Abstract: The presentation examines two discourses of growth critique that arose during the crisis of the Keynesian growth model in the 1970s and during the current economic crisis respectively. It analyzes in particular how these discourses deal with questions of labor, population and society in the context of the two crises. Compared are the debates surrounding the publication of The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al. 1974) and several publications of authors committed to a ‘degrowth’ perspective which gained strength during the ongoing crisis. It is argued that these debates downplay sociologically relevant questions of labor, population and society, as dealt with by both critiques of growth. The paper notes a recent revival of Malthusian arguments and discusses specific suggestions offered by the proponents of both discourses through Foucault’s perspective of the biopolitical management of population. It is further discussed why these discourses of growth critique gain prominence in times of crisis and why they were more or less compatible with the transformations promoted during the different crises.