The Death Toll of Communism

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Marxism is the underlying ideology of socialism. Socialism is a social, political, and economic system in which all means of production are allegedly owned by the “people” but are in reality controlled by unelected power elites.

Communism is a hypothetical form of socialism without government. According to Marx, government is no longer needed in Communism, as people have internalized socialist moral principles and have learned to govern themselves. There is no example in human history where this has ever been accomplished.

For practical purposes, we treat Socialism and Communism as two terms for the same thing: Political, social, and economic totalitarianism. Many in the West call themselves socialists or communists but they know little or nothing about the realities of Socialism or Communism. They endorse bloody dictators as if they were human rights champions.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada: “I admire China’s basic dictatorship.”

Patrisse Cullors, Co-founder of BLM: “We are trained Marxists.”

My French dinner guest, restaurant owner in WashDC: “Moi je suis socialiste.” (I am a socialist)

When I asked my French guest what she thinks Socialism is, she became immediately angry and defensive and after much ho and hum finally defined Socialism as some sort of compassion or social responsibility or a general attitude of being friendly, understanding, and helpful toward economically weaker fellow humans. She had no idea that under a socialist government-controlled centrally planned economy the first thing that would happen is that she would lose ownership of her posh restaurant and her equally posh suburban villa. Maybe more. Maybe she would lose her life as a member of the former class of capitalist oppressors.

List of countries that currently call themselves Communist countries:

  • China
  • Cuba
  • Laos
  • North Korea
  • Vietnam

List of countries that currently call themselves Socialist countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Syria
  • Tanzania
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The blood toll of the many (mostly futile) attempts at implementing socialist or communist regimes is outright staggering.

In his 1994 book “Death by Government” Rudolph J. Rummel, the demographer of government mass murder, estimated the human toll of twentieth-century Socialism. These people perished during state-organized famines, collectivization, cultural revolutions, purges, campaigns against “unearned” income, and many cynical experiments in social engineering.

The numbers given in this article are all estimates and some are disputed. But even if we go with the lowest estimates, we are still looking at mountains of corpses and seas of blood – all for the greater good, of course.

Nazi Germany

Let us not forget that the term “NAZI” is an acronym for “National Socialists”. The German name of Hitler’s Party was “Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiterpartei” (NSDAP) meaning “National Socialist German Workers’ Party”. In other words: the Nazis were socialists – just not international socialists. This has been extensively documented by Ludwig von Mises.

In the MSM we hear and see a constant barrage of information about the atrocities of the Nazis, but we hardly ever hear that the Nazis were also Socialists or anything about the atrocities of other socialist and communist regimes. However, the Nazi kill rate of approx. 27 Million in Europe including the 6 Million Jews killed in the Concentration Camps pales compared with the accomplishments of communist butchers like Stalin and Mao.

The Soviet Union

The number of civilians killed by the Stalin regime will never be known with accuracy. Credible counts suggest that between 8.5 million and 50 million people died of starvation, politically-motivated murder, and in forced labor camps. Rummel estimates that approx. 62 Million people were murdered by the communist government in the Soviet GULAG State.

That does not count the approx. 5 Million Ukrainians who were starved to death by the Soviets between 1932 and 1933 or the genocide that was perpetrated in the context of the mass deportation of the ChechensIngush peopleVolga GermansCrimean TatarsKalmyks, and Karachays.

Large pile of bodies of the approx. 5 million Ukrainians that Stalin murdered by starvation.


Approximately 78 Million people were murdered by Mao’s communists in China during the revolution. Some estimates go as high as 80 million people. Death toll estimates for the 1966 cultural revolution (i.e. purges), which eliminated people, who did not have the correct communist government-mandated mindset or attitude, go as high as an additional 20 million people. Add to this nearly a million Tibetans killed during the occupation of Tibet and you get a total number of over 100 million people murdered by the Chinese Communists.


Estimates say that about 1.6 – 2.0 million people out of a population of 8 million were killed during the short but incredibly brutal reign of the Cambodian Communist Pol Pot, between 1975 and 1979, which means that about 20% of all Cambodians died from political violence, mass executions (genocide) and state-endorsed starvation during Pol Pot’s rule. Pol Pot studied radio electronics in Paris in 1945, where he was familiarized with Marxism by French Communists.

Pol Pot mass grave. Until 2009, 23,745 such mass graves have been discovered.


Romania’s bloody Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was toppled and tried after the demise of the Soviet Union. One of the main points of the prosecution was that he was responsible for the death of over 60,000 people. He was found guilty and executed by firing squad.


According to Rummel, approx. 1.7 million civilians were murdered by the Communist Tito regime.

North Korea

Rummel gives a mid-estimate of 1.663 million people murdered by the Korean Communist regime.

Communist East Germany

With data being rather sketchy, Benjamin Valentino estimates that the German Communist regime murdered approximately 50,000 people in the period between 1949 and 1990.


During the so-called Indonesian communist purge of 1965-1966, approximately 500,000 – 1.2 million people were murdered.


According to the “Museum of Communism”, the Cuban Communists under Fidel Castro murdered approximately 73,000 people.


Different sources state that the communist regime that ruled the country during the Vietnam War from 1957 to 1975 killed approximately 200,000 – 300,000 people (in addition to the war victims). The “Black Book of Communism” (BBC) estimates 1 million.

Eastern Europe Communist States under the Soviet Union

The BBC estimates that a total of 1 million people were murdered in these states between the end of WWII and the demise of the Soviet Union.

Latin America without Cuba

The BBC estimates that Communists killed about 170,000 people in this region until the end of the Soviet regime.


According to the BBC, approximately 7 million people were murdered in Africa by Communist terrorists or regimes.


BBC estimates that approx. 5 million people were killed by the Communist Soviets in Afghanistan.

International Communist movement and Communist groups that are not in power

BBC attributes 10,000 murders to these unofficial communist groups. This does not count those people who died as the victims of Communist terror attacks.

This amounts to a rough estimate of 216,163,000 + (over two hundred sixteen million one hundred sixty-three thousand) people murdered by Communists for their good cause word-wide so far – the equivalent of the entire population of the USA in 1975. And our modern “socialists” are still babbling about their “good cause” and they are still trying to use those proven authoritarian methods of terror and coercion to force us to conform to their delusional and deceptive ideology of equity through serfdom for all.

There is a proven rule for how revolutions develop. The most radical group always dominates, and moderates get crushed. Think of the Jacobines, the Bolsheviks, the Maoists. And those of you who “believe” in Socialism or Communism, remember the last words of the French revolutionary Pierre Victurien Vergniaud, who was pivotal in the decision to publicly decapitate king Louis XVI:

Citoyens, il est à craindre que la révolution, comme Saturne, ne dévore successivement tous ses enfants et n’engendre enfin le despotisme avec les calamités qui l’accompagnent.”

Citizens, it is to be feared that like Saturn the revolution will one by one devour all of its children and in the end will give birth to despotism with all its calamities.”

Vergniaud, Saint-Just, and Robespierre, were all first-generation revolutionaries and had their heads chopped off on the guillotine. Almost all of the original revolutionaries of the first hour of the Bolshevik revolution were later accused of “deviation” from the correct course of thinking and executed. In China, most of the original fellow co-revolutionaries of Mao were later accused of non-communist thinking and purged, i.e. murdered.

So, if you call for Socialism or Communism, consider that you may get despotism and end up as one of its victims.

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