- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Genocide by private individuals

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( EFZ, Massachusetts, USA ) on July 06, 1999 at 12:16:15:

In Reply to: goalposts posted by Gee on July 05, 1999 at 16:19:14:

: : a) stateless democratic socialism (never existed)

: Nor has any kind of stateless free trade, nor indeed a 'minarchy' (nightwatchman state) system involving private ownership of property.

: For every allegation pitted against capitalism in your post, and any put against communism that you have questioned is everything do with degrees of state tyrrany.

: Hence I would refer to this resource on the matter

: : 5. communism and socialism are demonstrably better at raising standard of living for the average person and the poor. witness Communist Kerala, with the highest standard of living of any Indian state, or Cuba (highest life expecxtancy and education in the Americas), or Nicaragua, or Zimbabwe.

: Raising from the squalor to the adequate is a raise, how far can / would they continue to 'rise'? and why arent they outpacing the SE Asian free-ish markets over the same period (even including recent fallback)

: : 6. finally every society which has gone from capitlism to socialism has seen an improvement in the stndard of living, while every country that has gone fropm socialism to capitalism saw teh standard of living decrease. How do you explain this undisputed fact?

: What undisputed fact?

Indeed, i have seen Mr. Rummel's site before. Though there is definitely a lot of interesting numerical information, the interpretation of those numbers is necessarily somnewhat ideological, and so I'd have a number of bones to pick with him, nor do I regard him as an "unbiased" source/ however, I recognize taht the points in that site are hsi and not yours, so I won't argue with you about them.

what I think you are saying is that government, per se, is teh problem, and that governments of the left and right are both bloody murderes who should be done away with. the problem with this is a)Rummel's site, being avowedly anti-communist, does not support your general indictment of all government, and b) more importantly, private individuals, comnpanies and the capitalist economic system have been significant killers as well, not just governments.

let's look at this more carefully. When I said that capitalism kills 40 million children a year (not my number, I saw it somewhere, but I know it's around taht order of magnitude)I am not condemning individuals, nor governments. It's not like a specific comapny is demanding that tehse people be killed. It is the econpomic system that deprives them of the food and medicine they need. Hence it is not the US or British government that is to blame, nor is it Bill gates etc. It is teh economic system that governs the world prices fro food. do not call it capitalist if you don't wish to, but whatever it is, the economic system outside the socialist world is to blame for these deaths.

One of the 3 avowedly capitalist genocides that I mentioned was the genocide in teh Belgian congo. This was perhaps the most bloody campaign against a national population in the 20th century, during which up to 50% of teh Congolese population, or 10 million people, may have lost their lives (and countless otehrs were enslaved, tortured, or maimed- many lost their hands so that the belgian overseers could meet their 'hand quotas"- they didn't want to waste bullets killing them.)

It is PARTICULARLY ironic that you should condemn this, the bloodiest genocide of the century, as an example of "death by govrernment". The problem wasn't too much government, it wa stoo little! The belgian govrenmnet didn't even run teh Congo! Hard as this may be for us to believe, teh Congo was the PRIVATE ESTATE of King leopold, and the belgian parliament had no conrtol over the place whatsoever. when the news of leopold's atrocities came to light, the Belgian government quickly annexed the place, since Leopold was clearly unfit to rule. However repressive the belgian govvernment may have been, tehir rule was much better for the Congolese than Leopold's private ownership.

Simnilar examples occur all over the world. The Tasmanian Aborigines were wiped out largely by individual ranchers. ranchers were responsible for killing essentially the whole Ache tribe in Paraguay to get their land. Even your quoted R.J. rummel admits taht p[rivate companies murdered 200,000 Amazonian Indians, out of a total population of only a few million. Private shopkeepers in Brazil today hire death squads to hiunt down and murer homeless street children. Private businessmen in Colombia have formed militias that terrorize the country and kill suspected "subversives".

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make thsi point. With regard to your other points, I'll adress them soon. Gotta run right now.


Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup