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  • Short Bio Of Rummel
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    Democracy, Peace;
    Democide, and War

    New: see Investigations into Visualizing Democide

    R.J. Rummel

    Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.
    ----Lord Acton

    Power kills; absolute power kills absolutely.
    ----This Web Site

    Book Cover

    Saving Lives, Enriching Life: Freedom as a Right, and a Moral Good was published in January 2001 only on this web site. It is the keystone of the ideas and findings here regarding national poverty, famine, genocide and mass murder, and war. It should be the first stop for those who wish to study or survey this site's documents.


    It is true that democratic freedom is an engine of national and individual wealth and prosperity. Hardly known, however, is that freedom also saves millions of lives from famine, disease, war, collective violence, and democide (genocide and mass murder). That is, the more freedom, the greater the human security and the less the violence. Conversely, the more power governments have, the more human insecurity and violence. In short: to our realization that power impoverishes we must also add that power kills.

    Through theoretical analysis, historical case studies, empirical data, and quantitative analyses, this web site shows that:
    • Freedom is a basic human right recognized by the United Nations and international treaties, and is the heart of social justice.
    • Freedom is an engine of economic and human development, and scientific and technological advancement.
    • Freedom ameliorates the problem of mass poverty.
    • Free people do not suffer from and never have had famines, and by theory, should not. Freedom is therefore a solution to hunger and famine.
    • Free people have the least internal violence, turmoil, and political instability.
    • Free people have virtually no government genocide and mass murder, and for good theoretical reasons. Freedom is therefore a solution to genocide and mass murder; the only practical means of making sure that "Never again!"
    • Free people do not make war on each other, and the greater the freedom within two nations, the less violence between them.
    • Freedom is a method of nonviolence--the most peaceful nations are those whose people are free.
    Plot of Democracy versus Totalitarianism

    The purpose of this web site, then, is to make as widely available as possible the theories, work, results, and data that empirically and historically, quantitatively and qualitatively, support these conclusions about freedom. This is to invite their use, replication, and critical evaluation, and thereby to advance our knowledge of and confidence in freedom--in liberal democracy. Note specifically that although this site recognizes the role freedom plays in wealth and prosperity, and in eliminating the threat of famine, and this is the concern of some of the work on this site, such as Chapter 4 of Saving Lives, Enriching Life, the overwhelming focus here is on democide (genocide and mass murder), violence, and war. The reason for this is that while economists and libertarians have well informed the public about the positive role of economic and political freedom in promoting wealth and prosperity, and there are institutes and centers devoted to this, there is a vast ignorance about the amount and nature of democide that has occurred. Few know that governments have murdered several times more people than have died in internal and foreign wars. Most important, as unknown is that freedom is not only a solution to this killing, but also a way of eliminating war from the human landscape.
    Rings of Tears 1:
    The Murdered
    Rings of Tears

    Much of what I have put on this site has already been published, but is included to make them more available on the web. There is also much on this site unpublished elsewhere, some I have written particularly for this site. The list of my published and unpublished works are given in my Vita. Note that this site does not contain all my work and data, especially that produced before the advent of the personal computer. Moreover, this site also contains some of the work of others, such as the summary chapter from Spencer Weart's important book Never At War. I have also linked other relevant work on the web to this site.

    I have divided this site into three layers. This home page is the first layer, and I have linked it to thirteen theme pages at a second level, each of which you may access by the buttons at the top. Each theme page has links to a third level, which comprises relevant chapters, articles, tables, figures, appendices, photographs, etc., organized on a theme page by topic. For further orientation to this site, see:

    • Why is this web site credible?
    • A note on notes
    • Organization of this web site
    • List of sixteen books (in whole or in part), and articles, chapters, papers, speeches, etc., included here.
    • New additions to this site, by date, since I built it in April 1998.
    Rings of Tears 2:
    The Murdering
    Rings of Tears

    Before my detour into physics and math, and then into political science, the major of my youth had been art. Since my retirement, and except for work on this web site, I have returned to painting. I have set up a gallery so that you can view some of the results. I need only say here how pleasant it is to concentrate on beauty instead of the horrors of democide and war.

    Search This Site Or The Web

    There are over 1,100 documents and over 5,000 pages of text on this site. You may search all these by using the site-specific FreeFind search engine below. Note that the engine will take you to the document containing your search terms. To go to the terms themselves use your browser's find command. For example, if you search for the term cycles, one of the documents found will be Appendix 18A of Vol. 4 of Understanding Conflict and War. Click on the document's title to go to it, and when it comes up on your browser, type cycles into your browser's find box to locate all instances of the term cycles in the document.

    Rings of Tears 3:
    Faces of Death
    Rings of Tears

    Note that the search engine does not support ANDs/ORs in your search query--use the selection scroll box to match all or any terms. Quotes are ignored altogether, and keyword matches must be exact (i.e. "find" will not match with "finds"). And Boolean searches are not possible. Still, within these constraints the search engine should find want ever you want. (One possible exception: it may take some time for the index to the find engine to catch up with the Saving Lives, Enriching Life book included on the site in January, 2001)

    Search this site!

    You can also search the web from this site, using the Profusion metasearch engine below. This is my favorite search engine. Rather than search the web itself, it utilizes nine other of the best search engines, if you so choose, and then consolidates the results. It also can search for phrases or do Boolean searches. Moreover, I find the format of the results among the best.


    For many additional search engines, with helpful annotations, see Paul Hensel's search page.

    Link of the month at the
    Independence Institute Website

    The plot in the upper right is from Figure 1.2 of Statistics of Democide.


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    Web site constructed: April 8th, 1998.
    Last document addition: May 6, 2001. See additions.
    Last site revision: March 13, 2001

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