Atrocities Scoredard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by DoctorJones24, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    Atrocities Scorecard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

    In the December issue of Atlantic Monthly, Jonathan Rauch laments “the forgotten millions,” the victims of communism, “the deadliest fantasy in human history.” This idea has gotten periodic regurgitation on these boards from Ian, Alex, and others, but I think it’s rarely been challenged.

    So let’s discuss an “Atrocity Scorecard.”
    The three main contenders will be:

    Communism
    Capitalism
    Religion

    Which has caused the most pain, suffering, death, and overall evil in world history?

    Round One: Capitalism leads off with...the TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE! An early big point-gainer. Estimated 28 million Africans killed or abducted.
     
  2. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Re: Atrocities Scorecard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

    Point taken, but what have you done for me (to me?) lately? Religion has been around since the beginning of man and capitalism isn't much younger...Communism has been around for less than 150 years. Marx's disciples have a lot of catching up to do, sure, but they got off to a damn good start...
     
  3. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Apr 29, 2001
    New Jersey, USA
    Re: Atrocities Scorecard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

    \

    Well, religion's the obvious heavyweight champ through history and continues to kill around the globe. When all else fails, killing for religion remains a popular excuse. Not much thinking involved there.

    Then there's communism. Well where do we start? In less than a century communist dictatorships have killed...calculator please...probably well over 100 million people. A researcher did some digging on this subject here:
    http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0598commurder.htm

    If oppressive communism as practiced for decades (and still practiced in places like North Korea - still suffering from man-made famines) had been able to operate another 200-300 yrs. like modern capitalism, would there be half a billion dead? The possibilities are frightening and so are the apologists who say "well, it wasn't TRUE communism that was practiced."
     
  4. CrewDust

    CrewDust Member

    May 6, 1999
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Was slavery a product of capitalism or mercantilism? Plus slavery has been around for 4000 years, long before capitalism was created.
     
  5. Ian McCracken

    Ian McCracken Member

    May 28, 1999
    USA
    Club:
    SS Lazio Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Re: Atrocities Scorecard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

    Yeah, Africa was a hotbed of capitalism selling each other into slavery. That's where Ludwig Von Mises penned his thesis, I think. Africa continues to practice capitalism in the Sudan today.
     
  6. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Apr 29, 2001
    New Jersey, USA
    New Coke, the Ford Pinto, shag rug toupees & communism. Some ideas shouldn't have been recycled out of the garbage can.
     
  7. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    Historians generally seem to see mercantalism as the progenitor of capitalism.

    Re: slavery, that's why I stressed the particular triangular trade in Africans, specfically from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

    And though I offerred the "scorecard" idea as a flippant retort, I actually would make a few general points about this whole discussion:

    1) The data on Stalin's purges is far from solid. I've seen estimates from 6 to 60 million victims. The 60 figure comes from a Cold War era propaganda piece by Solzenietzen, from what I can gather. Not sure if there is any new non-partizan study with recently release Soviet archives.

    2) Regardless, equating Stalinism in particular with "communism" as an ideology is tendentious. Stalin combined czarist conservatism and meglomania with the veneer of a socialist structured economy. Indeed, most of the victims of his Great Terror were communists.

    3) Across the ages and across ideologies, these types of pogroms, atrocities, and exploitative measures seem only coincidentally related to specific types of regimes. In spite of the cliche, it does seem that "power" is the unifying element. The bigger and more powerful a state is, there seems to be a corresponding relationship to its capacity for evil. While on smaller scales, all three of these systems have produced quite peaceful and liberatory social organizations.*

    *Actually, I'm hard pressed to come up with such an example for capitalism...but there must be one, no?
     
  8. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    mokum
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    my money is on religion
     
  9. Blitzz Boy

    Blitzz Boy Member

    Apr 4, 2002
    The West Side
    Where is Ludahai when we need him?

    How many people did Mao kill? Pol Pot did not kill as many, but he sure racked up a lot of Style Points.

    Some pretty close family members of mine are alive today because of kewl medical equipment that bloated exploiting captialist pigs invented.
     
  10. obie

    obie New Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    NY, NY
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If religion doesn't win this, it's because we're not looking hard enough for evidence.
     
  11. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Pol Pot's numbers are fairly low, but that's because he only had Cambodia to work with...Mao had China and Stalin had Russia, so of course they were able to kill many times more.

    Mao is actually the worst butcher of the 20th century, he's estimated to have killed around 50 million...Stalin offed another 40 million, Lenin another 5 million or so, and another 10-15 million for various other communist dictators (mostly Pol Pot and the Kims)...
     
  12. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Keep looking...
     
  13. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Canada
    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    Stalin: You can start with the 7-10 Million that died in the Ukraine as the result of an artifical famine (Thanks to his five-year plans). Add millions more who died in his "five year plans". Add the millions that died in his purges and revenge against ethnic groups that he consider "enemies".

    Mao: 30+ Million dead during the "Great Leap Forward".

    Add a couple of million more under other communist dictators.

    Here's a nice little table for measure.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.TAB1.GIF
     
  14. Ludahai

    Ludahai New Member

    Jun 22, 2001
    Taichung, Taiwan
    Someone got the number for the Great Leap Forward with at least 30 million. I don't know how many died during the Cultural Revolution, but I think the number was in the millions (I'll check tomorrow morning). Don't forget those who are still dying in China today to the ChiCom thugs.
     
  15. Doctor Stamen

    Doctor Stamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2001
    In a bag with a cat.
    a few questions.

    1. Would Stalin come under religion as well though ?. His status when he was leader was elevated to a virtual deity, whose face was put about everywhere.

    2. Would the problems of famine, poverty and AIDS in Africa and elsewhere come under capitalism, due to drawbacks with globalisation, the business about patented/cheap anti-AIDS drugs, industrial accidents in developing countries that go unpunished etc ?.
     
  16. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    False question. First of all, just 'cause those movements called themselves Communist doesn;t mean history should. If Communism is a withering away of the state, how can wholly centralized state power be "communist?"

    So, that's failure numberone of this question.

    Number two is that the only variant of any of these that kills is the TOTALITARIAN variant.

    Totalitarian capitalism. How many people around the world (or just in American) die from the manifestly unequal flows of resources that capitalism manifests? Just 'cause its harder to see, doesn't mean its not a causal relationship.

    Totalitarianism through highly centralized dictatorships or centralized socialism...that's been aptly described here...Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

    Totalitarian spiritualism...religion certainly has killed more people on Earth, since the formation thereof, than anything else I think...

    But let's move to be more accurate in our language; just because our mainstream information sources cannot be accurate, does not mean we should not be...
     
  17. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Right, because economics is one big fvcking zero-sum game.
     
  18. Sardinia

    Sardinia New Member

    Oct 1, 2002
    Sardinia, Italy, EU
    I don't understand and accept the kind of arguments intended to say that the bloody totalitarian communist regimes were not really communism.

    Maybe. Let's say all the tries to apply communism to reality has miserably failed.

    A good reason to avoid new tries at least for a couple of millennia.

    Communism is a kind of ideology appliable to little autarchic communities and nations inhabitated by only or mainly Jesus's, gandhi's, buddah's.
    Sadly it's not the case of this world.

    I'd go with socialdemocracy which is a more pragmatic attitude aiming to correct the horrors that communism applied and pure untouched capitalism (btw it's a fairy tale since most of capitalist fundamentalists like oligarchy and monopoly) do produce.
     
  19. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Atrocities Scorecard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

    Dr., first of all, you're saying the economic system of the 17th c. was capitalism, which is a pretty contentious assertion. Second, THEY WERE ALREADY SLAVES WHEN THE EUROPEANS BOUGHT THEM!!! So even if that was "capitalism," they didn't create the slaves.
     
  20. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Re: Re: Atrocities Scorecard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

    I'm still laughing at this one. Sorry, I can't play yet.
     
  21. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    This is like comparing cooking pans to bicycles.
     
  22. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    An interesting thread idea that, not surprisingly, almost instantly degenerated into people asserting the inherently unprovable. The idea of an "atrocity scorecard" is irreparably marred by two things:

    1) You'd have to come up with definitions of "Capitalism", "Communism" and "Religion" (and why not "Monarchy" or "Feudalism" while we're at it?) that everyone can agree on. This will never happen.

    2) Lack of authoritative data. As was pointed out about Stalinism, many estimates of atrocities vary so widely as to be useless in any practical sense.

    Therefore, this discussion cannot possibly turn into anything other than politically masturbatory self-righteousness and baseless, childish bickering along the lines of "Well your lot is worse!" "Is not!" "Is too!" "Is not!" "Is too!" "Is not!" "Is too!"... repeat ad infinitum.
     
  23. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Well then. It has found it's rightful home.
     
  24. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    How is that different from any discussion on Bigsoccer or, for that matter, the internet?
     
  25. DJPoopypants

    DJPoopypants New Member

    Re: Re: Atrocities Scorecard: Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Religion

    Um... supply ramps up to meet demand?

    Surely you don't truly believe that tribal chiefs involved in the international slave trade said, well, I know you want more slaves and are willing to pay for them, but we really shouldn't raid villages and take any more slaves than we took last year before we met you...

    Might not have been capitalism, but there sure was entrepeneurism...
     

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