Last week I relayed the news that Ukraine has opened its secret files on the “Holodomor,” the Soviet holocaust of Joseph Stalin that killed about 6 million Ukrainians in the winter of 1932-33.

This phony “famine” has been probably the world’s most underpublicized democide in history. (Democide is a broader term than genocide.) In fact, Genia Turanova, a noted investment authority, wrote me a few days ago saying that when she was a schoolgirl in Ukraine in the Soviet era, the textbooks said not a word about that event.

Then Dr. W. Dave Thweatt sent this appalling comment:

The Ukrainian famine affected my wife’s family. Her grandmother and two of her uncles lived through it by keeping a goat hidden in the closet and drinking her milk. Here’s how the progression ran in their little village:

  1. They ate what they had stored in their private root cellars.

  2. They ate their livestock.

  3. They ate their pets.

  4. They ate vermin and insects.

  5. They resorted to cannibalism of the dead.

  6. Some resorted to cannibalism of the living.

  7. They died.

When will Hollywood tell this story?

I felt sadly compelled to tell him that Hollywood will never touch it. Even a conservative-minded producer could not find an uplifting angle. It’s totally depressive.

Then Kevin Craig, a Libertarian candidate for Congress from Missouri, called my attention to the fact that China under Mao killed 77 million of its citizens, not just the 38 million I stated. (I’d heard estimates of up to 100 million for many years, but that seemed too extreme for me, so I went with one of the more conservative common estimates.)

The main man for worldwide death figures is R.J. Rummel, a professor emeritus of political science living in Hawaii. Based on strong new evidence, he raised his estimate last year from 38 million to 77 million.

The 39 million jump is from one single cause: the status of the Great Famine of 1958-61. Most Western scholars had felt that the famine was the result of collective farming, bureaucratic bungling and tail covering by commune managers who wouldn’t admit they missed their quotas.

But today Rummel admits, “I can now say that yes, Mao’s policies caused the famine. He knew about it from the beginning. He didn’t care! Literally.”

If your liberal friends castigate you for quoting such numbers, here is Rummel’s crucial explanation:

“Those in the top circle of the CCP tried to alleviate the famine. They were arrested, some tortured, some executed or allowed to die horribly. Even in 1961, [Mao] wanted to increase the amount of food taken from the people. But, at great risk to himself, Liu Shao-ch’i (president of the PRC and second in power) ambushed Mao at a CCP conference of 7,000, which agreed with Liu to alleviate the famine. Mao could not forgive Liu and the others, and because he believed he was thus losing control of the CCP, he launched a purge in 1965 called the Cultural Revolution to overthrow the CCP and replace it with the military. About 100,000,000 people were persecuted, and around 3,000,000 were murdered.”

So Rummel’s total for the democide: 3,446,000 before Mao’s takeover + 35,226,000 afterward + 38,000,000 by famine = 76,692,000.

Compare that to the Soviet slaughter: 66 million. Hitler is a distant third: 21 million.

Rummel has now thus revised his world total for all democides 1900-1999 to 212 million, with Communists accounting for 148 million of that. (Drop this onto your agnostic friends who froth at the mouth about the alleged multitudes of those who’ve died in religious wars.)

And how about the 20th century’s pure combat deaths (World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam plus the Russian and Mexican revolutions, etc.)? They come to 34,021,000. In other words, Mao killed twice as many as died in uniform everywhere.

But to round out The Big Picture for this week, we need to notice how small our 212 million deaths are when compared to the overall numbers. Today the earth has 6.64 billion living souls. In other words, our population has almost quadrupled even while this century of slaughter has gone on.

What does that say about the overpopulation problem? Well, suppose the current wrangling in the Middle East erupts into all-out war. Some Muslim group explodes A-bombs serially in New York, then London, then Paris, promising to continue until the West surrenders. So the West decides our only hope of survival is to wipe out the entire Middle East, and we annihilate everybody there, from Cairo to Istanbul to Tehran. That would be about 295 million people, God forbid.

But notice: Today’s planetary growth rate would make up that deficit in three and a half years.

You are invited to comment on this exasperating state of affairs. Please keep your thoughts brief.

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