How Many Unarmed People have been Murdered by Governments? 262 million

Posted on May 16th, 2014 by admin in Political Economy

This headline is as stark as I can make it. By far the biggest cause of un-natural death, including combat, is government. This point is simply and shockingly made in Reason Magazine, in a short article titled

262 Million People Have Been Murdered by Governments. Are You Anti-State Yet?

Therein is a table itemizing the deaths caused by various regimes and the time periods over which the governments killed that number of people. The article is blandly summarized by

“It is true that democratic freedom is an engine of national and individual wealth and prosperity. Hardly known, however, is that freedom also saves millions of lives from famine, disease, war, collective violence, and democide (genocide and mass murder). That is, the more freedom, the greater the human security and the less the violence. Conversely, the more power governments have, the more human insecurity and violence. In short: to our realization that power impoverishes we must also add that power kills.” [ Prof. R. J. Rummel, Power Kills ]

As a motivator for you to read the article, just scan this table from the article.

Death by government


These government killings are more than 6 times the number who died in combat!

You may well question whether Big Government is a Good Thing.


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