Monday, June 20, 2005

A Dublin Blogger

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.
And so, in yet another round of unintended consequences, China is facing the same steep demographic decline that is coming to haunt much of the West. Our children's children will be forced to live with the plague of all this social engineering. Do you think their curses will ring back down to years to us, their forebears, for being so stunningly arrogant, so stupidly blind?

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.


airforcewife said...

China's vastly over-numbered with boys now thanks to their one child policy.

I have friends who are adopting from China - and China is letting out precious few baby boys - mainly only little girls. I have to wonder what they are thinking.

Dymphna said...

This doesn't fall into the "thinking" category. It's cultural. There are many cultures who prefer boys. Can't think of any with an outright preference for girls, though.

I read somewhere once that blue is for boys bec. it's the color of the sky, of unvaulted ambition. Pink is for girls because...well, simply because it's not blue and they might as well have some color or other. Don't know how accurate a fisking that is of an old cultural practice.

Our culture doesn't find girls as much of a financial/potential-for-shame burden as others. Thus, it comes down to preference in most cases. My former in-laws had six boys and they always said that after the first one they kept trying to have a girl...I sure did get passed on to me a bunch of pink blankets and bonnets.

OTOH, I know a couple who had five girls before they got their boy. And now he has rings and things all over his face and is seriously Goth. They aren't happy.

China is likely to become more militaristic as the years go on. They have to do *something* with all that free-floating testosterone...

Mark Humphrys said...

Hi Dymphna
Aren't you being too easy on the Chinese communist regime by suggesting that their famine was "miscalculation" rather than deliberate like Stalin's famine?

I don't have any exact reference but I imagine that Mao was well aware that millions were starving to death, and he was perfectly happy with that, and stopped attempts to relieve it.

Does anybody know of any Mao quotes along the lines of Lenin's cynical quote about the famine his government caused:

To use a quote that's on my own site:

"I think our enemies are committing a monumental strategic error. In fact the present moment favors us far more than it does them. We are almost 99 percent sure that we can strike a mortal blow against them and consolidate the central position that we are going to need to occupy for several decades to come. With the help of all those starving people who are starting to eat each other, who are dying by the millions, and whose bodies litter the roadside all over the country, it is now and only now that we can - and therefore must - confiscate all church property with all the ruthless energy we can still muster. This is precisely the moment the masses will support us most fervently, and rise up against the reactionary machinations of the petit-bourgeois and Black Hundred religious conspirators. ... All evidence suggests that we could not do this at any other moment, because our only hope is the despair engendered in the masses by the famine"

- Lenin knows about the famine of 1921-2, and laughs about it. He himself is not starving by the side of the road, so he doesn't care.

Lenin sums up the world of communism. He is utterly indifferent to the millions dying in agony because of his own government. He has no interest whatsoever in helping them. All he sees is an opportunity to attack enemies (in this case the church).

I'm sure Mao was just the same.

- Mark

Baron Bodissey said...

Mark, Miland is blogging on this topic at the World History Blog today.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Misc. chit chat:
Regarding the color for ribbons, I was surprised to read in, I think, one of Louisa May Alcott's books that they put a pink ribbon on a _boy_ twin and blue on a girl, after the manner of the French I think. So it seems not to be a very old custom.
We are a family with six girls and one boy, at the end. We were not trying for a boy, although everybody assumes otherwise and talks about how we finally 'got our boy.' I find that assumption frustrating. We'd love to have more, just haven't been able to.
American family planning agencies have been complicit with China's forced abortion policies, even sharing office space with the abortionists.
In many Asian cultures with an underlying practice of ancestral worship it is the responsibility of the first born male (and his wife) to keep the graves clean, to see to it that ancestors are properly cared for and tended. So having only daughters isn't just economic- it means the end of your family's care in the spirit world.