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Communist regimes refers to those countries who declared themselves to be socialist states under the Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist, or Maoist definition (in other words, "communist states") at some point in their history.

Crime of Genocide Scholars use several different terms to describe the intentional killing of large numbers of noncombatants.[nb 1][2] Under the Genocide Convention, theCrime of Genocide does not apply to the mass killing of political and social groups. Protection of political groups was eliminated from the UN resolution after a second vote, because many states anticipated that clause to apply unneeded limitations to their right to suppress internal disturbances.[3]

Politicide The term "politicide" is used to describe the killing of political or economic groups that would otherwise be covered by the Genocide Convention.[4]Manus I. Midlarsky uses the term "politicide" to describe an arc of mass killings from the western parts of the Soviet Union to China and Cambodia.[nb 2] In his book The killing trap: genocide in the twentieth century Midlarsky raises similarities between the killings of Stalin and Pol Pot.[6]

Democide R. J. Rummel coined the term "democide", which includes genocide, politicide, and mass murder.[7] Jacques Semelin prefers "crime against humanity".[8] Helen Fein has termed the mass state killings in the Soviet Union and Cambodia as the "genocide and Democide".[9]

Classicide Michael Mann has proposed the term "classicide" to mean the "intended mass killing of entire social classes."[10] Stephen Wheatcroft notes that, in the case of the Soviet Union, terms such as "the terror", "the purges", and "repression" (the latter mostly in common Russian) colloquially refer to the same events and he believes the most neutral of these terms are "repression" and "mass killings".[2]

Mass killing The latter term has been defined by Valentino as "the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants," where a "massive number" is defined as at least 50,000 intentional deaths over the course of five years or less.[11] He applies this definition to the cases of Stalin's USSR, PRC under Mao and Cambodia under Khmer Rouge, while admitting that mass killings on a smaller scale also appear to have been carried out by regimes in North Korea, Vietnam, Eastern Europe, and Africa.[nb 3]

Communist Holocaust The United States Congress has referred to the mass killings collectively as an unprecedented imperial Communist Holocaust[12][13] while theVictims of Communism Memorial Foundation established by the United States Congress refers to this subject as the Communist Holocaust[14]. The term Red Holocaust entered usage in public discourse in the 1990s and is used by several scholars; for instance Horst Möller and Steven Rosefielde have published books on this subject titled Red Holocaust[15][16]

Genocide studies Some scholars in the field of genocide studies, such as Daniel Goldhagen, Steven Rosefielde, and Benjamin Valentino, assert that communist regimes are responsible for deaths far in excess of any other regime type.[17][nb 4][15]

Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago have shown the significance of terminology in that, depending on the use of democide (generalised state-sponsored killing) or politicide (eliminating groups who are politically opposed) as the criterion for inclusion in a data-set, statistical analyses seeking to establish a connection between mass killings can produce very different results, including the significance or otherwise of regime type.[18]

In the view of Anton Weiss-Wendt, academic debate regarding the common features of mass killing and other legal measures in communist countries originates in the political advocacy of Raphael Lemkinin advocating the genocide convention.[nb 5]According to Weiss-Wendt, Lemkin's goal was the international ratification of a Genocide Convention, and he consistently bent his advocacy towards which ever venue would advance his objective.[nb 6]Associating with the US government, Central European and Eastern European emigre communities, Lemkin bent the term genocide to meet the political interests of those he associated with, and in the case of communities of emigres in the US, funded his living.[nb 7]

Communist genocide In this way, contends Weiss-Wendt, Lemkin was enmeshed in an anti-Soviet political community, and regularly used the term "Communist genocide" to refer to a broad range of human rights violations—not simply to mass-killings of ethnic groups—in all the post 1945 communist nations, and claimed that future "genocides" would occur in all nations adopting communism. [nb 8] Lemkin's broad application of his term in political lobbying degraded its usefulness, "Like King Midas, whatever Lemkin touched turned into “genocide.” But when everything is genocide nothing is genocide!" states Weiss-Wendt.[19](p555-6) Additionally, Lemkin displayed both a racialism against Russians who he believed "were incapable of “digesting a great number of people belonging to a higher civilization,”"[nb 9] and made broad use of his term in the political service of the USA's anti-communist position in the 1950s concludes Weiss-Wendt. Lemkin has been praised for being the first to use the comparative method into the study of mass violence.

  1. ^ a b c Valentino, Benjamin A (2005). "Communist Mass Killings: The Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia". Final solutions: mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century. Cornell University Press. pp. 91–151. ISBN 0801472733. 
  2. ^ a b Stephen Wheatcroft. The Scale and Nature of German and Soviet Repression and Mass Killings, 1930-45. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 48, No. 8 (Dec., 1996), pp. 1319-1353
  3. ^ Beth van Schaack. The Crime of Political Genocide: Repairing the Genocide Convention's Blind Spot. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 7 (May, 1997), pp. 2259-2291
  4. ^ Harff, Barbara (1988). "Toward Empirical Theory of Genocides and Politicides: Identification and Measurement of Cases since 1945". 32: 359–371.  |first2= missing |last2= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ Midlarsky, Manus I (2005). Cambridge University Press. p. 310. ISBN 9780521815451  Unknown parameter |unused_data= ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Midlarsky, Manus (2005). The killing trap: genocide in the twentieth century. Cambridge University Press. p. 321. ISBN 0521815452. 
  7. ^ R.J. Rummel. Death by Government Chapter 2:Definition of Democide
  8. ^ Semelin, Jacques (2009). "Destroying to Eradicate". Purify and Destroy: The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide. Columbia University Press. p. 318. ISBN 0231142838, 9780231142830 Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). 
  9. ^ Fein, Helen (1993). Genocide: a sociological perspective. Sage Publication. p. 75. ISBN 9780803988293. 
  10. ^ Mann, Michael (2005). "The Argument". The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing. Cambridge University Press. p. 17. ISBN 0521538548, 9780521538541 Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). 
  11. ^ “Draining the Sea”: Benjamin Valentino, Paul Huth, Dylan Balch-Lindsay. Mass Killing and Guerrilla Warfare. International Organization 58, Spring 2004, pp. 375–407
  12. ^ [1] The USAct of Congress (1993) establishing the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation uses the termImperial Communist Holocaust
  13. ^ Rauch, Jonathan (December 2003), "The Forgotten Millions: Communism is the deadliest fantasy in human history (but does anyone care?)", The Atlantic Monthly, retrieved 24 April 2010 
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Rosefielde, Steven (2009). Red Holocaust. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-77757-5. 
  16. ^ Möller, Horst (1999). Der rote Holocaust und die Deutschen. Die Debatte um das 'Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus'. Piper Verlag. ISBN 978-3492041195. 
  17. ^ Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity. PublicAffairs, 2009. ISBN 1586487698 p. 54: " the past century communist regimes, led and inspired by the Soviet Union and China, have killed more people than any other regime type."
  18. ^ Wayman, Frank; Tago, Atsushi (2005). International Studies Association [cite web cite web] Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)
  19. ^ a b c d e f Anton Weiss-Wendt, "Hostage of Politics: Raphael Lemkin on “Soviet Genocide”" Journal of Genocide Research (2005), 7(4), 551–559Article hosted at

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