Mass killings under capitalist regimes

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Mass killings that have occurred under some capitalist regimes have been, incompletely, estimated to be approximately 100 million deaths in the 20th century.[1] Scholarship has generally focused on the causes of mass killings in single instances, though some claims of common causes for mass killings have been made.[2] Estimates have included, and are considered incomplete, combatant and noncombatant deaths; an estimated 58 million deaths from World War I and World War II; death tolls from numerous colonial, imperialist, anti-communist and anti-democratic wars; deaths from relevant ethnic conflicts; and preventable deaths from famine and malnutrition.[3] One Marxian theorist, Robert Kurz, went as far to say that in order to "make a list of the crimes of western capitalism, I don’t think that even 100 thick volumes would suffice."[4]

Debate

The estimated death toll for the mass killings that have occurred under capitalist regimes has been attempted to be calculated, largely, as a reaction to The Black Book of Communism (1997). Since the publication of The Black Book of Communism, the estimated number for mass killings under Communist regimes has been hotly debated, as has the number for mass killings under capitalist regimes. Le Livre Noir du Capitalisme (The Black Book of Capitalism) (1998) and the Schwarzbuch Kapitalismus (Black Book of Capiralism) (1999) were published shortly after, in reaction to The Black Book of Communism.

Uncertainty

The categories to include in the total of mass killings under capitalism have been scrutinized. Noam Chomsky, for instance, posited that, "suppose we now apply the methodology of the Black Book and its reviewers" to India, "the democratic capitalist 'experiment' had caused over 100 million deaths by 1979, and tens of millions more since, in India alone."[5]

Late Victorian Holocausts

Mike Davis, author of the Late Victorian Holocausts has proposed that "Millions died, not outside the 'modern world system', but in the very process of being forcibly incorporated into its economic and political structures. They died in the golden age of Liberal Capitalism; indeed, many were murdered ... by the theological application of the sacred principles of Smith, Bentham and Mill."[6] "Davis explicitly places his historical reconstruction of these catastrophes in the tradition inaugurated by Rosa Luxemburg in The Accumulation of Capital, where she sought to expose the dependence of the economic mechanisms of capitalist expansion on the infliction of ‘permanent violence’ on the South".[7] Davis writes that "During the famine of 1899–1900, when 143,000 Beraris died directly from starvation, the province exported not only thousands of bales of cotton but an incredible 747,000 bushels of grain."[8]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Perrault, Gilles. "Appendix." Le Livre Noir du Capitalisme, Le Temps des cerises. 1998. ISBN 2-84109-144-9, ISBN 978-2-84109-144-7.
  2. Kurz, Robert.Schwarzbuch Kapitalismus: ein Abgesang auf die Marktwirtschaft. Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn Verlag. 1999. ISBN 3-8218-0491-2
  3. Perrault, Gilles. Le Livre Noir du Capitalisme, Le Temps des cerises. 1998. ISBN 2-84109-144-9, ISBN 978-2-84109-144-7
  4. Heidemann, Dieter. "Interview on The Black Book of Capitalism - Robert Kurz" Libcom. 15 February 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  5. Chomsky, Noam (2000): Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs, pp. 177–78, Pluto Press, ISBN 978-0-7453-1708-3.
  6. Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World, London: Verso. 2001. p.9
  7. Alex Callinicos (2002), "The Actuality of Imperialism", Millennium – Journal of International Studies, 31: 321
  8. Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World, London: 2000. p.66
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