“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
– Gen. George Washington (disputed quotation)
By definition, government is the only social institution that maintains a monopoly on the use of coercive force. One could think of the State as the collective ideological delusion promulgated by a gaggle of individual humans who mistakenly believe that they know better how to run your life than you do, and they have not hesitated to enforce their subjective preferences upon you and your family. They are willing to say and do anything in order to get what they want, regardless of whom is abused or injured along the way.
Since government is indeed “a dangerous servant,” even in the best of times with the most limited of powers, then why would any rational creature advocate for its centralized expansion in any way, shape, or form? Most sycophantic statists I’ve come across (you know the type, such as your neighbors who don’t have a direct financial incentive in perpetuating tyrannical government, but verbally support it because that is what they were conditioned to believe during their early formative years in the government indoctrination centers) always inevitably fall back on the baseless assertion that since the government provides “services,” the body politic must offer its allegiance, lest they be perceived by their fellow man as “unpatriotic,” or even as “terroristic” criminal extremists (or whatever the latest Establishment lingo for political dissidents happens to be this week). They never seem to realize that their championing of the warfare–welfare State is their moral sanction for the “fearful master” who is, in fact, directly responsible for the nature of the situation we are all suffering under.
Democide, by definition, is death by government; democide is the logical and inevitable end of statism, regardless of its specific flavor. This is why it is so pivotally important for political dissidents to first, speak out and publicly repudiate tyrannical government; should that prove itself to fail in securing their Liberties, dissidents still reserve, under both their own individual natural liberty and the (albeit collective) right of revolution, to resist by whatever means necessary. If there is to be any principled resistance to tyrants, then the Lockean triad of life, liberty, and property (as the necessary prerequisites for the Jeffersonian pursuit of happiness) must be held as sacrosanct, especially against central banking (as evidenced by taxes, inflation, and debt), the police state (including, but certainly not limited to, unconstitutional regulations, mass incarceration, and rampant licensure), and particularly democide (which has a tendency to target martially weaker individuals and their families).
The author primarily focuses on documenting and calculating the civilian mortalities caused by government, chiefly during the 20th century. According to Rummel, there are the “lesser” megamurderers (19,178,000 dead), the suspected megamurderers, (4,145,000 dead) and the dekamegamurderers (128,168,000 dead). Not counting the pre-20th century democide estimated total of over 133,147,000 dead, Rummel’s breakdown by country is as follows (from the least to the greatest estimated number of civilians murdered by “their” governments):
Feudal Russia (possibly 1,066,000 murdered)
Mexico, 1900 – 1920 (possibly 1,417,000 murdered)
North Korea, creation to present day (possibly 1,663,000 murdered)
Yugoslavia, 1944 – 1987 (1,072,000 murdered)
Pakistan, 1969 – 1971 (1,503,000 murdered)
Poland, 1945 – 1950 (1,585,000 murdered)
Vietnam, 1945 – 1987 (1,670,000 murdered)
Turkey, 1900 – 1923 (1,883,000 murdered)
Cambodia, 1970 – 1980 (2,035,000 murdered)
Japan, 1937 – 1945 (5,964,000 murdered)
Chinese nationalists, 1927 – 1949 (10,214,000 murdered)
German national socialists, 1939 – 1945 (20,946,000 murdered)
Chinese communists, 1949 – 1987 (35,236,000 murdered)
Russian communists, 1917 – 1987 (61,911,000 murdered)
Just considering the sheer numbers of corpses here, I would like to point out that the Second Sino-Japanese War and its aftermath must have been a real doozy for the Chinese population to suffer through. Considering that initially, the Chinese nationalists had an on-again, off-again uneasy alliance with their communist counterparts because they were both trying to resist the Japanese, the Chinese people were blatantly lied to that they must support the nationalists and/or the communists, because if they don’t, the Japanese will “get” them. Of course, history demonstrated that the communists and the nationalists, even in a mutually exclusive sense, were a far greater danger than the “invader” Japanese ever were to the Chinese people. Such is the nature of statism, always inventing foreign boogeyman as if they were the genuine threat, whereas the actual truth is (to paraphrase Adam Kokesh) that, “the enemy is not to be found in the sands of some far off land, but right here at home.”
I must admit that I became emotionally distraught while reading these detailed case studies, especially those of the Armenians and the Cambodians. For once, I had to stop reading on multiple occasions, not because I was tired or bored (as is usually the case when I am preparing these book reports), but because I could literally hear my blood pressure in my skull, as well as the fact that each time I had to stop reading, my visual perception of time actually slowed down; in the past, that had only happened when I was involved in either a schoolyard-type fisticuffs scuffle or a police encounter. Besides imagining how the torture-murder of innocent people was carried out (as per Rummel’s descriptions), and after my emotions had settled down a bit from its roller-coaster ride, the only thing I could contemplate (or feel, if at all, for that matter) was that if I was there in the midst of each of these truly indescribable atrocities, what would I have done, tactically and strategically, to take out the enemy rebel government forces? Needless to say, any well-meaning dissident who makes the claim that the Establishment is literally invulnerable is not only fear-mongering (at least unwittingly) on behalf of the tyrants who “equally” oppress us all, but also demonstrates his blatant incompetence with regards to taking self-defense seriously.
R. J. Rummel’s Death by Government is a terrifically detailed work on the often overlooked phenomenon of democide. If only the American body politic understood that with statism, at some point, the tyrants will forcibly impose (at least partial) firearms registration; anyone with even a small amount of historical knowledge knows that such registration is a necessary prelude towards citizen disarmament (statists call this kind of registration, mala prohibita legal statutes that attempt to limit the private ownership of firearms, and likely future confiscation of them, as “gun control”), and that once such disarmament has been formally declared and/or carried out, then democide is the logical end point. If contemporary Americans understood, as the Founding Fathers did, that with the individual natural liberty of self-defense (and it’s collective version, the right of revolution) and of free association comes the subsequent organizing of martial capability, as evidenced by the formation of the various Committees of Safety and their subordinate militia units during the 1760s and 1770s, which were necessary in order to secure their Liberties. I advise all of you to seriously contemplate on what Rod Taylor said back in 1996:
“Remember, America is about liberty, first and last, not obedience to bureaucrats. The Washington power clique want you shut up, get in line, do what you’re told to do, and most outrageously, think what you’ve been told to think. We have hundreds of politicians and thousands of lobbyist groups crawling all over Washington thinking of ways to control you, to extend their will over you, to subvert your freedom, and to replace it with their will; to capture, that is, to steal your life force, and so we should be very angry, because anger is the engine that drives our will to resist, and without resistance, without awareness, they will take it all. It’s not just politically perverse, it’s a sin against mankind, because freedom is actually sacred.”
Has democide already happened here in America? Will democide occur in the near future? I honestly don’t know, but I sure hope not. What I do know though, is that until the mainline American public begins to take their Liberty seriously, everyone who happens to live here are essentially sitting ducks just waiting to be wholesale slaughtered at the first politically convenient moment. I don’t want that to happen, and neither should any of you.