One of his observation is that the more power you have, the more damage you can do. Not surprising, considering the biggest democides occurs in USSR and China, both are large countries.
But it might be more illuminating if we look at other measures as well. e.g.,
- the notorious Khmer Rouge and Rwanda fell quite low in his list in such measures
- the dictators will not succeed if there was not enough collaborators in their countries to carry out the orders or to act even without order (but with silent permission)
- if you are put into the location in the time involved, what is the chance that you are killed, and what is the chance that you would have killed another human being?
So I decided to look at another measure, murder per capita. This is not to say the whole nation commit murder collectively, instead, the theoretical basis is that the % of collaborator within its population is roughly the same across population. It is not a well supported assumption, but it is indicative to certain extent (and it assumes no cultural or racial difference of % people turning wicked and crazy).
I then used Rummel's figures, and did a very rough estimate of the population of these countries during the relevant period, by averaging the beginning and end period populations of these countries.
|Country||Demo -cide (k)||Pop (M)||Year||Murder /cap|
A few notes
- This is an incomplete list based only on Professor Rummel's table, he did not include the 1M or so killed in Rwanda. I am also curious as to why Korea War was labeled "suspect", perhaps because the numbers was too hard to verify
- This is a very rough esstimate, considering error in both number killed and also in averaging the population base
- I used "murder/cap" as a measure, because most of the cases occurred within a generation. The population base for USSR might be bigger if we count across generations, but I suppose most of the deaths are from 1924-1953, i.e., Stalin era.
- The numbers do not include indirect kills, such as famine in Great Leap Forward, and the famine and wounded death of civilian under German and Japanese occupation, or German/Japanese soldiers/civilians who were killed by allies, but the ultimate responsibility should be shouldered by the war aggressors
- Including 32M died in Great Leap forward, CCP's murder per head is 10.9%, immense for such a huge country
- Indirect death (including famine death and those killed by CCP/KMT resistance) during the Japanese invasion in 1937-45 in China, according to Rummel was(line 143) 19.605M, 5 times the direct death of 3.949M inflicted by Japanese army; If we assume the same proportion for SE Asia, the total democide would be 5x5.964=29.82M; i.e. 47.3 death per 100, so Japan (and Germany) topped USSR if including indirect death
- Indirect death inflicted by German (Russians killed) probably need to multiplied by a similar factor
- Some argued that Nazi German is much worse than fascist Japan, we can quantify it now. Nazi is about twice as worse than fascist Japan, and fascist Japan probably beat fascist Italy by a much larger factor because Italy did not make the top 10 list by Rummel
- Some of the death occurs during the process of self defense, e.g. KMT (China) conscripts died in the process of movement and desertion during Japanese invasion; and America/France were repsonsible for many of Vietnam's death. Some of the USSR kills should probably be counted on Hitler's bill by similar reasoning
- Arguably CCP and KMT could be grouped together under China. I followed Rummel's classification because most of the KMT kills was before 1949 (though it continues in Taiwan, but the population base was much smaller), and CCP kills were after 1949. So the crimes were commited by different generations.
Here are a few obseravtions
- USSR (under Stalin) tops the list, on average a 100 people killed 44, mostly their own people, followed by Khmer Rouge's Cambodia
- If we do not limit the numbers to 20th century, Ghenghis Khan may top the list, because the Mongolian population is much smalled than those they killed
- Turkish surprised me by making #4, I guess it is the Amernian genocide, civil war, plus hte first world war (for which the population base should probably be much larger).
- The biggest muder on its own people are from dictatorships such as USSR, Cambodia and CCP
- The biggest threat to neighbors are Germany (24/100 direct, perhaps 100 or 120 for indirect kills) and Japan (9.5/100 for direct and 47.3 for indirect kills)
- If we accept that the German had sincerely reflected, it makes Japan the most dangerous aggressor and threat to its neighbors
- On average, about one in every 2 Japanese is responsible for the death of one person. If we assume the women basically did not participate in the killing, then on average every one man in Japan living between 1937-1945 was responsible for a death, indirectly
- But the above is only an indicator for you to see the scale of the horror, because many Japanese men (maybe 50-70%) did not participate in the war and those who did each scored an average of 2 or 3 death
- This does not include the innocent death (and indirect death) in Hiroshima/ Nagasaki, or the Tokyo firebombs, because Tojo and his collaborators should ne held responsible, not America. It would top the 29.82M number up to around 30-31M
- The millions of death in Russo-Japanese war in 1905 was also not counted, but that likely involves a different generation of criminals.
These are horrible things. We should never let them happen again.