Communism Killed 94M in 20th Century, Feels Need to Kill Again

A part of the infographic showing communism's 94M deathsInformation is BeautifulAccording to a disturbingly pleasant graphic from Information is Beautiful entitled simply 20th Century Death, communism was the leading ideological cause of death between 1900 and 2000. The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.

During the century measured, more people died as a result of communism than from homicide (58 million) and genocide (30 million) put together. The combined death tolls of WWI (37 million) and WWII (66 million) exceed communism’s total by only 9 million.

It gets worse when you look at the lower right of the chart—The Natural World—which includes animals (7 million), natural disasters (24 million), and famine (101 million). Curiously, all of the world’s worst famines during the 20th century were in communist countries: China (twice!), the Soviet Union, and North Korea. 

Communism is a killer. And yet some still say they support the idea: According to a 2011 Rasmussen poll, 11% of Americans think that communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    That's nothing compared to all the people killed by the cruelty of KKKAPITALIZZZZZZZZZZZZMZZZZ!!!11!!!ELEVEN!!

  • np||

    Word! lack of free health care, free food, free shelter. All the things we need as community to prosper. Capitalism kills!!!

    /commie

  • ||

    300,000 people die each year due to lack of access to healthcare!

    //progtard

  • grey||

    Since they are making up facts, you can just add a zero or two, or even more than the actual population.

  • ZbOROVAN||

    Nothing is free.

  • Doctor Whom||

    None of those countries were ever run by true Scotsmen Christians communists.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Leftists clocking in to claim capitalism killed more people in 3...2...

  • Muzzle of Bees||

    Check the Facebook post . Fuckin' A.

  • RBS||

    The comments to reason Facebook posts are always terrible.

  • Irish||

    An additional 100-200 million people were killed by capitalism from 1600's to the 1800's (US civil war, imperialism of Africa, genocide of aboriginals in North America, South America and Australia, mercantilism, et)

    - From Facebook

    Hahahaha. He literally uses the word 'mercantilism' in his post and still tries to claim that we were capitalistic from 1600-1800. That's just glorious.

  • Irish||

    Neither the Soviet Union nor Red China nor North Korea were communist. No state has really kept the ideals of communism. It literally hasen't been attempted yet. Merely a bunch of totalitarian states that gave lip service to communism/socialism.

    I really want to try this with Fascism and see what liberals do. 'Guys, it's not that fascism is so bad. It's just that no one has held to the real ideals of fascism. We've merely had a bunch of totalitarian states that gave lip service to the glory of National Socialism, but it hasn't really been tried.'

  • RBS||

    Hahaha, go for it.

  • ||

    How many chances do they get to be a true Scotsman?

    I hope I never have to try to live through another attempt.

  • ||

    Try this one:

    Actually Capitalism cannot, by definition, 'kill' anyone, as it's essential element is voluntarism. It is based purely on ownership of property and free exchange. Uniquely among all 'systems' it insists that coercion is NOT acceptable and all economic activity has to be by free choice. Naturally this will result in outcomes that displease some, who will, in some cases, seek remedies based in force or the threat of force: which is where communism, socialism, (not to mention the DNC and GOP, to a somewhat lesser degree...) &etc; come from. Under a capitalist system you may die, but you cannot be killed by the capitalist system itself.....
  • InlineSkate||

    The stupid really does hurt.

  • Sam Grove||

    State operated "defense" is a socialist program.

  • hotsy totsy||

    That's because he's is an idiot.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Mercantilism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive term.

    In fact, capitalism was coined by Marx as a derogatory shorthand for advanced mercantilism.

  • ||

    I am wondering why communism and US war/deaths and fascism are separated out.

    Shouldn't they all be under a left wing ideology category?

  • Outlaw||

    According to a 2011 Rasmussen poll, 11% of Americans think that communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system.

    Oh fuck.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    wuddya mean?

    Thats about 10% better than I thought it'd be.

    20% of people will usually beleive just about anything, no matter how fucking stupid it is. So this is really more like a -9%. That's pretty good.

  • Sevo||

    "20% of people will usually beleive just about anything, no matter how fucking stupid it is."

    When Nixon's polls dropped to the high twenties, this was commonly suggested.
    Dunno if it's proven, but it sure seems 'bout right.

  • Calidissident||

    It's depressing when you consider that it's possibly higher than the number of libertarians in the country (depending on the inclusiveness of your definition of libertarian)

  • Almanian!||

    This is why effectively there are no libertarians in this country.

    /trying to make the meme work

  • Bobarian||

    there are a lot of people who don't know they're libertarian

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And yet have been convinced that libertarianism is evil, right wing nuttery.

  • Bobarian||

    Absolutely!

  • RBS||

    As they say, libertarianism happens to you. I think this is true in many ways. I wasn't a libertarian until I worked for a congressman and realized how fucking retarded and useless our government is. Some people it happens when the state confiscates their "guilty" property or kills their dogs.

  • sarcasmic||

    It happened to me when my employer shut its doors due to a stupid law (I was a cook at a non-smoking restaurant with mediocre food and the city banned smoking in all restuarants), and my lease was up in the same month.

    The result was my becoming homeless.

    I thought government would help me. I mean, that's what I was taught in the public schools. That government is there to help everyone.

    Well I soon discovered that if I was going to get any help, I'd have to become completely dependent. I was working too much. I had had picked up a second job in an effort to put money into the bank. I was told that I'd have to quit one and scale back the hours on the one I kept. That was just to be put in line. I'd have to wait before any actual "help" came.
    Then I'd have to keep my income down in order to continue to receive benefits.
    But I had this crazy idea that I should always be trying to improve my life. Not to reduce myself to stagnant dependency. I told them to screw. Took me six months of sofa surfing before I saved enough money for first/last/deposit.
    Needless to say, that was the moment I become a libertarian. I didn't know it at the time, but that was the moment.

  • Teaching Student||

    For me, it was watching some of my extended family take advantage of the system. While I did everything "right," yet was still barely scraping by, they were getting Housing, Food, Extra Money... all for having multiple kids out of wedlock, not working, doing drugs, and drinking too much alcohol.

  • General Butt Naked||

    ...and drinking too much alcohol.

    Un-possible.

  • Sevo||

    I remember being asked how I came to be libertarian. I remember being confused; why would you favor other than liberty?
    IOWs, why were you not libertarian?

  • Ruckus||

    I think I was always a libertarian and just didn't know it.

    I was in college when 9/11 happened, followed by the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, Iraq war propaganda, etc, etc. I remember just being appalled by the fact that being a coward, willingly giving up liberty, and embracing the fear was the popular narrative. So I went to the only place on campus that was talking about the same issues I was concerned with, the Young Democrats Org. That lasted all of 2 meetings before I realized I was dealing with socialists.

    So I wondered aimlessly for several years until youtube came around, and I was able to see this kooky guy named Ron Paul talk, sometime in '06. That guided me to other literature, media, and ideas to the present day state of permanent rage.

  • ||

    It happened to me when I realized, equipped with just a basic grounding in economics, and a willingness to apply it rigorously, that I could make accurate predictions of what would happen that completely contradict what governments and politicians would say would happen.

    The latest example was Obamacare, but the coffin was already nailed shut on believing asshats in power by that point. I remember telling my liberal friends in 2009 that Obamacare was going to jack prices of medicine and insurance up, just by applying the law of supply and demand, without making special pleading exceptions for health care and insurance. They, and the government, assured me that this is not the case.

    Now, I get to read the 2013 Time magazine health care issue article, which, in great detail, explains how Obamacare doesn't really have any cost-saving measures, and actually makes costs rise.

    No shit! Really?!? Where was their ability to do any fucking analysis 3 years ago? Oh, that's right: they head their head too far up progressive fantasy asses for that.

    Watching the government is like watching insanity: people doing the same things over and over again, expecting different results.

  • Calidissident||

    As I said, that's why it depends on how broadly you define the term "libertarian"

  • entropy||

    You've got a point. Communism is about as popular as Congress.

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

    Well, what else was on the ballot? It might be fun to see how many think fascism would serve the country better.

  • Hyperion||

    According to a 2011 Rasmussen poll, 11% of Americans think that communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system.

    Well, the real problem is that 50% just think that the government should take other peoples stuff and give it to them. And they don't even know what communism is, or care, as long as their getting their free stuff.

  • Torontonian||

    Shouldn't most of the wars be lumped into the "ideology" category?

    Why aren't WW2 deaths being included in the totals for fascism and communism?

  • Teaching Student||

    Then you'd be double, triple, quadruple counting individual deaths... maybe.

  • ||

    Torontonian:

    Why aren't WW2 deaths being included in the totals for fascism and communism?

    It might be because, when people die in war, it's hard to separate that as being killed by ideology vs. being killed by stupid asshats in power who come up with a great idea to start screwing around with their military and breaking people's stuff.

    That tendency seems to cross ideological boundaries, when it comes to state power.

  • ||

    I would like to know why air pollution is under humanity yet infectious diseases are not.

  • Paul.||

    Because those go under the Bush category.

    Which reminds me, where is the Boooosh! category?

  • Bobarian||

    That's the white area. The biggest sub-category is 'people Cheney shot, strangled, or waterboarded to death'

  • Zeb||

    Probably because disease is not man made but air pollution is. People do a lot to make particular diseases widespread, butI think it is a reasonable distinction.

  • Irish||

    One of the guys in the comment section has a good point:

    A great example of the inherent complications of analyzing this data. How much famine is the result of natural causes as opposed to humanity or war or...?

    Since there has never been a legitimate famine in a capitalist democracy, you could easily make the argument that this graph actually undersells the number of dead from communism and fascism. I'm sure there are a shitload of famines that have killed millions of people which wouldn't have been possible without terrible economic systems.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Famine has never occurred in a liberal democratic system with a reasonably free press.

  • Agammamon||

    You could make a strong arguement (and some have) that no famine in the 20th century was natural - all man-made.

  • sarcasmic||

    The only reason most anyone in the world goes hungry these days is because their government does not allow economic liberty.

  • RBS||

    I saw some post on facebook today about how humans have ruined the world. The evidence for this was the fact that people in Sudan are starving.

  • pmains||

    Cambodian killing fields don't make the list?

  • Jordan||

    Yeah, I was wondering about that. Seems like a pretty glaring omission.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Cambodian killing fields were "only" about 2.5 million people. It was about a quarter of the population, but Cambodia didn't have a big population.

  • pmains||

    There are smaller massacres listed, including 2M in North Korea. This is an oversight.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Khmer Rouge is linked to Genocide.

  • pmains||

    Oh, weird. Linked to genocide but not to communism?

  • ||

    They must assume that you're guilty of genocide when you take communism that far.

    I mean, come on, who does that? Clearly that's not true communism.

  • Slammer||

    Jellyfish ain't no joke

  • Jordan||

    Scorpions will fuck you up.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    They will also make you rock!

  • Almanian!||

    Rock will love you.

    No, wait - love will rock you...

  • sarcasmic||

    Like a hurricane!

  • Mr. Soul||

    There's calm in your eyes.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Also capitalism killed life on Mars.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I thought they killed life on mars because it was a shitty show?

  • ||

    I enjoyed the British one.

  • Sevo||

    hotsy totsy| 3.13.13 @ 6:42PM |#
    "Also capitalism killed life on Mars."

    Hey, those Martians just died while they were polishing my monocle and brushing my top hat!

  • Paul.||

    Think of the unfunded pension obligations had those 94 million not been killed.

    Once you start seeing it that way, Communism was ultimately quite compassionate.

  • ||

    Curiously, all of the world’s worst famines during the 20th century were in communist countries: China (twice!), the Soviet Union, and North Korea.

    Dust bowl kills no significant numbers...yet famine in communist countries kills 10s of millions....I don't find that curious at all.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Didn't anybody die of old age?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    no, silly.
    people are killed by their governments.

  • Rich||

    "Selected major causes", indeed.

    "Stupidity" is another one conspicuous by its absence.

  • Sevo||

    "Curiously, all of the world’s worst famines during the 20th century were in communist countries: China (twice!), the Soviet Union, and North Korea."

    The compilers are being less than honest; these deaths (101 million) are the result of communism just as those who were murdered by bullets, clubs, or worked to death.
    So, unless I'm missing something, the communist death count is 195M.

  • ||

    I guess they felt that criminal negligence by government policies should be separated from active executions via death squads or Gulag.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Apparently the huge 27 million deaths famine in China in 1959 to 1961 WAS actually by Mao's policies, not negligence or incompetence.

  • ||

    Right, but regardless of how stupid Mao was you can argue that he did not intend for 27 million people to die from famine. This is in contrast to the active purging of people during the Culture Revolution, hence the distinction.

    It doesn't make him less evil, it is just something that should be separated so we get an idea of what caused what.

  • prolefeed||

    Not intending something to happen does not mean that one's actions somehow did not cause what they caused.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Although recent evidence suggests that Mao actually DID intend for all those 27 million to die (and perhaps more). Which is why R J Rummel upgraded Mao to the world's #1 mass murderer.

  • Sevo||

    Similarly, the Ukranian famine in the 30s was a specific, stated result of Stalin's policies.

  • Tybus||

    Nope, death is a market solution to a lack of production for those sick fucks.

  • InlineSkate||

    When you tell a progtard communism failed they shout back and say true communism wasn't tried. When you see numbers like this you can't help but wonder what the numbers would be if it were.

    On a funny note though. These same progressives will scream about the failures of a free market. Despite the fact that it was also never tried.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Or that communism wasn't allowed to function because the US was always undermining them.

  • Ruckus||

    Everytime I hear that I just think back to Milton Friedman's Free To Choose series, where he told someone (paraphrasing):

    "I've never met a liberal who didn't think their programs would have worked perfectly if only they had more money and the right people in charge. Where are you going to find these angels from heaven to run society for you?"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I blame the Kochs.

  • Gibsmedat||

    Who cares...We want free shit!!!

  • Sevo||

    Gibsmedat| 3.13.13 @ 7:02PM |#
    "Who cares...We want free shit!!!"

    And we don't care who dies so we can get it!

  • Doctor Whom||

    Here's an interesting bit for the drug warriors: Of the 115M drug deaths, 100M were from tobacco, one of the "good" drugs. Only 6.5M were from illegal drugs.

  • ||

    Prohibition works! There's your proof!

  • Muzzle of Bees||

    He really walked right into that one.

  • Sevo||

    "100M were from tobacco"
    Some numbers start the BS meter rising and this is one.
    "Tabacco-related Deaths" often seem to include 'he got run over by a truck, but he smoked'.

  • sarcasmic||

    Whenever a smoker dies, smoking was the cause.

  • Sevo||

    It's sort of like working "Climate Change" into the title of the grant request.
    How ya gonna make a living if you don't go with the flow?

  • ||

    Where is death by being in Australia?

  • ||

    Communism.

  • SumpTump||

    Sounds like some pretty serious smack dude. Wow.

    www.EliteAnon.tk

  • ||

    Well said, TiggyFoo.

  • Dan Bongard||

    I'm not sure what to make of the 14m total for "wars fought by United States in the name of democracy 1945-1999".

  • Bobarian||

    That's about the right number of Vietnamese and Koreans/Chinese killed in the two hot conflicts from that period.

  • Sevo||

    Dunno.
    Technically, the Korean War ("Police Action") was fought by the UN.

  • UCrawford||

    Yes, but it was really done at the behest of the U.S. to prevent Soviet expansion into and control of the entire Korean peninsula to prevent the Soviets from destabilizing Japan's new government. So while technically a U.N. action, it was actually a U.S. one. But it wasn't to spread democracy...Truman was quite clear that the point of the war was not to liberate North Korea. It was about containment of communism.

  • Dan Bongard||

    Sure, but we were on the defending side in both wars. North Vietnam and North Korea were the invading forces.

    If we get the blame there, why not blame us for the western European theater's WW2 deaths, too?

  • Gadianton||

    How many of the 194m lost to malaria should be under ideology? If they're going to break out 3m because of the Catholic Church's condom edicts, how many of the malaria deaths should be blamed on the environmental movement's war on DDT?

  • pmains||

    It blows my mind that I can talk to environmental activists, and they're completely aware DDT hysteria has been show to be baseless. Yet, when I talk to friends and neighbors, they haven't gotten the memo.

  • cavalier973||

    The condom edicts almost got my great uncle.

  • Brandybuck||

    The condom edicts have my puzzled. Does it refer to AIDs related deaths? Childbirth related deaths? Mad Cardinals poisoning condoms? Vatican run gulags for prophylactic users?

    What about all the deaths due to sacred cow edicts by Hinduism?

    It taints the whole diagram, now I suspect all the categories. I want to see the data.

  • ojfltx||

    I am actually surprised that the number is only 94 million. I thought it would be more than that.

  • Sevo||

    See famine deaths noted up-thread. Pretty sure you are correct; the authors are being 'kind'.

  • Almanian!||

    Wondering where they categorized "abortion". Or did they decide "fetuses aren't people" so they don't count as people deaths or something.

    Dunno. Just wondering - not grinding an axe either way.

  • ||

    I'm glad they didn't though as it would distract from the communism part. People would just assume the source is biased for everything else.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I wanna know how many good, honest Americans have died from starvation after a damned dirty anchorbaby stole their job.

    It's gotta be in the billions, at least.

  • cavalier973||

    8 million, under "Maternal Conditions", which is part of "Health Complications"

  • cavalier973||

    This was a response to the abortion question.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Just what I'd expect from a mexican-apologist, cosmotarian like yourself.

  • Almanian!||

    Also, diseases of all sorts for the fucking WIN! Man, they got no fucking mercy. We should all be bowing down to the almighty microbe/bacteria/virus/microscopic organism OF DEATH!

    Fucking RULES.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You should read Greg Bear's Vitals, if you haven't already. There's even a cameo appearance by somebody related to this blog post.

  • Dweebston||

    We DO bow down, or haven't you ever had some variant of influenza? Bowed down and over the porcelain throne in penitence for our hubris.

  • cavalier973||

    Wait--AIDS/HIV isn't an STD?

  • ||

    Bit more complicated than that. It has multiple vectors of infection. IV drug use, blood transfusions and contact with blood during birth all being common in the 20th century.

  • mmmbetter55@gmail.com||

    This, like most every other knee-jerk reaction to "Communism", fails to acknowledge that in NO PLACE by which we judge the idea has Communism ever actually existed! Communism is not a system that is possible to impose upon a society, for it's very definition requires that the populace should mutually agree and implement that system- but this was NOT the case in Soviet Russia, nor in Vietnam, nor N. Korea, nor even China. Moreso, now China's "communism" is transforming into the mere tool and breadbasket of Capitalism, providing cheap production and few, if any, environmental or safety regulations.

    It simply isn't fair to place the deaths of those millions at the feet of an idea if the tenets of that idea are not exemplified by those who suppose to adopt it. Mao was not a real communist, nor Stalin. They were indeed dictators, tyrants and murderers, as this graphic suggests, but they should not be allowed the moniker of Communist (with a big "C") if we care at all about the sanctity of those words and the ideas they entail.

    Further, as others have suggested, this infographic seems to ignore outright the deadly, if tertiary or obscure effects of Capitalism on the social and natural environment.

  • Irish||

    Everything in your post is stupid.

  • Sevo||

    Irish| 3.13.13 @ 10:25PM |#
    "Everything in your post is stupid."
    Nope:
    "Communism is not a system that is possible to impose upon a society, for it's very definition requires that the populace should mutually agree and implement that system- "
    That isn't srupid, and it's interesting that mmm continues to defend it after admitting it's a chimera.

  • General Butt Naked||

    for it's very definition requires that the populace should mutually agree and implement that system

    No. Communism is defined by its creators, who never said anything about 100% agreement among the populace. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Unless you have your own definition of communism that falls outside of the philosophy laid down by Marx and Engels.

  • Irish||

    Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!

    - Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto.

    Let the ruling classes tremble. So I guess it wasn't going to be voluntary for anyone deemed to be in the 'ruling class.' Even Marx admitted it could only be attained through violence and government control. Commies are delusional.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Marx wasn't a real communist!

  • UCrawford||

    No True Scotsman fallacy!!! :)

  • ||

    Hm. No more enthusiastic about communism than you are, but I don't see anything in there that implies coercion. Let's see: bourgeoisie fear of revolution.... proles becoming free.... "winning" the world.... and being united. Nothing about those that necessarily means coercion, though the sentences don't prohibit it either.

  • Irish||

    Communism is not a system that is possible to impose upon a society, for it's very definition requires that the populace should mutually agree and implement that system

    - The Commie up above

    You may be right that I was too strong in my denunciation of that particular comment, but the fact that he is saying 'let the ruling classes tremble' at the very least shows that the populace wouldn't 'mutually agree.' At best it would be the lower classes subjugating the upper classes and taking their property. I don't know how else you can read that or how else anyone can imagine Communism being implemented in a real world scenario.

  • ||

    I always thought it was intended as a social revolution. After all, if the proles are no longer working for the ruling classes, how will they be able to maintain their lifestyles? Without forcing them to, they wouldn't have much choice except to start trading their material goods, and eventually, means of production away to the burgeoning communist revolution. It was only if the bourgies tried to use violence to maintain the status quo would the proles use violence in return.

    As to your last sentence, I DON'T imagine communism being implemented in a real world scenario. It sort of baffles me how Marx could so completely overlook how much a part of human nature a desire for ownership, competition, and recognition are. Even if we could be rid of those things, I rather like them. Not only do I enjoy those qualities on an aesthetic level, I think we are BETTER for them, not worse.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Why would you read Marx like that? It makes no sense.

    So, in a stalemate between the rich and poor the poor will be able to hold out longer? People like to endow Marx with negative attributes, but he wasn't that fucking stupid.

  • ||

    Except that's how he seemed to think. The capitalists could only keep their place on top because the proles buy into the capitalistic system of exploitation. When they stop playing by those rules and start cooperating according to need rather than desire, they'll win by virtue of numbers. It's hard to get anything done if the masses decline to participate in money-making schemes.

    A communist would probably see unions as a way of doing this; that as the proletariat revolution gets further underway, more and more of the proletarian population would join unions, preventing the capitalists from getting anything done without capitulating to union (proletarian) demands.

    I am under no illusion this would ever happen, but yes I believe he thought it could happen peacefully. From his perspective on society, it made sense.

  • General Butt Naked||

    If you read Das Kapital he makes some allusions to a peaceful, natural transfer of the means of production as a consequence of history. But most of his other writings either explicitly or implicitly advocate violence. Besides, the quote above furnished by Irish leaves out the most important sentences to the conversation here:

    The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.

    I think that one would have to perform some sort of mental gymnastics to believe these are the words of a pacifist.

    The argument that your making seems the stuff of an overfed humanities professor trying to convert white kids without calling for the murder of his benefactors, the kids' parents.

  • ||

    The argument that your making seems the stuff of an overfed humanities professor trying to convert white kids without calling for the murder of his benefactors, the kids' parents

    Nope. Didn't get that from anyone arguing in favor of communism. The only arguments I've actually seen or heard in favor of communism were not exactly peaceful in nature. Just the impression I'd gathered from bits of different stuff of his I've read or read about. Never read the full Manifesto or Das Kapital or any of that though, I'm not some big reader of Marx or anything.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Didn't get that from anyone arguing in favor of communism.

    Sorry, didn't mean to paint you that way, but I actually have heard the "Marx/Stalin/Castro/etc were actually for peaceful social justice" argument in school.

    As for not reading Marx, you should. Most people that are progressives or liberals nowadays don't have a understanding of the philosophical grounding to the ideas they parrot, but the "idea" people of the left use Marxist theory to formulate the policies they advocate. Knowing these underpinnings can only be beneficial to the opposition.

    Not only that, but you'll see intellectuals, pundits, professors, etc using a Marxist view of history and terminology in their arguments ever so slyly. I can't tell you how many times I've taken a class and the professor says something like, "This is how history/writing/ideas/philosophy evolves..." as if it comes from high on the mountain, but without an explanation of the idea's provenance. When, in reality, it'll be an almost direct quote from Marxist literature. The kids, in their awe of old learned people, eat that shit up without question.

  • Irish||

    I've read Das Kapital, 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte and the Communist Manifesto, basically for the same reasons Butt Naked just mentioned. If you read the quotes people normally parrot out about Marx, it's relatively easy not to see him as not being all that violent. If you actually read any of his work at length though, he comes as close as possible to explicitly advocating a violent takeover of the government, while just skirting the issue enough to get away with it.

    Especially when you consider that the actual implementation of Marxist ideas would be utterly impossible without taking property or land from capitalists, who hardly seem likely to just give it up. It's implicit that you'd have to use violent means to defeat the 'privileged classes.'

    As for Butt Naked's point about people still trotting out Marxist lines without citing them to Marx, that happens in virtually all identity politics. It doesn't matter if you're talking about hard core black separatists or neofeminists, they both talk about 'false consciousnesses' and use other Marxist style terminology. They just replace 'capitalists' with 'white people' or 'men.'

  • General Butt Naked||

    What concerns me, in education, is not so much the in-your-face identity politics that use Marxist ideas, but having professors frame history, economics and sociology with things like "base and superstructure" ideas as if these are the only accepted (and implicitly "scientific")ways of thinking about human interactions.

    Or teaching something like the American revolution in terms of historical materialism and the inevitability of democracy and the socialism that will follow.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "As for not reading Marx, you should. Most people that are progressives or liberals nowadays don't have a understanding of the philosophical grounding to the ideas they parrot, but the "idea" people of the left use Marxist theory to formulate the policies they advocate."

    Most people who spout apologetics for Communism/Socialism are people who have never read any of the written literature of either, have no idea what they mean and yet will scream themselves red in the face about how "YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS, FOX NEWS!111" when encountered by someone who knows the first thing about the subject and offers anything short of undying adulation upon either philosophy.

  • KPres||

    "Nothing about those that necessarily means coercion, though the sentences don't prohibit it either."

    I would say use of the word "tremble" implies coercion. Why would somebody tremble when getting what they want? Instead of stretching credulity like that, lets just assume the obvious...that he says "tremble" because the proles are going to take their shit by force.

  • Jordan||

    for it's very definition requires that the populace should mutually agree and implement that system

    If there is no force involved, then it's anarchism, not communism.

  • ||

    I've thought about this before, and I'm not sure they're incompatible, at least in theory. You could have (again, in theory) a society based on communism that is entered into voluntarily by every individual.

    As I've always understood it, communism doesn't have an actual government, it's just supposed to be people voluntarily working to the best of their ability and consuming according to their need (presumably after becoming "enlightened" out of outdated, selfish motivations and into selfless ones). So (say it with me everyone, "IN THEORY") a true communist society would be both libertarian as well as an anarchy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stateless_communism

  • ||

    I think that's roughly what the Syndicalists in Spain were trying for. It involved supression of the upper class, and they were eventually betrayed by the communists under direction from Moscow. If Orwell is to be believed, Barcelona under the Syndicalists was the only part of Spain functioning even vaguely normally at that point in the Spanish Civil War.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yes, the endgame of communism is the state withering away because it is no longer needed. The leaders just voluntarily give up any remaining power.

    I was just a kid when I first read the communist manifesto, but I remember thinking to myself that this guy does not understand people at all, except for one thing - he totally gets the destructive power of envy and how it can be used to manipulate people.

  • Dweebston||

    Fair enough, obvious troll. In that case, mentally substitute some grammatical variation of "communistic" for every instance of "communism," and you'll have a proper indictment of twentieth century communistic regimes.

  • Fatty Bolger||

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Oops, that should be the Plymouth settlers. Derp.

  • ||

    better question mmmbetter: why have there been no successful implementations of ideal communism?

  • Irish||

    Wrong Top Men?

  • Ruckus||

    Communism is not a system that is possible to impose upon a society, for it's very definition requires that the populace should mutually agree and implement that system

    Well in libertopia, you'd be free to create your own little Communism sect with all your commie friends, just don't come knocking on my door when you all start starving.

  • Sevo||

    But this is stupid:
    "Further, as others have suggested, this infographic seems to ignore outright the deadly, if tertiary or obscure effects of Capitalism on the social and natural environment."
    Cite, mmm, or stuff it.

  • Irish||

    You have to understand, left wing criticism of capitalism amounts to the fact that it doesn't make a perfect world. If anything bad happens, it's proof that capitalism doesn't work. Therefore, if someone dies at 65 from lung cancer due to a nearby factory, when otherwise the would have died at 13 of starvation, it's still proof that capitalism has failed.

    The fact that he got 52 extra years and had a family is irrelevant. He got cancer. It was a factory. Fuck capitalism.

  • KPres||

    Cause don't you know, the social and natural environments in Communist countries were pristine!

    These people are god-awful stupid. Production itself puts pressure on the natural environment, and individual experience guarantees conflict in the "social environment". How does Communism resolve either of those facts better than capitalism?

  • Gamblorr||

    "for it's very definition requires that the populace should mutually agree and implement that system"

    In other words, something that isn't even remotely realistic outside of something like an Amish community.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Seeing as how "true" Communism is a state that was never actually intended to be achieved, and instead to be utilized as a carrot-on-a-stick, keeping the masses entrenched in perpetual totalitarianism in exchange for false promises of a stateless, classless society, it isn't fair to pass any sort of negative judgement on Communism.

    Also, since Communism is (in fantasy/theory) a stateless society, and yet by it's very definition Communism cannot come to pass without the establishment of a totalitarian state, anybody who ever attempts to implement Communism is by definition not a True Scotsman, thereby resetting the score and ensuring Communism remains a wholly benevolent and stateless endeavor which must never be subject to criticism or scrutiny.

    Furthermore, derpty derpa derpitty doo.

  • KPres||

    "This, like most every other knee-jerk reaction to "Communism", fails to acknowledge that in NO PLACE by which we judge the idea has Communism ever actually existed!"

    Please define it then.

  • Josua||

    In the imaginary mental La-La-Land of the average communist follower.

  • G-dub||

    These figures would be more informative if they were expressed as deaths per 100,000 people or something similar. Obviously the aggregate number of deaths is going to be higher for Russia and China than, say, Nazi Germany because these are more populous countries. I'm also curious about how they are defining fascism, since as far as I know Mussolini was the only one who actually used this word to refer to his own movement.

  • RPR2||

    with numbers like those, who could be against common sense regulation of communists, for the children?

  • Tony||

    That's an odd takeaway. Communism is a blip compared to other means of death. Looks like we made better investments fighting illness than fighting communism. War itself is dwarfed by disease. It still makes no sense why public resources can be used to fight war not not illness.

  • KPres||

    Yeah but the conditions that give rise to the disease are usually rooted in some totalitarian or dictatorial state, and they're unlikely to give up their position without a fight.

  • ||

    Tony:

    Looks like we made better investments fighting illness than fighting communism.

    If your "we" includes people who could have potentially lived under communism, like the South Koreans, I'm pretty sure they considered it a wise investment.

  • ||

    Tony:

    Communism is a blip compared to other means of death.

    Yeah, I bet "old age" does get a lot of people.

    What's stunning, however, is that things like old age and disease can transcend ideology; people die of old age and heart disease everywhere, under every system.

    For that reason, comparing an ideology to a natural cause of death is nonsensical; ideology does not provide an alternative to mortality (unless you're listening to a politician).

    However, ideologies are alternatives to other ideologies. In this respect, communism fails miserably, both in theory and in practice.

  • Mr. Soul||

    How many Commie-Nazis did McBain kill in the name of Communism?

  • Mr. Soul||

    err, in the name of Capitalism.

  • DJK||

    This chart is clearly ridiculous. It lists Homicide and Suicide as categories of Murder. Umm...no. Murder is Homicide with malice aforethought.

  • grey||

    Chummed the waters with the 94 million killed number on a blog with mostly hardcore civil justice Statists, Get a load of this response:

    "Q. Which is worse? A communist dictator Mao Zedong allowing 50 million to die of starvation to "prove a principle" still leaving a Chinese population of more than a billion? Or.... the USA (or a European colonial power) actually eliminating, in the 19th century, whole nations of indigenous peoples? Maybe those indigenous nations only number in thousands, but the systematic extermination of 100% of them? All of them?
    A: Probably as bad as one another- depends on more than just quoting raw numbers
    You can't make a generalisation using raw numbers pulled from history to prove any point about the present and future. "

    There is more, such as basically saying it was okay because there are so many more people living during that time and the weapons available to 'everyone' were better. Shit, it's a scary Statist world fellas.

  • grey||

    You see BOTH the murder by way of colonial expansion power and murder by way of ethnic and political cleansing can't both be bad based on their own reasons and causes. Holy fuck, I'm beginning to think socialists really haver murderous fucking hearts, they are scaring me people.

  • ZbOROVAN||

    1917 -1953: Stalin was responsible for the murder of 40,000,000 people.
    1949-1978: Mao was responsible for the murder of 70,000,000 people.
    Question: Could this have happened in a Democratic Republic?

  • ZbOROVAN||

    Our Democratic Republic is being transformed into Socialist Autocracy.
    There will be no elections.
    No Constitution.
    No Bill of Rights.
    No Freedom.
    No Quality of Life.
    And WE THE PEOPLE allowed it to happen.
    And CONGRESS has done nothing to stop it.
    Goodbye American.
    It was nice knowing you.

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