[First published December 6, 2005] Have you noticed how disasters will dominate the headlines and mobilize the world to rush aid to the region or country involved, and help search for survivors? We’ve all see the moving videos — the bodies pulled from wreckage of hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tornadoes, the destroyed homes and rubble everywhere. Then in hours come the headlines, “Death toll in quake feared to be 10,000,” “Village leveled by volcanic blast — 2000 dead,” or “Tsunami killed 2,500.”
These headlines are soon followed by, “Aid rushed in . . . ,” “U.S. planes carry . . . ,” or “UN Annan inspects . . . .” Surely, such headlines should invoke memories, for they have deluged us all. I do not wish to make light of such disasters or the plight of the victims. Our heats go out to them. I just want to draw an incredible comparison to the democide, which goes on and on without headlines or aid or intervention, as in North Korea, Sudan, Burma, the two Congos, Angola, and so on.
In the last century, 56,679,764 people died in disasters, totaled for those killing more than 10,000 people. The list is here, and includes the 5,000,000 Ukrainians that Stalin purposely starved to death 1932-1933. I arrived at the above 56,679,764 figure by subtracting the 5,000,000 Ukrainians from the list total. Oddly, the world’s worst famine created by Mao in China, 1958-1962, is not listed as a disaster.
There is also another list of the “Death Toll from Disasters, War & Accidents, which comes to 99,000,000 for disasters alone. I suspect that it includes Stalin’s and Mao’s democidal famines, the latter listed in a different table on the same page as 30,000,000. So, I will take the total in the above paragraph and estimate that when the dead for disasters less than 10,000 are added, the disaster toll for the last century is 60,000,000 dead.
That is an indigestible number. It is as though virtually every living human being in France, or Britain, or everyone in Italy or South Korea were wiped out. If the average height of these dead were five feet, the bodies lined up head to toe would span 56,818 miles. The circumference of the earth is 24,855 miles. So, the 60,000,000 dead from disasters would circle the earth head to toe 2.3 times! Wow, what a lot of bodies.
Of course, you know where I’m going with this. The total murdered in all communist countries alone was 148,000,000, or 2.5 times those killed in disasters. For all countries, the world total is 212,000,000 murdered in the last century — 3.5 times all of the century’s disasters. Since almost all these murders were by dictators, I can say this.
Dictatorships are human made disasters many times more deadly than nature’s. Dictatorships are not simply disasters, they are human catastrophes. Power kills, absolute power kills absolutely.
It should be a crime against humanity for any dictatorship to exist.
Spread the word and help freedom ring.