Mark Humphrys, that rara avis -- a libertarian and pro-American Irish blogger* -- has some good links and information on democide, which he defines as a government’s murder of its people, whether it be for politics, race, or simply mass murder as a method of control.
Here’s an example: according to Mark’s figures, the Shah of Iran, while ruling from 1954 to 1979, was responsible for the deaths of sixteen thousand people. Since taking over the country the Islamic Republic has gone on to kill perhaps one hundred thousand Iranians. As he says, this is reminiscent of the Bolshevik “liberation” of Russia. With government leaders like these, who needs homicidal maniacs?
Mark links to Freedom’s Nest, a libertarian website where you can find Rudolph Rummel’s figures on annihilation in the twentieth century, broken down by either regimes or by country. Of particular interest are the numbers killed by the Soviet Union and by China. As is well-known, Stalin deliberately starved 6,000,000 people in Ukraine, while the world (and the New York Times) looked on. In the 1960’s, however, the Chinese created a famine by ineptitude and bad theory, (mis)managing to starve 27,000,000 of its citizens. Is is better to be starved to death by deliberate misdeed or by miscalculation?
Here are Rummel’s total figures for democide in both countries:
Soviet Union: 62,000,000
Communist China: 65,000,000 (including famine victims).
But wait. Mr. Rummel has another 110,000,000 for China:
|Additionally, there is the difficult question of involuntary abortion, of children desired by the parents, at the behest of the state or its agents. Whether the killing of a foetus is murder, and if not, whether it becomes murder when done against the mother’s will, is the problem. It is not clear if these abortions should be included in the democide totals.|
|But one may consider that Chinese abortions are often administered by allowing the mother to go through labor, then crushing the child’s skull with forceps as it is being born. This seems quite a bit like murder. Additionally, there have been numerous reports of infants being murdered following birth. Infanticide is not the official policy of Communist China. It is, however, the actual policy, official denials not withstanding.|
|The number of deaths resulting from coerced abortions and infanticide since 1971 is estimated at over 110 million, making this perhaps the greatest crime in all of history.|
Somehow, I don't think there will be anyone left to pray us into Heaven.
*see Mark’s distinction between what he does and what a blog does. He's been keeping up his site -- blog or not -- since 1995.