Talk:Democide

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Reads like an ad for one man[edit]

This reads like an advertisement for the work of Rummel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.178.81.172 (talk) 03:50, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

I've been taking a look at the problem. It looks like someone tried to rewrite and paraphrase the sources and did a horrible job of it. The entire article needs to be rewritten from the beginning. Viriditas (talk) 07:11, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
So true. This concentrates too much on Rummel and not enough on the general idea of democide, which is not the property of one writer. Hmains (talk) 18:03, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
The term democide should be removed from many of the articles that use it and be replaced with the more common, widely known terms genocide, mass killings, or mass casualties. One man who reinvents a term should not give credence to let it be used everywhere when the term genocide would work, too. Notice that genocide is not even linked in this article (until I just fixed it). For example, the WWII Casualties page has Rummel cited six times, while democide is mentioned three times. On this page "[democide] has become accepted among other scholars." How does that justify it can be used in place of common parlance like the genocide, mass killings, mass casualties. I know this isn't the Simple Wikipedia page, but a phrase that has been accepted by his fellow professor friends at a few other universities doesn't mean it should be the Wikipedia Lexicon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.27.197.5 (talk) 17:13, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Democide and genocide are different terms. Democide implies a government murdering their own civilians. While genocide can be done by country A invading country B. Thereof Democide is more specific.219.79.46.5 (talk) 14:05, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Spanish inquisition[edit]

This page erroneously claims that 350,000 people died during the Spanish Inquisition. It's reference is also very weak. In contrast, the actual wikipedia article on the Spanish Inquisition states that a much more accurate estimate is 3500 to 5000 people over several centuries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.153.182.112 (talk) 22:30, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

You are confused about the meaning of the figures in the tables (deleted as of this post, but which, in my opinion, ought to be restored). The figure of 350,000 murders by the Spanish Inquisition is correct because that is the democide figure given by Rummel, which is the subject of this article and may be verified by consulting the chart on Rummel's web page "Democide: Murder by Government". The figure should be 350,000 not because that is the number of murders committed by the Spanish Inquisition, but because that's the number Rummel concludes were committed by the Spanish Inquisition. This should not be so hard to grasp.
Looking back at the (sorry) history of this article, I see that editors had repeatedly altered the numbers to suit their own judgments of the facts, altered without references — but it's just as well because the only relevant references are to publications by Rummel (or possibly to another study that uses the concept of "democide"). Please remember that this is not an article about the "best consensus of historians" regarding mass murders by states (though that would make an excellent section on this article, probably in a "criticism" section), but rather this article is intended to describe the theory and conclusions of the concept of democide as formulated by R. J. Rummel.
If you wish to add something like a "Criticism of Rummel's Methods and Conclusions" section to this article where his figures are disputed, please do so, but remember that ideally you should cite reliable sources that directly criticize Rummel's work, since doing your own research to contradict his figures is discouraged by Wikipedia as "original research" for good reasons, among which are that not every source (and possibly no other source) will be using Rummel's definitions, and thus will not be directly comparable. —Blanchette (talk) 05:16, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

This article is lacking relevant information[edit]

There is no information about the number of deaths in the US and number of deaths caused by the US. It's expected that the US is the "leader" in all spreadsheets except for the dictators, but it seems that Rummel and the University of Hawaii has forgotten to include that numbers, therefore it is of no sense to keep this article.

Ginekolog (talk) 01:10, 10 September 2009 (UTC)


Expected by whom? Rudy Breteler (talk) 21:15, 17 October 2009 (UTC)


U.S. Democides
Ginekolog, Here's what Rummel concludes in his Statistics of Democide, Chapter 13:
"Putting together all the subtotals (lines 333 to 350), in this century the United States probably murdered about 583,000 people (line 350), conceivable even as many as 1,641,000 all told. Virtually all of these were foreigners killed during foreign wars. Domestically, throughout this [i.e. 20th] century the American Federal or state governments were responsible for the murder of about 1 out of every 1,111,000 Americans per year."
When the democide tables are restored to this article these conclusions should be included. —Blanchette (talk) 04:18, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

This article is BS[edit]

As I explained on Serbian Wikipedia. If we sum all deaths from Bleiburgh (the highest number is 55,000, the lowest few thousands) + Foibas (~1000), events in Vojvodina (the highest number is 40,000)+ few thousands immediately after the WW2 + Goli Otok (the highest number is 15,000) we get around 150,000. And where did Mr. Rummel find those 1,000,000 deaths? -- Bojan  Talk  22:30, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

This article is total BS. AfD, post haste. At the very least the figures and tables, which are absolute and TOTAL nonsense, will surely get removed. What we have here are fake numbers from some website sporting someone's unpublished estimates and listing "MEAGMURDERERS" and "DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS" :). None of this is published, none of the websites present any primary sources whatsoever, yet they cover the most grave and serious of subjects. The silly "estimates" appear out of nowhere, no explanation, no elaboration, no reference or source, no way to check the data. "Out of nowhere"? I should say almost out of nowhere - the figure on the supposed number of casualties by "MEGAMURDERER" Josip Broz Tito is an exact copy of the estimated number of Yugoslav casualties of WWII (1,072,000). If it wasn't so distasteful and offensive it would surely be a first-class joke.
In the end, even if the figures are published, primary sources and elaboration on these extreme figures will be asked for in order to establish the verifiability of these claims. Some of these numbers are unthinkably extreme, and unless they have some kind of backing I can't imagine them being listed here on enWiki. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 01:10, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Rummel's numbers on Yugoslavia were persuasively debunked in the article published in some scientific journal. The article's conclusion was that if Rummel applied the same methodology to other cases, his numbers were a complete BS (I cannot remember the source off the top of my head, try to look in the archives of the Mall killing under Communists talk page). Rummel's response was that even if his figures on Yugoslavia were wrong, other figures are absolutely correct. Other scholars noted that Rummel's collectivisation deaths were similar BS. Interestingly, an analysis has been done of the Rummel's math approach (he uses rather sophisticated statistical apparatus for his studies) that lead to a conclusion that the control experiment (a pure noise as an input) produces almost identical results.
I will be busy in real life for next two weeks, however, it is quite necessary to add a huge "criticism" section to the article. Try to think about that, and I'll provide a help with sources.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:42, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
First of all, thanks for the explanation. About 1,072,000 people dying due to the "MEGAMURDER" right after about 1,072,000 people died during the occupation sounded more than a little ridiculous, even if we weren't talking about a country of only 15,000,000 people or so. I removed the tables, and I can't imagine them being restored if a large number of Rummel's figures were debunked. A Criticism section would be appropriate regardless, and I'll certainly put something together when I have a look at the sources. Rummel seems to have been very sloppy indeed, and right-wing extremists in the Balkans and Italy are quoting him all over the place. itWiki is crawling with accusations of "megamurder", "democide", and other fake words leveled at the Yugoslav authorities of the period. I imagine this is only the tip of the iceberg. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 01:55, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Ummmm. Until somebody can come up with a reference I think we have to leave this in. I believe Paul when he says he's seen it, but without the reference, we actually have references to a book. Wikipedia is verifiability over truth...- Wolfkeeper 01:23, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
While awaiting the source, I recommend you exclude the Yugoslav entry from the table if you must return it. I have not seen the sources, so I can't speak for other entries, but the Yugoslav one is erroneous to the point of comedy. There is no question that it is vastly exaggerated. Unless the post-war Yugoslav authorities were trying to match the number of casualties from WWII on purpose :P, this seems almost like a falsification.
I will add that restoring the list is a mistake, imho. The millions and billions haphazardly listed there are plainly absurd and have no place in a serious encyclopaedia. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 01:28, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


No, this article is not BS, though it may describe a false theory![edit]

Please reread the note at the top of this page:

This is an article describing a theory. Please remember that in your complaints. The theory is contested but it is a theory and a body of research referenced extensively in the actual publications!

The issue is not 'Does Rummel's democide theory accurately describe the facts?' but 'Does this article accurately describe Rummel's democide theory?'

I notice that the tables of democides were removed on the grounds that they were not true to the facts. This is NOT a legitimate reason to remove this material. A legitimate reason would be that (a) the tables do not reflect the actual conclusions of Rummel's democide studies, or (b) Rummel's conclusions are not relevant or useful as a part of the article. I think the tables are very interesting as a starting point for study and evaluation and should be restored if they correctly describe Rummel's conclusions.

However, I think that a new section is required after the tables, namely, "Criticisms of Rummel's democide conclusions" or the like. Judging by the intensity of feeling in this talk page, surely there must be reliable sources one can cite that take issue with Rummel's methods and conclusions. Please remember that Wikipedia rules frown on your providing your own synthesis of information as a means of objecting to Rummel's data. Please cite reliable published objections to Rummel's conclusions.

I suspect that some of the objections on this page that led to the deletion of the democide tables were made by editors who did not make an effort to study Rummel's methods or do serious research into the critical literature. If you have the time please check Rummel's website and restore his tables accurately if he has published them there, while at the same time providing the Wikipedia reader with a summary of the important objections thereto. I leave this task to those of you who have some special interest or knowledge of these issues, since I am little more than an interested reader who would like to know the facts of democide studies, such as they may be. —Blanchette (talk) 03:49, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand You, mate. Those numbers came out of nowhere, they have not historic/scientific ground, they are fictional, exaggerated. It is not a theroy, it is just a neologism devised and used by one man. -- Bojan  Talk  06:35, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Bojan, I think you should re-read my posts on this page and try to follow my argument that the issue is not whether Rummel's numbers are right or wrong. The Phlogiston theory is wrong, but that does not mean it is of no interest to researchers, and it certainly doesn't mean that the numerical findings of that theory, were they available, would be of no interest. You seem to be concerned that some falsehood may be mentioned on Wikipedia, yet the spirit of Wikipedia is to cite the research that disproves the falsehood, not to suppress it. See WP: GREATWRONGS which states in part:

Wikipedia is a popular site and appears high in the search engine rankings. You might think that it is a great place to set the record straight and Right Great Wrongs, but that’s not the case. We can record the righting of great wrongs, but we can’t ride the crest of the wave because we can only report that which is verifiable from reliable secondary sources, giving appropriate weight to the balance of informed opinion: what matters is not truth but verifiability.

Blanchette (talk) 07:10, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I will tell you what is Rummel's method: take any high estimated death toll (no matter of its political agenda, accuracy and/or authenticity, no matter how they died or who killed them), sum them, include it in list of democidal countries and label them as deka-mega-murderers, centi-kilo-murderers, etc... Btw, in a deleted table appears data for Bosnia and Serbia (Kosovo). I couldn't check them in source at the top of the table. For Bosnia is stated 200,000 victims. There were fought civil war between three (or four) warring factions and official figures from official Bosnian institute are less then 100,000. 10,000 killed in Kosovo from December 1998 till July 1999 match with NATO propaganda. -- Bojan  Talk  09:26, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

There are many blatantly wrong figures there, that's for certain. How in the world would you suggest we include them while making sufficient note of their obvious inaccuracy? We simply cannot have an article listing misleading false figures on Wikipedia without a flashing, red sign saying "WROOOONG!! DO NOT CITE!" --DIREKTOR (TALK) 11:14, 9 May 2010 (UTC) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 11:14, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


Bojan, can you please cite (here in this discussion) your source for the information on Rummel's method? Can you point to the page(s) in his books or on his website that demonstrate that this is his method or name a journal article or other reliable source that supports your claim about his method? We are getting somewhere with the contradicting figures from the Bosnian Institute figures from 12/98 to 7/99, but are these the dates for which Rummel is reporting? In any case, if you would please record the dates, numbers, etc. from that publication, with the usual citation information, at least this would be a start in writing our criticism section after I re-edit the article to include at least one of Rummel's tables. The table I have in mind is not from his website — though, as a respected expert in the field, such references to his research would not be off limits — but from the scholarly journal in which they were published (Journal of Peace Research). That table, from 1994, does not appear to have any figures for Bosnia — the closest in that region is "Yugoslavia (Tito) 1944-87," but at least it gives a sample of his conclusions.

DIREKTOR, remember, what figures are blatantly wrong, obviously inaccurate, and misleading would seem to be a matter of ones premises, methodology, and perhaps nationalistic biases, but if their falsehood is so obvious, you should be able to cite the sources that contradict them, right? Your claim that we cannot have an article listing false figures on Wikipedia is not supported by any Wikipedia policy I am aware of, but I am aware of the policy that states the criteria include not truth, but verifiability. I can verify that the figures on the table I will add to this article are the figures published by Rummel in a reliable source, so your task will have to be finding figures that contradict them in another reliable source. I have found a few minor objections to Rummel's method in the scholarly literature, which I will cite in the "Criticism" section, but not enough to contradict any particular figures. I will continue the search.

Meanwhile, since you seem to be watching this page, I would appreciate some acknowledgment from you, Bojan and DIREKTOR, that you understand the Wikipedia policy regarding "verifiability" versus "truth." See WP:VERIFY. I look forward to working with you to find a consensus on these issues before I re-edit the article. Thanks. Blanchette (talk) 08:40, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I do understand what is verifiability, but is doesn't imply that everything senseless work should be included into Wikipedia articles. I do not have any sources, I have mind and I can distinguish what could be truth and what is not worth of space it occupies. -- Bojan  Talk  10:00, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Please, keep in mind that if you want to discuss Rummel seriously, you have to separate two things: his statistical approach and the data he used for his analysis. The core of the Rummel's methodology is the factor analysis. He described his methodology in ( R. J. Rummel. Understanding Factor Analysis. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Dec., 1967), pp. 444-480). The data he used for the analysis were obtained by him either directly from secondary sources (Conquest), or by approximation. Since the mathematical apparatus he used is universal, these two parts (apparatus and the data) can and should be discussed separately. The math (not the approach itself, but the way Rummel did it) has been criticised by several scholars, who argued that the random data set leads to the same conclusions. The data has been questioned, e.g. in the case of Yugoslavia, and Rummel admitted that the data for Yugoslavia might be incorrect, although other data were fine. Other scholars demonstrated that the data for the USSR were also exaggeration. One way or the another, Rummel's data and Rummel's methodology should be discussed separately, and only after reading his "Understanding Factor Analysis." can we discuss it seriously.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:56, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Some sources and quotes[edit]

On the Rummel's data on Yugoslavia:

Criticism by Dulić:

"Abstract: The article provides a critical analysis of the quantitative method used by Rudolph J. Rummel in order to estimate the democide rate for various political systems in the 20th century. The first part shows that the estimates used by Rummel for Tito's Yugoslavia cannot be relied upon, since they are largely based on hearsay and unscholarly claims frequently made by highly biased authors. The second part shows how the data have influenced the mid-estimates Rummel uses for further statistical analysis. A com- parison with demographic research in former Yugoslavia shows that Rummel's mid-estimates for Tito's mass killings are much too high and contravene his data for the population deficit in Yugoslavia. The author also criticizes a key assumption in Rummel's method of 'reasonable approximation', namely, that overestimations tend to be taken out by underestimations. It is shown why such a proposition is prob- lematic, particularly in this case where there is a wide discrepancy between high and low estimates. Although the article concentrates on communist terror in former Yugoslavia, the results may have wider implications for Rummel's research if he uses similar sources in other case studies. If so, Rummel would need to revise the method and exclude unreliable estimations in order to obtain useful data."
"...he proposes a comparative method called reasonable approximation, by which the researcher uses many estimates for each case study and arrives at a plausible figure by "narrowing the range of estimates to what a hypothetical, reasonable analyst would arrive at in viewing all the available information"."
"For instance, Rummel (1998: 172, line 93a) quotes Omrnanin (1972: 181), who claimed that 'about a million Croatians were slaughtered by the Serbs in the last war: by Serbian Chetniks and Com- munists', with half a million killed at Bleiburg. OmrEanin uses Kiszling (1956: 232) as a source in this case. Kiszling, on the other hand, does not quote any direct sources, but refers to Krunoslav Draganovid, describing him as 'a Croatian cleric, who - as far as was possible - has traced all mass executions, [and] believes, that after the Bleiburg capitulation there were at least fifty Katyns [in Yugoslavia]'.
Unfortunately, it is rather problematic to use people such as Omreanin and DraganoviC as objective scholars on Bleiburg and associated atrocities. When Vladimir Zerjavid in the late 1980s published his work on the Yugoslav wartime population losses, where he claimed that the total death toll at Bleiburg and the subsequent 'death-marches' was approximately 50,000 Croats and Muslims (today's Bosniaks),5 Omrcanin made the following comment in the Croatian weekly Slobodni Tjednik:
"ZerjaviC's work is a falsification. It is Slavko Goldstein6 who has paid [for] it. He is rich and receives enormous amounts of money from American Jews. He has admitted that it is around 120,000 dollars per year, but what he receives apart from that is not known. But the Zagreb native Harie Friedenreich (who teaches at a university in Philadelphia, USA), has written that not one Jew was killed in Croatia until the autumn of 1944. And Martin Heidegger's wife Ana Harent [sic], who is also a Jew, has written that it was nowhere as good for the Jews as in Croatia. Moreover, it was the Bolsheviks who eradi- cated [slistavali] the Jews, the Jews who lived well with us, like everyone else. Oh, all those numbers are invented. Regarding Bleiburg, where the Bolsheviks killed 550,000 Croats (300,000 from the army and 200,000 civilians) it is brought down to 26,000 Ustashe and 18,000 Domobrani"
Regarding the crimes committed by the Ustashe in the so-called Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Drvava Hrvatska; hence- forth, NDH), Omrdanin displays a rather disturbing disregard for established historical facts. Beginning within a fortnight after the creation of the NDH in April 1941, the Ustasha authorities adopted racial laws.8 In the summer and autumn of 1941, they insti- tuted concentration camps and began mur- dering the state's undesired elements en masse."
"If Prcela is correct, it would appear that the material used by Rummel and Tolstoy is of Ustasha provenance, while some of the authors appear to have been members of the NDH administration that managed to escape through the American postwar 'Rat line' (Tomasevich, 2001: 760). During the Cold War, they remained active in the nationalist emigration and exploited the Bleiburg symbol for propagandistic purposes. Of course, that is their prerogative, but one has to keep it in mind when assess- ing their standing as 'reasonably authori- tative and credible' sources."
"The estimate regarding the killings in Belgrade after its liberation in October 1944 is a telling example of the problems that can arise when one uses such an unsophisticated method of estimation. Rummel (1998: 172, lines 69-70) uses 70,000 killed as a mid- estimate by quoting Reuben H. Markham's 100,000, which he believes to be 'exagger- ated', and Martin (1990: 271), who writes, 'it was widely believed that 50,000 to 60,000 residents of the city perished'. The problem is that Martin's figure is much too high, while it is unclear whether Markham actually made such an estimate.23 The city had approximately 400,000 inhabitants in 1941, which would mean that at least 20% were killed in 1944. That would require a large part of the city's present inhabitants to have relatives and friends that perished during this period. This is simply not the case."
"Rummel argued that we cannot depend on very few sources and therefore should use those that are at the extremes and reasonably authoritative. Unfortunately, it soon became evident that the estimates he used were neither authoritative nor credible. One could argue that Rummel would hardly have had any sources to work with if he had applied more source criticism to his research. However, lack of data can never be used as an alibi, and sometimes we have to accept that basic research has not yet been conducted."
(Tito's Slaughterhouse: A Critical Analysis of Rummel's Work on Democide. Author(s): Tomislav Dulić. Source: Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 85-102)

Rummel's response:

"(1) I estimated the democide of 218 regimes, 1900-87. Tito's Yugoslavia was only one of them. Testing my estimate and method on 1 out of 218 'data points' can say nothing about my estimates or methods in general."
"He does not do a critical analysis of the whole 1944-87 period for my estimate ofTito' democide, but only 1944-48, 12.5% of the period I covered."
"He claims my Tito democide estimate is 'much too high to be taken lightly' (p. 99). He provides no estimate of his own for comparison, a serious omission."
(the response is brief, so I cannot give more quotes to avoid a copyright violation).
(One-Thirteenth of a Data Point Does Not a Generalization Make: A Response to Dulić. Author(s): Rudolph J. Rummel. Source: Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 103-104)

Dulic's responce:

"Dulic lists some of the most important points in Rummel's critique. He argues that the objections are misplaced since he is quoting Rummel or using his data. Moreover, Rummel could have shown why he feels that Dulik is wrong by giving his own estimates to be compared with Duli's extrapolations. Most importantly, Dulid argues that Rummel has avoided the central point of his critique, namely, that of source criticism. Contrary to Rummel, Dulik argues that the case study on Tito's Yugoslavia might well have wider implications, since it focuses on Rummel's method. The methodological problems need to be addressed before Rummel's data and conclusions can be considered reliable. Whether such a revision would yield significantly new results remains undecided."
"As I said in the conclusions, I have shown that there are serious problems with Rummel's method, which is precisely why this one 'data point' might have wider implications. I do not understand why Rummel so categorically refuses to accept the possibility that he might have made similar errors elsewhere, when he has used the same method throughout his research. That is why I call on Rummel to revise his method and properly narrow down the sources to those that are indeed reasonably authoritative and credible. Until then, at least I do not feel comfortable with using his data and leave to the reader to assess the validity of my critique."

(A Reply to Rummel. Author(s): Tomislav Dulić. Source: Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 105-106)

--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:56, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

On the Rummel's statistical approach:

"Rummel asserts that his postulated relationship between nonfreedom and international conflict can be found in the Azar data set as well as his own data set, even though he finds severe faults with Azar's methods of conflict scaling. Evaluation of Rummel's arguments indicates that he does not understand the nature of the Azar data set sonstruction and misinterprets multiple regression and Kendall's Tau B results. Extensive re-analysis further demonstrated a lack of relationship between nonfreedom and conflict in the Azar data set."

(On Rummel's Omnipresent Theory. Author(s): Jack Vincent. Source: International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 119-125)--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:04, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

On the Rummel's data on the Soviet death toll:

"In a series of nine chapters Rummel then explains how he reaches the figure of sixty-one million dead, and despite the complex tables and intricate computations, his explanation is quite unsatisfactory. Some general points first: Rummel uses no Russian-language sources and cites a variety of secondary sources as if they were all of equal worth, when some are scholarly and some far from it. He also assumes that the entire labour camp population was innocent: for Rummel, deaths in labour camps while serving a prison sentence are legitimate elements in what he calls 'democide' and much space is devoted to computing death rates in camps, yet some of those who died in this way were common criminals or actual Nazi collaborators, while a camp death rate of twenty-six per cent seems hard to credit, even at the height of Stalinism.
"Rummel is at his least contentious when dealing with collectivization and purges."
"Ironically, given Rummel's rather naive mission to show the utter inhu- manity of 'Marxism', his own figures can be turned against him."(Geoffrey Swain. Reviewed work(s): Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder since 1917 by R. J. Rummel. Source: The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 69, No. 4 (Oct., 1991), pp. 765-766)

On the Rummel's democide theory in general

"Rummel chooses numbers of deaths that almost always are skewed in the direction of the highest guesses. When judging particular countries, he repeatedly draws the conclusion that the more people died the worse the regime. This connection is true for some cases, but not others. Often deaths are attributable to neither direct governmental action nor governments' tacit approval of vigilante activity, but, rather, to the consequences of war, displacement, or famine."
"Despite his rich and detailed information and data, Rummel's at- tempt at explanation seems oversimplified. He introduces but does not review the theoretical literature, and apologizes for his failure to offer attributions."
"In Rummel's view, democracy appears to be the cure-all that ends repression. This position is wishful and not persuasive. Not all authori- tarian or traditional polities are likely to commit genocide, nor are the local traditions and political cultures of many third-world states neces sarily compatible with democratic traditions." (Barbara Harff. Reviewed work(s): Death by Government by R. J. Rummel. Source: Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Summer, 1996), pp. 117-119)--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:57, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

MANY THANKS Paul Siebert for the great work in tracing down those critical sources. I do not have a great deal of time to devote to this article but at least now we have the beginning of a criticism section and a better justification for showing some of Rummel's numerical conclusions which are so disdained by some contributors to this talk page, and now, as we see, are well criticized in the scholarly literature as well. To be more specific, the table I propose to include, because it is journal published, is found in: Rudolph J. Rummel, "Power, Genocide, and Mass Murder" Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), p. 3 (Table I. 20th Century Democide). The article is available at: JSTOR (requires library account or fee). I think that is his most general table. I will try to format its figures for a Wikipedia table (something I have to learn how to do) but do not hesitate to take up this task, other Wikipedians, if I am slow to get there. Blanchette (talk) 08:16, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Multiple definitions of genocide[edit]

There are multiple definitions, and indeed multiple legal definitions, of genocide. In a number of countries Soviet mass killings are considered by law to be genocide, for example. So one cannot speak of "the legal" definition of genocide, because no such things exists. One can speak of narrow definitions of genocide instead, in this context. Tataral (talk) 16:17, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

There is surely a shared definitions, along with many particulars attached in specific cases. Can one really say there is no shared legal definition of genocide??The Sound and the Fury (talk) 19:52, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
...But I see what you mean. I hope my change is found reasonable. The phrase "narrow definitions" seemed to me slightly too emphatic for this narrow context. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 19:56, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

This is an article describing a theory. Please remember that in your complaints. The theory is contested but it is a theory and a body of research referenced extensively in the actual publications![edit]

Stalin vs Hitler

I've noticed how so many "historians"- such as Rummel for example- claim Stalin's regime was responsible for more deaths than Hitler's while at the same time FORGETTING that the Soviet population ONLY decreased significantly during the war with Hitler. If the Soviet population grew dramatically under Stalin and FELL dramatically during Barbarossa than how on Earth could Stalin have "killed more people than Hitler did"??? I think too many Western historians choose to rely in a blind way on Solzhenytsin wildy inflated figures instead of bothering to do some research on the demographic history of the Soviet UnionRaduFlorian (talk) 17:35, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

What you think doesn't matter. This article isn't about your personal theories based on communist propaganda and non-specific, unverifiable assertions. In any case, demographic analysis hardly contests Rummel's figures. In reality, the Soviet archives record 5.2 million homicides in the thirties, while their (formerly suppressed) census data yield a total of at least 9.4 million excess deaths attributable to the Stalinist regime in that period. This study by Steven Rosefielde shows, using demographic analysis, that the total number of Soviet citizens killed in the thirties could be two to three times greater than the officially recorded figure of 5 million. And there is more: Demographic analysis usually results in a conservative figure, and even the formerly suppressed population estimates were probably susceptible to double-counting (which Conquest alleges could have been as high as 3.5%). During the famine years of the early thirties, according to Andreev et al., as many as 5.5 million children were excluded from the official crude birth statistics, thus reducing by up to 5.5 million the expected population growth which is used to calculate excess deaths. With that in mind, Stalin may have killed over 15 million people in the thirties alone, and even more during WW2--plus a decent sum from 1945-53 and in the twenties. Add in democide in foreign countries, the civil war, Lenin, and all of Stalin's successors, and Rummel's figures are not somehow impossible. It is safe to say that the communist death toll in the USSR can be counted in the tens of millions. I don't personally think it could be lower than 40 million, but then again, my own opinion doesn't matter. Even if Rummel thought 200 million was correct, that would be relevant information to include here.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 04:34, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes I have checked your link and I find it rather poor. It shows the same biased fear of Soviet statistics by stating, for example, that there were 3 million fewer Soviet citizens in 1939 than officially recorded. plenty of guesswork, to be sure, but unsubstantiated. You can't say Soviet Union made up figures based on your gut feeling that it had to be so. My point wasn't about how many people Stalin killed, anyway. What I said in my previous post was that it is highly unlikely Stalin could have killed more people than Hitler did since the Soviet population under Stalin DRAMATICALLY increased, with the only one exception of World War 2. And since Soviet Union was but one among many countries the Nazis ravaged in World Wor 2 and since the 26 million decrease in Soviet population that the 1946 census recorded compared to the 1941 census would actually translate into 42 million excess deaths that are directly or indirectly attributed to Barbarossa, all this considered I one more time say it is extremely unlikely that Stalin could even dream of "killing more people than Hitler did". The 40 million figure attributed to Stalin is taken straight from Solzhenytsin wild and spiteful phantasies and Western historians who pay little regard to Soviet official figures have sadly taken it enthusiastically. Sadly there is NO substitute for Soviet OFFICIAL figures. Conjectures and gut feelings such as the claim there were 3 million fewer Soviet people in 1939 than officially recorded are no subtitute for official figures, unfortunately.
RaduFlorian (talk) 21:10, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Steven Rosefielde also belongs to the authors who has a tendency to trust higher estimates. For example, he had a long dispute with another author, Wheatcroft, about the scale of excess deaths in Stalin's USSR.
Rummel is not considered as a reliable source. Thus, the studies of population losses in the USSR (Ellman, Maksudov, Wheatcroft, Conquest, et al) almost ignore Rummel. The data of these authors demonstrate that to believe that death toll in the USSR "can be counted in the tens of millions" is by no means safe. In contrast, as Wheatcroft demonstrated, the USSR demonstrated a steady and overwhelming growth of life expectancy, that had almost no precedents in human history (the another exception was Japan).
Nevertheless, I agree that Rummel's "democide" concept is a theory, and should be treated as such. However, this theory is (i) based on shaky ground (the figures are dramatically exaggerated), and (ii) uses quite baseless assumptions (that all population losses, including famine deaths, were the desirable results, and should be considered as homicide). In actuality, that is not the case. Volga famine in 1920s, WWII, and post WWII famines were neither designed nor intended, and the authorities took some real measures to alleviate their effect. The Great Famine is much more controversial subject, however, even in this case only a part of deaths can be considered as intentional ones. Moreover, you (and Rummel) mix "population losses" and "homicides", which is by no means the same. Population losses include birth deficit, migration, premature deaths due to decrease of life expectancy, etc. However, if you want to attribute premature deaths from natural causes to Stalin, we need, for consistency, to credit him for the unprecedented growth of life expectancy also. In my opinion, neither the former nor the later would be correct.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:18, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
I doubt that you actually read the source provided. Even Wheatcroft has revised his estimates upwards. But, in any case, I'm not here to have a debate--particularly one which is advanced by means of ad hominems and uncited assertions. Feel free to babble with each other, but that's not what Wikipedia's talk pages are for. Rummel's methods are the same for each country, and his estimates for the USSR are no more or less "exaggerated" than those for the US or Nazi Germany. Paul Siebert apparently wants to do damage control after RaduFlorian utterly failed to make an intelligent argument; to the latter user, Rosefielde's estimates are based on the Soviet archives. How it is excessively "biased" to accept the Soviet archives when they contradict official communist party propaganda is beyond me. Demographic estimates yield conservative figures. Obviously, no demographer would cite Rummel for demographic analysis. "Rosefielde's numbers are too high; so they must be wrong!" It's as though one loses intellectual credibility when one's estimates go beyond a certain threshold. Rummel cites communist propaganda for high estimates of American democide in Vietnam; not because they are reliable, but because he uses them for the high estimates. I could cite any number of scholars, but if you don't like them; they're "biased" or "unreliable." Rummel doesn't look for sources that support his ideology; for that, look in the mirror. Rather than "debate" arbitrary assertions by Wikipedia editors, I will reccommend that you try educating yourselves:
  • Conquest conservatively estimates 16-18 million homicides just by 1939, based on the Soviet archives. He notes that accepting Wheatcroft's "supposedly objective" communist statistics would "involve believing that there were not more in camp in Stalin's time than in Brezhnev's, and that there were hardly more in prison than in tsarist times!" He adds that the real figures "may well be notably higher."
  • Michael Ellman reveals data showing that the 1932-33 famine killed twice as many people as Wheatcroft would have you believe.
  • V.P. Danilov and Conquest point out that Stalin had enough grain stockpiled to prevent the 1933 famine several times over, and exported grain.
  • Conquest challenges Rittersporn and Getty.
  • Rosefielde demonstrates that the scale of repression was many times greater than NKVD statistics suggest.
  • John Keep rebuts Wheatcroft.
  • Kazuo Nakai and Roman Serbyn analyse the man-made Ukranian famine of 1921-23.
  • Ellman argues for the criminal intent of the communist regime in causing famine in Ukraine. See here, here, here, and here for more.
  • Simon Ertz chronicles the genocidal famine in Kazakhstan.
If you prefer the "Soviet OFFICIAL figures," to quote RaduFlorian, that is your problem. But this is an article about democide, not Soviet repressions. Paul Siebert certainly doesn't need to teach these scholars that population displacement doesn't count as part of the death toll. And, yes, the 1947 famine could have been averted if not for Stalinist policy, as Ellman asserts. I have no idea why you keep asserting that Wheatcroft's every word is some kind of undisputed fact, and everything else is an opinion. Wheatcroft at one time seriously believed that Stalin's victims might have numbered only in the thousands.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 15:23, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

You cite too many sources that talk a lot yet fail to say anything meaningful. And yes I do prefer Soviet OFFICIAL figures because THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE for them, this is the reason i choose to stick with Soviet official figures. What the 1939 Soviet census says, for example, is that there were no less than 168 million people in the Soviet Union and NOT 163 million as your first link claims so please be so kind as to explain me how did your "source" arrive at the conclusion that the 1939 census registered 3 million -or 5 million- more people than there really were in the Soviet Union. How did Rosefielde arrive at that conclusion based on "archive material" that supposedly "contradicted" the Soviet official figures- which weren't even realeased until 1939, by the way? Could it be that he MISREAD the "archive material" you speak about? Did it ever occur to you that birth rates could have increased in the 1930s and death rates could have decreased for most of the period and this could have MADE UP FOR the supposed inconsistency in the 1939 census? I just wonder. My point was not about how many people Stalin killed however it was about Stalin vs Hitler this is why I brought up this post under the very clear title of "Stalin vs Hitler" and more precissely it was about the very LOW LIKELIHOOD of Stalin "having killed more people than Hitler did", based on the fact the only SIGNIFICANT DROP in the Soviet population was during the war with Hitler therefore a much higher number of Soviet innocent victims can be blamed on HITLER than on Stalin. And since you brought up the Ukrainian Famine I have one more thing to add- if you had checked Douglas Tottle's SEMINAL work on the Holodomor you would have seen for yourself how Stalin DID SEND thousands upon thousands tons of grain, fodder and seed to Ukraine in 1933, AS SOON AS HE LEARNED OF THE FAMINE, that is. Of course no serious historian would dismiss the huge magnitude of Kulak Sabotage during collectivization, of course he couldn't. To put it briefly, the number of farm animals that Kulak bandits slughtered from 1928 to 1933 was a staggering 152 million. No less than 152 million farm animals were slaughtered by Kulak saboteurs yet some very vocal people want to put the blame on... Stalin, how typical of Solzhenytsin fans how typical. The truth is noone should even dare of speaking about Holodomor without first checking Douglas Tottle's "Fraude famine fascism", chapter 8 especially. Solzhenytsin fans who pay no regard to demographic facts should know where to stop if they want to avoid making fools out of themselves. 188.25.37.242 (talk) 16:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

It's a fringe work, and Tottle is a communist propagandist endorsed by the Stalin Society. His book is not taken seriously, and has been mocked by, major historians. An international inquiry on the famine suggested that the Soviet government supplied Tottle with propagnda. He simulaneously absolves Stalin of responsibility and asserts that the photographs of famine victims were fabricated.
This kind of outburst is exactly what I hoped to provoke.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 16:23, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Nevertheless Douglas Tottle's work provides a lot of figures and I have never seen anyone refuting those figures. It also quotes Ukrainian Nationalist sources that plainly admit their followers DID engage in major sabotage during collectivization -such as the destruction of up to 50% of crops in 1932 alone. You still haven't explained to how did your "sources" arrive at the conclusion that the 1939 Soviet census lied nor have you explained how could Stalin have killed more people than Hitler did when the ONLY SIGNIFICANT DROP in Soviet population occured during the war with Hitler and the subsequent occupation of more than half of the European part of the Soviet Union. 188.25.37.242 (talk) 16:38, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Look, pal. If you want to have a debate, this isn't the place to do it. Unfortunately, I am the type of person that never likes to let an argument go unchallenged. Clearly, I should have stopped a while back, because it's not appropriate on Wikipedia. All I will say is that you can find people who claim that Jewish deaths in the Holocaust were caused by Allied bombing, and were wildly inflated for propaganda purposes. It just isn't true. It certainly is possible that more Soviets died at the hands of Hitler than of Stalin from 1941-5, or that Hitler killed people at a faster rate (through WW2) than Stalin (who ruled for decades) did. That said, I will not respond again.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 18:22, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
That is good that you don't like an argument go unchallenged. What is not good is your desire to provoke your opponents. I suggest you to abandon your WP:BATTLEGROUND mentality, and to think about the following. Currently, it is believed that about 6 million Jews perished during the Holocaust. Obviously, a person who claims that just 200,000 Jews were killed is the Holocaust denier. However, imagine that some author exists who claims that, e.g. 8 million Jews were killed? Does it mean we have to treat this author seriously, and does it mean that anyone who question this figure and insists that not 8, but 6 million Jews were killed is a Holocaust denier? Obviously, no. We do not need to exaggerate or understate the figures, we need to tell what present-days mainstream reliable sources say. And I have a strong feeling that your posts are not the examples of good faith attempts to adequately present what the sources tell. Why, for example, you rejected the data from Nicolas Werth? Why you ignored the Ellman's opinion on Conquest:"Conquest is not a specialist in demography or penology whose main aim was to generate accurate statistics. He is a writer on Soviet affairs for the general public. His main aim was to give a qualitative picture of enormous horrors to the general public, and in this he succeeded admirably." (Ellman 2002), and his conclusion that the "on the basis of the demographic data for the 1930s it seems that there were about 10 million excess deaths in 1926-39.43 The total number of excess deaths suggested by Conquesti s higher. He suggests a total of perhaps 16-18 million.44T his is above what seems likely on the basis of the demographic data. It can only be made compatible with the demographic data by assuming high birth rates between the 1926 and 1937 censuses of babies who soon died and by reducing the 1939 census totals. The birth rate in the early 1930s is uncertain and controversial.45B y assuming a sufficiently high birth rate in the early 1930s and adjusting down the 1939 census totals, one can reconcile the Conquest figures with the demographic data.46 Some adjustment to the contemporary population registration data for births and to the originally published totals for the 1939 census are generally agreed to be necessary. However, the adjustments required to reconcile Conquest's totals with the censuses are regarded as too large and implausible by most specialists."(ibid) Note, here Ellman expresses not his own opinion, he summarises the opinia of most specialists.
I can continue, however, I am not sure this talk page is the best place for that. We discuss just Rummel's concept here. What is important to know about Rummel is the following
  1. He is a libertarian writer, and he definitely has an agenda: the less state power the better, and his data fit too good into his concept to be trusted.
  2. He uses some numerical estimates of death toll that are almost always shifted to upper possible value. That makes his figures unreliable, and almost no serious author use them;
  3. His categorization of most "excess deaths" as homicide is questionable. However, it is worth noting that in some of his books he refuses to consider, e.g. the Great Leap Forward as an example of democide, and prefers to describe the famine deaths as unintended result of Communist policy;
  4. He uses factor analysis to find dependencies between various traits of state system and the scale of democide. However, the correctness of the FA procedure used by him had been questioned by some specialists.
In summary, both figures and conclusions of Rummel are questionable, and should be treated as such.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:17, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I'll respond, because I actually like you and appreciate your contributions. Ellman: "One can reconcile the Conquest figures with the demographic data." Again, Rosefielde's piece provides an argument for doing so. And demographic analysis yields conservative results. Rummel was originally a socialist. He became a libertarian as a result of his research. At worst, he can be accused of simply averaging out numbers, some of which are now outdated, without regard for establishing the credibility of each source. I firmly believe that he is not dishonest, though you are free to believe whatever you want. But, to give a few examples, I will note that: Rummel estimated that only 100,000 South Vietnamese died in re-education camps out of 1 million sent, whereas most experts now put the death toll at around 170,000--and defectors have claimed 2.5 million were sent (see Jacqueline Desbarat's chapter in The Vietnam Debate); Rummel accused Pinochet of killing 10,000 Chileans, which is substantially higher than the commonly cited figure of 3,000 (although as far as I know, that estimate is basically conservative); Rummel put the death toll caused by US bombing in Cambodia at 300,000, whereas Banister and Johnson estimated 275,000 as the maximum "war-related" death toll and Marek Sliwinski's Le Génocide Khmer Rouge estimates 240,000 civil war deaths (out of which 40,000 were due to American bombing); Rummel, at first, gave Mao the benefit of the doubt on the Great Leap Forward; and Rummel accused the Shah of Iran of killing 10,000 people, which is implausible (recent scholarship suggests 3,000 would be more accurate). Nevertheless, I still regard most of his estimates as having aged reasonably well: His Great Leap Forward estimate is on par with that of Mao: The Unknown Story, his original communist China estimate was conservative, his East Timor estimate is exactly spot-on with the UN report and scholars like Kiernan, his estimate for North Vietnamese soldiers killed in the Vietnam War was confirmed by the Vietnamese government, his estimates for North Vietnamese democide were recently corroborated with scholarship by several authors including Rosefielde, his democide figures for Nazi Germany do not seem controversial, his Khmer Rouge estimate is widely accepted, his figures for Ba'athist Iraq were too low. I personally don't think that his USSR figures are uniquely warped by several orders of magnitude. 20 million is, not an overestimate popularized by Conquest, but a very conservative figure if applied not merely to Stalin but to Lenin and all of his successors (and all Soviet war, civil war, and foreign democide and excess deaths). Rummel doesn't categorize all excess deaths as homicides. He revisited the Great Leap Forward recently and concluded that it was democidal, but he is very careful about selectively determining what excess deaths are homicides. Nevertheless, it can’t be denied that excess deaths usually are valuable indictors for determining the scale of democide. His conclusions are treated as questionable.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks.
Re Ellman, Conquest, etc. Firstly, let's separate early works of these authors from their recent works. For example, in 1991 Conquest spoke about 5.5-9.5 million GULAG inmates in 1938, in 1997 the same author conceded that the data of Getty, Rittersporn and Zemskov, published in 1993 are trustworthy, and are commonly accepted. Meanwhile, those data tell about less then 2 million GULAG inmates in 1939. This is just one example that demonstrates how important is to take into account evolution of views of one or another author.
Re Ellman's quote provided by you, could you please provide exact reference? I would like a context this statement have been taken from, because this quote directly contradicts with the opinion of the same author taken from his 2002 article.
Re your other examples, of course, it is always better to deal with real figures than the estimates. Yes, Rummel overstated the number of Pinochet victims (3 vs 10 thousands), however, his estimates of GULAG deaths (40 million) are three times higher than the amount of those who passed through GULAG (14 millions). You may trust him for Pinochet or Cambodia, but for the USSR he is blatantly fringe.
One more important point. As Wheatcroft (or Ellman) concluded, based on commonly accepted GRZ figures, GULAG deaths had almost no demographic impact. Indeed, the USSR was a very big country, and in a situation when the amount of prisoners was ca 2 million (per 150 million population; btw, the amount of prisoners in the 300 million US is currently somewhat higher) the probability to be imprisoned in GULAG and to die there was very small. That is a demonstration of how misleading figures may be. Indeed, by comparing number of of car accident victims in, e.g., Luxembourg and, e.g. the US, one may assume that American cars are much more deadly then European ones, which is hardly the case. The USSR and China were very big countries, and even small increase of excess mortality caused big population losses in absolute numbers. However, to draw conclusions about brutality of certain regime based on absolute numbers is totally misleading. Thus, Irish potato famine was much more deadly disaster then the Great Leap Forward famine.
And, as soon as we started to discuss GLF famine, let me say couple words on that. I made a brief literature search and I found that, apparently, famines were something usual for China. In late XIX century, there was a huge famine, which, despite being smaller then GLF famine in absolute numbers, was much more deadly in relative figures. Famines were usual during Kuomintang rule. China was an extremely poor country, which permanently was on a brink of humanitarian catastrophe. Therefore, to claim that evil Communists came and organized famine would be in a full accordance with the best standards of Goebbels' propaganda. The GLF was a severe famine, and Mao is responsible for that. However, it was the last famine in Chinese history, and it seems that Chinese leadership learned due lessons from this story.
Regarding the number of GLF victims, I found that serious scholars separate deaths from birth deficit (unborn infants). The amount of birth deficit was huge (ca 20 million), and many authors who write about 35-45 million victims in actuality combine these two categories under "deaths". That is especially incorrect taking into account that the year after of famine was remarkable by its excess births. One more point. The GLF and Great Soviet famines were remarkable in the relatively low amount of disease victims, such as typhus, which usually accompanied old famines. Some authors attribute that fact to the efforts of the authorities to establish developed health care system. It seems somewhat illogical to care about health of population you are planning to exterminate...
Yes, Asian Communist regimes were brutal. However, and Rummel totally ignores that fact, this brutality was, by and large, a consequence of ancient authoritarian traditions (in China), of extreme nationalism and revenge traditions (in Cambodia), and of the desperate economic situation of peasantry (everywhere in Asia). Thus, Communist labour camps in China were established based on the Kuomintang camps they built for Communists, and those camps worked according to the same scheme.
All of that is a demonstration of the danger of playing with figures, and of taking historical facts out of context. To judge about that, one must be a professional, or, at least, he must read good authors who express competing viewpoint, not only the authors who support one's own views.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:45, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
According to official figures that weren't even released until 1982, death rates during the Great Leap Forward went up from 1.08% in 1957 to 1.20% in 1958, 1.46% in 1959 and 2.54% in 1960. Death rates in 1961 however were down to 1.42% and by 1962 they had fallen to below the 1957 level, at 1.00%. Considering the Chinese population was around 660-670 million at the time we speak of a simple math will tell you that only 9.63 million to 9.78 million excess deaths could have occured between 1957-1960 188.25.37.242 (talk) 10:32, 4 July 2012 (UTC) 188.25.37.242 (talk) 11:17, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Simple math may be misleading. O'Grada, the author who studies famines, not Communism, and who, for that reason, can be considered as a neutral arbiter, states that contemporary demographers (Yao 1999; Peng 1987; Ashton et al. 1984; Cao 2005) put the GLF famine death toll between 18 million and 32.5 million. In contrast, an example of "simple math" can be found in the book of anti-Communist Dikotter, who simply selected Cao Shuji’s estimate of 32.5 million (the highest estimate) and then added 50 percent to it on the basis of discrepancies between archival reports and gazetteer data thereby generating a minimum total of 45 million excess deaths. --Paul Siebert (talk) 13:53, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Mao spoke of sacrificing 300 million people, or half of China’s population. He warned that the policies he later adopted would kill 50 million people. Grain exported by the communists was sufficient to feed the numbers who starved to death, which they privately estimated at 30 million. See Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (Jonathan Cape, 2005), pg457-8. See also Carl Riskin, "Seven Questions About the Chinese Famine of 1959-61," China Economic Review, Autumn 1998, p119: "Enough was known to let us conclude that ignorance is not even an accurate excuse." The Chinese Gulag was designed by the Soviet Union. The anonymous comment qualifies as genocide denial. There's no doubt that Mao killed tens of millions in total.
  • As for the claim that higher estimates of over 40-45 million famine-dead are inaccurate, well, I haven't endorsed those figures--but they aren't implausible.
  • If anything, I think the higher estimates are more accurate. Using smuggled government documents, Chinese population statistics and interviews with police and villagers in four Chinese provinces, Chen Yizi calculated that as many as 43 million people died during the famine that followed Mao’s Great Leap Forward. The Shanghai University journal Society estimated that 40 million people died during the famine. Frank Dikötter wrote: "Demographers have used official census figures to estimate that 20 million to 30 million people died. But inside the communist party archives is an abundance of evidence, from the minutes of emergency committees to secret police reports and public security investigations, that show these estimates to be woefully inadequate. In the summer of 1962, for instance, the head of the Public Security Bureau in Sichuan sent a long handwritten list of casualties to the local boss, Li Jingquan, informing him that 10.6 million people had died in his province from 1958 to 1961. In many other cases, local party committees investigated the scale of death in the immediate aftermath of the famine, leaving detailed computations of the scale of the horror. In all, the records I studied suggest that the Great Leap Forward was responsible for at least 45 million deaths." Accounts of survivors overwhelming suggest Maoist culpability. As more evidence comes out of China, it becomes clearer that the famine was more lethal than originally supposed and official census figures can't be trusted. As for Mao's genius at famine relief, Li Xiannian admitted in 1979 that "100 million people" still "do not have enough food" (independent reports spoke of "200 million peasants....in a state of semi-starvation"). Thanks Mao! Widespread hunger and malnutrition persisted until after the death of Mao.
  • I'm confident that more people were sent to the Soviet Gulag than the official figures imply.
  • The Ellman quote was taken from the text you cited; he merely argued that the adjustments to the official figures required would be too large.
  • There's nothing in Cambodian "tradition" even remotely comparable to the brutality of the Khmer Rouge; not their unprecedented near-total destruction of Buddhist institutions, nor the sheer terror they inspired while enslaving 99% of the population and tearing families apart in a cycle of paranoid violence.
  • "Why did the Nazis feed the Jews? Why did the Nazis give them uniforms? Why did the Nazis have them perform hard labor? What reason is there for thinking that they intended mass death?"
  • I doubt the utility of further discussion, but at least this was somewhat enjoyable as an intellectual exercise.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 15:16, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't matter how many secondary sources you name here, the fact they are secondary means they're no substitute for official figures. Maoist China only experienced 3 years of increase in death rates, which amounted to 1.46% between 1957-1960 and death rates rapidly decreased afterwards. Now when we consider China had around 660 to 670 million people at that time, a 1.46% increase to death rates over 3 years would translate into 9.78 million excess deaths, and that at the very most. The only way you can challenge official death rates is by conducting ALTERNATIVE censuses AT THAT TIME. Except there were no alternative censuses carried out in China between 1957-1960 so official figures are the best we can get. And "Mao: The Unknown Story"- give me a break. What Mao said is to be found at marxists.org. Everything else that is being attributed to Mao is simply APOCRIPHAL 188.25.37.242 (talk) 16:24, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

The Table[edit]

A table has been removed [1]. Why exactly? Was it something not claimed by Rummel? If it was something claimed by Rummel, this should be restored, maybe in a shorter version, since he is main author of the "Democide" concept. If his numbers are right or wrong is an entirely different question (remember, "verifiability, not truth"). This page should describe: (a) what exactly methodology Rummel used to obtain these numbers, and I do not see it well described right now, and (b) sourced support and criticism of his methodology and numbers. My very best wishes (talk) 20:56, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

I do not remember who removed the table, however, I think that was a correct step. Rummel has been severely criticized for usage of highly exaggerated numbers, and, by providing the table that contains hugely exaggerated data we mislead a reader, who may think the data are reliable. Of course, we can add the table and supplement it with a discussion of problems with Rummel's estimates. However, in that case, it is unclear what is the reason for providing all those wrong data. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:31, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
It's not our job to tell the reader that the data is "wrong," nor does the existence of controversy render a claim untenable. However, it is pointless to have Wikipedia list all of Rummel's estimates, as it could appear to endorse them. Readers can visit his website and evaluate his estimates on their own.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 07:04, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. So, it was indeed a Table with data by Rummel. Let's include a shorter version of this Table with a few key numbers? BTW, giving any sourced and relevant information on wiki (especially bare numbers with appropriate attribution) does not mean endorsing or promoting anything. Key numbers by Rummel were published in a lot of sources (see Google books search for "democide"), hence they can be provided here per WP:NPOV. My very best wishes (talk) 12:47, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe there is a discussion of Rummel's Stalin estimate in the article.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 16:04, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
We do need to cite some of Rummel's estimates to demonstrate what were the figures he used for his theory. However, these figures should be supplemented with discussion of their validity.
Regarding the discussion of Stalin's victims, I've just re-read several sources specially devoted to this issue. Such notable authors as Robert Conquest, Stephen Wheatcroft and Michael Ellman do not mention Rummel during the discussion of the scale of Stalinist repressions. That is a good indication of quality of Rummel's data.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:25, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Even if we admit Stalin did kill plenty of his own people, even if we admit Stalin was to blame for the Holodomor- which by the way is extremely doubtful- even if we admit all this we have to agree that he was responsible for far LESS Soviet deahs than Hitler was. Since there is no way a Genocide during STEEP population increase could have been worse than one happening during population DECREASE. RaduFlorian (talk) 18:30, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

The fact that Wikipedia editors actually doubt Stalin's culpability for the Holodomor is the firmest indication of why this site is often so absurdly biased against the US and in favor of the Far Left. Stalin exported food sufficient to feed the victims, rejected international aid, and deprived peasants of their harvests; such famines only occurred under communism. You don't even understand the concept of "democide". Hitler's invasion of the USSR killed 27 million people. That's not "democide"; that is all excess deaths caused by a war, of which only a fraction are democidal. And these deaths occured over 4 years, not 30.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 18:42, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Well, Kulak culpability for the famine is admitted to even by a leading Ukrainian AntiCommunist quoted in Douglas Tottle's book. His name is Mazeppa and he is quoted as having said that his followers were responsible for the destruction of up to 50% of crops in 1932 alone, as a form of "AntiCommunist resistance" (Douglas Tottle- "Fraud Famine Fascism", chapter8). The amount of food and seed Stalin send to Ukraine in the spring of 1933 is something that I do not exactly remember yet the famine receded soon afterwards which means Stalin's aid did do some help to those who were starving RaduFlorian (talk) 19:15, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

The work you cited has zero credibility. It is the communist equivalent to David Irving. Go read Irving and tell me how impressed you are with his amazing "facts".TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 19:24, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Apparently leading Ukrainian Nationalist Isaac Mazeppa had this to say on the subject of Kulak sabotage that you discount so eagerly: "At first there were disturbances in the Kolkhozi (collective farms) or else the Communist officials and their agents were killed but later a system of passive resistance was favoured which aimed at the systematic frustration of the Bolsheviks'plans for the sowing and gathering of the harvest. The catastrophe of 1932 was the hardest blow that Soviet Ukraine had to face since the famine of 1921-1922. The autumn and spring sowing campaigns both failed. Whole tracts were left unsown, in addition when the crop was being gathered... in many areas, especially in the south, 20, 40 and even 50% was left in the fields and was either not collected at all or was ruined in the thresing". (Douglas Tottle- "Fraud Famine Fascism, chapter 8, quoting Isaac Mazeppa- "ukraine under Bolshevist Rule", Slavonic Review, Vol 12, 1933-1934, pp 312-343). As for Wikipedia being biased against AmeriKKKa- no, I do not think so. There is no other Holocaust on wikipedia more vigurously under attack thatn the Great Holocaust against Native Americans. Blaming 100 million Native deaths on smallpox is fast becoming the rage on Wikipedia. Yet if anyone said the same on the subject of JEWISH Holocaust he would be shunned by everyone and if he lived in certain Western countries he would land himself quite nicely in jail. To deny a 100 million Holocaust is not only tolerated but actually ENCOURAGED on wikipedia. Yet if anyone denied a 6 million Holocaust he would get the exact OPPOSITE treatment. And you call this a far-left andti-USA bias? No, there is nothing further from the truth. 188.25.72.248 (talk) 19:43, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

The figure of 100 million was invented by anthropologist Henry Dobyns and has been completely discredited (David Henige, Numbers From Nowhere: The American Indian Contact Population Debate, University of Oklahoma Press, 1998, pp66-87). Modern scholarship suggests that more than 90% of the American Indians died of disease, not war or massacre (Noble David Cook, Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492-1650 Cambridge University Press, 1998, p206). It's an imaginary genocide, like the imaginary "genocide" Israel is perpetrating against the imaginary "Palestinians". Tottle is not a reliable source for quotes, facts, or statistics. You said earlier that "even if we admit Stalin killed many people"....Do you doubt that Stalin really killed people? Sign in when you comment. We're off topic. Goodbye.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:28, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
So when Indians die by disease through determined colonization then it's not a massmurder but when Ukraines die of starvation from forced economic policies it is? What hell are we, a court of public opinion? Not to mention that this man is clearly funded by special interest groups and that he has downplayed americas genocidal assistance to the Khmer Rouge, its slavetrade, its extra-judicial killings of communists and labor-unionists, its corporate mandated invasions of various South American countries, its napalmbombing of Vietnamese villages, its shooting of peaceprotestors, its murder of state and rebel officials, its terrorbombings of german cities, its nuclear bombings of japanese cities, its creation of and later support for the neo-slavery and later genocidal regime of Liberia and finally today its signing into law the right for its own government to kill its own citizens without even a show trial. Oh and Russian and Soviet census information completely conflicts with his inflated numbers of 61 million dead, even including Civil and international war and starvation. The man is a crook. But most importantly it seems that this whole page is for his own self-promotion. Nobody uses this term and all sources are attributed to him. If this is to be a broader category of state sponsored murder and killings then make it so. If its supposed to be a small article on his definition of something then remove it from the category list.213.100.108.117 (talk) 00:04, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Like it or not Mazeppa is first-hand source thay Tottle uses in his book so the sabotage hypothesis actually does make a lot of sense. As for the Native American Holocaust aka The Worst Holocaust in History it is worth noting that smallpox theorists overlook the link between disease and dispossesion which may be as important as that between disease and lack of natural imunity. After all, didn't Anne Frank also died of DISEASE rather than bullets or Cyclon-B? So how come people like you refuse to apply to the Jewish Holocaust the logic they apply to the Ntaive American Holocaust? Of course, it's much easier actually to kick people like Ward Churchill out of Universities when the conclusions they reach are not to US and Jewish supremacists' liking... RaduFlorian (talk) 12:49, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Why aren't these concerns being addressed? Rummel is a propagandist of an old age of the cold war and an insult to anyone seeking an objective picture. His term democide is used by no one, not even those who support his ideological rabble. The Yugoslav debate flaring up above should beyond doubt show that this article and this man deserves no mention on this encyclopedia.46.59.36.37 (talk) 23:15, 24 January 2013 (UTC)