a quarter of a billion

I’m taking a bit of a break from blogging, the return to Australia has left me with a disembodied sense of culture shock, and I’m feeling quite blah. But I do have to write about this:

I stumbled on Prof. R. J. Rummel and his blog Democratic Peace, when he was noted in the Chinese Blogsphere for raising the total deaths caused by Chairman Mao to 73 million. Since then, he’s made it onto my daily reading list, not for the unending documenting of government barbarity and genocide across the globe, which is heart-breaking enough to make me think collectively we’ve long ago lost any claim to our continued existence. Rather, I read him because there are not enough plain speakers in the world at the moment, who unequivocally take the side of social justice and human rights.

His most recent post, Reevaluating Colonial Democide, is where the title of this post comes from. A quarter of a billion. By his estimates, revised to include an enormous number in the Congo under colonial rule, this is the number of lives murdered by governments in the 20th Century.

No, we don’t need a picture for this post.