Dare To Call Evil Evil

June 16, 2009

[First published on March 29, 2005] I am told that some of my colleagues and readers wince when I use the term “evil.” How can I say that democide, terrorism, and mass murderers like Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussein, and Omar Hassan al-Basher (Sudan) are evil? This is the worst moral accusation one can level at an activity or another human being. Who am I to do so?

To discuss evil in any depth requires either a theological discussion of evil, or a philosophical safari into ethics. I wish to leave theology aside, and as far as ethics is concerned, simply express my view of evil. First, I do not accept some prevailing ethics, such as that ethics is simply a personal emotive expression of something one hates (like ugh!), a situational expression about some gross immorality, or an objective fact that exists outside of us. In my view, ethical statements are prescriptive, state what ought to be deontologically (I’m a Kantian on this), and are universal. That is, they state what everyone would agree to for their moral governance, were they to have to live under them without advanced knowledge as to their socio-economic status, race, religion, sex, etc.

Evil for me is then something all would agree is not only morally reprehensible under these conditions, but also fundamentally reprehensible to what it means to be human and civilized. In this sense, any murder is evil. We lock up people for life or execute them for this reason. But we also have to recognize that there are different levels of reprehensibility, as to whether a person murders one fellow human being, 10, or 10,000 in one pen stroke, as have some political leaders like Stalin.

I would turn the question around and ask, “How can one not call such thugs evil, or the mass murderers of millions evil (Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot)?” Not to do so means that one is without the moral gauge that is crucial to civilization and humanity, or his real politics has corrupted him, as it has the leaders of South Korea.


Link of Note

” Toxic Indifference to North Korea” (3/26/05) By Abraham Cooper

Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a member of the North Korean Freedom Coalition.

He says:

Since 2002, defectors among the flood of refugees from North Korea have detailed firsthand accounts of systematic starvation, torture and murder. Enemies of the state are used in experiments to develop new generations of chemical and biological weapons that threaten the world. A microcosm of these horrors is Camp 22, one of 12 concentration camps housing an estimated 200,000 political prisoners facing torture or execution for such “crimes” as being a Christian or a relative of someone suspected of deviation from “official ideology of the state.” Another eyewitness, Kwon Hyuk, formerly chief manager at Camp 22, repeated to me what he asserted to the BBC: “I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber. . . . The parents were vomiting and dying, but until the very last moment they tried to save kids by doing mouth-to-mouth

From Colleague:

I re-read this article again, still not believing the incredible tale told.

What do North Korean apologists have to say about this?

Where are the voices of Johan Galtung, Bruce Cummings, Chalmers Johnson, Noam Chomsky. . . ? These people are so willing to accept any story of US evil, no matter what the evidence, and so unwilling to accept anything critical of the remaining communist regimes — despite the inescapably logic that argues that regime with lots of power tend to kill lots of people.

Oh, right. How dumb of me. All these stories of North Korean murder are nothing more than CIA propaganda and deceit. After all, no Beloved Leader would permit anything such as gassing political prisoners….unless there was good cause. Anyway, I’m sure America has gassed more political prisoners than North Korea ever dreamed of gassing.. . .

I wonder, when Korea is re-unified, how many people will emerge to give color to this dismal portrait of power run amok. And how many leftists will be trying to first deny, then disparage, then defend these actions, finally changing their tune to how all this democide was really the work of right-wing North Koreans.


Leftimania Uncovered

June 15, 2009

[First published on March 30, 2005] I’ve often wanted to know the political connections and ideological presumptions of a commentator, noted academic, or the leaders of a protest, as of “antiwar” demonstrations. But, it would take too much time to track down the information and establish its reliability. Now, this has been done for those like me who believe that what you see depends on where you sit. David Horowitz has set up a web site called DISCOVERTHENETWORK.ORG: A Guide to the Political Left (link here) that provides information about the backgrouond, ideology, and connections of groups and individuals.

For example, on Ward Churchill it begins a mulipage profile with this summary:

• Marxist professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado
• Advocates political violence
• Denounces “the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world”
• Accuses white Americans of genocide
• Characterizes the 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus as a “mistaken landfall” that “unleashed a process of conquest and colonization unparalleled in the history of humanity”
• Lamenting that the terrorism of 9/11 had proved “insufficient to accomplish its purpose” of destroying the United States, Churchill said, “What the hell? It was worth a try.

Note that Marxist means communist. In discussing his case, virtually no major media has mentioned that he is a communist (I know of none). On this blog site, I’m going to hit the Marxism = communism as often as I can. The communists have largely succeeded, even with libertarians and conservatives, in hiding behind Marxism, which they make out to be a philosophy or theory different from communism. It is not. It is a philosophical and historical, socio-political theory alright, and precisely what all communist regimes have forced their slaves to except and exclusively study. Marx is to communism as Christ is to Christianity.

On Teresa Heinz Kerry, the guide says:

• Wife of 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry
• Chaired the Howard Heinz Endowment, a major funder of leftwing groups and causes
• Has personally financed the Tides Foundation, which funds many leftwing organizations

The mainstream media has overlooked the very important story of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s close financial ties to radical Left. Mrs. Kerry has financed the secretive Tides Foundation to the tune of more than $4 million over the years. The Tides Foundation, a “charity” established in 1976 by antiwar leftist activist Drummond Pike, distributes millions of dollars in grants every year to political organizations advocating far-Left causes. The Tides Foundation and its closely allied Tides Center, which was spun off from the Foundation in 1996 but run by Drummond Pike, distributed nearly $66 million in grants in 2002 alone. In all, Tides has distributed more than $300 million for the Left. These funds went to rabid antiwar demonstrators, anti-trade demonstrators, domestic Islamist organizations, pro-terrorists legal groups, environmentalists, abortion partisans, extremist homosexual activists and HYPERLINK “http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11838″open borders advocates.

Do some browsing on the website, and you will find some amazing and, perhaps, depressing information. As a last example, note this of the Ford Foundation:

Originally funded by the Ford Motor Company stock from the estates of Henry and (son) Edsel Ford in 1936
• Largest private funder of the American left and its radical agendas
• Supports communist front groups like the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild
• Key funder of the Open Borders lobby
• Assets: $10,015,612,595 (2003)
• Grants Awarded: $431,643,480 (2003)

My compliments to Horowitz and all those who helped him. The liberal and communist left can only survive in the United States and influence policy by hiding their activities, memberships, associations, and ideology under a vast blanket. Horowitz has helped to lift a corner of it.


Link of Note

”Navigating the left” (3/24/05) By Robert Stacy McCain

McCain’s intro:

David Horowitz, a radical turned conservative author and activist, has created a Web site, DiscoverTheNetwork.org, which he describes as “a navigation tool for identifying, mapping and defining the left and its elaborate and extensive political network.”

In a telephone interview from his Los Angeles home, Mr. Horowitz discussed the idea for the site . . . .

Selected quotes:

Soon, pro-communist leftists like Angela Davis and Tom Hayden were being referred to as “liberals” by the media, and liberals like Norman Podhoretz and Jeane Kirkpatrick were being referred to as “neoconservatives.” … So, to understand our present situation, I felt you have to try to restore accurate political labels. And that’s partly what my new Web site, DiscoverTheNetwork.org, is about. . . .

Q: You have documented the Marxist backgrounds of several leading anti-war groups and individuals. Why do you think the media have routinely ignored these connections?

A: On one page, you get a list of every major anti-war organization and each listing is a link to a profile of the individual group, and each group is connected to a map icon, which, if you click on it, opens up a diagram that shows all the other groups with radical agendas … that they are connected to.

The fact that the two major peace organizations, International ANSWER and the Coalition for Peace and Justice, are headed by easily identifiable communists, was known to the mainstream media, specifically the New York Times. Because the New York Times is essentially a fellow-traveling institution of the left, it chose not to mention this fact.

Note that McCain refers to “Marxists,” which Horowitz, quite correctly, terms communists.


Impoverishment and Death by Socialism

June 13, 2009

[First published April 8, 2005] Socialist of different flavors — leftists, Marxists (alias communists), fellow travelers, and the economically ignorant — continue to rant about the greed, inequality, and economic slavery of the free market (they prefer to call it capitalism), but yet in the grandest of economic experiments, their socialism has utterly failed in practice. When these socialists are free to fully apply their ideas, they end up impoverishing whole countries.

In social science, one way to test a theory it to select two groups of people such that they are virtually identical on all variables but the theoretical one. Want to test whether nature or nurture make a difference in making spelling errors (I insist it’s nature), then test this on identical twins separated shortly after birth.

But, surely, you say, we can’t do such tests on free market vs. socialist systems. Well, we can’t organize it for this purpose, but we can observe what socialist have done. We have had people of one nation, language, culture, religion, literacy, wealth, and so on, divided into two, such that one had a largely free market economic system and the other a purely socialist one, with the socialist being the more prosperous and industrial region to begin with. The divided countries were North Vietnam vs. South Vietnam, and East Germany vs. West Germany, and still is North vs. South Korea. Some might include mainland China vs. Taiwan, but Taiwan (formerly Formosa) was not part of China, although one might point to the fact that both the mainland and Taiwan are now Chinese in language and customs, and thus show what the Chinese can do when they are free as on Taiwan, or still dominantly socialist as on the mainland.

Okay, the experiment. How did these two halves fare, with their economic-political systems being the only meaningful difference? In each case, the socialist half has failed economically compared to its free market one, which in contrast substantially uplifted its people in health, technology, services, economic growth, and wealth. Let me focus on the two Koreas to provide some statistics on this. In what follows, the first figure will be for socialist North Korea, the second for the South (source: The Wall Street Journal, 3/11/05):

Population: 22.5 mil vs. 49.9 mil.
Gross National Income (GNI): $18.4 bil. Vs. $606.1 bil.
GNI per capita: $818 vs. $12,646
Exports: $.78 bil. Vs. $193.8 bil.
Imports: $1.61 bil. Vs. $178.8 bil.
Power generated: 19.6 bil. kwh vs. 322.4 bil. kwh

But, these statistics show only part of the cost of socialism. N. Korea has again cut food rations from last years near starvation level of 300 grams per person per day. Now it is 250 grams (8.8 ounces) per person, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP). This is far below the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) minimum. Also, keep in mind that Kim’s food distribution system is highly unequal. Food is put aside first for “patriotic rice” and “military rice.” And then it has a graded ration system depending on whether a family is considered supportive of the regime at higher ration end, and unreliable, possible anti-regime at the bottom.

In the last decade, the human cost of this socialism, leaving aside the regime’s mass murders, has been about 3 million starved to death. Further, malnutrition has caused excessive underdevelopment and brain retardation of children, and fostered rickets, scurvy, nyctalopia, hepatitis, and tuberculosis, among other diseases. And the country is one of the few in which population mortality rates have been increasing. The life expectancy has fallen to 66.8 years from 73.2; newborn mortality rate has increased from 14 to 22.5; and the rate for those less than five years of age has increased from 27 to 48 per thousand.

Meanwhile, in South Korea the per capita calorie intake is 3,268, which is 139 percent of the FAO recommended minimum requirement. This calorie intake is made up of about 84 percent vegetable products and 16 percent animal products. A typical South Korean meal consists of steamed or stir-fried vegetables, thin sliced meats, grilled fish, and bean-baste soup. Life expectancy is 75.6 years and rising; infant mortality is 7.18 per 1,000 live births, and falling.

What more need be shown? Socialism not only kills by the conditions it creates, encourages the ruling thugs to murder their own people (how else impose such a anti-humanitarian, prison like system?), it greatly impoverishes them. The free market, however, constantly improves overall wealth and welfare, and if part of a democratic system, protects and saves lives.

These historical social experiments have cost tens of millions of lives. We must now say, “ENOUGH ALREADY!”


Link of Note

”North Korea: Human Rights Concerns,” (nd) Amnesty International USA

The report has good links and a fair overview:

Amnesty International’s long-standing concerns about human rights violations in North Korea include the use of torture and the death penalty, arbitrary detention and imprisonment, inhumane prison conditions and the near-total suppression of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and movement.

Their expressed “concern” is not the way I would put it. More like horrified, disgusted, sickened.
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American Vs. French Revolutions

June 12, 2009

[First published April 10, 2005] I got carried away in writing this, and ended up with five pages single spaced, much too long for a blog. So, for the full essay, and that’s what it is, go here. This blog is a brief version.

There have been two revolutions, the American and French, and they expressed not only to opposing view of government, but they represent the struggle between Freedom and Socialism today.

The Constitution that eventually emerged from the American Revolution saw man as pursuing different, and often selfish, interests. The maximum satisfaction of all these interests requires that no one interest dominates. And what prevents such domination is a balance among opposing interests. This was a conception of Freedom as the outcome of this balancing of interests, each sustained by natural rights.

The Constitution thus embodied three principles. First, all men have certain inalienable Rights standing above and limiting government. Second, all governments carry within themselves the seeds of tyranny, of the absolute State, which can be limited only by a system of checks and balances. And third, since Freedom must reign, and no man working in his own interests can be unjust against himself, the government must be limited to defining and administering the common law. Government is to be an arbiter between interests, to serve a janitorial role of defending and maintaining the commonwealth. All else is the preserve of Freedom.

A conception of Freedom as an outcome of contending interests, each guaranteed inalienable Rights, and the three principles of Rights, checks and balances, and limited government, constituted the American Revolution — a revolution that established and preserved Freedom down to modern times.

The French Revolution of 1789 was also a revolt against the power of a monarch and aristocracy. Its motto was Liberty, Equality, Fraternity; its end was Social Justice; its means were to establish the sovereignty of the people, and to eliminate social and political inequalities.

Unlike the American Revolution, whose philosophical ancestors were the English liberals, the French Revolution was fundamentally fathered by the French radical philosophers, especially Jean Jacques Rousseau, and inherited the faith in reason engendered by The Enlightenment. René Descartes’ trust in geometric like reasoning and Rousseau’s belief in the common will and sovereignty of the people framed the conception guiding the French Revolution. This conception is mechanical. Government is a machine, fueled by coercive power, and driven by reason; and its destination is Social Justice. Government is thus a tool to reach a future goal ‑‑ improving man. Those in charge of the State would therefore use reason to apply government to further and create Social Justice.

This conception is clearly different from that of the American revolutionaries. For the Americans, interests were the guiding force; for the French, reason. For the Americans, Freedom was to be preserved against the State; for the French, the State was used by reason to achieve Social Justice. For the Americans, individual rights were essential to protect interests; for the French, the collective, the sovereignty of the people, the general will stood above rights. Finally, for the Americans, no one interest could be entrusted with the State ‑- all interests had to be limited and balanced by their opposition; for the French, the State was a tool that should have no limit so long as Social Justice was pursued according to the common will.

The first principle is that the benefits to the Community outweigh individual rights. This is what the common will or sovereignty of the people means ‑‑ that individuals are members of a Community which takes precedence over the individual, and that the Community has a will to be gratified, a justice to be sought, which no individual should bar.

The second principle is that the State, and thus government as its agent, can be beneficent instruments of progress, a tool to be used to pursue the common will, the Community’s betterment. Therefore, government should not be checked and balanced. Its powers should not be divided, for then the State is severely restrained. The Application of Reason to further Social Justice is crippled. Unlike the Americans, the French revolutionaries did not fear the State as such, but only the State in the service of the wrong class and bad ends.

And this led to the third principle of the French Revolution ‑- unlimited government. As the State’s implement of Reason working on behalf of the Community, government should not be limited. If necessary to pursue Social Justice, government should centralize, regulate, and control.

So, the American and French Revolutions launched an historic struggle between two conceptions and two sets of principles. One fosters Freedom and peace; the other furthers a statism which mankind has seldom, if ever, before known, a disease that not only blighted half the world, but even with the defeat of its most monstrous version, communism (Marxism), it still infests European politics and the American liberals, and especially, the socialist left.

The opposition between these principles remains the major schism today, the major historic battlefront. We are still heirs to the American Revolution, and the left and socialist are to the French. This is a struggle we can win. It all depends on democratic peoples understanding that the American Revolution is dying from a possibly malignant cancer – the statism of the neo-French revolutionaries at home and abroad – and in one form or another, domestic or foreign, it threatens us. The people’s common sense and their desire for freedom will in the end win out, if they comprehend the war being waged against them. It is the freedomist’s mission to assure this understanding


Link of Note

\”The” http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/french/french.html”>”The French Revolution”

By Rich Geib
Geib says

If the French revolution was the end of monarchy and aristocratic privilege and the emergence of the common man and democratic rights, it was also the beginnings of modern totalitarian government and large-scale executions of “enemies of the People” by impersonal government entities (Robespierre’s “Committee of Public Safety”). This legacy would not reach its fullest bloom until the tragic arrival of the German Nazis and Soviet and Chinese communists of the 20th century.

In fact, Rousseau has been called the precursor of the modern pseudo-democrats such as Stalin . . . Rousseau has been called the precursor of the modern pseudo-democrats such as Stalin and Hitler and the “people’s democracies.” His call for the “sovereign” to force men to be free if necessary in the interests of the “General Will” harks back to the Lycurgus of Sparta instead of to the pluralism of Athens; the legacy of Rousseau is Robespierre and the radical Jacobins of the Terror who followed and worshipped him passionately.

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It’s Worse Than You Think

June 11, 2009

[First published April 21, 2005] Academic freedom? The hallowed conflict of ideas? The sanctity of open debate? Ha! That’s not the American university anymore. Only one side now has the freedom to state its views, and the other sides beware.

What happened to Professor Thomas Klocek of DePaul University in Chicago is a case in point. Quoting from Joseph Farah’s recent article, “When ‘academic freedom’ fails,”

Last Sept. 15, the man who has taught critical thinking, college writing and cultures of the world at the Catholic university’s School for New Learning for the last 15 years, Klocek made the mistake of debating the subject of the Middle East with some extremists partial to Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Arab nationalists among the Students for Justice in Palestine and the United Muslims Moving Ahead at a student activities fair.

The informal debate got heated, as Klocek was the sole defender of Israel and Middle East Christians in the room. But there were no blows exchanged. There were no verbal threats. And the spirited argument lasted between 15 and 20 minutes, according to everyone involved.

Nine days later, Klocek found himself the victim of an “emergency suspension” and unceremoniously kicked off the campus. No hearing by his peers. No formal complaints lodged against him. The unsubstantiated accusations by zealous students that Klocek made “racist” remarks was all that was needed to crush the claim of academic freedom at DePaul.

He was offered his job back if he agreed to monitored teaching and apologized to the students. He refused.

Now he finds himself with no job. . . .
You see, diversity is welcomed in academia as long as you don’t disagree with what passes for conventional wisdom in the rarefied atmosphere of academia. . . .Klocek was accused by the students of the unpardonable sins of “demeaning their ideas” and “dishonoring their perspective” and pressing erroneous assertions” and that he used his power as a “professor over them” to force them to accept his arguments as true.

What did he say? He questioned the accuracy of literature asserting Rachel Corrie was “murdered by an Israeli bulldozer” and a verbal assertion that “the Palestinians are being treated by Israelis the same way Hitler treated the Jews.”

This is not just one story. One could put together a book of sad tales of students and professors who have been punished by the left for their views or mistaken belief in “academic freedom.”

This is very serious, for the schools are now a major subversive force in our society undermining the idea of freedom. They get their hands on our children and youth and by their propaganda turn them into armies of “anti-war,” anti-globalization, anti-American, brain washed demonstrators and protestors. That is, before they eventually become teachers, businessmen, politicians, and, of course, lawyers and judges, all to further, often unknowingly, leftism.

What to do about it? Sunshine. Documentaries. Investigative journalism by blogs, talk radio, and the new media. Legislative hearings. And let the truth be exposed. The left’s anchor to the schools – tenure — could not survive arousing the silent majority.


Link of Note

”Inside Higher Ed” (3/30/05 )

Three political scientists did a survey of 1,643 faculty members at 183 four-year colleges and asked them how they identified themselves politically. This article describes the results (full report not generally available):

. . . the ideological divide on campuses may be greater than has previously been thought. And the authors of this survey say that their evidence suggests say that conservatives, practicing Christians and women are less likely than others to get faculty jobs at top colleges. . . . humanities faculty members were the most likely (81 percent) to be liberal. The liberal percentage was at its highest in English literature (88 percent), followed by performing arts and psychology (both 84 percent), fine arts (83 percent), political science (81 percent).

Other fields have more balance. The liberal-conservative split is 61-29 in education, 55-39 in economics, 53-47 in nursing, 51-19 in engineering, and 49-39 in business.

As far as reported, the study does not assess the ideological spread among liberals (moderate democrat, liberal democrat, leftist, communist) as opposed to conservatives. In my experience, many self identified liberals are on the far left or are communists (Marxists), and the those who call themselves conservatives are often moderate or liberal Republicans. Its like dividing the world into democracies and nondemocracies without showing that many nondemocracies are totalitarian and bloody thug regimes like North Korea, while many of the democracies are barely electoral democracies, with repressed human rights as now in Russia.

That the contemporary American university is an anti-American, pro-socialist propaganda mill is suggested by the survey above, but the true meaning of this division has to be experienced to fear its dire implications for individual freedom, such as it was for Professor Klocek of DePaul University.


How Many did Stalin Really Murder?

June 10, 2009

[First published April 26, 2005] May Day is coming up, which used to be a day of celebration in the Soviet Union with an impressive show of weapons and infinitely long parade of soldiers. Perhaps, then, it would be appropriate to pay special attention on this day to the human cost of communism in this symbolic home of Marxism, and worldwide. This blog is on Stalin and the Soviet Union. I will post one on the overall cost of communism next week.

By far, the consensus figure for those that Joseph Stalin murdered when he ruled the Soviet Union is 20,000,000. You probably have come across this many times. Just to see how numerous this total is, look up “Stalin” and “20 million” in Google, and you will get 38,800 links. Not all settle just on the 20,000,000. Some links will make this the upper and some the lower limit in a range. Yet, virtually no one who uses this estimate has gone to the source, for if they did and knew something about Soviet history, they would realize that the 20,000,000 is a gross under estimate of what is likely the true human toll.

The figure comes from the book by Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties (Macmillan 1968). In his appendix on casualty figures, he reviews a number of estimates of those that were killed under Stalin, and calculates that the number of executions 1936 to 1938 was probably about 1,000,000; that from 1936 to 1950 about 12,000,000 died in the camps; and 3,500,000 died in the 1930-1936 collectivization. Overall, he concludes:

Thus we get a figure of 20 million dead, which is almost certainly too low and might require an increase of 50 percent or so, as the debit balance of the Stalin regime for twenty-three years.

In all the times I’ve seen Conquest’s 20,000,000 reported, not once do I recall seeing his qualification attached to it.

Considering that Stalin died in 1953, note what Conquest did not include — camp deaths after 1950, and before 1936; executions 1939-53; the vast deportation of the people of captive nations into the camps, and their deaths 1939-1953; the massive deportation within the Soviet Union of minorities 1941-1944; and their deaths; and those the Soviet Red Army and secret police executed throughout Eastern Europe after their conquest during 1944-1945 is omitted. Moreover, omitted is the deadly Ukrainian famine Stalin purposely imposed on the region and that killed 5 million in 1932-1934. So, Conquest’s estimates are spotty and incomplete.

I did a comprehensive overview of available estimates, including those by Conquest, and wrote a book, Lethal Politics, on Soviet democide to provide understanding and context for my figures. I calculate that the Communist regime, 1917-1987, murdered about 62,000,000 people, around 55,000,000 of them citizens (see Table 1.1 for a periodization of the deaths).

As for Stalin, when the holes in Conquest’s estimates are filled in, I calculate that Stalin murdered about 43,000,000 citizens and foreigners, over twice Conquest’s total. Therefore, the usual estimate of 20 million killed in Soviet democide is far off for the Soviet Union per se, and even less than half of the total Stalin alone murdered.

But, these are all statistics and hard to grasp. Compare my total of 62,000,000 for the Soviet Union and 43,000,000 for Stalin to the death from slavery of 37,000,000 during the 16th to the 19th century; or to the death of from 25,000,000 to 75,000,000 in the Black Death (bubonic plague), 1347-1351, that depopulated Europe.

Another way of looking at this is that the annual risk of a person under Soviet control being murdered by the regime was 1 out of 222. But, compare — the annual risk of anyone in the world dying from war was 1 out of 5,556, from smoking a pack of cigarettes a day was 1 out of 278, from any cancer was 1 out of 357, or for an American to die in an auto accident was 1 out of 4,167.

Now, I must ask, with perhaps an unconscious touch of outrage in my voice, why is this death by Marxism, so incredible and significant in its magnitude, unknown or unappreciated compared to the importance given slavery, cancer deaths, auto accident deaths, and so on. Especially, especially I must add again, when unlike cancer, auto accidents, and smoking, those deaths under Marxism in the Soviet Union were intentionally caused? They were murdered.

Anyway, when you see again the figure of 20,000,000 deaths for Stalin or the Soviet Union, double or triple them in your mind.


Link of Note

”How Russia went from a workers’ state to state capitalism–Why did Stalin rise to power?” (9/1/2003)

By Alan MaassSo, how do communists – Marxists — now view Stalin’s mortacracy? By redefinition, a standard communist trick (e.g., “democratic people’s republic”). I quote from the article:

So-called “socialism” in Stalin’s Russia–and other countries, like China and Cuba, that modeled their systems on the USSR–is diametrically opposed to the basic principles we stand for. The rulers of the former USSR under Stalin used the rhetoric of socialism and Marxism to justify a different reality–an exploitative system, run by a minority, using forms of authority not that very different to capitalism in the West.


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Anarchies Do Exist—You Live In One

June 9, 2009

[First published April 28, 2005] There are a variety of anarchists, such as anarcho-communists, anarcho-libertarianists, and plain old anarchists. All oppose government, that is an institution that monopolizes force. What distinguishes them is their view of other institutions of society. For example, anarcho libertarians are for a free market—people should be free, which also means free to do business. Anarcho-communists oppose this, and believe that unfettered capitalism is as oppressive as government.

What is fascinating to me is that all these anarchists seem ignorant of the fact that they all live in an anarchy. And I’m not writing about some little clan, village, or town, but the largest society of all. In think about anarchy, there is a mental bug here that reminds me of what I used to do with my students in the beginning of my introductory class. I would ask them: “Do you think that we will ever be able to create an invisible solid?”

Some answered, “No,” some, a hesitant, “Yes.” Well, I soon pointed out that, “In this room there is an invisible solid.”

After they all looked at me as though I were crazy, I pointed to the classroom window on the other side of which we could see students passing by. “Isn’t that glass invisible? Can’t you see through it to the students walking by on the other side of that solid?”

The conceptual problem is simple and well explored in psychology. People are educated to see certain things and not to see others. Throughout their lives, through formal education, movies, television, books, speeches, parents, and their own chatter people develop a mind set. Even when some things are seen daily, they may not be really seen . And one such mindset is over the impossibility of invisibility, like making ourselves truly invisible as in the movie about the invisible man. And similarly with other solids. Thus, the invisibility of clear and clean glass is missed. No one has pointed it out.

And so it is with anarchy. Anarchy is not the absence of government, but of that type of government that monopolizes force and is able to back up its laws and decrees with coercive and deadly force. Try not paying taxes, or refuse to appear in court for a speeding ticket, or sell drugs on a street corner, and government agents with badges and in uniforms will come for you If you resist and fight them. You will be hauled off to jail at the point of their guns.

The arguments against anarchy are usually that it couldn’t last long, that we would have no security against thugs, and some kind of government would eventually have to come about, most probably a dictatorship, since people would be willing to give up their freedom for security. This is all wrong

We all have lived under an anarchy for centuries, since 1648 to be precise. Then, after the bloody and disastrous Thirty Years War, European monarchies signed the Treaty of Westphalia, which allowed each prince or king to govern their kingdom as they saw fit, especially regarding its religion. This treaty established the modern state system, with sovereignty and independence the governing laws. Gradually, this system of sovereign states spread throughout the world, and now is such a norm of international behavior that the thugs that rule some states, such as North Korea, are protected from interference from the outside so long as they only murder their own citizens.

Thus, there is no government that rules nations and monopolizes force, not even the United Nations. International relations, the system of nation-states, is an anarchy.

Don’t misunderstand. This does not mean that there are no norms or laws that nations obey. But obedience to the norms and rules is voluntary. That international relations, our largest and most extensive society, is an anarchy is well known and written about by students of international relations, and some professional books even have that in their title (e.g., Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society), even the fact that as Hobbes would point out, it is thus a state of war (e.g., Stanley Hoffmann, The State of War).

Moreover, those who favor an anarchy, and I do among nations, would learn much about anarchies by studying international relations. For example, anarchies can be stable—this one is over 550 years old. Although thugdoms do exist, they control only a minority of countries, not the world, while a majority (119) of democracies also exist. Moreover, in spite of the lack of a government, nations collaborate, cooperate, solve joint problems, and establish norms and customs that govern this anarchy, as norms and customs govern any group of people.

What is most important to observe is that there is much less violence in this anarchy than there is within states that have a true government. For example, not even counting the human cost of their civil wars, rebellions, and such violence within states, governments murdered in the last century over four times those killed in combat in international wars and violence. Just one state, the Soviet Union, has been far more violence internally in number of killed than anarchic international relations over the same period.


Link of Note

”Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) Moral and Political Philosophy” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

It says of Hobbes:

His vision of the world is strikingly original and still relevant to contemporary politics. His main concern is the problem of social and political order: how human beings can live together in peace and avoid the danger and fear of civil conflict. He poses stark alternatives: we should give our obedience to an unaccountable sovereign (a person or group empowered to decide every social and political issue). Otherwise, what awaits us is a ‘state of nature’ that closely resembles civil war – a situation of universal insecurity, where all have reason to fear violent death and where rewarding human cooperation is all but impossible.

Could ever a philosopher by more manifestly wrong, and yet believed so “relevant to contemporary politics.” As I said to my students about invisibility, ‘Look out the window.” As I say to our contemporary Hobbesians, look at international relations, the governance of free peoples in democracies, and what thugs (leviathaners in practice) do to the people they rule.


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