Wednesday, February 01, 2006


We hear a lot about the death toll in Iraq, and those deaths concern me. But I came across this site today that tells an even scarier story. Soviet Russia, particularly the Communist Party, murdered more than 61,000,000 people, more than 54,000,000 of them Soviet citizens. The People's Republic of China has been responsible for more than 76,000,000. Even in our fallen world, how can a nation become so callous?


dwain said...

What you can suffer is the maximum that can be suffered on earth. If you die of starvation, you will suffer all the starvation there has been or will be. If ten thousand people die with you, their participation in your lot will not make you be then thousand times more hungry nor multiply the time of your agony ten thousand times. Do not let yourself be overcome by the horrible sum of human sufferings; such a sum does not exist. Bernard Shaw (by J.L. Borges in "A New Refutation of Time," Labyrinths)

Cynical, absolutely, but with a great deal of morbid pragmatism. I agree with you completely that the horrors committed by those you mentioned are too great to be comprehended or even hinted at in words, but does relativity play into suffering? Not for the person, of course, but should it sway the opinion and emotion of humanity as a whole?

Chris said...

The level of personal tragedy for myself may not be directly affected by the magnitude of the phenomenon, but I think that the quantity of sufferers shares importance with the quality of suffering (if that is a correct phrase) in moving us to action. We go to amazing lengths to protect ourselves from relatively rare accidents or diseases. Would our efforts not be more wisely spent to seek the eradication of those elements that cause the widespread eradication of whole segments of population?