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Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0765805232
ISBN-10: 0765805235
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Editorial Reviews


"The result of four decades of truly brilliant intellectual inquiryà. No scholar has done more in this century to promote understanding about the true causes of internal and external State violenceà."

—Robert F. Turner, Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia "Rummel mobilizes every resource (logical and empirical), tracks down virtually every related study, and defends his thesis with the energy of a knight of the round table and the hand of a master scholar."

—Jack Vincent, Borah Professor of Political Science, University of Idaho  

About the Author

R. J. Rummel was professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He is the author of over one hundred scholarly articles and two dozen books, including Power Kills, China’s Bloody Century, and The Miracle That Is Freedom.  In addition, he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association and the International Association of Genocide Scholars’ Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Genocide and Democide Studies and Prevention.


Product Details

  • Series: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence
  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (November 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765805235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765805232
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,204,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
R.J. Rummel proves by statistical analysis what some are aware of and many would like to ignore. The bottom line is that the typical "right vs. left" political analysis is useless; completely useless, especially if you are analyzing international affairs that span decades or centuries. The political definitions of "right" and "left" are terms relative to their era and their geography, and change drastically as you cross oceans or go forwards or backwards in time.

While R.J. Rummel does not state matters in the above terms, he does provide a more useful way of gauging the volatility of forms of government by charting the amount of violence they engage in according to the amount of power that is concentrated at the top. In doing so, Rummel proves that ideology is a poor measure of actual results, and that the most idealistic regimes murder their own population and wage wars against rival nations in proportion to the amount of power that is held by the ruling elite.

Rummel's statistical analysis proves that the more power a government has, the more violent it acts towards its own population and other nations. Rummel proves that even those forms of government supposedly created for the benefit of the "worker" with "social justice" and "economic equality" in mind will cannibalize its population in the name of the "Revolution". Rummel proves that a "centrally planned" society is also a society with power amassed in the "central planning" elite, and that it is these types of governments that have murdered their own civilians and waged wars against their neighbors.
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