Skip to comments.A Moment for the Late R.J. Rummel, Who Documented the Murderous Nature of Government
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 anotherthough the absolute nature of that claim sparked argument.
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
"The secret to happiness is freedom...
And the secret to freedom is courage."
Didn’t know he had passed. “Death by Government” and “Power Kills” are excellent.
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.
RJ had his blind spots, but did great work for the cause of freedom.
In America, it has become apparent that the State is simply an instrument of Satan.
What blind spots you thinking of? Can you elaborate?
The british, dutch, french, etc themselves were never present in any more than in relatively puny numbers in the areas they occupied.
“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.
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.
Great read. Bookmarked.
When I hear idiot liberals complain about corporation I enjoy reminding them histories biggest murderers were governments.
It is. Thanks to Freeper Noumenon who wrote it.