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Rudolph Rummel is professor emeritus of political science at the UniversityofHawaii?. He has spent his career studying wars, conflicts, and governmental mass murder, for which he has coined the term DemocidE?.

Among Rummel's more startling findings is that the death toll from government mass murder is far greater than the death toll from war. After studying some 8,193 reports of government killing, Rummel estimates that there have been 169,198,000 victims of democide in the last century, as against some 38,000,000 killed in war. Four times as many people have been murdered in cold blood by people working for governments than have died in battle.

Rummel's research has revealed strong correlations between peace, freedom, and democracy. According to his estimates, there have been 353 wars since 1816. There have been no wars between democracies. In Rummel's words, "We have a solution for war. It is to expand the sphere of liberty."

There is also a correlation between political power and democide. Political mass murder - far more deadly than war - grows increasingly common as political power becomes unconstrained. On the other end of the scale, where power is diffuse, checked, and balanced, political violence is a rarity. According to Rummel, "The more power a regime has, the more likely people will be killed. This is a major reason for promoting freedom."

After dedicating his life to studying the century's worst horrors, Rummel concludes that "Concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth."

In January, 2001, Rummel published a new book SavingLivesEnrichingLife? on [his website]. This book aims at popularizing the findings of his academic research.

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Last edited January 31, 2001 7:42 am by JimboWales (diff)