Death By Marxism

May 7, 2009

[First published November 10, 2005. Among all the democide estimates appearing here, some have been revised upward. I have changed that for Mao’s famine, 1958-1962, from zero to 38,000,000. And thus I have had to change the overall democide for the PRC (1928-1987) from 38,702,000 to 76,702,000.

I have changed my estimate for colonial democide from 870,000 to an additional 50,000,000.

Thus, the new world total: old total 1900-1999 = 174,000,000. New World total = 174,000,000 + 38,000,000 (new for China) + 50,000,000 (new for Colonies) = 262,000,000.

Just to give perspective on this incredible murder by government, if all these bodies were laid head to toe, with the average height being 5′, then they would circle the earth ten times. Also, this democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century. Finally, given popular estimates of the dead in a major nuclear war, this total democide is as though such a war did occur, but with its dead spread over a century.]

What is the greatest source of democide?

First, I should note that by democide I mean to define the killing by governments as the concept of murder defines individual killing in domestic society. And it is focusing on this democide, rather than the genocide that is one of its components, which uncovers the true dimensions of mass murder in the world.

Since democide is a government activity or policy, we must consider what type of governments are the worse murderers. Is there a political factor that discriminates between mortacracies–governments characterized by murder–and those who may kill incidentally or situationally? Yes, totalitarianism. Almost without exception, totalitarian governments are or have been mortacracies.

There is much confusion about what totalitarian means in the literature. I define a totalitarian state as one with a system of government that is unlimited constitutionally or by countervailing powers in society (such as by a church, rural gentry, labor unions, or regional powers); is not held responsible to the public by periodic elections via secret ballot, and competitive elections; and employs its unlimited power to control all aspects of society, including the family, religion, education, business, private property, and social relationships. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union was thus totalitarian, as was Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Hitler’s Germany, and U Ne Win’s Burma. Presently, North Korea is a prime example.

Totalitarianism is also an ideology for which a totalitarian government is the agency for realizing its ends. Thus, totalitarianism characterizes such ideologies as state socialism (as in Burma), Marxism-Leninism as in the former Soviet Union, and Italian fascism. Then, of course, there is Nazism, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei–National Socialist German Workers’ Party — although racist and nationalist doctrines dominated, economically, all become subverted to the Party, as under communism; as Hitler said: “We are socialists.” Other versions of totalitarianism dot the modern world, such as the socialist Baathist Party that ruled Iraq under Hussein and still rules Syria.

Not all totalitarianism is socialist. Theological totalitarianism, for example, characterized the Taliban, does so for revolutionary Moslem Iran since the overthrow of the Shaw in 1978-79 and Saudi Arabia. Here totalitarianism is married to Moslem fundamentalism.

In short, totalitarianism is the ideology of absolute power.

The worst of the totalitarian governments, however, by far have been the socialist. Socialist self-righteousness, desire to radically reconstruct the fundamental institution of society (throwing out the institutional evolution and cultural learning of generations), the belief that those who disagree are evil, and that one must “break eggs to make an omelet,” have led to monumental democide, as for example by the Soviet Union (about 61 million murdered), Mao’s China (about 35 million), and so on for all the communist regimes, as well as the nationalist socialists like Germany (21 million), state socialist like Burma, Baathists like Syria and Hussein’s Iraq, socialist Libya, and so on. See the figure below.

The details of communist democide are below:

By my count (here) for 1900-1987, totalitarian regimes murdered about 138 million (communist regimes about 110 million out of 169 million overall for all governments. Electoral or procedural democracies murdered 2 million (149 thousand domestic, mainly due to the Spanish Civil War); liberal democracies murdered none of their citizens.

Some, mainly on the left, argue that my figures for communist systems are way too high, while being too low for democracies, especially like the United States. Okay, cut in half all my estimates for communist systems, and double those for democracies. That leaves the communist murdering 55 million versus 4 million for the democracies (almost all wartime democide against enemy civilians). We can even go further and do this again, and the conclusion remains the same–nondemocratic socialism is one of the great threats to human life. In other words, as far as democide is concerned, the major danger, by far, is from the nondemocratic far left.

Be clear, regimes on the right, such as the absolute monarchies and non-socialist fascists like Chiang’s Nationalist government of China (10 million murdered) and Japan’s WWII military government (6 million), also committed major democide, but overall much less than the Marxists. Truly, we can say of communism, it is death by Marxism.



Tenure, like Power, Corrupts

March 17, 2009

[First published February 28, 2005] In my 3/17/09 blog “On Ward Churchill and Academic Leftmania,” I described the state of American universities, particularly the social sciences, humanities, and special studies or programs (woman’s studies, ethnic studies, etc.). In effect, they constitute anti-American, socialist, and leftist propaganda factories. I will refer to them all as leftsville.

The academic leftists have one and really only one argument for legislatures, regents, and other outsiders to leave them alone to spew their propaganda, and that is academic freedom. That is, the leftists argue, academics should be free to say unpopular things, to teach what they believe, and to research the unconventional. It is a powerful argument, and we all are for it in these terms. Thus, we have tenure, whose prime purpose is to protect this freedom by making it almost impossible to fire a professor for his beliefs.

But in application, this academic freedom has been destroyed from within. Simply, conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, devoted Christians, or the otherwise politically incorrect will not be hired; or by mischance if they are, they will not get tenure; or if they change their views after they get tenure, they will be not too gently encouraged to find other employment. Thus, we have academic departments with democrats/liberals/communists (called Marxists) outnumbering Republicans/libertarians/conservatives 30 or 40 to 1.

What this means is that students get only views on history, current events, and contentious issues, for within a narrow band of liberal-left-communist beliefs. They are not being educated, but propagandized. And what academic freedom has come to mean in practice is to protect leftsville from attempts to create a true diversity of beliefs, teaching, and research.

What to do?

First, is to inform. Universities depend on public funds, gifts and contributions, and tuition. The more legislators, the wealthy, and parents come to understand that they are paying for the country’s future leaders to be taught how good is the socialist-equalitarian model, including communism for some (you see, what happened in communist countries, with all the democide and other horrors, was “state capitalism,” not true Marxism), and how bad is the United States.

Second is to investigate. There should be outside (inside is almost hopeless) research into this Leftsville—what is being taught and how, the treatment of nonleftist students, favoritism toward leftist ones, and what happens to non-liberal and leftist faculty. Of course, leftsville will go to war against this and the drums of academic freedom will beat mercilessly on everyone’s ears. Stuff them with cotton, and investigate. I think the results will shock the public.

And third, discard tenure. It is the dirty bath water and not the baby. Tenure is precisely the reason leftsville has expanded to envelope the whole university. There are other reasons besides creating a diversity of beliefs to get rid of this protection of leftsville, and that is tenure also protects the deadwood and stupid among them. There is little opportunity for the young, mentally vigorous, and promising scholars to move into this world now made up so many old professors with their yellowing lecture notes, and two or three articles in some left wing magazine or journal.

In the place of tenure, I suggest a five-year contract, renewable every five years. The renewal should be based on a department’s recommendations, evaluation of peers at other universities, and student evaluations. And, I suggest that the university committee making the final decision has administration, faculty, student, and outside members (suggested by the regents or governing board).

This may seem impossible, given tenure’s grip on higher education and the mass of the naïve and innocents outside the universities that are taken in by the academic freedom battle flag. But, all universities have one vulnerability that can win this battle. Money. Hit their funding sources. Weigh in on federal and local tax money. Inform the wealthy of what their endowments are really supporting. Organize boycotts among parents against sending their children to the worse leftsvilles. Encourage business and federal agencies to hire graduating seniors from other universities, and so on. There are so many ways in a democracy like ours to persuade universities that perhaps it is time to rethink tenure, that all it really takes is information, communication, and will.


Link of Note

”Lifetime Tenure in Academia and Government “ (2/18/05) By Gary Aldrich

“. . . in a recent meeting with several hundred students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, I made the allegation that too many tenured professors proudly declare themselves “Communists” while pushing hard-left agendas on students. They’ve made it clear that conservative and Christian views are unwelcome in their classrooms.

“I said that students were being blackmailed into silence by professors who hold grade point averages over their heads as punishment for expressing conflicting ideologies.

“I also stated that our students are being brainwashed, while parents are being forced to pay large sums of money for the privilege of watching professors play with their children’s young minds.

“Two professors who had infiltrated the meeting rose in protest. Red-faced, they declared me to be a liar and demanded that I prove my ‘outrageous” allegations.’ A young lady in the front row of the packed auditorium bravely raised her hand.

“First timidly, then with increasing firmness, she spoke of several of her Lehigh professors who had expressed hatred for American values and fondness for the likes of Fidel Castro. Following her lead, other students rose to give similar testimony. The angry and now ‘outed’ professors quickly made their exit.”


On Ward Churchill and Academic Leftmania

March 16, 2009

[First published February 25, 2005] I have read Ward Churchill’s “’Some People Push Back’ On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” (link given below). It’s a propaganda piece, and could have been written by Bin Laden with hardly a change in wording.

Churchill has become a popular figure on campus and is often invited to give speeches and talks, and indeed, has even been invited by faculty to speak at the University of Hawaii, from which I retired years ago. In light of this, I want to say a few words about the leftist university climate in which an ignorant fraud, and expressed enemy of the United States like Churchill, can thrive. I’ll focus this on two hallowed academic principles. But first, a word about the leftism of the university.

The university is institutionally diverse, with schools and departments of law, medicine, business, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and so forth. Generally, the faculty in business, engineering, natural sciences, mathematics, agriculture, and related, are least on the left, although as I understand the latest polls or surveys, Democrats still dominate in them. However, it is the humanities, social sciences, and law, and such programs as ethnic studies, woman studies, peace studies, and such, that are most dominated by the left. So, when a survey claims that 85 percent of the faculty vote Democrat, and that covers all the way from engineering and the hard sciences to the humanities, then the figure for the humanities and social sciences alone has to be much higher. Indeed, judging from my experience, a conservative or Republican in these fields is extremely rare, say, one out of thirty, or forty faculty. There are more communists (they call themselves Marxists), than either libertarians or conservatives together, and It appears to me that those on the left outnumber the average liberal and moderate Democrat.

Now, as to the two hallowed principles. One is diversity. There is none in political orientation. The left has captured the university and fight to maintain their control. They refuse to hire or give tenure to those perceived conservative or nonsupportive of their ideology. It is done cleverly, you see, by pointing to problems in a candidate’s research or lectures. For example, if a candidates supported Bush’s foreign policy, they would find his research inadequate, insensitive to Iraq deaths, hawkish, nationalistic, and so forth.

This also extends to sending out invitations to speakers. Almost always, these speakers are liberal or left; hardly ever conservative or libertarian, unless certain conservative student groups fight like hell to bring one. And even then, hostile leftist students may so threaten disruption, that the university administration may use this as an excuse to cancel the engagement they didn’t want anyway.

The second hallowed principle, which you hear often in defense of Churchill, is academic freedom. After almost forty years of being in a university as a student and teaching, I have seen the campus go from the existence of a wide range of extensive academic freedom to a narrow band in the social sciences and humanities. I’m retired now, but if I were teaching, I know many things I believe related to my field that I could not say on campus or while teaching. What we have now is a leftist enforced control of speech such that every academic has academic freedom as long as they stick close to the liberal-leftist line.

To put this bluntly, academic freedom is now a charade, a leftiwocky, most often expressed by liberal and leftist faculty and ideological innocents to protect these faculty from outside criticism.

How do they enforce this? If a faculty member does not have tenure, he had better hue the liberal and leftist line if he wants it. If he has tenure, then at least through their control of the department chairmanship and major committees, they can make a conservative or libertarian professor suffer a thousand cuts: worst parking spaces, worst offices, no assistants, no promotions (if possible), no salary increases (if not automatic) or merit increases, heaviest teaching load, assigned largest and most elementary courses, many committee assignments (but never a chairmanship), no travel allowance, no research support, a campaign among leftist students to get others to avoid their classes, and plain old social isolation. It has to be an unusually dedicated faculty member to stick this out. And this is just at the department level. What a dean can do is far worse, such as using leftist student complaints to set up a Star Chamber investigation.

To be clear, I am not saying that liberal of leftist academics are more incompetent, more biased, less intelligent, less productive, or poorer teachers than conservatives or libertarians. I am not saying they all are bad people or academics in some sense. A lot of the good work in my area on international relations, foreign policy, and the democratic peace has come from these academics. I will say this, however. In general, they are less open minded, less tolerant of opposing ideas, less willing to engage them, and more self-righteous.

Something has to be done about the lack of diversity and freedom of speech on campus and, I’m afraid, we simply can’t wait until the passage of several generations of faculty moves universities more towards the center. What should this be? Well, that will take another blog or so.


Link of Note

”’Some People Push Back’ On the Justice of Roosting Chickens” (nd By Ward Churchill)

 On the morning of September 11, 2001, a few more chickens – along with some half-million dead Iraqi children – came home to roost in a very big way at the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Well, actually, a few of them seem to have nestled in at the Pentagon as well. . . . it may not have been (only) the ghosts of Iraqi children who made their appearance that day. It could as easily have been some or all of their butchered Palestinian cousins.
Or maybe it was some or all of the at least 3.2 million Indochinese who perished as a result of America’s sustained and genocidal assault on Southeast Asia (1959-1975), not to mention the millions more who’ve died because of the sanctions imposed thereafter.

Comment by Colleague Two
Colleague Two is a professor of international law.

The problem with Churchill is not merely that he’s a left-wing screwball, but that his whole life has been one big lie. He got a job as a professor pretending to be a “Native American” and that’s been proven false. He portrayed himself as a Vietnam war hero and turns out he was a Public Affairs specialist who changed reels on a movie projector.


The Red Plague

March 3, 2009

[First published May 1, 2005] I have put on my commentary page a much longer version of this article. A full version (minus the last two paragraphs) is also published at Catallarchy.net as a May Day Remembrance (turn off your block pop-ups option). What follows are its major points and statistics.

The bubonic plague that in 1347-1353 depopulated Europe has horrified historians and surely all those who have read about it. Death. Death everywhere. Cities and towns devastated. Whole families of several generations gone. About 25,000,000 people perished, at least.

Yet, we have had a different kind of plague in the last century, one over four times more deadly, and historians shy away from writing about it. Indeed, most contemporaries did not even know it was occurring, for the media and politicians that were not effected by it, tended to ignore it. It was a Red Plague. A plague of democide by communist governments.

The table below lists all communist governments that have committed any form of democide and gives their estimated low, mid-estimate (what I call the prudent estimate), and estimated high. It also shows the total for communist guerrillas, including quasi-governments, as of the Mao soviets in China prior to the communist victory in 1949.



As you can see, the total mid-estimate is about 110,286,000, an incredible total. It is around 65 percent of all democide over the same period, and is about three times greater than all the international and domestic war deaths, including the two world wars, Vietnam, Korea, and the Iran-Iraq War, to mention the bloodiest. This is the Red Plague driven by ideological fervor. The Black Plague, only carried by fleas from rats and not by ideology, killed a quarter of the number the communists murdered.

There is much to dwell on in the table, if your stomach is up to it, and I will only note the most incredible estimates. The Soviet Union appears the greatest megamurderer of all time, apparently killing near 61,000,000 people. Stalin himself is responsible for almost 43,000,000 of these (I know you’ve read the toll as 20,000,000, but it was only for the 1930s and has been mistaken applied to Stalins full and bloody reign 1928-1953). Most of the Soviet deaths, perhaps around 39,000,000 are due to lethal forced labor in gulag and transit thereto.

Communist China up to 1987, but mainly from 1949 through the Cultural Revolution, which alone may have seen over 1,000,000 murdered, is the second worst megamurderer (I excluded the great famine of 1959 to about 1961 as nondemocidal – it alone cost about 27,000,000 lives). Then there are the lesser megamurderers, such as North Korea and Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Obviously, the population that is available to kill will make a big difference in the total democide, and thus the annual percentage rate of democide is revealing. By far, the most deadly of all communist countries and, indeed, in this century by far, has been Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot and his henchmen likely killed some 2,000,000 Cambodians from April 1975 through December 1978 out of a population of around 7,000,000. This is an annual rate of over 8 percent of the population murdered, or odds of an average Cambodian surviving Pol Pot’s rule of slightly over 2 to 1.

Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment of all time. It failed utterly and in doing so it probably killed the number of men, women, and children, totaled in Table 1, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed. This is but one reason, but perhaps the most important one, for fostering democratic freedom and assuring a democratic peace.

Oh, yes, our academic and intellectual Marxists today are getting a free ride. They get a certain respect because of their words about improving the lot of the worker and the poor, their utopian pretensions. But when empowered, Marxism has failed utterly, as has fascism. Instead of with respect and tolerance, Marxists should be treated as though they wished a return of the Red Plague, which they do, passionately, blindly, innocently, or not, it would make no difference to the hundreds of millions that would be killed.

The next time you come across or are lectured by one of our indigenous Marxists, or almost the equivalent, leftist zealots, ask them how he can justify the murder of over a hundred million their absolutist faith has brought about, and the misery created for many hundreds of millions more.


What? Only 35,000,000 Killed in 20th Century War?

November 30, 2008

[First published on December 15, 2004] pointed out in a 1986 Wall Street Journal article (here) that the 20th Century is noted for its absolute and bloody wars. World War I saw nine-million people killed in battle, an incredible record that was far surpassed within a few decades by the 15 million battle deaths of World War II. Even the number killed in twentieth century revolutions and civil wars have set historical records. In total, this century’s battle killed in all its international and domestic wars, revolutions, and violent conflicts is so far about 35,654,000.

I then received an email suggesting that my total is probably inaccurate; the total might be closer to 100 million.

I should have qualified the total as for military combat dead and civilians caught in the crossfire. Consider WWII for example. The most authoritative source, widely relied on in the field of war studies, are the statistical data on war published by J. David Singer (search under COW Project). His figure for WWII war dead is 15 million. Now, one may think he is in error, since the war dead ordinarily given for the USSR alone is about 20 million, and often cited is 50000,000 to 60,000,000 for the whole war. How then can Singer and I say 15,000,000 dead in the war? Part of the problem is that many figures one sees for wars include combat dead and those murdered by government (democide), such as in the Holocaust. The difference is due to Singer and I counting only combat dead, including civilians caught in crossfires, whereas the much higher totals also count those murdered by governments during the war (democide). For example, the Nazis murdered about 21,000,000 people, including the Holocaust; the Japanese murdered about 6,000,000; and the Soviets about 13,000,000. Now, when you add such democide totals to those killed in combat, one comes close to the 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 often mentioned for the war.

Overall, both WWI and WWII together had about 24,000,000 (combat) war dead. Which leaves still many, and smaller, wars to go to reach my approximate 35,000,000. A total far below the near 110,000,000 killed [later revised to about 140,000,000] by Marxist governments

I did a thorough amalgamation of the estimates of war dead for each nation, 1900-1987, in the process of collecting democide data, and included them in my statistical tables. They can be found in my books Lethal Politics for the USSR, China’s Bloody Century, Democide for Nazi Germany, and Statistics of Democide for all the other nation’s war dead. For their location on my website, see my website’s list of documents.


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