Democide: When your Government Kills You

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 23, 2012

When the books of history are written and those books cite the greatest threats ever faced by humankind, they usually mention, war, famine, natural disasters, and so on, but those who write history books always forget the largest threat that has endangered humans in the last 100 years or so. This threat is Democide. Democide is the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder. Democide is not necessarily the elimination of entire cultural groups but rather groups within the country that the government feels need to be eradicated for political reasons and due to claimed future threats. This term seems to have been coined by political scientist R. J. Rummel, although it was apparently used 40 years earlier by Theodore Abel.

Rummel coined the term and this helped to account for the explicit murder of people through methods that weren’t necessarily inherent to genocide as it was understood. This meant that people who were killed in democidal actions weren’t really counted as having been killed by government. What a useful creation has this been. The fact that society has a term to measure the brutality of the State throughout the past century or more, makes it even clearer to review why the writers of history did not set up a proper way to measure their own crimes. Apparently, the “scholarly classes”, who have been almost always riding along with governments — in all shapes and forms — weren’t able to properly identify murder in the hands of the State. It took a political scientist — the term is credited to Rummel — , or a writer if you attributed it to Abel’s book The Sociology of Concentration Camps, Social Forces Vol. 30, No. 2 (Dec., 1951), pp. 150-155, to help us quantify mas murder by the State.

As it turns out, neither disease not hunger nor war are the main causes of mass murder, although in many cases these situations are also caused by out of control States — more on this later — Democide is. So let’s take a look at history to see how powerful, out-of-control States have killed not millions, but hundreds of millions of their citizens just because they could and how this turns them into the number one threat to human society. No other threat, natural or man-made has ever killed more people in the last century.

No matter how carefully I think about my college years and the courses I took in two different countries, I can’t remember ever hearing about Democide. I never even heard about the main cause of human death in the history of society. Although the following accounting only shows human death by government in the last 100 years, ancient history shows that Democide, despite its lack of identification, has been present throughout human existence. I don’t know of any record that kept tabs on how many people were killed by their own kings or pharaohs back then. The term Democide is so new, that it isn’t even recognized by my spell check tool.

Conservatively, Democide is responsible for the death of at least 262 million people. This figures account for people killed mostly during the 20th century, but also includes some from the 21st century. I’ll leave it to each reader to find a way to put this number in perspective, context or to measure it in their own terms in order to make sense of it. Right now, let’s go case by case in order to add up the millions of people killed by their own governments.

China alone killed 76,702,000 of its people between the years of 1949-1987. The country has been for many decades under the rule of the Communist Party, which is directly responsible for the oppression and murder of all of these people. Some say the Chinese rulers even show pride for their crimes and admit to them. Before Mao arrived to power, the Chinese rulers had already killed around 3,468,000 people.

The USSR, in power over a region that includes what we know today as Russia is responsible for murdering 61,911,000 of its citizens between the years of 1917-1987.

Western colonialists in recent history do not escape murder of people by the millions. The powers that control most of the world today, which launched conquest campaigns all over the planet killing locals and later their own citizens, are responsible for a total of 50,000,000 murders. Most of these happened in the 20th century, although the way things are going, there is no reason to think that these powerful forces will outdo themselves in the 21st century.

In the case of Germany, while the country was under the rule of Adolf Hitler between the years of 1933-1945, the government murdered a total of 20,946,000 people, most of whom were not Jews. Depending on what book or encyclopedia is consulted, the number of Jews murdered by Nazi mandate was about 6.000,000. So as abhorrent as the Jewish genocide seems, an even greater genocide happened to non-Jewish people under Hitler.

In the case of Japan, the country saw most of its Democide during the years of the monarchy, which was responsible for the murder of 5,964,000 people between the years of 1935-1945.

Meanwhile in Cambodia, infamous Pol Pot and his accomplices from the Khmer Rouge, who were put in place and funded by the US government, were responsible for killing 2,035,000 people between 1975-1979. This number was back then about a third of the Cambodian population. Maybe this number should be put under the American tab.

Murder by the Turkish government now comes into view. Between 1909-1918, Turkey murdered 1,883,000 of its own as well as Armenian people.

Vietnam came just short, murdering 1,670,000 people between 1945-1987.

In Europe, Poland also has its own massacre record. The government in there killed 1,585,000 people between 1945-1948.

Pakistan does not escape murder by the millions either. The repressive regimes that have ruled the country killed 1,503,000 people between 1958-1987.

The nation of Yugoslavia mostly under dictator Josip Broz Tito killed at least 1,072,000 people as accounted between 1944-1987.

In the lower but not less murderous places of history appear countries like North Korea, with 1,663,000 murdered people, Mexico with 1,417,000 killed and Russia with 1,072,000 murders.

As someone rightfully put it, Government is winning the war against humanity.

It is important to explain that the conservative total of 262,000,000 murders by government does not include the deaths of people who were direct victims of military actions — military casualties. Those would amount to some 88,000,000, taking the total to about 350 million deaths by Government action.

It is also extremely important to say that all of these murders by government happened under the premise that such action — Democide — was illegal. No government had ever claimed that Democide, under any circumstance was correct, moral or legal. Except that now the United States government has done such a thing. Under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, the US government has given itself the legal prerogative to murder any and however many of its citizens under the excuse of National Security.

If illegal Democide was able to end the lives of between 262,000,000 and 350,000,000 people in just a century or so, can you imagine what legalized Democide will be able to accomplish in the next 100 years?

If you are not shocked by now, please let me try one more time. The previous accounting of murder by government does not include secret government operations such as false-flag terror, sterilization campaigns, poisoning with chemicals in the food and water, laboratory-created disease and so on. That we’ll leave for another time.

By the way, the source for this article is called history.


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About Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda is an independent publication. It does not take money from Corporations, Foundations or Non-Governmental Organizations. It provides news reports in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese to reach a larger group of readers. Our news are not guided by any ideological, political or religious interest, which allows us to keep our integrity towards the readers.

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