“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Communism is one of the greatest killers of all time yet 11% of Americans think that communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system.

John J. Walters|Mar. 13, 2013 6:22 pm

According to a disturbingly pleasant graphic from Information is Beautiful entitled simply 20th Century Death, communism was the leading ideological cause of death between 1900 and 2000. The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.
During the century measured, more people died as a result of communism than from homicide (58 million) and genocide (30 million) put together. The combined death tolls of WWI (37 million) and WWII (66 million) exceed communism’s total by only 9 million.
It gets worse when you look at the lower right of the chart—The Natural World—which includes animals (7 million), natural disasters (24 million), and famine (101 million). Curiously, all of the world’s worst famines during the 20th century were in communist countries: China (twice!), the Soviet Union, and North Korea. 
Communism is a killer. And yet some still say they support the idea: According to a 2011 Rasmussen poll, 11% of Americans think that communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system.
Visualizing the major causes of death in the 20th Century.
Originally a 6m x 2m commission by the Wellcome Collection as a companion piece to the London exhibition: ‘Death: A Self-Portrait – The Richard Harris Collection’ (Nov 2012).
Some inevitable double-counting, broad estimations and ball-park figures.


  1. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz might expect to have made a few enemies after joining Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in a filibuster of the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan, a "grilling" of the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and his prospective new bill repealing the Obamacare mandate. However, some criticisms thrown at the Hispanic legislator have been seen by many as below the belt.


    The "Huffington Post" reports that Cruz's worldview is more germane to Latinos in Miami whose Cuban roots, as well as those of fellow conservative Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have made them "opponents to Communist leader Fidel Castro's" rule, compared to the prevalence of Mexican Americans in Cruz's home state of Texas, many of whom tend to vote Democrat.

  2. After being married for 50 years, I took a careful look at my wife one day and said, "Fifty years ago we had a cheap house, a junk car, slept
    on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep with a hot 20-year-old girl every night.

    Now, I have a $500,000 home, a $45,000 car, a nice big bed and a large screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 70-year-old woman. It seems to me
    that you're not holding up your side of things."

    My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 23-year-old girl and she would make sure that I would once again be
    living in a cheap house, driving a junk car, sleeping on a sofa bed and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.

    Aren't older women great? They really know how to solve an old guy's problems.

  3. On this day five years ago, gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 an ounce for the first time ever.

  4. I mowed the lawn today, and after doing so I sat down and had a cold beer.

    The day was really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking on various topics.

    Finally I thought about an age old question:

    Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts?

    Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts.

    Well, after another beer, and some heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with the answer to that question.

    Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby; and here is the reason for my conclusion.

    A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, "It might be nice to have another child."

    On the other hand, you never hear a guy say, "You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts."

    I rest my case. Time for another beer.

  5. A mother-in-law, comes home and finds her son-in-law furious and packing his suitcase. "What happened?"

    Son-in-law "What happened? - I'll tell you what happened! I sent an email to my wife saying that I was coming home from my trip today. I got home and guess what I found?... My wife, yes my Rachel, with a naked man in our marital bed! This is the end of our marriage, I will leave for ever!"

    "Calm down!" says mother-in-law.

    "There is something odd about this story. Rachel would never do such a thing! Wait a minute while I
    check what happened."

    Moments later, mother-in-law comes back with a big smile. "You see, I said there must be a simple explanation..."

    "Rachel didn't receive your Email"