January 23, 2021

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

communism killed millions of people

Communism Killed Millions in the 20th Century and is Coming Back


Yesterday, I saw a terrifying article on Reason.com. The article, titled “Communism Killed 94M in 20th Century, Feels Need to Kill Again,” is about two main things. The first, as can be inferred about the title, is that communism killed millions and is coming back. That’s scary enough. But, the second part of the article is even more horrifying. In it, the author, John Walters, points out how socialism and communism killed millions; far more people than any other ideology in the 20th Century.

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Just think of what that means. Yes, war and disease killed more people than communism, despite the fact that communism killed millions. That’s astounding enough But, when you look at deaths from ideology, socialism takes the cake by a huge margin. Even if fascism isn’t included (and that is despite the fact that the Nazis, the most murderous of fascist forces, were socialists)! Yet, for some reason, liberals want to impose communism upon us anyway. They don’t care that communism killed millions of people in the 20th Century. They could not care less about the tens of millions of more lives ruined by it. All they want is the power conferred upon them by the imposition of communism.

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Read the article here: https://reason.com/2013/03/13/communism-killed-94m-in-20th-century/?itm_source=parsely-api

The Article on How Communism Killed Millions and Is Coming Back:

First, Walters uses a graphic from the website Information is Beautiful to show the deaths caused by ideology. The “ideology” section is the picture below, and the link below that picture leads to the full chart. It’s horrifying.

Next, Walters discussed the death toll of socialism in more detail:

The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.

From: https://reason.com/2013/03/13/communism-killed-94m-in-20th-century/?itm_source=parsely-api

Then, Walters points out what that means. Communism, especially Stalinism and Maoism, killed tens of millions. That’s close to how many died in World War II! In my opinion, their estimate is a low ball and communism killed millions more than World War II. But, still, the numbers they present about how many people were killed by socialism are terrifying enough.

During the century measured, more people died as a result of communism than from homicide (58 million) and genocide (30 million) put together. The combined death tolls of WWI (37 million) and WWII (66 million) exceed communism’s total by only 9 million.

From: https://reason.com/2013/03/13/communism-killed-94m-in-20th-century/?itm_source=parsely-api

Afterward, Walters points out that really, the total killed by socialism should be higher because many of those who died from famine (a separate category) died in communist countries. When that is taken into account, the number killed by communism is far higher than that of World War II.

… famine [killed] (101 million). Curiously, all of the world’s worst famines during the 20th century were in communist countries: China (twice!), the Soviet Union, and North Korea.

From: https://reason.com/2013/03/13/communism-killed-94m-in-20th-century/?itm_source=parsely-api

Finally, Walters points out the part of all this that’s problematic today: many on the left want to make communism happen here. They don’t care about what socialism has led to or the fact that communism killed millions. They just want power.

According to a 2011 Rasmussen poll, 11% of Americans think that communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system.

From: https://reason.com/2013/03/13/communism-killed-94m-in-20th-century/?itm_source=parsely-api

My Analysis of How Communism Killed Millions

Walters’s article is short. In fact, this article is almost certainly longer than it. So it’s definitely worth a quick read. But, if you want more detail on what numbers are going into the idea that communism killed millions, here is what the Wall Street Journal has to say:

The victims include 200,000 killed during the Red Terror (1918-22); 11 million dead from famine and dekulakization; 700,000 executed during the Great Terror (1937-38); 400,000 more executed between 1929 and 1953; 1.6 million dead during forced population transfers; and a minimum 2.7 million dead in the Gulag, labor colonies and special settlements.

To this list should be added nearly a million Gulag prisoners released during World War II into Red Army penal battalions, where they faced almost certain death; the partisans and civilians killed in the postwar revolts against Soviet rule in Ukraine and the Baltics; and dying Gulag inmates freed so that their deaths would not count in official statistics.

If we add to this list the deaths caused by communist regimes that the Soviet Union created and supported—including those in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia—the total number of victims is closer to 100 million. That makes communism the greatest catastrophe in human history.

From: 100 Years of Communism and 100 Million Dead

In any case, it’s an important article. Every day, it seems like more and more of our friends on the left start pushing for socialism, as was recently discussed in the Harvard Crimson:

Last month marked 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution, though college culture would give you precisely the opposite impression. Depictions of communism on campus paint the ideology as revolutionary or idealistic, overlooking its authoritarian violence. Instead of deepening our understanding of the world, the college experience teaches us to reduce one of the most destructive ideologies in human history to a one-dimensional, sanitized narrative.

Walk around campus, and you’re likely to spot Ché Guevara on a few shirts and button pins. A sophomore jokes that he’s declared a secondary in “communist ideology and implementation.” The new Leftist Club on campus seeks “a modern perspective” on Marx and Lenin to “alleviate the stigma around the concept of Leftism.” An author laments in these pages that it’s too difficult to meet communists here. For many students, casually endorsing communism is a cool, edgy way to gripe about the world.

After spending four years on a campus saturated with Marxist memes and jokes about communist revolutions, my classmates will graduate with the impression that communism represents a light-hearted critique of the status quo, rather than an empirically violent philosophy that destroyed millions of lives.

From: 100 Years. 100 Million Lives. Think Twice

They want Medicare for All and free college and their greed and desire for those things has led them to ignore that communism killed millions. Or perhaps just a check from Andrew Yang and that is what blinded them. In any case, it is as if they don’t understand how wealth redistribution works and that communism killed millions. Maybe they just don’t care that the entire premise of communism is theft. And as we know, theft leads to violence, so it’s no surprise that communism killed millions.

We need to fight that apathy. Communism is an abhorrent ideology that killed millions and will kill millions more if we let it come to America. So, it should be obvious that that can’t happen. There’s nothing good about collectivism and the authoritarianism it leads to, especially when it starts to kill you.


Walters’s article highlighted a few points I’ve made recently. Specifically, I think it highlights why Truman should have let MacArthur destroy the Chinese communists (as I wrote about in my review of Reminiscences by Douglas MacArthur). It still would have been true that communism killed millions, but at least it would have been eradicated from one nation.

Also, it highlights why the new Cold War with China is so important. Whether you’re reading about Tiananmen Square in 1989 or Hong Kong today, it’s obvious that China is ruled by a murderous, communist elite. America needs to support freedom in Hong Kong and the weakening of that elite.

Finally, Walter’s article is important because it shows what capitalism isn’t. It’s not a murderous ideology, unlike socialism. Sure, some lefties might call capitalism the ideology of greed. They’re wrong, but that’s not the point.

The point is that unlike when the right criticizes socialism, there’s no factual basis for the idea that capitalism kills. It’s a virtuous ideology based on consent. Not an ideology of envy based on violence. That distinction is crucial to remember. Socialists can disregard the facts all they want, but the truth remains; socialism kills and will kill Americans if we let it come here and infect American society in the same way that it infected Europe during the horrible years of the 20th Century. Communism killed millions. Don’t let it kill Americans.

By: Gen Z Conservative

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