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Old June 3 2012, 08:53 AM   #43
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Photon wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
naverhtrad wrote: View Post
Thing is, relative compared to what?

Europe was at peace from 1945 to 1989, even though you had two opposing blocs staring each other down straight down the middle. The actual violence was constrained, on the threat of MAD, to proxy wars in non-aligned states. Not exactly peaceful, but not exactly war, either. And you didn't have the concept of the 'failed state', because even states with tenuous and vague institutional systems were propped up generously by either the US or the USSR.

Compare that to what you had after the Soviet Union collapsed. To back what Ezri D and MacLeod have been pointing out, the breakup of Yugoslavia (and the street violence and ultranationalist militias slaughtering people on all sides) occurred just when the idea that a land war in Europe was, to many military and academic minds, unthinkable. (Of course, the violence in Yugoslavia was egged on by the Western 'advisors' and international bodies who wanted to see the last Communist country fall apart, but that's another point...) Somalia broke down. Rwanda ripped itself apart and killed (conservatively) 800,000 people in the process. Afghanistan became, under the joke that was the Peshawar Accord, a proxy-war playground between the Saudis and the Iranians.
What about relative to the entire history of humanity?

The XX century was the most peaceful century in history (followed by the XIX century) - despite the world wars, proxy wars, civil wars, Yugoslavian war, etc.

A far larger part of humanity was at peace in the XX century (XIX century) than at any other time in history.
History is just that war-filled.
For example, at present, we take for granted that wars between developed countries are very rare and that wars mostly happen in third world countries; in reality, that's an absolute novelty.
Perhaps if you don't account for the atrocities of: Josef Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot's killing fields, Idi Amin, Charles Taylor, Saddam Hussein, Chairman Mao (the worst, killing between 49-78 million), Hideki Tojo, Kim Il Sung, Brezhnev in Afghanistan, Savimbi in Anglola, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Khomeini of Iran, need I go on. Were the countries at per se war...yes/no...but millions upon millions died in our relatively peaceful XX century.

Just wait til those last 3 and 1/2 years. You aint seen shed blood til that one.
Photon, with all the wars and atrocities you mentioned (and the ones you didn't mention) taken into account, the XX century STILL is the most peaceful in history.

Life in the past was just that brutish, violent and short.
We just tend to picture it in a ridiculously romanticised frame - in part because the closer to the present an era is, the more details about it we learn/remember.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
A far larger part of humanity was at peace in the XX century (XIX century) than at any other time in history.
In all of Human history up to the turn of the twentieth century, 41 million people were killed in wars. In the twentieth century alone 169 million (at least) were killed in wars.

Edit XYZ, your statement makes absolutely no sense, what are you talking about?

Yes, let's bring some numbers into the discussion.

In absolute numbers, what were the worst atrocities in history?
Let's see (deaths include battlefield deaths and indirect deaths of civilians by starvation or disease; each death toll is the median of the figure cited in a large number of histories and encyclopedias):

1 Second World War (20th) - 55.000.000 dead
2 Mao Zedong (government caused famine) (20th) - 40.000.000 dead
3 Mongol conquests (13th) - 40.000.000 dead
4 An Lushan revolt (8th) - 36.000.000 dead
5 Fall of the Ming dynasty (17th) - 27.000.000 dead
6 Taiping rebellion (19th) - 20.000.000 dead
7 Annihilation of the American Indians (15th-19th) - 20.000.000 dead
8 Josef Stalin (20th) - 20.000.000 dead
9 Mideast slave trade (7th-19th) - 19.000.000 dead
10 Atlantic slave trade (15th-19th) - 18.000.000 dead
11 Timur Lenk (Tamerlane) (14th-15th) - 17.000.000 dead
12 British Indie (preventable famine) (19th) - 17.000.000 dead
13 First World War (20th) - 15.000.000 dead
14 Russian civil war (20th) - 9.000.000 dead
15 Fall of Rome (3rd-5th) - 8.000.000 dead
16 Congo free state (19th-20th) - 8.000.000 dead
17 Thirty years war (17th) - 7.000.000 dead
18 Russia's time of trouble (16th-17th) - 5.000.000 dead
19 Napoleonic wars (19th) - 4.000.000 dead
20 Chinese civil war (20th) - 3.000.000 dead
21 French wars of religion (16th) - 3.000.000 dead.

A few observations - of these 21 worst atrocities, 14 were in centuries before the XX. Did you know there were 5 wars and 4 atrocities before WW1 that killed more people than that war?
T'Girl - your naive "41 million killed in wars before the XX century" doesn't even come close to the number of deaths caused only by these top 14 atrocities committed before the XX century (or even by the wars among them).
And all this pertains to absolute numbers.

Of course, these were only the worst, the peak of the iceberg; there were thousands upon thousands of wars, genocides, etc (as in not merely small skirmishes) committed during the banal horror of human history.
Our ancestors were not even close to being as reluctant as us in starting wars, eradicating this or that ethnic group, etc.

What if we take into account the total population of those times - and ask how large a percent of the total population was killed in those 21 atrocities?
Let's see - with the death toll adjusted to mid-XX century equivalent:

1 An Lushan revolt (8th) - 429.000.000 dead
2 Mongol conquests (13th) - 278.000.000 dead
3 Mideast slave trade (7th-19th) - 132.000.000 dead
4 Fall of the Ming dynasty (17th) - 112.000.000 dead
5 Fall of Rome (3rd-5th) - 105.000.000 dead
6 Timur Lenk (Tamerlane) (14th-15th) - 100.000.000 dead
7 Annihilation of the American Indians (15th-19th) - 92.000.000 dead
8 Atlantic slave trade (15th-19th) - 83.000.000 dead
9 Second World War (20th) - 55.000.000 dead
10 Taiping rebellion (19th) - 40.000.000 dead
11 Mao Zedong (government caused famine) (20th) - 40.000.000 dead
12 British Indie (preventable famine) (19th) - 33.000.000 dead
13 Thirty years war (17th) - 32.000.000 dead
14 Russia's time of trouble (16th-17th) - 23.000.000 dead
15 Josef Stalin (20th) - 20.000.000 dead
16 First World War (20th) - 15.000.000 dead
17 French wars of religion (16th) - 14.000.000 dead
18 Congo free state (19th-20th) - 12.000.000 dead
19 Napoleonic wars (19th) - 11.000.000 dead
20 Russian civil war (20th) - 9.000.000 dead
21 Chinese civil war (20th) - 3.000.000 dead

When scaled by population size, only one XX century atrocity (WW2) even makes the top 10.

In conclusion, yes, the XX century was the most peaceful in history, a FAR smaller fraction of humanity succumbing to wars/genocides/etc than at any other time in history.

"Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times. People have always been like this." - Gustave Flaubert
"Let truth and falsehood grapple ... Truth is strong" - John Milton

Last edited by Edit_XYZ; June 3 2012 at 11:17 AM.
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