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R.J. Rummel: Ending War, Democide & Famine Through Democratic Freedom
R.J. Rummel ^ | July 2005 | R.J. Rummel

Posted on 07/05/2005 9:28:12 AM PDT by Tolik

R.J. Rummel after the many years of research argues that freedom is the best solution to some of the most serious humanity's problems. His research is well known and open for thorough examination. The Bush Administration's Forward Strategy of Freedom is based on these very principals of promoting freedom.

R.J. Rummel just published a book Never Again: Ending War, Democide, & Famine Through Democratic Freedom  and discusses it at his website:

[excerpt from the book]

 Executive Summary

To promote freedom for everyone is to promote human security for all.

Human Security

Humanity now has a practical cure for foreign and civil war, democide (genocide and mass murder), famine and mass hunger, mass impoverishment, and gross economic inequality. Our accumulated scientific and scholarly knowledge, and the results of vast social and economic experiments involving billions of people over three centuries, now enable us to claim, with the same confidence that we can say that orange juice is nutritious, that we can create perpetual peace, long and secure lives, abundant food, wealth, and prosperity. This is no dream, no utopian claim. This is the well-established fruit of the free market and human rights, of democratic freedom. The knowledge of this exists among economists and political scientists working on these problems. Even some of the highest officials, such as former President Clinton and current President George W. Bush, know of, and have acted on, the most surprising claim that fostering freedom is the way to peace. However, as incredibly important as this knowledge is, it is generally unknown by the public, including the major media and most professionals outside the relevant research areas.

In Never Again: Ending War, Democide, & Famine Through Democratic Freedom, I’m trying to communicate this knowledge in a way that everyone can not only assimilate, but understand it. You have aright to freedom, and it’s important that you know why freedom is so powerful in saving lives and enriching life.

I have packaged the various threats to human life against which a people's freedom protects them by the idea of human security.

Human insecurity, then, involves:

Freedom is a solution to all these threats—democratic freedom produces human security. Throughout the various chapters of this book, and its research links, including that to the results of a systematic statistical analysis of 190 nations for over 70 variables, I will show this.

What Themes Run Through This Book?

Several themes are repeated throughout this book, and provide the focus for the chapters. All concern the power of freedom to end or lessen threats to human security, and to drive human and economic development.

Available from

Llumina Press or To download the novel FREE in pdf from the download page, follow this link to the author's website:  1,615KB (will take time to download depending on your connection).

R.J. Rummel (looks like) is one of the sources of Bush's foreign policy. Indeed, in supporting it Bush uses the same language: "Democracies don't make war on each other."  Here is what R.J. Rummel says:

Moreover, a major democratic peace article, "Political Systems, Violence, and War," is now listed by the White House as a foreign policy document (it's on R.J. Rummel's website as "The democratic peace: a new idea?")  R.J. Rummel's research in Never Again, therefore, provides an essential understanding of the theoretical and historical basis of President George Bush's Forward Strategy of Freedom.

I [R.J. Rummel] argue philosophically, and from international law, that individual freedom is the most basic human right. This, and that freedom is a natural desire of all people, would be enough to justify freedom for everyone. But, the major substance of Never Again goes far beyond these justifications to establish that freedom is also a Moral Good.

One Moral Good is that liberal democracies, those whose people are individually free with secure civil and political rights and liberties, don't make war on each other. Another is that their democratic governments do not murder them. And a third is that their internal political violence is minimal compared to non-democracies.

All this alone would make freedom the foremost Moral Good. But this book also shows that free people -- democracies -- never have famines, and that freedom is an engine of the greatest wealth and development among nations.

In short, to the Moral Imperative, "No people should ever suffer war, democide, famine, and mass impoverishment, no, never again," this book proves that fostering individual freedom is the practical way to assure this.

So, what is the point to this embarrassing ego trip? I [R.J. Rummel] believe that this is a most important book for everyone to read. As I've noted in my blogs, among the top leaders, including President Bush, they already know and believe what the book says and have made it the basis of American foreign policy. It is the middle layer of commentators, reporters, analysts, and the mass public that haven't a clue. The book is aimed at them in the hope that once they know the basis of the Forward Strategy of Freedom, they will lend their support. I don't mean that this will change the minds of those who hate Bush, are emotionally invested in opposing his foreign policy, or are rock hard realists. But, it may persuade many in the silent middle and provide useful evidence and background for those already disposed to support Bush's foreign policy.

Think of the slogans "Freedom ends war." Or, "Freedom ends poverty." Or, "Freedom ends hunger."


[excerpt from the book]

Chapter 27

The Democratic Peace

The absence of war between democracies comes as close as anything we have to an empirical law in international relations. – Jack Levy

What can we do about war? Most wars, like World War I, should never have been fought. It was the result of flagrant political and diplomatic errors. The lesson so many learned from this war, however, was not that avoiding such errors would prevent future conflicts, but that we must never fight another war, and that armaments and arms races cause wars. This was the wrong lesson, and it led to World War II. When Great Britain and France could have stopped Hitler cheaply—when a strong military showing by them would have avoided World War II—the awful memory of the bloody cost of the battles of the Somme and Verdun proved too strong. Finally, Great Britain and France drew the line against Hitler in Poland in 1939, but it was too late to avoid a war. And with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and Hitler’s declaration of war against the formerly neutral United States, it more truly became a world war.

As hellish and bloody as war is, I believe that we had to fight this war. Just think of what it would mean in lives and misery if the Nazis had controlled all of Europe, including Great Britain and Russia. Add to this the control of all of Asia and the western Pacific by the Japanese military. The butchery that these murderers would have unleashed on both sides of the world would undoubtedly far exceed the human cost of World War II. Even before their defeat in 1945, remember, the Nazis already had murdered about 21 million people—many more than the 15 million killed in battle in all of World War II for all countries involved. The Japanese militarists murdered an additional 6 million people.

Dictators of all kinds have killed several times more people than has combat in all the wars, foreign and domestic. As horrible as it was, the Hutu rulers of Rwanda killed more people in four months than did the Battle of the Somme during the same length of time. And this was only one murderous government in a fairly small country.

Virtually all proposals to prevent war have suffered from this defect: they ignore how dictators and dictatorships differ from democratic leaders and democracies. There have always been those who, when they inherit or seize power, forcefully fill their army with unwilling soldiers, and then grind them to death in a war to grab more power and control over others. The rogues’ gallery of these murderers and aggressors is long, and surely at the top would be, for the twentieth century alone, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Ilich Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Chiang Kai-shek, Tojo Hideki, and Pol Pot.

When there are such people controlling large armies, the solutions to war, such as pacifism, unilateral disarmament, or disarmament treaties, do not work.

Worse, these solutions weaken or disarm democracies and make the world safe only for such tyrants.

Now, finally, we have the proven knowledge to avoid both wars and the aggression of dictators. This solution was proposed in the latter part of the eighteenth century and recent social science research has shown its veracity. In his Perpetual Peace, written in 1795, the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that the way to universal peace lay in creating republics, or what today we would call representative democracies. Kant wrote, “The republican constitution, besides the purity of its origin (having sprung from the pure source of the concept of law), also gives a favorable prospect for the desired consequence, i.e., perpetual peace. The reason is this: if the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide that war should be declared (and in this constitution it cannot but be the case), nothing is more natural than that they would be very cautious in commencing such a poor game, decreeing for themselves all the calamities of war.”72 [72 Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace. Translated by Lewis White Beck. New York: The Library of Liberal Arts, Bobbs-Merrill, 1957, pp. 12–13. It is online at]

Note two things about this solution. First is that, where people have equal rights and freely participate in their governance, they will be unlikely to promote a war in which they or their loved ones might die and their property be destroyed. And second, where leaders are responsible to their people as voters, they will be unwilling to fight. Then when both leaders of two nations are so restrained, war between them should not occur.

The idea that democracies are therefore inherently peaceful was not lost to others. It became part of a more general philosophy of governance that Kant shared with liberals of the time, a system of belief we now call classical liberalism, which I dealt with in Chapter 6 with regard to democracy and in Chapter 11 on the free market. Adam Smith, John Stewart Mill, and John Locke, among other influential thinkers of the time, argued for the maximum freedom of the individual. They believed in minimal government. They also supported free trade between nations and a free market within. Such freedom, they argued, would create a harmony among nations, and promote peace. As Thomas Paine—who like most of America’s founding fathers was a classical liberal—wrote in his influential Rights of Man in 1791–1792, “Government on the old system is an assumption of power, for the aggrandizement of itself; on the new [republican form of government as just established in the United States], a delegation of power for the common benefit of society. The former supports itself by keeping up a system of war; the latter promises a system of peace, as the true means of enriching a nation.”73 [73 Michael Howard, War and the Liberal Conscience.New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1978, p. 29.]

Full proof of this point had to wait, however, until scientists such as Bruce Russett, Zeev Maoz, James Lee Ray, and I could develop research methods to document it.74 [74 For links to such work on the Internet, see the link page on my website at: For much of my research results on this, see my theme page at:] We did related research throughout the 1970s, thanks in part to the growth of new statistical models made possible by the advent of the computer, and in the 1980s we, and scholars who followed our lead, proved Kant correct. By then we had collected data on all wars that had occurred over the last several centuries, and by applying various statistical analyses to these data, we established that there never (or virtually never) has been a war between well-established democracies. Moreover, through these techniques, we also proved that there was not a hidden factor accounting for this, such as a lack of common borders, or geographic distance between democracies. Nor was this democratic peace attributable to the wealth of democracies, or their international power, education levels, technology, resources, religion, or population density. Our findings are straightforward: Well-established democracies do not make war on each other. Table 27.1 provides some evidence on this.75 [75 This is Table 1.1 in my Death By Government at] It gives a simple count of wars between democracies, wars between democracies and nondemocracies, and those between nondemocracies from 1816 to 1991. As the table shows, in all the wars during this period, 353 nations fought each other. The numbers refer to pairs of nations (dyads) violently engaged in war against each other. For example, in the brief 1979 war between Cambodia and Vietnam, there was only one pair of nations at war. In the Six Day War of 1967, Israel fought Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, thus making it three pairs at war (Israel vs. Egypt, Israel vs. Jordan, and Israel vs. Syria). The table presents the result of adding all pairs at war for all wars from 1816 to 1991. In no case did a democracy clearly fight another democracy, which is also true since 1991. There never has been a Battle of the Somme between free people. No battle has come even close. In fact, there has been no lethal military action between liberal democracies, as they are defined in Chapter 6, ever.

But one might still ask whether this is owed to chance. Since in the twentieth century democracies were a minority among nations, and in previous centuries there were only a handful of democracies at any given time, is not it likely that this lack of war is by chance—luck? Statistical analysis enables us to calculate the probability of such events taking place. True, statistics can be misused and have been, but this is true of any scientific method. Virtually all the medical drugs deemed safe for us to take today are based on statistical tests, not unlike those used to test whether democracies not making war on each other is a chance occurrence. If we are going to be cynical about statistics, then we should also be very wary of taking any modern drugs for an illness or disease. This issue is really not about statistics but how well they have been applied, and whether the data meet the assumptions of the statistical model used.

Different researchers have tested the lack of war between democracies in different ways for different years, the definitions of democracy, and the ways of defining war, and in those studies using tests of significance, the positive result has been statistically significant in each case.76 [76 An annotated bibliography on the earlier work on the democratic peace is at: See also the “Democracy and War” links at:]

Thus, the overall significance of this absence of war is really a multiple (or function, if some of these studies are not independent) of these different significant probabilities, which would make the overall probability (subjectively estimated) of the results occurring by chance alone surely at least a million to one.77 [77 Readers may have many other questions about this lack of relationship between democracy and war, often called the democratic peace. I have tried to answer a number of them in an Appendix Q&A to my Power Kills. The appendix is on my website at: See also my article on “What is the Democratic Peace?” at:]

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: democide; democraticfreedom; famine; freedom; freedomism; rjrummel; rummel

1 posted on 07/05/2005 9:28:15 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; Alouette; ...

Very Interesting!

    This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately on my page.

       Besides this one, I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Orson Scott Card, David Warren and Lee Harris (sometimes). You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

2 posted on 07/05/2005 9:29:55 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Nice to see a fellow "Rummel afficianado" on FR. I'll have to check out his book.

3 posted on 07/05/2005 9:45:23 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Wonder Warthog

Yep. Here is more of his stuff posted on FR:

4 posted on 07/05/2005 9:56:19 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

This guy is great. Pres. Bush should refer people to his site to see what the alternative to freedom really looks like.

5 posted on 07/05/2005 10:13:54 AM PDT by TheBigPicture
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To: Tolik

Note two things about this solution. First is that, where people have equal rights and freely participate in their governance, they will be unlikely to promote a war in which they or their loved ones might die and their property be destroyed. And second, where leaders are responsible to their people as voters, they will be unwilling to fight.

Bingo! We have a winner.

BUT when they do go to war...... Well let's just say free people make the best killers.

6 posted on 07/05/2005 7:29:49 PM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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