Have you read the book "Death by Government" or "China’s Bloody Century" written by R. J. Rummel?  I would bet that you will find his books extremely informative since the history of the ugly mankind has become such a hot topic lately.  With records of over 8,000 estimates of genocide and mass murders from over a thousand sources, R.J. Rummel, the former Yale professor and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, presented a telling picture of the disproportionate number of murders of their own citizens caused by their own governments than by war.     


You have probably heard the term “genocide”.  An example of genocide is the Holocaust, the extermination of roughly six millions of Jews throughout Nazi-occupied territory by Nazi Germany and its collaborators that took place between 1933 and 1945.  Its definition as described by the book is the killing of people by a government because of their indelible group membership (race, ethnicity, religion, language).  You might have also heard the term “politicide”; by definition of the book, it is the murder of any person or people by a government because of their politics or for political purposes.  An example of politicide is the 228 Incident in Taiwan on February 28th 1947, when the arrest of a cigarette vendor in Taipei led to large-scale protests by the native Taiwanese against the corruption and repression of Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalists, and later turned into an indiscriminate killing of roughly 28,000 Taiwanese in the entire Taiwan Island in two weeks. 


In “Death by Government”, Professor Rummel also mentioned the term “Mass Murder” and “Democide”.  I believe that all of you should have no trouble understanding what “Mass Murder” is.  It is pretty self explanatory.  An example of mass murder is the Nanking Massacre, the event of which was heatedly discussed recently during the Sendai earthquake.  The term that might be foreign to many of us is “democide”.  It is the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.  Can you guess how many communist democide that Mao committed before and after he took over China?  In Professor Rummel’s book “China’s Bloody Century”, the statistic is an overwhelming number of 77 millions of Chinese murdered with 3.5 millions of Chinese killed during the Chinese Civil War (the Communist vs. the Nationalist) amidst the Sino-Japanese War, $35 millions of Chinese killed during Mao’s ruling over China (Of which, 8.5 millions killed during the Totalization Period, 7.5 millions killed during the Collectivization and "The Great Leap Forward", 10.7 millions killed during the Great Famine and Retrenchment Period, 7.7 millions killed during the "Cultural Revolution" and 874,000 killed during Liberalization.), and 38 millions innocent lives lost from the China’s Great Famine caused by Mao’s policies. 


In addition to the Chinese killed under the ruling of the Chinese Communist government, Professor Rummel also pointed out the 23 millions of Chinese lives taken under the ruling of the Nationalist (105,000 Chinese were killed during Dynastic and Republican China, 632,000 Chinese killed during Warlord China, 2.7 million Chinese killed during the Nationalist period, 10 million Chinese killed during the Sino-Japanese War, 4 million Chinese killed during Japanese Mass Murder in China and 5 million Chinese killed during the Civil War.)  Roughly 100 millions of Chinese were killed in terms of democide.  So, what is democide again?  The murders of their own citizens caused by their own governments.  His book “China’s Bloody Century” covers much of the killing of unarmed soldiers and helpless civilians by the Nationalist (KMT) and the Chinese communists during their various wars as well as the Japanese democide in China during World War II.  As you look into the history of the ugly mankind and the killing by the governments, you would not want to miss both Professor Rummel’s books “Death by Government” and “China’s Bloody Century” if you truly want to learn from the history.  


Written by Elisa English

On March 20, 2011




1.  China’s Blood Century




2. Reevaluating China’s Democide to 73,000,000



3. Death by Government



4. March 29, 1947 - New York Times by Tillman Durdin



5. Formosa Betrayed by George H Kerr


Mr. Kerr was a Consular officer at the American Consulate in Taipei when the 228 incident unfolded. After he left the Foreign Service, he lectured in Japanese history at the University of Washington, Stanford University and at UC Berkeley. In 1965 he published “Formosa Betrayed”, which is considered the most important reference work on the events of 1947 and the subsequent years.

By the way, there is a movie sharing the same name “Formosa Betrayed” but not entirely the same story.  http://taiwanmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/formosa-betrayed-powerful-story.html



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