How many killed by capitalism - Page 2 - Politics | PoFo

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Polls on politics, news, current affairs and history.

how many killed by capitalism

200 million+
100 million+
50 million+
10 million+
1 million+
User avatar
By Lightman
An ideology has never killed anybody. Even Nazism, as an ideology, never killed anyone: Nazis killed people. No one died for communism; as m4nu said, people died because of other people.
User avatar
By Grunch
Why not?Posters of a right 'persuasion' are always bandying figures of the communust dead to show how bad a system it is.I have purposely omitted 'other' as you are either dead or alive there is no 'other'.

How many people have been killed is a fact, not an opinion.
User avatar
By Kapanda
I've never killed anyone.

Yes you have! Because of your need to surf the web from the safety of your house, millions die because they cannot consume the resources that you're using just for personal luxury!
User avatar
By ingliz
I confess to being confused.I thought I had posed a simple question,albeit in poor taste.
First I am told by grunch we don't ask such questions in PoFo and then he tells me that the Left has killed 100 million people for a fact.Well he must have posed a similar question and answered it for himself.Why is it taboo to ask how many the Right has killed?
m4nu says economics never killed anyone its 'politics what kills people'.Now I might be wrong,I am just out of the lobby,but isn't politics mainly about who gets the cash.Dont we classify Right and Left economically; by how they manage the economy.
Then Annatar says theories can't kill they are metaphysical objects only people kill people.I would say people slaughter other people most readily for metaphysical ideals
ThereBeYe wants to compare.Why?
Are the Right squemish about the cost of capitalism.Are they ashamed that they kill to secure a resource or protect a market.If not answer the question![honestly].They take no responsibility for the millions who died to make their precious 'market' more profitable?
Last edited by ingliz on 14 Jan 2008 09:46, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Grunch
First I am told by grunch we don't ask such questions in PoFo and then he tells me that the Left has killed 100 million people for a fact.Well he must have posed a similar question and answered it for himself.Why is it taboo to ask how many the Right has killed?

No, I'm saying that this should be a discussion of what qualifies as being killed by capitalism and what studies are a available to provide statistics for those parameters.
User avatar
By sazerac
Does communism not rely on industry and the natural resources?

How the hell can capitalism or communism cause wars? You might as well say, "humans are the cause of wars."

It is Atheism that caused those 100 million deaths, not communism. :|
User avatar
By ingliz
OK Sazerac lets take a non US example so you don't accuse me of yankee bashing.The Suez Canal debacle in the 50's.People died, I don't think there's any dispute there.The English and the French invaded the Canal Zone to secure an essential trade route.If the Egyptians had closed the Canal the market would have suffered.The ships could have gone around the Cape but it would have added a few pence to transport costs.
User avatar
By The Immortal Goon
I'll have to bookmark this page for the next time someone says communism kills people.

I'm pretty sure the poll question meant, "Capitalist regimes."
User avatar
By Vera Politica
Theories can't kill. They are metaphysical objects. They cannot hold guns.

I think you need a serious lesson in philosophy.

Theories are not metaphysical objects (or was it just an omitted typo?)

On to the original OP.
Noting everyone's objections, we could revise the question to perhaps specify how many people were killed by the circumstances brought on by this specific economic system, and that would include political power.

Then, we must get into the contested issue as to whether to include European Imperialism and the African Slave trade as circumstances of a capitalist economic system or a mercantilist one; the systems may be different.

But if you include european imperialism, American imperialism as well as the Industrial revolution (and the countless workers that were killed because of working environment) you would get a figure much higher than the Soviet Union (including the revolution, Soviet Imperialism and Chinese Revolution).

Also would Hitler count as 'deaths under capitalism'? Would the World Wars somehow count as death under capitalism? Or which would you attribute to circumstances of a socialist system?

The Question is way too difficult.
User avatar
By Nets
I voted "0". I don't think capitalism (or Communism for that matter) ever killed any one. Brutal political systems, weak safeguards for the poor, do kill people.
By Manuel
I'll say it again.

Stalin killed people, not communism.

Pinochet killed people, not capitalism.

Al Qaeda killed people, not Islamism.

Inquisitors killed people, not Catholicism.



Ideology is not the murderer. Ideology is the excuse used by the murderer.

Ergo, the answer to your question is 0.
User avatar
By jaakko
I don't understand the repeated claim that socio-economic systems can't kill people. For something to "kill people" it doesn't require conscious intent, you know.
By Manuel
Political theories cannot kill people until they are put into practice, and then it is the fault of faulty administration, or misinterpretation.

No legitimate political theory holds that people must die of starvation or bullets. Period. Before they become implemented, they are theoretical utopias. If every system worked the way it was planned to work, everyone would be fat, happy, and loyal.

The mistakes are human.
User avatar
By jaakko
socio-economic system =/= political theory
User avatar
By ingliz
I always believed,correct me if I am wrong,that capitalist theory states that there should always be a pool of surplus labour to push wages down and keep the employed docile;to replace dead,sick etc workers;to allow growth in existing businesses and provide workers for new enterprises. I think this qualifies capitalism as a 'legitimate' economic/political theory that held that at least some people must starve. We haven't always had the welfare state
Last edited by ingliz on 15 Jan 2008 09:58, edited 1 time in total.
By Manuel
No. According to capitalist theory, companies who did not offer their employees fair wages would simply see a lack of employees interested in working for them. This would secure that wages were kept fair across the board.

It also held that companies would not hide facts from consumers, and allow them to make fair, honest, open choices about products. In a spirit of compitetion, prices would drop, while wages would increase, upping the standard of living.

In theory.

In reality, it's a completely different thing. Like every other socio-economic theory.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
An ideology has never killed anybody.

Nothing has ever killed anyone.

People just die when they are too weak to withstand what comes their way, whether that's a bullet, extreme poverty or a war of resource procurement.
By smashthestate
Okay, the next poll question should be "How many killed by disease, age, accident, etc.?"
User avatar
By Attila The Nun
It depends on the criteria used for such a count. What is starvation because of capitalism and what is starvation because of other conditions?

But the question is itself irrelevent. Capitalism has killed more people than communism, but communism, considering its brevity and the amount of people it commanded, killed more.

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