Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in the world. The primary cause of dying among young people in the industrialized nations is traffic accidents. The greatest violations to global human rights on a yearly bases is private crime – homicide. Much of it against children, the old, women and men, mostly perpetrated by men. The rates of private crime in the world far out shadows much political misery, especially in the democracies. Genocide of historical portions – in fact what gave birth to the word invented by Raphael Lemkin – was executed in a modern sense in Hitler’s National-Socialist Germany where six million Jews were murdered. Nations which have committed this crime are: Japan, killing 300,000 Chinese at Nanking, Russia, seven million in the Ukraine, Cambodia, two million city dwellers, Turkey, 1.5 million Christian Armenians, Bosnia, 200,000 Muslims, Rwanda, 800,000 Tutsis and the Darfur region in Sudan, 450,000 non-Arabs.
Politicide is the deliberate murder of a group who belong to a political movement. Khomeini’s Iran for instance killed as many Communists as it could arrest (after promising them in a formal alliance that communism would be legalized after the revolution). Democide is the murder of any person by the state, including genocide, politicide and mass murder. More people are killed by the state, (democide), than die of lung cancer, illicit drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, (STDs), alcohol consumption, homicide, civil and foreign wars, traffic accidents, pulmonary disease and diabetes. Total figures, for instance between 1900 and 1999 is well over 250 million people worldwide.
Ideology and religion gently fold into one another from the sidelines of extreme left and right. Any intellectual making the claim that positives of belief, whether religion or ideology, outweigh the negatives, has a daunting task indeed to justify his contention – I’d say even an impossible one. The reason why Christians murder Muslims and Muslims kill Christians is the exact same reason as why Marxists exterminated the bourgeoisie and the Hutus macheted the Tutsis. Vermin, parasites, cockroaches, maggots, pigs, rats and other repulsive images were used by all regimes to label their victims. The rulers cleanse society of impurities.
This is how the early American settlers justified the destruction of the First Peoples: partly with religion, (they like the animals had no soul), partly with words such as, “savages” “pagans” “heathens” and “infidels.” Although racism plays a large part, greed and exploitation also have a role, for instance, both the Turks and the Germans confiscated their victims’ possessions. This also has much to do with intolerance, and because Christianity, Islam and Marxism are themselves fiery closed-minded belief systems, they encourage genocide when the perfect confluence of events occurs, like the rise of the Young Turks in the sunset of the Ottoman Empire or the emboldened nationalism of the Christian Serbs in Bosnia after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. In Rwanda however, we see just naked intolerance for no rational reason at all, but only an artificial division created centuries ago as a device to divide and conquer Africa by white colonialists. What we also see is self-denial, such as after WW II, Germans refusing to admit they knew of the gas chambers, Russians denying the Gulag system of labor and the Sudanese ruling Arab Muslims denying their regime is practicing an openly racist policy of extermination. To this day Turkey is so insecure as a nation and as a people that they’ll not own what they did even against the irrefutable proof. Japan took decades before it apologized to China. Perhaps Barrack Obama should apologize for America’s institutionalized slavery. Apologies are exceedingly important. Manners on the global stage make a better world.
Essentially only a few things can prevent the worst of homicide, genocide and democide: an independent uncorrupted judicial system and the empowerment of the individual or group being victimized, oppressed and demonized. Most importantly, being self-governed by a stable democracy with a large middle-class who holds the balance of power is the best protection. With democide, per capita – closed societies compared against democracies – there is no contest. Non-democratic governments commit almost all the crimes of democide.
Why hasn’t global democracy taken hold then? The short answer is: nationalism, religion and ideology. The complicated one is that human beings are fragile subjective creatures who find god and absolute truth in wishful thinking. The cold statistical knowledge brought by liberty and plurality – the frightening aspects of freedom and science – allow its enemies to slander it and beguile their populations. They become dark places where injustice can reign, and sometimes, genocide and democide are committed even while the world knowingly looks on like in the case of Rwanda, see, Shake Hands With the Devil. In the last decades, there has been a trend towards democracy: in 1985 there was approximately 55 countries free, with 120 un-free; by 1993 those figures had grown to 75 and 110, by 2003, 90 and 105, by 2011, it brought even, and today is more or leass unchanged. Although more than 35 percent of the world still lives in some sort of tyranny ranging from military dictatorships like Burma, repressive monarchies like Saudi Arabia, totalitarian political parties like China, foreign occupiers like Western Sahara and brutal state led genocidal regimes like Suden's Darfur region, there is in general, reason to be hopeful, and this trend is certainly encouraging; see Freedom House.
© 2017 - E. A. St. Amant