(First published May 11, 2006. Broken links will be recovered as previously published blogs are republished here)
As a result of an 8-year project I concluded some years ago, I defined the major 20th century mortacracies as those listed below.
But, since then I have increased some of the estimates, particularly for Mao’s China and colonialism., but had yet to change the above table. This was done by Jade in New Zealand, and with thanks I show below the table she sent me, with slight revisions I made in its format:
In the last century, governments have murdered 262,000,000 people. And that is not even counting mortacide (as defined in my recent post). With such a near absolute focus on the Holocaust in the media, with near total exclusion of reference to any other of these democides, one must ask how many Jews were murdered. I wrote a book on Nazi democide, and calculated that 5,291,000 Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Along with these Jews, however, the Nazi’s murdered 20,946,000 people, such as Poles, Russians, Czechs, Frenchmen, Italians, Bulgarians, and so on.
But even that horrendous total pales in comparison to the number murdered by communist regimes overall—148,000,000.
Yet, while our library shelves are filled with books on war, and it is a major topic of college political science courses on international relations, there is virtually nothing taught on the world’s democides, and for that matter, virtually nothing printed on it in the major media, including magazines, or journals (you will look in vain in such media as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, The Reader’s Digest, National Review, American Political Science Review, and so on, for an article on such incredible democide). The sheer massive ignorance and denial of the 262,000,000 people murdered by government is revealed by these facts: this total is over 6-times those killed in combat in all domestic and foreign wars (including WWI and WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars) over the last century, and laid head-to-toe the corpses of all these murdered would circle the earth about 10-times.
Consider this. With much horror, and thus stimulating decades of arms control efforts and many huge anti-nuclear demonstrations, strategic experts used to calculate that a Soviet-American nuclear war would cost…gasp…200,000.000 to 300,000,000 dead. But…the number murdered in the last century by governments is in the middle of this range. It is as though the world was devastated by a drawn out nuclear war, but one largely by dictatorships against their subjects.
Let us all weep for these poor souls and their surviving loved ones.