Democracy is a Method of Nonviolence Part I


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[First published on January 23, 2006] On the right is my water color/oil painting based on a photo of an old woman waiting in the snow to be killed by the Nazis. This one hit me particularly hard, and I used art as a way of expressing my feeling.

Given recent comments on my posts, I either have not been clear about why democracy is a method of nonviolence, or new visitors are unaware of what I have posted before. First, I suggest that new visitors who have questions about what I have posted take advantage of my topically organized archive. There is also in the right sidebar of this blog the capability to search the content of all my blogs on this site.

As to democracy being a method of nonviolence, take a look at the two democratic peace charts near the top of the right sidebar, which summarize the evidence from my power kills website. The claim that democracy is a method of nonviolence is the bottom line of these empirical observations:

Democracies do not make war on each other and never have.
Democracies almost never commit any form of violence short of war against other democracies.
Of all nations, democracies fight the least severe wars by orders of magnitude.
Democracies have the least internal violence of all nations.
Democracies do not murder their own people, and when engaged in war, commit the least democide of all nations.

Therefore, democratization is a method for ending war and democide, and minimizing foreign and domestic violence short of war. Now, isn’t it fair to say that democracy is a method of nonviolence?

Over the year plus that I have been doing this blog, I have dealt with many of the claimed exceptions to the above, such as democratic Finland in WWII, the Civil War, Hitler’s Germany, the Boar War, the War of 1812, the Spanish-American War, and so on; with the popular belief among academics that democracies are as warlike as nondemocracies; and with the supposed empirical findings that nations in the process of democratization are more warlike than other nations. None of theses claims hold up on inspection.

A particular source of misinformation and misconceptualization is Matthew White’s website: “Democracies Do Not Make War on One Another….or Do They?”. I have written a blog on his assertions, which I answer in detail by citing the empirical literature, and by collecting new data, which all show that White is systematically wrong: democracies do not make war on each other.

In Part II [also just posted], I will provide the latest and most comprehensive evidence on this from the book, The Democratic Peace and Territorial Conflict in the Twentieth Century by Paul K. Huth and Todd L. Alee.


Links I Must Share

“A forgotten war?:

We’d all like it to be, but the war’s not over. And occasionally, it still erupts in violence. No, not the war in Iraq. The Cold War between western freedom and communist tyranny.

” America’s Anti-Anti-Terrorists” By Linda Chavez:

The current hysteria over the president’s authorization of some domestic intercepts by the National Security Agency reminds me of similar reaction by liberals to the Cold War. Instead of recognizing communism as a clear and present danger to freedom and liberty here and abroad, many liberals decided the real threat to those values came from anti-communism itself.

“Midterm race still iffy for Democrats “

RJR: This is an incredibly important mid-term election, and if you think I’m exaggerating, just think of the democrats in control of all the committees in Congress and the budget.

North Korean military Physical abuse of a women at the border

“High School Teacher Beheaded in Afghanistan”:

Suspected Taliban insurgents dragged a high school teacher from his house . . . and beheaded him . . . . the insurgents had occasionally put up posters demanding that schools for girls be closed and threatening to kill teachers. . . .

RJR: What we are fighting in the War on Terror.

2 Responses to Democracy is a Method of Nonviolence Part I

  1. [...] Democracy is a Method of Nonviolence Part I [...]

  2. Burton says:

    Van Gogh said it best with “Instead of trying to reproduce exactly what I see before me, I make more arbitrary use of color to express myself more forcefully.”

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