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A Moment for the Late R.J. Rummel, Who Documented the Murderous Nature of Government
Reason Magazine ^ | May 12, 2014 | J.D. Tucille

Posted on 05/13/2014 11:32:40 AM PDT by OddLane

It's horrifying that it's both possible and necessary to parse different kinds of mass slaughter by governments. But the fact is that hundreds of millions of people have been murdered by states because of their membership in ethnic groups, religious beliefs, opposition to the regime of the moment, expediency, or for sheer bloody-mindedness. The term "democide," encompassing all killing by a state (including politicide, genocide and mass murder), was coined by Prof. R.J. Rummel, who died March 2.

Democide matters, according to Rummel, who authored 24 books examining the murderous nature of the state, because of its mindboggling scope. It also matters because the antidote is freedom, which is best promoted, he thought, by democracy. In fact, he claimed that liberal democracies not only killed fewer people than authoritarian regimes, but that they simply do not wage war on one another—though the absolute nature of that claim sparked argument.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: democide; genocide; rummel; statists

1 posted on 05/13/2014 11:32:40 AM PDT by OddLane
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"The secret to happiness is freedom...
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2 posted on 05/13/2014 11:33:37 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: OddLane

Didn’t know he had passed. “Death by Government” and “Power Kills” are excellent.

3 posted on 05/13/2014 11:35:00 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: trisham

death by government is one of the most sobering and important works about how governments, freedom, and citizens intersect.

I had not realized Rummel had died.

4 posted on 05/13/2014 11:35:49 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: OddLane

RJ had his blind spots, but did great work for the cause of freedom.

5 posted on 05/13/2014 11:36:37 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: OddLane

In America, it has become apparent that the State is simply an instrument of Satan.

6 posted on 05/13/2014 11:38:35 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: OddLane

7 posted on 05/13/2014 11:39:50 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: Sherman Logan

What blind spots you thinking of? Can you elaborate?

8 posted on 05/13/2014 11:39:55 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I'd like to see the logic behind the number for colonialism.

The british, dutch, french, etc themselves were never present in any more than in relatively puny numbers in the areas they occupied.

9 posted on 05/13/2014 11:50:18 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: MrB

“In America, it has become apparent that the State is simply an instrument of Satan”

The state is inimical to the individual because organizations have no soul, no mercy, no human qualities whatsoever. But organizations are often in charge of a citizen’s welfare. As a case in point. Florida’s department of children and families has had in its “care” an average of 44,000 children since it was started in the early ‘70’s. They lost so many (as in could not find the children in their care) that an investigation was started. Numerous children in their “care” had been murdered and nobody had reported them missing. So, the state did what all organizations do when caught in incompetence. They reorganized and changed their name. At last count there were some 450 children unaccounted for.

Now, the people in the organization are (probably) not evil. But they do not have (as parents would) the welfare of the children as their goal. Organizations are about numbers and charts and goals, not souls.

10 posted on 05/13/2014 11:53:28 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: DesertRhino

I had an email discussion with him a few years back after he came out with his, to my mind, rather hyperbolic claim of 50M killed by “colonialists.”

He seems to have arrived at this number after reading about the well-known (to many) genocide in the Congo Free State, and then somehow extrapolating what happened there to all colonies.

Couple problems there.

The claim is made by him that many died in colonial forced labor. No doubt this is true. But the various kings and sultans who controlled these areas before the colonizers moved in were hardly averse to the use of forced labor. Seems to me that the appropriate number would not be those who died as a result of colonial forced labor, but rather the excess over previous governments or those that would have existed had the colonizers not moved in.

I also pointed out that he seemed to include deaths by “European” diseases (most of which are in origin either African or Asian). These deaths were not a consequence of colonialism, but rather of the merging of pathogen ecosystems, which would have happened from mere contact, if no colony had ever been set up. Also, for most of the colonial period nobody had a clue about what caused these diseases, much less how to prevent them.

Previous rulers of colonized areas had commonly engaged in warfare to the extent of their abilities, resulting in many deaths among their people. The colonizers stopped this. Surely the lives “saved” by these policies should have been credited against those debited against other colonial policies.

One of the few facts we have about colonization is that native populations almost uniformly exploded once the colony was in place. That’s hardly an indication of massive worsening of conditions.

RJ was very polite to me in our discussion, and agreed some of my contentions were valid. But he didn’t change his calculations.

Also, some of the numbers kicked around by RJ and others for Soviet democide just make no sense. The Soviet population, despite the purges, gulags and WWII, grew very nearly as fast as the American population from 1920 to 1950.

To me, that indicates the many tens of millions cited as murdered by some are likely to be hyperbolic to some extent.

11 posted on 05/13/2014 12:00:03 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: OddLane; Noumenon

12 posted on 05/13/2014 12:07:34 PM PDT by MileHi
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To: OddLane
Rummel's site is a great resource:

13 posted on 05/13/2014 12:08:28 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (The dogs bark; the caravan moves on!)
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To: MileHi

Great read. Bookmarked.

14 posted on 05/13/2014 1:42:01 PM PDT by bassmaner (Hey commies: I am a white male, and I am guilty of NOTHING! Sell your 'white guilt' elsewhere.)
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To: OddLane

When I hear idiot liberals complain about corporation I enjoy reminding them histories biggest murderers were governments.

15 posted on 05/13/2014 1:58:12 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: bassmaner
Great read.

It is. Thanks to Freeper Noumenon who wrote it.

16 posted on 05/13/2014 3:44:57 PM PDT by MileHi
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