TSW: "It has long been obvious that economic expansion both stimulates and requires population growth."
BW: Actually, the inverse effect is true. The more economic development, the lower the risks of childhood death, the higher the availably of birth control, and the lower the reproduction rate. It's not the case that economic growth is directly related to population growth, nor vice-versa. Generally speaking, greater economic wealth results in a lower rate of fertility.
TSW: "If there is a 1:1 relationship between increases in population and food production, then the relationship with industrial production is even more pronounced."
BW: It is true that food production is correlated with population (necessarily), but farming is not the primary economic activity of any economy. You accurately note that the increase in manufactured goods is three times the increase in population, but overlook a similar increase in services. The critical factor is not an increase in the value of economic activity (distorted by inflation) in any economic sector, but whether the average individual is leading a more happy, healthy, and productive life. For example, the median net wealth per household in the U.S. is $52,752, versus Canada at $89,014 ... but I haven't been able to find a historic chart of growth rates, nor a correlation of median wealth to total population.
TSW: "At that point we will have reached a steady state economy with a political system suited to the task."
BW: It may be the case that economic activity will approach some "steady state", but the *turnover* in dollars is not necessarily the same as wealth, which is the primary measure of each individual's opportunity to achieve material comfort and pursue happiness.
TSW: "The Industrial Revolution has produced a vast global migration from individualistic, rural existence to collectivistic, urban existence."
BW: I don't think it's correct to correlate individualism=rural and collectivism=urban. There is just as much individualism today as there was 200 years ago, maybe far more. The key factor is information technology, which allows every individual (via Facebook or other media) to express their individual uniqueness to the world. There was just as much collectivism in the Middle Ages as today, it was just more centered on religion than politics.
TSW: "The winners of this competition survive low prices by exploiting economies of scale in production and distribution."
BW: To some degree, this is true. However, there are also "diseconomies of scale", particularly in the centralization of economic sectors. It's not quite a Bell Curve, but size impedes adaptation to evolving consumer demands and innovations in technology. For example, in media, the major newspaper chains are dying, because the number of people who want news on printed paper has fallen steadily ... no matter how efficiently they put ink on paper. The largest, most concentrated markets tend to die out in competition. General Motors was the only option for decades and arguably increased their market share by "economies of scale", but eventually lost out (went bankrupt) because better products produced by smaller and more innovative producers attracted customers. Contrary to your assertion, the "evolutionary process" toward larger collective enterprises is not "irreversible".
TSW: "By the time the Industrial Revolution is over, independent production will be obsolete for all but the most trivial items."
BW: This is a rather myopic view. The industrial revolution is not merely the transition from physical human labor to mechanized production. There are "revolutions" in the means of production every year. Nobody anticipated the "Green Revolution" that totally transformed food production. The computing industry was totally mechanized decades ago, with few people anticipating the proliferation of personal micro-computers. The same with printing, which is almost an ancient art, given personal laser and inkjet printers. The newest revolution is 3D printers, which are able to manufacture custom products, on demand, in the home. The trend has been consistently toward *more* independent production, rather than less.
TSW: "... hundreds of millions suffered and millions died as the 'invisible hand of capital' transformed the planet."
BW: That's a gross exaggeration, because many millions more enjoyed a better life. It wasn't capital formation that killed millions, but rather political power. The number of people who died from "economic exploitation" is miniscule in comparison to the number killed for political ends. Review the Cambodian and Chinese massacres.
TSW: "But one thing is clear: an increase in population density always results in an increase in socialization."
BW: That depends on what you mean by "socialization". For example, Singapore has one of the highest population densities on Earth, but among the least socialized economies. India is probably the highest density country on earth, but their economy is quickly transforming into a free-market environment, because it works better than a politically managed economy. Is there more social interaction? Sure, but that's as much a characteristic of the voluntary free-market as it is of a coercive socialist economy.
TSW: "Despite all the indeterministic naysayers, the rise of civilization, industrialization, urbanization, and socialization is progressive - an irreversible process."
BW: Civilization "progresses", but the "progression" of more expansive (socialist) government is a hindrance, not a benefit, to the progress of mankind. The more coercive constraints on individual achievement, the less economic, intellectual, and innovative progress from individual, voluntary cooperation. Oddly, Marx and Engels believed that "capitalism" was a necessary precursor to "socialism". Arguably, the inverse has been true for Russia and China, which have progressed from socialism to capitalism, from communal property to private property. However, as long as socialists consider the transition inevitable and irreversible, they weaken their own position in the advance of economic and intellectual evolution of the world. It's a dying philosophy.