100 years ago, on November 7, 1917, the Bolskeviks seized power in Russia and ushered in a century of terror, murder and economic/environmental mismanagement that killed more people than any other ideology or religion ever in the history of humanity. Not only did they kill more people in absolute terms, but the Communist regimes inspired and supported by the Soviet Union get to claim top spots in the “relative death” chart.
Hitler was only a National Socialist and anti-semite and as a result he merely managed to kill perhaps 11 million of the population under his control. Critically he was stopped before getting to major famines, which his International Socialist (i.e. Communist) fellow dictators embraced enthusiastically and as a result killed less than 5% of his population (depending on exactly how you count the population during wars etc.)
The absolute winner was Comrade Mao who caused the deaths of at least 50 Million* Chinese during his “great leap forward”. The relative winner (so far) appears to be Pol Pot who managed to kill about a quarter of his fellow Kampucheans. It is telling that the only reason he stopped was that the otherwise nasty Communists from next door (Vietnam) intervened and toppled his regime.
Of course none of these statistics count the abortions. Based on comparing Nicolae Ceaușescu‘s Romania which banned them (and also banned condoms and other birth control) to other Eastern European nations, you can probably add a few tens of millions of them to the list too.
Now various media organizations (the NY Slimes and the Grauniad to pick two) will try to claim that life for those who avoided starvation/gulags etc. wasn’t too bad and that the communist regimes radically improved on what was there before. They do have a slight point here. Consider this (not very positive) article about “Upper Volta with Rockets” which makes the point that from 1925 or so life expectancy and a bunch of other things improved. But there’s a catch here. World wide under just about every regime from free market liberal democracy to kleptocratic dictatorship to communism these indicators increased absent wars.
The problem for the defenders of communism is that the commie places improved far less than their non-commie competitors. Consider Taiwan vs the PRC (because East Germany vs West Germany is so obvious): in 1945 Taiwan was a rural backwater but 50 years on it was massively richer on a per capita basis than the PRC and in fact being invited to invest in the PRC to transfer technology etc.
Indeed Eastern Europe, Russia, the PRC (and even India) are great examples of how countries improve when they throw off the shackles of communist/socialist ideology. Cuba and Venezuela, by contrast, are great examples of how embracing that ideology leads to disaster.
Overall I’d say this Early Day Motion in the UK House of Commons is remarkably civil:
That this House notes, with great regret, that 7 November 2017 marks 100 years since Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution which subsequently demonstrated, time and again, that Communism is a murderous political ideology, incompatible with liberty, self-government and the dignity of human beings, and injurious to the national, ethnic and religious traditions of the world’s peoples; further notes that Communism subjected millions to theft, surveillance, terror and ultimate destruction; acknowledges that the cultural, political and economic legacy of Soviet Communism still negatively affects vast numbers of people today; and accordingly believes that the crimes of Communism, together with those of its mirror image, National Socialism, must forever serve as a warning to humanity of the terrible consequences of totalitarianism in all its forms.
*The numbers of deaths caused by Mao could be over 100M but oddly enough people starving to death are very bad at keeping accurate statistics and the people starving them aren’t much better.
The deaths of hundreds of millions of their own citizens in these communist countries is proof that The Big Lie is communism’s most powerful tool.
– The Liberator