Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Power kills; absolute Power kills absolutely. This new Power Principle is the message emerging from my previous work on the causes of war and from this book on genocide and government mass murder—what I call democide—in [the 20th] century. The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects. The more constrained the power of governments, the more power is diffused, checked and balanced, the less it will aggress on others and commit democide. At the extremes of Power, totalitarian communist governments slaughter their people by the tens of millions; in contrast, many democracies can barely bring themselves to execute even serial murderers.
Death by government in the 20th century cost 169 million lives. That’s at least four times more people killed by their own governments than by war. In the 20th century 38 million lives—both military and civilian—were lost in all conflicts combined.