Many people tout the “successes of government” and express how much they believe the Federal Government has improved our lives. These people act as though we would all be living in dark caves and forced to hunt and gather if it wasn’t for our helpful big brother.

There is a particular fascination with crediting the office of the President with these “successes of government”. I contend that such idolization of leadership is dangerous to Liberty. America was founded on specific rules and guidelines that were intended to prevent the rise of a single powerful leader. Yet as a nation we allow the perception and practice of the office of President to gain power. To me, it seems that the more powerful the Presidency becomes, the more that these people consider the Federal Government to be successful.

So what has government really been so successful at doing?

There will be arguments from all directions about all of the great things that governments have done for societies throughout history.

But there is one particular task that governments have been the most successful at, and that task is killing people.

I’m not talking about deaths as the result of war at this point. I am only talking about institutionalized murder of the citizens of a nation by their government and deaths of citizens directly related to government policies. Here is a brief rundown of some of the biggest killers in recent history.

– Nazi Germany (Adolf Hitler) 11,000,000
+ 6 Million Jews
+ 5 Million Homosexuals, Minorities, Political Opponenets, Vagrants, Gypsies, Accused Criminals, etc.

– Peoples Republic of China (Mao Zedong) 40,000,000-70,000,000
+ Massive Starvation, Mass Suicide, Political Persecution

– Ottoman Empire (Young Turk Government) 1,000,000-1,500,000
+ Armenians, Assyrians, and Greek civilians because of their heritage

– Russia (Stalin) estimates range from 15,000,000-60,000,000
+ Executions, Famine, Gulag
+ Civilians, emigrants, political opposition

– Cambodia (Khmer Rogue, Pol Pot) 3,300,000-4,000,000
+ The population of Cambodia was just over 7 million before the genocide that killed about half of the nations population.

The total of the above government caused deaths ranges from 70,300,000 to 146,500,000 and I merely scratched the surface of the institutional killing that has went on for thousands of years by government’s throughout history. These societies were/are at various stages of wealth, education, and technology when the atrocities were carried out against their people.

When deaths caused by war are factored into this discussion, the numbers are astonishing. It is estimated that over 260,000,000 people (nearly equal to the current population of the USA) have been killed as a result of government policies and wars in only the last 100 years. Civilian and military deaths totaled 62,000,000-78,000,000 from WW2 alone. The country of Poland lost nearly 17% of its population to World War 2.

Would such a massive and destructive war have ever been able to take place without the cult of personality surrounding the leadership of the era? Would so many people have been massacred had governments not used military coercion to accomplish it?

Some may want to believe that America is somehow impervious to the type of monstrous behavior by government that I have highlighted. I hope that they are right. But history says it is only a matter of time before they are proven wrong.

Putting your trust and faith into government and what it tells you it is doing in your best interest is a dangerous position to place yourself in. Simply ignoring history and assuming that the people in charge will always be on your side is irresponsible.

*Statistics from this post were referenced from multiple sources. Since so much conflicting information exists on casualty figures I simply used ranges to encompass the various estimates. Most sources claim that a lack of records could mean that exact figures will never be known.

  1. To put into a single sentence, concentrated power is the enemy of liberty.

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