Sunday, March 15, 2009

Who's the Bloodiest Tyrant of Them All?

"I will make a just world even if I have to kill everybody!"
-- attributed to Robespierre

Speaking of ideology, a friend and I have had a long running discussion on which of the 20th century's ideological god kings was the most homicidal and destructive.
I still hold out for Hitler. Even though the body count of people he killed directly is a little low compared to Stalin and Mao, he started a world war which killed almost 100 million people in the European Theater alone.
My friend makes a persuasive case for Pol Pot of Cambodia to be the Grand Prize Winner. I should point out that he visited Cambodia about 5 years ago and saw such sights as Tuol Sleng Prison and numerous killing fields. They are everywhere. Every town and village has one. And most remain unexcavated. He points out that the actual numbers are low compared to the Big Boys of Genocide (Hitler, Stalin, Mao). However, in terms of proportion of the population of his country destroyed, Pol Pot deserves the prize. He points out that Pol Pot killed a quarter of the population of Cambodia in only 4 years. If Mao, Hitler, or Stalin had done the same thing, their body counts would have been in the hundreds of millions.

So, which of these tyrants -- who ate babies and drank blood for breakfast -- would you award the crown for bloodiest of the last century? Who has the biggest corpse pile in your view? Are there any contenders that I missed? Are they all ideologues, or are some of them just thugs? Are they all thugs? What do you think?

Haile Mariam Mengistu

Mao Zedong

Benito Mussolini

Kim Il Sung

Adolph Hitler

Idi Amin Dada

Francisco Franco

Joseph Stalin

Pol Pot

Hideki Tojo


Leonardo Ricardo said...

I guess this is about proven candidates as you mentioned...victims from a earlier time who can be "assigned" to specific despots of high rank...none the less I think there are many million more HATE CRIMES that have been realized and you would never be able to count them...not starting today, or ever and never ending countless numbers of abused...many of the victims suicided (does that count?), some were victims of thuggery, rape and murder, some were dead long before they were ever given a chance to live life as a authentic person, you know, the kind that God made them to "be"....I nominate, the world around us and many of the bigoted people in it, religious and otherwise, who have tormented to death LGBT people forever and ever, both at home and, there will never be a accurate bodycount...but we know, we've always known and watched the degradation and slaughter of parts of our humanity...the beat goes on as the fear/hatedriven murderers of people like us keep increasing the loss of our lovedones...forever and ever is a very long time...the bloodbath is not over as long as Akinola, Orombi and a others are conspiring.

Lord have mercy

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Yes they are all Thugs!

We shouldn't honour their names with pretending they were ideological, because they were only thugs - it was their followers who made the "ideology", idolizing their thuggery!

MadPriest said...

I'm going to be boringly predictable and suggest that the above are, at least, relatively honest monsters. My nomination would be both those religious and political agents who, because of bigotry and a dualist view of human nature, have caused the death of millions of people through the AIDS virus.

A close second would be the religious, political and commercial agents whose greed will be responsible for the upcoming holocaust that will be caused by their refusal to do anything about global warming.

Counterlight said...

Perhaps that's the emerging difference between the monsters of the 20th century and the monsters of our own century. The monsters of the past century were more honestly and openly monstrous. Hitler and Stalin were quite open about their intentions promising their followers revenge and glory.
Today, all kinds of crime are concealed under all kinds of pious figleaves. There's that all purpose impersonal excuse of the "business cycle" for depriving people of their homes and livelihoods. There's "opening up new markets, new resources" to conceal the venerable old imperial smash and grab.
And then there's everyone's favorites "love the sinner and hate the sin," "fight for the faith," and "fight the power of the infidel" to conceal those old xenophobic and vindictive passions that are so familiar from the last century.

Counterlight said...

I look at this police lineup I made, and I think, "My! there were so many of them!'