Thursday, February 21, 2008

Evil Dudes and Blood Floods

Read an interesting book sometime back titled “The World’s Most Evil People” by an author called Rodney Castleden. It profiled 90 people who have done evil deeds, mainly destruction of human life, spanning through the ages, from the ancient times to the present day.


What is evil? According to the Oxford dictionary, evil is defined as morally bad, harmful or very unpleasant.

This basically means that evil depends on the level of morality of the people, in other words us.

Moral: concerned with right and wrong; virtuous

What a person will perceive as evil will depend on what they think as right and wrong. The problem is that different people has different ideas on what is right and wrong. What someone might consider as wrong might not be considered the same by someone else. Blame the way our brains are wired.

So evil appears and disappears according to the person’s viewpoint. The author of the book notes this as a moral paradox. A classic example of this is the decision by America to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. There are 3 viewpoints on this event. One is that it is a good thing, because it brought a quick end to the second world war, a necessary evil, because it stopped the war, but killed a large number of people in the process, or as an unequivocal evil, because the people killed were civilians, slaughtered in cold blood, and they should never have been considered as military targets.

Another point made in the book is that evil depends on the zeitgeist, or the spirit of the age. Taking a look back at history, there have been more evil people about in certain time periods than in others. The 20th century is one of them and so far the worst one. Worst because of the large number of human lives destroyed, thanks to technology and the industrialization of warfare.

The 20th century saw a blood-letting on a scale never seen before in human history. There were 20 wars (events) during the 20th century that involved more than 1 million deaths, some of them closely linked to each other. Collectively these events formed a single complex upheaval described as a Haemoclysm, or a blood flood, in which 155 million human lives were destroyed. Keep in mind that this was just these 20 events. Add to that the other skirmishes around the world and the death toll is much higher.

The list is as follows, ordered by the death tolls:

1. Second World War (Late 1930s – September 2, 1945 )– 50 million

2. Mao Zedong’s regime in China (In office 1945 – 1976 )– 48 million

3. Stalins regime in the Soviet Union (In Office April 3, 1922 – March 5, 1953 )– 20 million

4. The First world war, including the Armenian massacres (July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918 ) – 15 million

5. Russian Civil War (1917-1923 ) – 8.8 million

6. Warlord and Nationalist era in China – 4 million

7. Congo under King Leopold of Belgium (17 December 1865 – 17 December 1909 ) – 3 million

8. Korean War (June 25, 1950 - present. Full-scale fighting until an armistice on July 27, 1953 )– 2.8 million

9. Second Indo China War – 2.7 million

10. Chinese Civil war (Full scale fighting lasted from April 1927 to December 1936, and clashes from January 1941 resuming full conflict from August 1945 to May 1950; war declared over by the ROC in 1991; [1] no legal document has been signed to end the war, technically continuing from 1927 until today )– 2.5 million

11. German expulsions after WWII2.1 million

12. Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 - 2005) – 1.9 million

13. Congolese Civil War (June 1997–December 1999)– 1.7 million

14. Cambodia Khmer Rouge Regime (1975 – 1979) – 1.7 million

15. Afghanistan Civil War (1978–conflict still ongoing )– 1.4 million

16. Ethiopian Civil War (1974-1991 )– 1.4 million

17. Mexican Revolution (1910)– 1.3 million

18. East Pakistan Massacres – 1.2 million

19. Iran – Iraq war (22 September 1980–20 August 1988 ) – 1 million

20. Nigeria Biafran War (1967–1970 )– 1 million

The total of all this: 155 million

Since the book was written sometime back the details maybe a bit outdated. Another dark event that can be added to the list is the Rwandan Civil War in the 1990’s, where the Rwandan genocide estimates 800,000 to 1 million deaths. The most recent and ongoing conflict is the war in Darfur , in Sudan, raging on since 2003. The estimated death toll is 200,000 to 400,000, with over 2.5 million displaced. However since there seems to be no end in sight, we can probably expect the death toll to rise as time goes by.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

John Lennon 1940-1980


Lady divine said...

That definitely looks like and interesting and worthwhile read....

Thanks for the info!

Nadiyya said...

Hey, I love your animation Azrael! Your blog is just getting better!!

A relief not to find myself on that list ;)

Azrael said...

LD- Yeah it is :)

Nadiyya - Thanks. If you mean the list of evil dudes, then definitely your not in it he he :D

Jerry said...

Interesting views on evil there... Will make for some interesting food for thought while wasting time. ;)