Okay, let's break this down a bit...
Also - this criterion is FAR less accurate than the number/intensity of atrocities, for it puts the equal sign between wars/genocides of vastly different scale, vastly different cost in human suffering and death.
But isn't that the point, though? If we are talking about the infliction of violence, doesn't the absolute number of deaths and displacements... well, matter
, more than the technology used or the scale of the conflict? The enormity of what the Nazis did shouldn't be downplayed by saying, 'well, sure they were bad, but they had gas chambers
, so it was easier for them to kill - ergo they weren't as bad as An Lushan'.
Think about 'A Taste of Armageddon', for example. Even though the inhabitants of Eminiar VII and Vendikar were conducting a war by bloodless and 'civilised' means, they were still killing real people
in enormous numbers and had no means of stopping themselves until Kirk destroyed their simulators.
Turning them into proportions of the entire world population just adds a completely unnecessary level of abstraction, in my thinking.
The concept of peace as the normal state and war as the exception is a modern invention. In the past, war was the normal state and peace, merely a transitory interval between wars.
And only by using such immense generalizations can it equate the XX century to the previous ones, when it comes to atrocities.
Speaking of immense generalisations, it seems to me that it takes immense generalisations by necessity
to compare the state of the world in any one century to the state of the world in any other.
And the first sentence is simply not true
. The Concert of Vienna was a concerted effort
to create a lasting peace in Europe in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars - and it worked, spectacularly, for thirty years. Even if massive death and suffering was going on elsewhere in the world (no differently than the XX century, really), and even if there were sporadic armed uprisings in the European nations during this time, no European country warred against another between 1815 and 1848. Peace was the normal state of affairs
at this time.