticides to control crop pests. Each played a role. The enviro-sceptic Bjørn Lomborg presents data showing that the environment has actually improved. Calories produced per day per capita globally went up 23% between 1960 and 2000, despite the world population doubling during that period. Anthropologist Eric Ross depicts Malthus’s work as a rationalization of the social inequities produced by the Industrial Revolution, anti-immigration movements, the eugenics movement and the various international development movements.
Enough? So there are many people who think that Malthus does not apply, just because we will always be able to shift to other resources, thanks to our technological capabilities. In my opinion we just shift the Malthus point further in time than any civilisation before. But Malthus will get us, and all of mankind will be involved, thanks to our global resource usage, and global environmental changes.
I also think that Schumpeter would not agree with Malthus:
Schumpeter starts in The Theory of Economic Development with a treatise of circular flow which, excluding any innovations and innovative activities, leads to a stationary state. The stationary state is, according to Schumpeter, described by Walrasian equilibrium. The hero of his story, though, is, in fine Austrian fashion, the entrepreneur.
I have no idea if Schumpeter made any thoughts about limits. He was an economist, not a biologist as Malthus was.