Has communism really killed 1‰ of all people who have ever lived?






Uh, IDK? If I reblogged a post saying that, it probably seemed true at the time, but I sure haven’t personally checked all the sources there. Anyway, the answer probably depends on all sorts of things we can’t verify. We don’t know how many people would die in the counterfactual where communism didn’t ever take off.

According to FiveThirtyEight:

As of 2015, Haub estimates that a total of 108.2 billion people have ever been born in the history of the world. But I’m subtracting about 7.4 billion of them who are alive today to get you the 100.8 billion estimate. That means that 6.8 percent of everyone who has ever lived is alive today. Or, put another way, the dead outnumber the living 14 to 1.

1% of 108.2 billion would be about 1 billion.

According to this ABSOLUTELY reasonable and well-thought-out blog which wouldn’t at all over-estimate or exaggerate (they even put ‘reason’ it in the domain name!) that cites nothing more than an infographic they found, “Communism Killed 94M in 20th Century, Feels Need to Kill Again”.

Unless, in the 19th century (Marx was 19th century, so I don’t think people would attribute very many deaths to Communism before that), Communism killed more than 99.06 million people, that number… doesn’t… exactly.. pan out.

Maybe 0.1%? Using that probably-overestimate? And again ignoring all the counterfactuals?

Things that DID kill more than 1% of people who have ever lived, judging by that chart: Infectious Diseases in the 20th century alone (1.7%). Cardiovascular Diseases in the 20th century alone (1.2%). Non-communicable Diseases in general (including Cardiovascular Diseases) in the 20th century alone (2.0%). Humanity in total in the 20th century alone (1.0% Note: rounded up) (note that Accidents caused more than twice any of Ideology, War, Drugs, and Air Pollution, and almost that for Murder).

Remember that that is according to that chart, though, nothing Fascist Japan did counts as “genocide”, so take those number with a grain of salt at least the size of one of the medium-sized bubbles in that infographic.

1‰ of 100 billion is 100 million, which matches the probably-overestimate.

… is “1%” different than “1‰”?

I think so? The latter uses the character “‰”, which Unicode says is the “PER MILLE SIGN”, which I think means it’s out of 1000 instead of 100.

(And Wikipedia confirms but also says usage is rare. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_mille)

The English language is adorable. “Usage is rare.”

Yes, it means per thousand, and usage is common.

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