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Death by Government - R. J. Rummel

Death by Government

R. J. Rummel

Transaction Publishers


This is my fourth book in a series on genocide and government mass murder - what I call democide. The previous works concentrated on the four regimes that have committed the most democide, specifically, the Soviet Union, nationalist China under Chiang Kai-shek, communist China, and Nazi Germany. This study includes the core results of those works in addition to all other cases of democide in this century up through 1987.

Given the extent and detail of these books, the reader may be surprised that the primary purpose was not to describe democide itself, but to determine its nature and scope in order to test the theory that democracies are inherently nonviolent. Democracies should have no wars between them, the least foreign violence and government-related or directed domestic violence (revolutions, coups, guerrilla war, and the like), and relatively little domestic democide. I have substantiated the war, foreign, and domestic violence parts of this theory in previous works and took up the research associated with this book and its three predecessors in order to test the democide component. As will be seen, the results here clearly and decisively show that democracies commit less democide than other regimes. These results also well illustrate the principle underlying all my findings on war, collective violence, and democide: The less freedom people have, the greater the violence; the more freedom, the less the violence. I offer this proposition here as the Power Principle: power kills, and absolute power kills absolutely.
 - from the Preface


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