Talk:Mass killings under communist regimes/Archive 24

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Suggested Topic: The problem of the causes of mass state violence against civilians by Communist governments in Genocide studies (yes it needs work)

Wotcher, Doing my brain in trying to explain some meta, I had an insight into what I believe the actual topic of this article is. Having read Lemkin, Courtois, Rummel, Valentino, and a number of other papers and chapters (yea, even a monograph for this article), the actual topic being covered here appears to be "The problem of the cause mass state violence against civilians by Communist governments in Genocide studies." Hear me out

  1. There is a genuine social science and historical literature of genocide studies (broadly construing "genocide" in genocide studies)
    1. This literature covers both single state cases
    2. And comparative studies
  2. Genocide studies have a real academic problem with the causes of mass state violence against civilians
    1. There are clear examples of societies which went through periods of mass state violence against civilians
    2. But these weren't continuous temporally or geographically in single states
    3. And some Communist states weren't racked by mass state violence against civilians internally (though they did under go individuated state violence)
  3. So genocide scholars attempt to deal with the problem of causation
    1. Through single society studies
      1. With causes 1..n per society
    2. Through comparative studies of states which had such violence
      1. With causes 1..n per theory
    3. Through comparative studies of states with and without such violence
      1. With differential causes 1..n (Mainly Valentino, some critiques of Democide)
    4. Through universal theories of mass violence in all modern states

There's the article. It ties a literature concentrated on an unresolved scholarly problem, it allows for the major theories of single society studies to be contrasted to over-arching theories. The presence of single society studies will please editors who want to see certain section headings, but the presence of a solid scholarly problem: mass violence in some but not all, at some times but not all times, Communist states. It lets the theories touch ground as and when they're linked to the core scholarly problem. And it is written primarily out of Reliable Sources of scholarly opinion, weighted and noted where contested, following the structures present in literature devoted to the core problem of causation.

What do editors think? My proposed running order would be Universal theories with a concentration on the problem of mass violence in communist states, comparative shared or unshared cross cultural theories of communist cause, society specific theories. Each noting the main example present in the literature at the first instance used. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:38, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for a good faith attempt at consensus. We could use more of that. It seems to me that your proposed title "The problem of the causes of mass state violence against civilians by Communist governments in Genocide studies" is essentially a different topic than this one (or even than the "Proposed causes" section of the current article) as it is a level of abstraction removed from it. That is, rather than being about the causes of the mass killings per reliable sources, your article would be about the study of the causes of the mass killings, which is significantly different. I would say that it is different enough to be a section of this one or even its own article (provided that there are actually sources which discuss the study of the causes of the mass killings so that we would not be engaged in original research). AmateurEditor (talk) 20:57, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your considered reply. I agree that the topic of the article I'm proposing is different to the current topic. The current topic is, "mass state violence against civilians by Communist governments". I surveyed the academic literature for this topic, and the presentation of "mass state violence against civilians by Communist governments" never appears without an argument of causation or a clear moralism speaking to prescriptive policy. The arguments of causation and moralistic prescriptive policy are, "The problem of…in Genocide studies." The argument I'm putting is therefore that the current article fails to reflect the scholarly and popular discussion of the topic "mass state violence against civilians by Communist governments" as this is never discussed by itself in the literature, it is always discussed as a scholarly problem of causation in the field of genocide studies. As such, I'm claiming the current topic fails to reflect the topic in the scholarly reliable sources, even the ones we're using, and the topic should be changed to reflect the sourcing basis. Thoughts? Fifelfoo (talk) 00:27, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I would say the article's content is held together by just few sources: Rummel, Semelin, Goldhagen and, probably, Valentino (where the term "mass killing" was borrowed from), and few others. Rummel in his scholarly articles focuses mostly on correlations between totalitarianism and democide, and prefers to avoid direct attacks of Communism specifically and Guinness-type discussions of "megamurderers". Valentino also prefers to discuss a broader issue of mass killings in general. Semelin with his term "classicide" seems to be more specific and more appropriate to this article. Other sources are either descendants of Cold war propaganda, or they discuss each country separately. Therefore, I think the article in its current version will never become non-controversial, neutral and stable. It should be either expanded to include all totalitarian mass killings, or to cleaned from all tangentially related theorising and facts.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:00, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
PS Lemkin seems to be quite irrelevant to the article's subject because Communist mass killings (except Cambodia) do not fit the narrow definition of genocide, whereas loosely defined genocide becomes something that is not historically unique and therefore is applicable to too many XX century events, including those Western democracies were involved in.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:06, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
(Regarding Lemkin, read the journal article attacking his politicisation of genocide which is given in the article, Lemkin modified his theory in order to meet funding demands from emigre Eastern European communities in the USA. Lemkin's modifications were not taken up by international states in their discussion of genocide. It is quite a good journal article, and clearly presents the extent and limits of Lemkin's theorisation). Where my proposal differs from the current coverage is in allowing single society case studies in. This would allow for particularly highly notable studies of causation in single societies to be discussed, broadening the sourcing basis and solving a number of issues related to the reluctance of specialist historians to assign causation to general factors when they believe that society specific factors were the cause. These elements of the literature have been "defined out" of the current article, even though the present a coherent discourse along side general theories of causation in the scholarly field. It would leave the article structured around the academic discourses in single society and general theories, and present social incidents when they are used, and only used by Wikipedia to the extent they are used, by scholars as examples of their theorisation. Such a wikipedia article would present Valentino's belief that mass killings in communist states are an exemplar of his category of dispossessive mass killings, and note, "such as the collectivisation in the Ukraine which resulted in wide spread famine, estimated by Valentino as leading to ____ deaths." Fifelfoo (talk) 01:16, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
If I understand your proposal correct, that is close to what I proposed: to try to avoid unneeded generalisation and focus not on connection between Marxist theory and mass killings (which hardly exists in actuality; moreover, some sources, which are not cited in the article, tell the opposite, namely, that it was a Marxist ideology that prevented Stalinism to develop into a fully genocidal regime), but on some concrete examples. It is necessary to show how national specifics caused mass killings during the attempts to implement Marxist doctrine (which was modified in each particular case). For instance, it is quite necessary to tell that there were three major factors that caused Kampuchean genocide: desperate economic situation of Khmer peasantry, Khmer nationalism (including their traditions of revenge) and deeply misinterpreted Marxist doctrine (which by definition is not applicable to the agrarian society). It is also quite necessary to explain how Mao's interpretation of Marxism lead to disastrous Great Leap (and that was a reason why Chinese bosses warned Pol Pot against too radical transformations). It should be said that the Soviet mass killings in Afghanistan were a results of Soviet attempts to secularise archaic Afghan society, etc. By doing that we probably can convert the article in something reasonable.
Re "Valentino's estimates", he never did his own studies. He, as well as Rummel, just collected other secondary sources and tried to draw conclusions based on that. Therefore, it would be more correct to use the sources that deal with each concrete case separately.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:14, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with the scholarly practice of conducting second order research, it is generally the way that larger theoretical claims are made in the social sciences. My proposal is that this article ought to follow the narrative and focus present in the scholarly second order literature, and scholarly general theories of mass violence specific to communist societies, and scholarly general theories of mass violence operating at a higher level of causation than communist societies. Such an account would give the actual scholarly opinion on causation: some scholars believe causes are socially particular, some scholars believe causes are particular to certain communisms, some scholars believe causes exist at a level beyond communism (totalitarianism, modern state apparatus, etc.). The concrete objects would then be Bar's Theory A (concrete example1, concrete example2), Baz's Theory B (concrete example3), Foo's History of The Terror for its argument of Causation, etc. For theories of Marxism causing mass violence, and their academic reception, see the article's current section on Robert Grant destroying George Watson's fringe work. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:25, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, however, if the Bar's theory A in actuality was developed to describe the onset of mass killings under totalitarian regimes, whereas the Baz's theory deals with mass killings under authoritarian regimes, they hardly can serve as a framework for the article devoted to the mass killings under Communist regimes. Re second order research, in the Valentino's case they are fourth order research: he uses, among others, the Rummel's data, and the former didn't work with primary sources, preferring to do his estimates based on existing secondary sources.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:41, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
We do have the article "Crimes against humanity under communist regimes",[1] but we would have to change the name of the article because no one has ever written specifically about mass killings under Communist regimes. While some editors have called it a tertiary source, it meets the criteria of a secondary source for Wikipedia. It could be used as the major source for the article. TFD (talk) 03:00, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
If I read you correctly, you like the idea of focusing the article around the scholarly problematic; but, in your opinion, the centre of scholarly discourse on the problem of abhorrent behaviour by communist societies in comparative study is centred in the general crimes against humanity issue, and not in the specific mass killing / genocide studies issue? Having just read the introduction, and publisher checked, Klas-Göran Karlsson and Michael Schoenhals, Crimes against humanity under communist regimes: Research review Stockholm: Forum for Living History, 2008; this source is a scholarly field review, of recent period, which would allow for an approach rooted in a High Quality Reliable Source reviewing literature which is esteemed to be of High Quality and published in a Reliable Source mode in wikipedia's meaning. Basing my proposal above off Karlsson and Schoenhals 2008's framework, and getting an agreed topic change and page move would be a good thing. Can we discuss developing a consensus around this? Fifelfoo (talk) 03:13, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Let's just stick to the topic we have and keep it simple. There's no need to re-name and move the article again. Smallbones (talk) 04:20, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it is easier to propose than to implement. Simple addition of other points of view will lead to an eclectic and completely unreadable article, because the very article's structure is flawed.--Paul Siebert (talk) 12:33, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
If we keep it under the same title, then the lead should begin, "A number of scholars have developed a theory connecting mass killings under Communist regimes with Communist ideology. These scholars have been accused of inflating mortality figures in order to make Communism to seem a greater evil than Nazism. While these views have become popular with the far right, they have gained no academic acceptance." That anyway is what peer-reviewed articles have to say about the subject. TFD (talk) 12:53, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
If we keep it then something like that is key --Snowded TALK 12:55, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Replying to Paul Siebert, given the closers opinion on the most recent AFD, I would propose a blank, full move with redirect, and rewrite from Klas-Göran Karlsson and Michael Schoenhals, Crimes against humanity under communist regimes: Research review Stockholm: Forum for Living History, 2008 and Valentino for structure, then filling in other major theories out of HQRS. Then after the theory sourced structure is down, filling in the pertinent sections of the article with content to the extent it is cited out of the HQRS written structure. The closer's note encouraged discussion focused on deep rewriting, rather than deletition.
Replying to Snowded, there is a genuine topic somewhere in this mess, and that genuine topic is for a comparative and topical article. Repeated AFDs demonstrate that the community of AFD editors are unwilling to kill the article outright. I believe Karlsson and Schoenhals, as well as Valentino's section treatment, and the variety of single society case studies and general theory studies which reference communist societies as evidence bases indicates there's a topic here somewhere. The topic is the scholarly discourse, theories of association or absence of association.
Replying to TFD, I suspect we sell the wikipedia short if we restrict such a topical article, as "Communist Genocide" and "Mass killings under Communist regimes" have been in the past merely to "Reporting the popular beliefs as a result of theories accusing actually existing Communism as an ideological system of having a direct causative role in causing mass abuses of human rights leading to large scale unexpected mortality in Communist governed states for the right and far right particularly in Western Europe and the United States after 1970." I'd like to actually cover the content of the scholarly debate, with appropriate contextualising evidence as found in the full variety of scholarly sources, as it exists around this problematic. I think you would too.
Should the result of this discussion be a more formal proposal for article direction and RFC to form consensus? Fifelfoo (talk) 13:07, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Wiki is not for covering the full extent of what scholars debate about, it is for presenting factual information, hence wp:v. The article direction is fine as is, apart of course from the usual suspects wishing it away mark nutley (talk) 14:07, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
It is incorrect to refer to WP:V when the issue is in WP:NOR and WP:NPOV.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:34, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Such a topic suggestion intrinsically calls for OR by WP editors. Collect (talk) 00:35, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

"three paradigms: totalitarian theory, revisionist, and postrevisionist"

I think it would benefit each editor interested in making progress toward consensus to read the last few pages of "Crimes against humanity under communist regimes" (pages 105 ~ 110), beginning from the following sentence: "In the case of the Soviet criminal history, and to some extent also the Cambodian one (although considerably fewer researchers are involved), it is relatively unproblematic to distinguish three such paradigms: totalitarian theory, revisionist and postrevisionist."[2] The arguments here on the talk page have been replicating these divisions in the academic community. AmateurEditor (talk) 23:53, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Taking into account that the works of Robert Conquest are considered as an example of the latest "revolutionary" school, I have a feeling that this review is somewhat outdated.
I also propose everyone to familiarise yourself with another work, namely, with the Robert Argenbright's article ("Bolsheviks, Baggers and Railroaders: Political Power and Social Space, 1917-1921" Author(s): Robert Argenbright Source: Russian Review, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Oct., 1993), pp. 506-527) The author points out that two schools exists that try to ascribe primacy in Bolshevik policies and motivations to either "ideology" or "circumstances", and concludes that this dispute came into an impasse. According to him, "the "ideology" perspective originated in the early Cold War era on the basis of the assumption that some of the ideas of Marx and Lenin comprised a blueprint or plan for communism."(ibid), and, therefore, is a Cold war stereotype, although these studies did have some strengths. However, another point of view emerged later:
"In contrast to the traditional tendency to make sense of facts by reference to an ideological blueprint, in the seventies revisionists began studying the broad scope and complex variety of events connected with the downfall of Tsarism and the tortuous transition to Stalinism.8 These studies have illuminated the making of history in the social interaction of millions of people who appeared as a passive, faceless mass in previous works. Unfortunately, however, at times the environment seems an amorphous chaos overshadowing the Communist leadership's intentions, which makes the assessment of policy formation highly problematic. From this perspective, the Communists' responsibility for creating destabilizing circumstances may be overlooked."(op. cit.)
This article is a good demonstration of the idea I am trying to convey during last months: namely that two main historical school exist, one of them is based on superficial analysis of commonalities between different regimes and tries to deduce all mass killing events from the same origin (i.e. from Marxist ideology), whereas another school (in actuality, many separate schools) simply study history of each country taken separately, and explain the events mostly based of national and historical specifics. The article in its present form either fully ignores the second type schools or shows significant preference to the first one.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:14, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

all that counts is that the article contain mass killings which occurred under Communist regimes

All else is seeking to have editors here substitute what they "know" instead of simply having the article follow its title. Collect (talk) 00:46, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

  1. If that is all that counts, then you create a list, i.e. List of mass killings under Communist regimes.
  2. If you believe these mass killings are causally linked – and you have reliable sources supporting your theory, then you crate an article on the theory, i.e. Communist genocide theory.
  3. If the scientific consensus is that Communist regimes are the cause of mass killings, then – and only then, do you create an article titled Mass killings under Communist regimes. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:32, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
-- Petri Krohn (talk)
P.S. – Let's try and make this even more general:
Unfortunately, in the common clade you also have to include things that do not taste as good, like for example Salix herbacea.
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Robert Argenbright in his article (see above) clearly tells about two schools (only one of them interprets Soviet history in a context of Marxism) and states that the dispute between these schools came into an impasse. Therefore, at least for the USSR we can speak about the absence of any consensus, and, taking into account the importance and the role of the Soviet Union in the Communist world, it is sufficient to speak about the absence of consensus in general.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:53, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Obviously, it is number 3. There is universal consensus that Communist regimes caused mass killings. As has been stated here (and at the AfDs) multiple times by editors who want this article deleted, no one denies that. There is academic debate (and probably no consensus) about why these events occurred, how many were killed, the best terms to use about particular cases or a general phenomenon, and whether the famine were intended. The sources so far gathered describe and/or take positions on these issues. That is what the article is about. After two "Keep" results from the most recent AfDs, whether or not to have the article on Wikipedia is a settled question. AmateurEditor (talk) 03:04, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Re: "There is universal consensus that Communist regimes caused mass killings." No. There is a universal consensus, which is based on the indisputable facts, that mass killings took place in many Communist countries. However, there is no consensus about the reasons affecting the onset of these mass killings, as well about existence of some common cause. --Paul Siebert (talk) 03:32, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
That's what I said. AmateurEditor (talk) 03:47, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
No. There is some difference between what you and I say. However, I believe it will not prevent us from coming to consensus in reasonable future.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:00, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
The only sources that connect mass killings with communist ideology are far right extremist theories published outside the academic mainstream. Wikipedia does have articles about fringe theories, e.g., birthers, 911 conspiracy theories, JFK murder conspiracy theories, etc. But to present these far right conspiracy theories as generally accepted by the academic community would be misleading, which is the main problem with this article. TFD (talk) 03:15, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
The article is not called "Mass killings under Communist ideology". The article does not presume to know which explanations are the correct ones. And just where in the article is any "far right conspiracy theory" presented as generally accepted? AmateurEditor (talk) 03:29, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Correct. However, it is built in such a way as if its name is "Mass killings under Communist ideology".--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:33, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Is it? Would it really make any difference what order the sections were placed in, as you suggested changing earlier? What would a neutral build look like, in your opinion? AmateurEditor (talk) 03:41, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Good question. In my opinion, the facts and the source should be presented as follows. It is necessary to tell that mass killings took place in some Communist countries and describe the most notable examples: Stalin's Great Purge, Mao's Cultural revolution and Khmer Rouge's genocide (we can also add that this is one of few examples of Communist genocide that had been recognised as such de jure, and arguably is the most notable one.) This discussion must include the national specifics (for instance, the scholars propose at least three independent causes of the Kampuchean genocide, only one of them had a relation to Communism). Then we can tell about views of some scholars who add famines and similar events into this category, and discuss the view of other scholars who see no intentionality (the Valentino's concept of deprivation mass killings should go there). And after that we can tell about the theories which discuss some commonality between these events. This would be, in my opinion, a neutral way to build this article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:57, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
In principle, I have no objection to rearranging the order of sections if that is such a sticking point. (However, Valentino does in fact see intentionality in famine deaths.) AmateurEditor (talk) 04:27, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
It is similar to having an article called "Greedy Jews". Of course there have been greedy Jews but having an article called that would imply that Jews were greedy. We could only make that article by explaining who considered Jews to be greedy and explaining the degree of acceptance those views had. This article should also point out the anti-Semitic nature of the theories expressed by far right anti-Communists. TFD (talk) 03:51, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
The article is also not called "Murderous Communists", TFD. Your analogy does not translate. "Greed" is not quantitative and is thus inherently prone to bias, unlike these large-scale killings (which are documented and universally acknowledged to have occurred); there are no reliable sources on that topic, unlike this one. And absolutely none of the sources used in this article or theories contained in it can be said to be anti-semitic. AmateurEditor (talk) 04:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
There are no reliable sources that connect mass killings with communist regimes. However there are sources that explain that the connection has been made by the far right and by anti-Semites. Since the role of Wikipedia is not to promote fringe theories, the way the article as written fails policy. TFD (talk) 04:19, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I still don't know how you can say that there are no reliable sources unless you are using some exotic definition of the word "connect". Check either of the last two AfDs for long excerpts from four reliable sources I posted there which make the "connection" between Communist regimes and mass killing. You still haven't presented a single source demonstrating the fringe or anti-semitic nature of this topic. Your attempts in the past were simple misrepresentations of those sources.[3] AmateurEditor (talk) 04:37, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Your claim was ""mass killings under Communist regimes" is not a theory or concept; it's a descriptive title of historical events", which is disingenuous. We could easily have articles about greedy Jews, drunken Irishmen, dumb Poles and ignorant Americans, and claim that the article was merely listing examples rather than promoting a fringe theory. And I certainly did not misrepresent my sources which clearly explain the far right origins of communist conspiracy theories and its relationship to the ideology of the far right and anti-Semitism. The article exists only because there was a view that a connection had been made between Communism and mass killings, and it is our responsibility to explain who has made the connection and what degree of acceptance their views have. TFD (talk) 05:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Yep - your position is quite clear now -- blame everything on those damn "greedy Jews" as you so clearly assert. Collect (talk) 10:12, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Huh? That post totally neglects to address the article (which is what the discussion page is for) and instead devotes itself to disparaging a good-faith editor. The blatant and misplaced implication of anti-Semitism looks like an egregious personal attack. It would be courteous to redact the post. Snide attacks have no legitimate place here. Writegeist (talk) 22:22, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Rh? The attack, if any, was against the greedy Jews listed by another editor. It would indeed be courteous for you to redact your accusation that I accused anyone of "anti-Semitism" here. Thanks you most kindly. Collect (talk) 23:16, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
It is a misrepresentation of what I said, which is obvious. TFD (talk) 23:22, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Why, then, did you refer to "greedy Jews" if you did not intend to use that phrase? Collect (talk) 00:41, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

(out) I am pointing out the inherent anti-Semitism in the point of view you are pushing. TFD (talk) 04:52, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

TFD: It should be clear by now that you can argue until you are blue in the face and Collect will misconstrue your words, often to mean the exact opposite of what you said. Further discussion is pointless. Either we can muster the numbers necessary to delete this article (I think ten people would easily accomplish that task) or we can't, in which case the reputation of Wikipedia will be diminished. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:29, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Per -WP:NPA I ask that you redact the silly personal attack you just made. As for canvassing in order to make try number eight at deleting the article - I think the eighth, ninth, and tenth try at deletion will fail. Collect (talk) 14:01, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I see five deletion discussions, three of which had no consensus. I too agree that the article should simply be deleted, by the way, with the content merged into Josef Stalin, Khmer Rouge, etc. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 14:56, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
In fact Collect your comments about me are a personal attack. As I clearly pointed out, the far right draw a connection between Jews and Communists, which is why the theories of Cpourtois, Nolte, etc., have become so popular with them. See for example Jewish Bolshevism. I accept that you may not be aware of this and encourage you to read the literature on this. In any case it is not our role to represent fringe or even majority views as factual, unless they have academic consensus. If people want to read articles presenting a paranoid view of history there are numerous websites that will oblige. But readers here want to read articles written from a neutral point of view. TFD (talk) 15:16, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
A neutral point of view which blames the far right anti semite knuckle dragging skinheads? Yes i can see how the is NPOV, of course you said the same thing in a section above did`nt you? Strangly you did not reply so i`ll post this again Valentino Communist regimes have been responsible for this century's most deadly episodes of mass killing Stanley G. Payne A history of fascism, 1914-1945 page 411 Martin Shaw War and genocide: organized killing in modern society page 115 Paul Gottfried The strange death of Marxism: the European left in the new millennium page 4 Neal Riemer, Douglas Simon The New World of Politics: An Introduction to Political Science page 143 Constantine Christopher Menges China: the gathering threat chapter VIII are all these people fer right anti semties then? mark (talk) 16:56, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Constantine Menges was certainly a neoconservative writing outside the academic mainstream. While I have not read his book, this type of source is typical of the thinking reflected in the article, which has been trashed by mainstream academics. I cannot read p. 143 of Simon's book, but it is only an introductory level textbook. Since the other writers did not develop theories of communist mass killings, they cannot be used to support those theories. Remember too that the article must explain the degree of acceptance of any theory advanced and cannot imply that there is academic consensus where none exists. Data-ming for quotes that may appear to support a POV is the wrong way to go. Read the literature and make sure that the article correctly describes it. TFD (talk) 17:41, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Source for your assertion that Constantine Christopher Menges is a neo con. Source that this article has been trashed by mainstream academics. This article is not about a theory, it is about facts, fact being communist regimes committed butchery on a massive scale, so there is in fact no reason to discuss what academics argue about over their tea and biscuits mark (talk) 18:32, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
"With Kirkpatrick and such other neoconservative mandarins as Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Constantine Menges and George Will leading the onslaught...." Troubled neighbors, Westview Press (2005), p. 234.[4] "The debate over the comparison of Communism and Nazism re-emerged in France in the 1990s, popularized by Francois Furet's The passing of an illusion (1995) and the Black Book of Communism (1997). The comparison became popular with the far right, who now claimed that Communism killed more than Nazism. The "genocide of a class" was seen as the moral equivalent of the "genocide of a race".[Stalinism and nazism: history and memory compared (2004) Henry Rousso, Richard Joseph Golsan, pp. xi-xv] This new thinking, which is especially popular in Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, where Communism is associated with Jewry, has been to diminish the significance of the Holocaust, with the Holodomor presented as a crime of equal magnitude. This reasoning has been described as a new form of anti-semitism.["Anti-Semitism in Europe, 1914 - 2004" (2006) Jan Herman Brinks, pp. 17-18)]" TFD (talk) 19:11, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
No no no, one partisan person giving an opinion in a book won`t do, really you must do better. Your other sources fare no better, more people giving their opinions. Were is the academic consensus which says this is all a right wing conspiracy? Please stop promoting fringe views on wikipedia, it is really not the place for such. And what of the others? You seem to have forgotten the poor fellows. 'Valentino Communist regimes have been responsible for this century's most deadly episodes of mass killing Stanley G. Payne A history of fascism, 1914-1945 page 411 Martin Shaw War and genocide: organized killing in modern society page 115 Paul Gottfried The strange death of Marxism: the European left in the new millennium page 4 Neal Riemer, Douglas Simon The New World of Politics: An Introduction to Political Science page 143' are all these people also far right anti semties then? or try A century of genocide: utopias of race and nation By Eric D. Weitz p 145 mark (talk) 19:27, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
mark nutley, you appear to have a perverse view of sources. Facts published in peer-reviewed journals and books published by the academic press are reliable. Opinions published in these sources which do not contradict other opinions and are not challenged by subsequent writers may be considered mainstream. It does not matter what the political views of the writers are. Fringe refers to articles and books published outside the academic mainstream that have received no academic acceptance. These are the types of sources that you continually argue for inclusion. Also you have a unique way of forming patterns and conclusions in sources that are not there. It reminds me of the patient who says the doctor administering a Rorschach test why he keeps showing him dirty pictures. If you have any good sources that are helpful for this article please provide them, but do not expect others to make the same leaps of logic that you do. TFD (talk) 19:50, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
An opinion is not a fact. Now put up or shut up are the following right wing neo-con anti semites Valentino Communist regimes have been responsible for this century's most deadly episodes of mass killing Stanley G. Payne A history of fascism, 1914-1945 page 411 Martin Shaw War and genocide: organized killing in modern society page 115 Paul Gottfried The strange death of Marxism: the European left in the new millennium page 4 Neal Riemer, Douglas Simon The New World of Politics: An Introduction to Political Science page 143'' are all these people also far right anti semties then? A century of genocide: utopias of race and nation By Eric D. Weitz p 145 you know these are solid reliable sources all of which tie ideology to mass killing, your demands for sources which combine the two have been met, again. mark (talk) 20:14, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Other than the introductory textbook they are acceptable sources. Unfortunately they do not support your views. TFD (talk) 20:28, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Every one of those sources talk about communist mass killings, every one of them mark (talk) 20:34, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Page 411 of Payne's book is not available in Google books but a search shows that the words communist and communism do not appear on page 411. TFD (talk) 21:01, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
It does not need to say communist does it, try mass killings or this linky [5] mark (talk) 21:07, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Quote; The murderousness of the Ustashi did not by itself qualify them to be considered generic fascists, since the great majority of movements and regimes of this century to have engaged in large scale killings were either Marxist–Leninist of non-fascist nationalist.
Now, what does a book on the history of fascism have to do with the topic of this article? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:51, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Is the source reliable? Does it make a specific statement relevant to this article? The book contains a multitude of references to "communism" and "communist" thus it is clear that the topics are entwined to a great degree. It also cites Rummel in several places, and refers to Russia and Cambodia as having had mass killings. BTW, it also has a lot on the Armenian genocide - it is not just about fascism. Collect (talk) 10:55, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Petri, this source has everything to do with the article since the great majority of movements and regimes of this century to have engaged in large scale killings were either Marxist–Leninist what do you suppose that means? mark (talk) 13:23, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
You should be able to find books or articles about the subject rather than need to data mine for isolated references. TFD (talk) 14:46, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Look this is quite simple, you keep saying no-one writes about mass killings under communist regimes right. So that source does just that, which BTW refutes your argument that nobody writes about the subject matter. All the sources presented in this section are about mass killings under communism, all of them. Any further debate from you on this matter will be deemed disruption as i am sick sorry and tired of providing source after source after source only for you to demand more. Enough. mark (talk) 15:01, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, this other source I happened to find (Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimensions, George J. Andreopolous) only mentions that "Capitalist, socialist, and fascist states have all been responsible for genocide." (page 57, par. 2). Note the reference to "capitalist, socialist, and fascist states" in that observation, as well as the fact that the term "communist" isn't in there: that particular author obviously gives preference to the wider category -- "socialist" -- for Marxist-Leninist states here described. That's why I suggested we move this page to the tile "Mass killings under socialist regimes" -- we need to include such avowed non-Marxist-Leninist socialists as the Baath (Arab Socialist) Party under Saddam Hussein and Burma (Myanmar) under Ne Win, since the scope of this article makes little difference. Marxist-Leninist systems are merely one type of socialism. In fact, as I pointed out long, long ago right over here, writers like George Watson, Alexander Nekrich, Llewelyn Rockwell, Jr., and various others specifically employ the term "socialist genocide." [6][7]. The article Mass killings under Capitalist regimes should never have been deleted, since "capitalist genocide" also has currency. Zloyvolsheb (talk) 21:07, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Revert why

[8] Some anti-communists assert that these mass killings in communist states are a direct result of communist doctrine Sorry but this is pure POV pushing it makes the lede look like the article is all about how anti communists are pushing this as a story when that is obviously not the case mark (talk) 17:47, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I think you are misreading that. By the way, in your next edit you seem to confuse the terms "drought" and "draught". A drought is an absense of rain. A draught is a current of air. TFD (talk) 18:07, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out i made a spelling error, real good of you. I don`t think i am misreading the text i took out at all, in fact i see only one way to read it mark (talk) 18:26, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Mark, why it takes so long to find an rs on ecological reasons behind the famine? (Igny (talk) 20:57, 13 October 2010 (UTC))
Not had the time to look yet, i did not realize there was a hurry :o) mark (talk) 20:59, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
And that is not a reliable source BTW mark (talk) 21:03, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Good to know that you are looking, let me know if you need further help. (Igny (talk) 21:20, 13 October 2010 (UTC))
how are the assertions of anti-Communist relevant? this article is not sourced by anti-Communist, should there be any mention of what caused the result, it should be supported by an existing RS, not "assertions" of irrelevant 3rd parties. Darkstar1st (talk) 21:30, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

The reliable source (Stalin and the Soviet Famine of 1932-33: A Reply to Ellman Author(s): R. W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft. Source: Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Jun., 2006), pp. 625-633) states:

"By the summer of 1932, partly as a result of previous Soviet policies, and partly as a result of bad weather, there had been two bad harvests in succession. Although strenuous efforts had been made to build up reserve stocks, these efforts had failed completely (see Davies et al. 1995, pp. 642-657). There is no doubt that grain was in very short supply by the spring and summer of 1932."
I believe this part of the debates can be closed.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:29, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Not just yet i`m afraid. I was looking over some stuff yesterday which says that stalin was taking grain from ukraine and that ukraine had not in fact had a severe drought. I have already self reverted on this but shall continue looking into it, it is not as clear cut as it appears mark (talk) 13:20, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
The source does not tell about a severe drought. It explain poor harvest by a combination of poor management and weather conditions, which is exactly what the article is supposed to say. In addition, since this source is reliable, we cannot remove this statement simply because other source states the reverse.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:42, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I know that paul, and the content is back in. But it may need tweaking if the majority of sources say their was no drought it ukraine mark (talk) 18:03, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

1944–1945 killings in Bačka

The article claims that 1944–1945 killings in Bačka is something that should be covered in this article. Are there any reliable sources for its inclusion or its existence. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:37, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Well the Yugoslav version is different, but it makes the Yugoslav partisans out to be saints :). There may be issues with the "official Yugoslav(Serbia)" versions. The WP article has over a dozen refs placing the deaths at the hands of the partisans, who were, indeed, communists under Broz. Likely you should look at those cites before making any major comments about sources or lack thereof. Collect (talk) 10:45, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Request explanation for deletion.

"Some anti-communists assert that these mass killings in communist states are a direct result of communist doctrine." was removed from the lede with a claim that it is POV, and yet this claim is the only possible basis for an article with this title. Otherwise, we might as well have an article titled Mass killings by people who wear hats. Please explain the claim of POV. Is it that all anti-communist make this claim, or that some people make this claim who are not anti-communists? If the latter, please give examples. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:12, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Any cite for all of those who make the assertion being "anti-communists" is lacking. At the minimum, it is weasel wording, it may be SYN and OR as well. I assume "some red-haired people" also make the assertion? "Some Crest-users"? The use of "amnti-communist" requires a specific cite, as far as I can tell, per WP:V as a minimum. Collect (talk) 12:25, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I explained why above it revert why section, but collect has said it better than i mark (talk) 13:18, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
No, it's totally relevant that the people writing a negative, POV article about communists are anti-Communists. This is where common sense comes in. Would our readers want to know that our information is coming from virulently anti-Communist authors (people like Menges, who is about as far-right/anti-communist as a person can get -- working on Reagan's NSC, and for William Casey in the CIA)? I think so, and it makes perfect sense to inform them that their information is coming from these sorts of people. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 15:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Jrtayloriv, are you saying only right wing nut jobs link ideology to mass killing? TFD said the same up above but seems to be unable to say if the sources i provided which link mass killing to ideology are right wing neo-con anti semites. I`m sure that was the turn of phrase he used mark (talk) 15:34, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
This is a topic that does not exist in the academic mainstream and the article should not pretend that it does. TFD (talk) 15:28, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I just reverted you TFD, this is under discussion and thus far your only contribution to it has been you usual mantra. Reinserting this text without consensus while a discussion is ongoing is disruptive, please don`t do it again. Thanks mark (talk) 15:42, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

No serious encyclopedia has an article such as this, and so the extraordinary claim that this article expresses views by anyone other than anti-communists is the one that requires evidence. Just so there is no possible misunderstanding: the difference between a serious scholar and an anti-communist is that a serious scholar will discuss both good and bad points of communism as it has been practiced throughout history. The serious scholar may very well, in fact probably will, agree that communism is an idea that has been tested and has failed. But no serious scholar thinks that, for example, communism caused Joseph Stalin to kill so many people. An anti-communist is someone who asserts that all communism and all communists are bad, and that all evils committed by communists were committed because they were communists. This is an extreme view. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:45, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Might you name any encyclopedia with literally millions of articles? That it is not found in a printed encyclopedia is not meaningful at all. Collect (talk) 16:48, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
(ecx2)Rick, are these people all anti communist? Valentino Communist regimes have been responsible for this century's most deadly episodes of mass killing Stanley G. Payne A history of fascism, 1914-1945 page 411 Martin Shaw War and genocide: organized killing in modern society page 115 Paul Gottfried The strange death of Marxism: the European left in the new millennium page 4 Neal Riemer, Douglas Simon The New World of Politics: An Introduction to Political Science page 143 A century of genocide: utopias of race and nation By Eric D. Weitz p 145 mark (talk) 16:58, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
The sum total of subjects covered in all encyclopedias, e.g., encyclopedias of rock'n'roll, genocide, ming vases, etc. would run into the millions and none would have this article. TFD (talk) 16:56, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Really? Encyclopedia of genocide By Israel W. Charny has plenty of stuff about communist mass killings. as does Routledge`s page 913 For example, the labeling of Stalin's victims as "enemies of the people" was used to legitimize the communist regime. Soviet and communist genocide and mass state killings, sometimes termed politicise, occurred in the Soviet Union International Encyclopedia of Women: Education: Health to Hypertension mark (talk) 17:03, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Maybe time to nominate for deletion? The polemical nature of it is evident from the discussions --Snowded TALK 16:57, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
That`s just disruptive, how many times does an article have to survive an AFD before you guys get the message that the community says it ought to stay mark (talk) 17:03, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

[9] This was a clear BLP violation, if your going to sling insults at BLP`s get sourceing for it mark (talk) 17:13, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

mark nutley, none of those encyclopedias have articles called "Mass killings under Communist regimes" or anything like that. TFD (talk) 17:15, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
So what? This one does, my point was that those one obviously have articles about communist mass killings, what their article`s are named is kinda down to them really mark (talk) 17:28, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Having articles about the actual killings is fine and would be common elsewhere, what is wrong here is the attempt by you and others Mark, to make a necessary link between an ideology you don't like and a practice all sensible people would despise. --Snowded TALK 17:33, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I`m not making the link snowed, the sources i have presented are doing that. If you would be good enough to look through them i`d appreciate it mark (talk) 17:35, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Please Mark, you are selecting sources that match your particular stance, its a minority and somewhat eccentric position that would not survive examination in any refereed environment. --Snowded TALK 18:07, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

No Snowded i`m not, i was asked to find sources which talk about communist mass killing (as that was deemed fringe) then it was changed to find sources which link ideology to mass killings, which i did. Please look at these sources Midlarsky, Manus I. (20 October 2005). The killing trap: genocide in the twentieth century. Cambridge University Press. p. 315. ISBN 978-0521815451. ^ Kersch, Kenneth Ira (1 March 2003). Freedom of speech: rights and liberties under the law. ABC-CLIO. p. 194. ISBN 978-1576076002. ^ Staub, Ervin (31 July, 1992). The roots of evil: the origins of genocide and other group violence (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (). p. 86. ISBN 978-0521422147. ^ Weitz, Eric D. (3 March, 2003). A century of genocide: utopias of race and nation. Princeton University Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0691009131. ^ Kiernan, Ben (14 September 2007). Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. Yale University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0300100983. ^ Cahill, Kevin M. (31 August 2003). Traditions, values, and humanitarian action. Fordham University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0823222889. All are from academic publishers and all connect ideology to mass killing mark (talk) 18:11, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Mark, I have more than enough experience of you as an editor not to accept the above as face value. Provide quotations from those references to support your position if you want me to look at them --Snowded TALK 18:23, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Go look yourself, wp:v a;; o need do is provide a source. Cheers mark (talk) 18:26, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Noted "anti-communist"

Nikita Krushchev apparently was an anti-communist, as he is noted for decrying the mass killings by Stalin. Collect (talk) 18:47, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I do not remember reading anything he said about "mass killings under Communist regimes". Can you please provide a source. TFD (talk) 18:52, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Try his anti-Stalin speech for starters. [10]
This term automatically rendered it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven; this term made possible the usage of the most cruel repression, violating all norms of revolutionary legality, against anyone who in any way disagreed with Stalin, against those who were only suspected of hostile intent, against those who had bad reputations. This concept, enemy of the people, actually eliminated the possibility of any kind of ideological fight or the making of one's views known on this or that issue, even those of a practical character. In the main, and in actuality, the only proof of guilt used, against all norms of current legal science, was the confession of the accused himself, and, as subsequent probing proved, confessions were acquired through physical pressures against the accused.
Stalin, on the other hand, used extreme methods and mass repressions at a time when the revolution was already victorious, when the Soviet state was strengthened, when the exploiting classes were already liquidated, and Socialist relations were rooted solidly in all phases of national economy, when our party was politically consolidated and had strengthened itself both numerically and ideologically. It is clear that here Stalin showed in a whole series of cases his intolerance, his brutality, and his abuse of power. Instead of proving his political correctness and mobilizing the masses, he often chose the path of repression and physical annihilation, not only against actual enemies, but also against individuals who had not committed any crimes against the party and the Soviet Government. Here we see no wisdom but only a demonstration of the brutal force which had once so alarmed V.I Lenin
Now when the cases of some of these so-called spies and saboteurs were examined it was found that all their cases were fabricated. Confessions of guilt of many- arrested and charged with enemy activity were gained with the help of cruel and inhuman tortures
Very grievous consequences, especially in reference to the beginning of the war, followed Stalin's annihilation of many military commanders and political workers during 1937-41 because of his suspiciousness and through slanderous accusations. During these years repressions were instituted against certain parts of military cadres beginning literally at the company and battalion commander level and extending to the higher military centers; during this time the cadre of leaders who had gained military experience in Spain and In the Far East was almost completely liquidated
The question arises: Why is it that we see the truth of this affair only now, and why did we not do something earlier, during Stalin's life, in order to prevent the loss of innocent lives? It was because Stalin personally supervised the Leningrad affair, and the majority of the Political Bureau members did not, at that time, know all of the circumstances in these matters, and could not therefore intervene
Clearly the rantings of an "anti-communist"?
Stalin's willfulness vis-a-vis the Party and its Central Committee be came fully evident after the XVIIth Party Congress which took place in 1934. It was determined that of the 139 members and candidates of the Party's Central Committee who were elected at the XVIIth Congress; 98 persons, i.e., 70 percent, were arrested and shot (mostly in 1937- 1938).[11]
All those who interested themselves even a little in the national situation saw the difficult situation in agriculture, but Stalin never even noted it. Did we tell Stalin about this? Yes, we told him, but he did not support us. Why? Because Stalin never traveled anywhere, did not meet city and kolkhoz workers; he did not know the actual situation in he provinces. He knew the country and agriculture only from films. And these films had dressed up and beautified the existing situation in agriculture.
Gosh -- an "anti-communist" pointing out that Stalin knew of what was happening on the farms?
In short - Nikita is an "anti-communist" because we are assured that only "anti-communists" point out the mass killings under Stalin. Neat. Collect (talk) 19:11, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
To avoid any cavil "physical annihilation" is quite likely to include "killing." Collect (talk) 19:13, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
The claim that Krushchev was an anti-communist sounds weird taking into account that his major slogan was "The next generation of Soviet people will live under Communism". He was anti-Stalinist, and he treated Stalinism as a revision of Marxism and as a deviation from the Communist doctrine. --Paul Siebert (talk) 19:22, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Irony alert if you did not read earlier posts: The claim was made that it was "anti-communist" propaganda that Stalin killed people. I asked, rhetorically, whether this meant Nikita was an "anti-communist." TFD asked for some evidence that Nikita decried Stalin's ruthlessness - Stalin's specific indifference to the deaths of farmers, and his "annihilation" of his imagined "enemies." To which I furnished ample evidence, I rather think. Inless, of course, you think Stalin did not run a "communist regime" which would be a rather interesting claim, overall. Collect (talk) 19:27, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Collect, could you please stop misrepresenting what other editors state. No one has claimed that Stalin did not kill people and it is extremely offensive for you to suggest they did especially considering that there are laws in many countries against this type of historical revisionism and your comments could be interpreted as accusing other editors of committing a criminal offense. TFD (talk) 19:34, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Are you in any way, shape, manner or form implying that my post is against the law in any country? Which one? Nor have I accused anyone at all of "committing a criminal offense" and would ask that you redact such a claim or charge. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:43, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I`d remove that if i were you, it sounds like a legal threat. BTW it is only holocaust denial which is illegal, and i believe it is just germany which has that law mark (talk) 19:39, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I doubt you are right. The article in its present version states:
"According to the laws in Czech Republic the person who publicly denies, puts in doubt, approves or tries to justify nazi or communist genocide or other crimes of nazis or communists will be punished by prison of 6 months to 3 years."
In other words, TFD was partially right pointing out that that there are laws in some countries against this type of historical revisionism.
@ Collect. I doubt someove can claim that Stalin did not kill people. Moreover, to claim that Stalinist regime committed mass killings is neither anti-Communist nor any other type propaganda, simply because this is true. However, to equate Stalinism (a very specific version of Communism, which had been later characterized as a deviation from Marxist doctrine by Communists themselves) with Marxist Communism, or to claim that mass killings were immanent to Communist societies, or to Communist ideology, were inevitable, and that the call to mass killings can be found in the basic works of Marx or Lenin is propaganda, and this propaganda is anti-Communist.
Many, if not majority of facts presented in this article are correct and are not propaganda. However, redundant stress on theoretical generalisations made by the works or opinions of some scholars, or even extracted from the works having a broader scope, turns this article into a piece of propaganda. I already proposed a way to fix that, however, the editors who belong to a party which I would conditionally call "anti-Communist" (just for simplicity) fully ignored my proposal. --Paul Siebert (talk) 21:05, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Kindly recall, moreover, that I never asserted that Marxism etc. inevitably resulted in killings - nor that I ever said such should be a fundamental basis of the article - only that the article title only requires that it deal with killings under communist regimes. Collect (talk) 23:49, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, in that case, could you please comment on the following statement:
"The article's POV issues could be significantly rectified by moving the section containing general considerations about genocide, democide etc., to the end of the artcile under the title "Views of some scholars etc... ""
--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:09, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

This link may be relevant to the question whether R.J. Rummel and Robert Conquest etc. should be described as anti-communists: Other Anti-Communist Sites It is a page maintained by Prof. Bryan Caplan of the Dep't of Economics at the George Mason University. Is seems to be related to something called Museum of Communism. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:14, 15 October 2010 (UTC)


Does anybody else feel that there should be a page entitled Mass killings under Islamofascist regimes? As this article is currently on the lockdown for a month, intermittently working with various people on that subject might even get you all doing some more productive edits. Zloyvolsheb (talk) 23:16, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

This is rather off-topic, isn't it? Personally, I'd suggest that the very title looked like an incitement to POV pushing, given the controversy of the very term Islamofascism, and would add little clarity to a complex issue. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:28, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Alas, nothing is completely uncontroversial. If the radical chic editors try to push their agenda at the hypothetical Mass killings under Islamofascist regimes page the way they do on this one, we'll simply have to lock that article for a month as well. Zloyvolsheb (talk) 23:44, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Ah well, that answers that then. Propose a hypothetical article, then cast aspersions at the hypothetical editors hypothetical actions in advance, and impose hypothetical sanctions. We could perhaps save a lot of effort if we merely collectively imagine this hypothetical article already actually exists, but all have been banned from editing it. ;) AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:56, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

1RR restriction

I have been following this discussion for some time, and I have concluded that additional remedies are needed to stop the edit warring. Per the discretionary sanctions authorized in the Digwuren case and clarified to apply to this article by the Arbitration Committee, I am hereby placing this article under 1RR. Any violation of this restriction will lead to either a block or a ban from this article and its talk page. NW (Talk) 22:11, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Edit war on lede section

In the recent edit war on the lede section it has become clear that a number of editors on one side of the dispute object to having any mention in the lede of the theory or idea that mass killings and Communist ideology are causally related. Yet these are the same editors who are arguing that such a relationship exists. If we cannot say this in the article, then what is the point of having the article under this name? The article should be renamed to List of mass killings... and any speculation about causality removed.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:54, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I demur that an "edit war" existed. I would further say that any claims in the lede which are not properly cited per WP:BLP and WP:RS are problematic at best. I would also aver that no causal relationship must be proven in order for the article, representing, as it does, rather incontrovertible fact, to properly reside in mainspace. Nor have an extraordinary number of AfDs made such a claim. Collect (talk) 13:42, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
object to having any mention in the lede of the theory or idea that mass killings and Communist ideology are causally related I don`t object to it being said they are related, i do object to it being described as a right wing conspiracy job though, I have actually asked TFD and Snowded this but they decline to give an answer for some reason, so perhaps you will are the following people right wing purveyors of anti communist propoganda? Midlarsky, Manus I. (20 October 2005). The killing trap: genocide in the twentieth century. Cambridge University Press. p. 315. ISBN 978-0521815451. ^ Kersch, Kenneth Ira (1 March 2003). Freedom of speech: rights and liberties under the law. ABC-CLIO. p. 194. ISBN 978-1576076002. ^ Staub, Ervin (31 July, 1992). The roots of evil: the origins of genocide and other group violence (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (). p. 86. ISBN 978-0521422147. ^ Weitz, Eric D. (3 March, 2003). A century of genocide: utopias of race and nation. Princeton University Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0691009131. ^ Kiernan, Ben (14 September 2007). Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. Yale University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0300100983. ^ Cahill, Kevin M. (31 August 2003). Traditions, values, and humanitarian action. Fordham University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0823222889. All are from academic publishers and all connect ideology to mass killing mark (talk) 17:01, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
This article is in a constant edit war state which suspends from time to time only to start again later. The major reason for that, in my opinion is that, whereas (mostly anti-Communist) sources do exist that derive mass killings from the Communist ideology, majority of other sources do not state the opposite explicitly, although numerous reliable sources exist that explain these events in each particular country taken separately, and not in connection with Marxist ideology. A typical quote is below:
"There was no blueprint for the creation of socialism. Marxist ideology provided party leaders with a virulent anticapitalist orientation, but it was their day-to-day, often ad hoc decisions that created the concrete features of Soviet socialism" (David L. Hoffmann Source: Slavic Review, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Winter, 1997), pp. 786-787)
However, it would be incorrect to combine this type quotes, which relate to some Communist country taken separately, with the works of, e.g. Rummel who draws general conclusions, although these two type works are in a direct contradiction. In connection to that, I again propose to move all general theorising to the end of the article as opinions of some scholars. That would be a big step towards ultimate cessation of this edit war and removal of the tag.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:09, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Please move the "general theorizing" to the end of the article, but keep the facts in front. Please don't argue that since there are different theories about this, that there cannot then be an article about the facts of the case. That some folks have one point of view and others another - are facts that can be documented, but let's concentrate on the basic facts first. Smallbones (talk) 17:14, 12 November 2010 (UTC)


Surely the most appropriate categories for this are Homocide and Communist States? Also, I don't see why it's part of decommunisation. Munci (talk) 17:24, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Conquest vs. Soviet archives

This is an interesting comparison between Robert Conquest and the post-Soviet Russian studies based on Soviet archives – as presented from a "apologist Stalinist" point-of-view.

Well, it seems that this is nothing new, Mario Sousa is already mentioned in the article Denial of the Holodomor. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 07:54, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

It is indeed astonishing what one can find on these foreign communist websites. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 05:00, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

NPOV tag

I've removed the NPOV tag in accordance with the discussion above - nobody wants to add any other POVs to the article. This was reverted saying "Please tetain tag until POV issues are resolved."

OK - let's be extremely clear here. State the POV that is MISSING from the article, and if there is any documentation for it, we'll add it. Smallbones (talk) 23:15, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

  1. Missing POV -
  2. Missing POV -
  3. Missing POV -
Currently the article does not present any mainstream views. We need a lead that represents mainstream thinking on the topic and I propose the following:
"The debate over the comparison of Communism and Nazism re-emerged in France in the 1990s, popularized by Francois Furet's The passing of an illusion (1995) and the Black Book of Communism (1997). The comparison became popular with the far right, who now claimed that Communism killed more than Nazism. The "genocide of a class" was seen as the moral equivalent of the "genocide of a race".[Stalinism and nazism: history and memory compared (2004) Henry Rousso, Richard Joseph Golsan, pp. xi-xv] This new thinking, which is especially popular in Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, where Communism is associated with Jewry, has been to diminish the significance of the Holocaust, with the Holodomor presented as a crime of equal magnitude. This reasoning has been described as a new form of anti-semitism.["Anti-Semitism in Europe, 1914 - 2004" (2006) Jan Herman Brinks, pp. 17-18)]"
TFD (talk) 23:39, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The main problem with these sources is that they do NOT give any evidence on Mass killings under Communist regimes. Rather they are attacks on the POV that Communism has committed similar atrocities to Naziism. Hopefully we will concentrate here on exactly what mass killings were committed under Communism, and there is little need for comparisons. To the extent that you want to include this material, I think it has to be secondary, included after the main discussion about the facts of the mass killings under Communist Regimes. That is, it is about the interpretation of the facts, and how some authors considered that some other authors misinterpret the facts. Clearly secondary or even tertiary. Could you spell out in plain English an example of what you want to include?
Then maybe include a couple of paragraphs in the section Mass_killings_under_Communist_regimes#Comparison_to_other_mass_killings, as long as it is not just saying "everybody who thinks that Communist Regimes killed tens of millions of people are Anti-Semites." That would simply be rediculous and has nothing to do with any mainstream views. Smallbones (talk) 02:11, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
You do not appear to understand the lead I wrote. Please read the source documents and recommend how it could be written morely clearly. TFD (talk) 13:43, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
No way could what you wrote above be the lede - most importantly because it doesn't address mass killings under Communist regimes. As far as a tight rewrite and the sources - I can't find that Brinks has been published - could you give a reference for the published work - "Scribner's Encyclopedia" is actually pretty vague. Summarizing Rousso and Golsan in the "Comparison" section might be something like:
Rousso and Golsan view the comparison of Nazi and Communist crimes as a tactic of the far right and particularly object to "genocide of a class" being seen as the moral equivalent of the "genocide of a race".
I'll put that in the Comparison section and remove the POV tag unless you want to summarize it in a different way. Smallbones (talk) 15:57, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
You seem to have a rigid view of the topic that prevents you from seeing that it is not mainstream. You assume that there is a connection between Communism/communism (the article does not even explain which one it is) and mass killings which needs no explanation. That may be fine for some types of writing but inevitably leads to a POV article, which is why it has been tagged. TFD (talk) 00:59, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
See 2nd and 3rd sentences of the article. If you can't see the connection, please don't accuse me of being biased. "The highest death tolls that have been documented in communist states occurred in the Soviet Union under Stalin, in the People's Republic of China under Mao, and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. The estimates of the number of non-combatants killed by these three regimes alone range from a low of 21 million to a high of 70 million.[nb 1] " Smallbones (talk) 02:03, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Whether or not I "can see the connection", the point is that the reader must be able to see the connection which must be done by explaining what the connection is, who has made it, and how accepted their views are. Otherwise it is POV. TFD (talk) 05:02, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
But them being communist isn't necessarily relevant to them having caused mass killings. There are commonalities between the three governments other than communism: they're all single-party states. Someone could equally say that single-party states have a connection to mass killings. Also, all of Stalin, Mao and the Khmer Rouge took their ideas partly from Lenin so one could also say that only communism with influences from Lenin have a connection to mass killings. Or maybe they just don't think the three massacres had much to do with each other. Munci (talk) 06:33, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
The main problem is that the claims MUST derive specifically from the cites, and not represent "combinations of cites". The amonth of SYNTH and OR in the proposal is excessive. Collect (talk) 23:52, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
There is no SYN, and could you please explain how you WP:KNOW that policy about more than one source for the lead. The first sentence: "The killing of a large numbers of non-combatants has occurred in certain states, including some that have declared adherence to some form of Communist doctrine". This needs to be removed because it implies a causal connection between communism and mass killings, which is not found in reliable sources. TFD (talk) 00:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I do not see any claim of causality in that sentence. I suppose I need stronger glasses. Collect (talk) 00:18, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you understand the difference between an implication and an overt claim? TFD (talk) 00:20, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I find the sentence to be NEITHER an "implication" NOR "an overt claim." Do "NEITHER" and "NOT" elude clarity? Collect (talk) 01:11, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying and also that you are wrong. It is an implication. For example if one were to write "mass killings under democratic regimes, "The killing of a large numbers of non-combatants has occurred in certain states, including some that have declared adherence to some form of democracy", it would imply a connection. We could then put American and Soviet mass killings in the same article. TFD (talk) 01:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Four Deuces, The CCCP communists, the NAZIs (also communists), etc. were all democracies. There is no mandatory connection between the political system and the economic system (although theoreticians claim a "de facto" requirement for a police state to have a communism).Aaaronsmith (talk) 19:39, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Is this an entry for an 'How many things can you get wrong in two sentences' competition? Complete bollocks, and best ignored. If Aaaronsmith wants to dispute this, can he do it somewhere else (eg his talk page - he can PM me if he likes)? AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:49, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The idea that the Nazi were Communists is funny. That suggests that in your mind "Communists" and "Bad Guys" are synonyms. Please, educate yourself.
I doubt it is possible to collect more wrong statements in such a short post.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:40, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Wait... so communists aren't bad guys? —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheSoundAndTheFury (talkcontribs) 00:28, 27 November 2010
They may well be, but this is a neutral encyclopedia, not a U. S. high school textbook. TFD (talk) 04:19, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Please -- we all know very well that genocidal slaughter in order to steal people's treasured property and various personal possessions is what communism is about. "Communism's goal is a society without rulers. A society where the people govern themselves. But until this is accomplished a superior government has absolute power. The people do not have any private possessions. Everything belongs to the government. One of communism's worst effects was in 1933. Adolff Hitler was a communist dictator. Under his instructions, the holocaust began. Over six million Jewish people died. Not counting the people fighting in the war.The holcaust lasted until 1945..." ([12]) Please educate yourselves before making further claims on these talk pages. Zloyvolsheb (talk) 00:19, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
That is a high school essay. TFD (talk) 13:33, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
@Zloyvolsheb. All of that would be quite correct, had the definition of Communism proposed by you been commonly accepted. However, in actuality, Communism is something else. In particular, the idea of internationalism ts one of the most essential part of its concept. This fact is quite sufficient to claim that Hitler could not be a Communist even in theory, and Nazims and Communism are two quite different things. Therefore... "physician, heal thyself"...--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:24, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a raging discussion going on now on the "NAZI" discussion page over exactly that point.
As for the other two points: You got me on Stalin, although it gets murky as Lenin believed in a form of democracy. But I hold to a half correct on Hitler. He ran for president - lost, was appointed chancellor by an elected president, and took over power in what was a constitutional democracy by intimidating and unarmed populace to look the other way while he ignored the constitution and his thugs murdered. At one time he was officially president AND chancellor.Aaaronsmith (talk) 00:15, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
(I believe you don't mind me to format your post).
Re Hitler, although it is a deviation from the talk page's subject, let me point out that he was not a dictator according to a Roman definition of this word. The power of old Roman dictators was enormous, but it was limited by time and in some other aspects. The most adequate term to describe Hitler is tyrant, a leader, who was democratically elected by ordinary people to fight against aristocracy, and who had absolute power in his police. You probably know that Plato considered tyranny and democracy (as opposed to monarchy and aristocracy) as a manifestation of the power of demos. In that sense, yes, Hitler was a democratic leader (as well as all other tyrants).--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:04, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
If Hitler had been a democratically elected leader, 'tyrant' might apply. He wasn't. He was appointed, as Aaaronsmith states, though whether those that appointed him had the legal power to do so is questionable at least. In any case, mere labels tell us little, particularly when trying to compare ancient Rome with 20th-century Germany. And for the record, if he was a 'communist' then I'm a cheese and pickle sandwich. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:23, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
By contrast to dictators, tyrants were not elected or appointed according to some formal procedure. Early tyrants used to come to power as a result of informal support of the demos. That is exactly what happened in Germany: although legality of Hitler's power was questionable, he was supported by a large fraction of the German society.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with "democratically elected by ordinary people to fight against aristocracy". He did not fight the aristocracy to any great extent. He did fight the communists a lot though. In fact, that was often part of the reason those that voted for him did so, especially the upper classes (they were generally more likely to vote for him more than the lower classes. see 'Who voted for Hitler?' by Princeton) Munci (talk) 23:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
In actuality, many tyrants didn't fight the aristocracy. However, people frequently believed they did, and that was the way tyrants used to come to power. That is exactly what happened in the Hitler's case.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:36, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
[citation needed] for Hitler doing this. I have read about this in any of the articles or books I have been reading. There was no aristocracy in power in Germany at the time. And the NSDAP was allied with and supported by the monarchist DNVP for some time. Who else would you think of doing this anyway? Munci (talk) 17:42, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Documentation of massive killings (2.5 million) by CCP cadres during GLF warrants its removal from “Controversies” section

The evidence provided in Frank Dikötter's new book Mao's Great Famine, hailed by other China scholars such as Andrew J. Nathan as "the most detailed account yet," demonstrates that not only do many of the famine deaths constitute mass killing (Dikötter: “In most cases the party knew very well that it was starving its own people to death”), but the mass violence practiced by party cadres and militia resulted in an estimated 2.5 million people being tortured or beaten to death. The latter ALONE constitutes mass killing according to Valentino's criteria (50,000 or more mass killings of non-combatants over a 5 year period). While Dikötter isn't the first to discuss mass violence during the GLF (Valentino himself, citing Jasper Becker, notes that "communist officials sometimes tortured and killed those accused of failing to meet their grain quotas" p.128), he is the first to DOCUMENT it using Chinese archival sources. In light of this, I am removing the Great Leap Forward from the “Controversies” section again.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 16:04, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

We should always be careful of new books making new claims because we do not yet know what acceptance if any they will receive. This book in particular presents problems because, although it is by a scholar on Chinese studies, it was published outside the academic mainstream ant the author has received funding from the Kuomintang-backed "Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation". It may be that it will gain acceptance, but we have no way of evaluating this. TFD (talk) 16:40, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Clearly mainstream and there is NOT any policy, guideline, etc. to "go slow" on new academic work. Take it to WP:RSN if you don't accept this source. Smallbones (talk) 00:21, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Directly to the point is [13] When I do research on articles I use recent books by experts which seems at odds with the position that new books are not to be used. Note also the discussion at RSN which seems to agree that this book is absolutely RS. Collect (talk) 01:36, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Recent books are helpful because they explain how subjects are viewed in previous literature. That does not mean that we abandon accepted views every time a new book is published. That should be clear to you and I do not understand why are talking about this. If you have difficulty in understanding how to use sources, please post a note on my talk page, and I reply to you. When I used the term "recent" I meant more recent than the 1958 Cold War text that had been presented. Do you believe that articles should be based on 1950s Cold War texts? TFD (talk) 03:51, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
IOW you back "recent" work which coincides with what you "know" and oppose "recent" work which does not so coincide. Thanks for making this crystal clear. Collect (talk) 12:40, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Please avoid attempts at sarcasm. You need to understand the difference between facts and opinions. Notice that I argued for the use of a 2010 book by a member of the Shah's administration in an article about the 1953 coup:

The source is fine - it is published by Palgrave MacMillan. While the author is not neutral (no author is), we can expect based on the publisher that the facts would be accurate and complete and that it would provide a good summary of the various interpretations of the events as well as explaining the degree to which scholars have accepted different views.... The fact that the book is "revisionist" means that we must be careful in including the conclusions reached. We must not represent them as the agreed interpretation, and must present them using proper WP:WEIGHT. The nature of the publication however means that it is a reliable source for facts and for a description of how historians interpret the events. If there are errors and omissions in the book then they can be addressed on a case by case basis. However, most high quality sources are written from a unique view. Scholars usually write books to present new opinions.... There seems to be confusion about the nature of peer-review. During the process, independent scholars are asked to review a manuscript to determine whether the facts are accurate and complete. Book reviews by "peers", even in learned journals, are not "peer review". It must also correctly acknowledge how scholars interpret the events, even if the author is arguing against them. We can expect the facts will be the same regardless of the viewpoint of the writer.[14]

The difference here is that the book was published outside the academic mainstream and we are giving weight to the opinions without any evidence that scholarship has given them any weight.

Notice also my opposition in the Tea Party article to include criticism of the Tea Party from non-academic sources and also arguing to exclude sources that connect the U.S. to terrorism, war crimes and human rights abuses, when the claims come from non-notable sources, or to describe the John Birch Society as "far right", to use the term terrorism without inline attribution, etc., when scholars do so, etc. We need to enforce standards and you should stop assuming that people oppose you for ideological reasons rather than a simple desire for neutrality.

TFD (talk) 14:31, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't see too much mentioned in his text that can't be found in other scholarly materials on Mao. As far as a higher death toll than 15-30 million, Yang Jisheng confirms this in his groundbreaking study "Tombstone," which has been lauded by Western scholars (although not by Dikotter).[15] Other researchers have come to death tolls as high as Dikotter's, such as Chen Yizi, a CCP member who was an architect of the economic reforms of the 80's, who estimated that some 43 million people perished in the GLF.[16] Regarding violence practiced by cadres during the GLF, Jasper Becker (1998, p. 93), Dali Yang (1996, p. 36) and Benjamin Valentino (2004, p. 128) all note this in their respective texts. As far as Mao and the CCP's complicity in the mass destruction that followed, Jung Chang discusses this in her controversial yet well sourced biography on him, which also prompted R.J. Rummel to reconsider the mass deaths during this period as democide and revise his own estimates accordingly.[17] Ralph Thaxton's research shows that there was significant resistance to Mao's destructive policies by villagers.[18] Dikotter's work is unique because he is the first to be granted access to large swaths of archival materials, which basically confirms much of what the aforementioned scholars have written about. That along with praise from several China specialists (such as Jonathan Mirsky, Andrew J. Nathan, Jonathan Fenby, Orville Schell, and Jasper Becker) seems far more significant, to me at least, than where he gets his funding (which isn't mentioned in one single review I've read - although, interestingly enough, I have seen this point brought up on blogs and forums where blatant Mao sympathizers are trying desperately to discredit his book) and that his book was published outside the academic mainstream. I've seen his book in at least 3 different local bookstores in my area, so I'm thinking he might have made a wise choice in choosing a publisher. I imagine his book will be read by a great many people, as it should be.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 13:50, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Because the book was published outside the academic mainstream, you are suggesting that we conduct our own academic scrutiny of the book to determine whether it is reliable. If a similar book coming to different conclusions is published I doubt that you would find it acceptable. Scholars do of course publish books in the popular press. But if they want their research to enter the academic mainstream then they also publish in the academic press. At present, I can find zero citations of the book in Google scholar.[19] It may be that he will publish his findings in the academic press and they will be considered the final truth. But I do not have a crystal ball. TFD (talk) 14:37, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
The idea that this "book was published outside the academic mainstream" is your own invention and, basically nonsense: "(Dikotter) is Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong and Professor of the Modern History of China on leave from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.". That sounds like "academic mainstream" to me. Also, see [20]. You can't just label sources you don't like "outside the academic mainstream", especially when they clearly are well within it. Perhaps what needs adjusting is your definition of what "academic mainstream" is. Volunteer Marek (talk) 18:21, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It was published by Bloomsbury Publishing which is not an academic publishing company. As someone with a PhD in economics you are well aware of the difference. TFD (talk) 21:10, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
So? The author is an academic who specializes in China. There's no requirement, implicit or otherwise, that only titles with the words "University Press" are acceptable. At the very least you might wanna drop the terminology of "outside of academic mainstream" as it insinuates things which are not true. Your (false) analogies with books by John Birchers and Shah administrators also insinuate the same thing. The book is mainstream. And it's academic enough. Volunteer Marek (talk) 22:39, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
All these sources satisfy WP:RS. They are not self-published, but published by experts and authors of numerous books, such as R. J. Rummel. No, you can not claim any sources of your choosing to be "outside the academic mainstream", based on your personal opinion. Doing so is against RS and NPOV policies.Biophys (talk) 21:49, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I am sure that as a biophysicist you would object to new books published outside the academic mainstream that contained original research and challenged existing views being used as sources for articles about biology, even if they were written by experts. Your comment about my "personal opinion" is insulting. I do not use mainstream sources because they reflect my personal opinion but use them because they reflect mainstream opinion. TFD (talk) 22:19, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Of course not. I am not sure what is your field of study if any. Just a few very basics. A typical scientific publication describes someone's original research. Everyone reads and publish it. Publications by good experts that challenge existing views are the most valuable scientific contributions, and I enjoy reading them as everyone else. However, telling that studies by established researchers belong to bad science (and that is what you apparently mean) is indeed insulting and goes against WP:BLP policy.Biophys (talk) 01:32, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I did not say it belonged to "bad science", just that it is published outside the academic mainstream. If a scientist wants an article to enter academic discourse they publish it in an academic journal, not in Popular Mechanics or as an editorial in a local newspaper. Incidentally, when new scientific papers challenge existing understanding we do not assume that the science has changed, but wait to see whether the new thinking has gained acceptance. If a new paper for example claims that the estimate the universe began 15 billion years ago is wrong, we do not immediately change articles to reflect that scientist's findings. TFD (talk) 14:28, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually if that new paper is a RS, then yes we do. We also don't make this distinction you've created regarding papers and books, at least not in terms of RS. Volunteer Marek (talk) 15:10, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Let me provide an example. Aspartame is the most widely tested food additive, and the scientific consensus is that there is no evidence it is harmful. However occassional studies have claimed that it is harmful, although all these claims have later been disproved by subsequent research. Using your reasoning, we would change the aspartame article to say that it is unsafe every time one of these studies emerges, rather than wait to see whether the scientific consensus has changed. TFD (talk) 15:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The subject of this discussion is not Aspartame, but the Frank Dikötter's book Mao's Great Famine that received positive review and satisfy WP:RS. You are trying to disqualify the source by merely claiming it to be "outside academic mainstream", which is your personal opinion. You do the same with regard to other academic sources. Doing so in inconsistent with RS, NPOV and BLP. This is all I wanted to tell.Biophys (talk) 17:22, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Both of us understand the difference between an academic publisher and a publisher of popular books, and the difference between peer-review and a book review. We also know that new research may or may not be accepted by the academic community. TFD (talk) 19:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Will you please stop referring to people's real life occupations? They are mostly irrelevant here and though it's not Outing per se, it is unconstructive and can make the discussion uncomfortable. BTW, what is your profession and education? Might as well as tell us your first and last name while you're at it. Volunteer Marek (talk) 22:39, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It says on your user page that you have a Ph.D. in economics and I assume that Biophys is short for "biophysics". I have said nothing beyond that. I do not believe it is advisable to provide personal information on Wikipedia. TFD (talk) 23:11, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Back to the Dikotter issue: he is an impeccable scholar and easily a reliable source. So what if his book was published by Bloomsbury? It means more people will read it and he gets more royalties. Great. Oh, and it won't be full of PoMo jargon. It has nothing to do with reliability. Who could impugn the rigorousness of this man's scholarship with a straight face? The Sound and the Fury (talk) 02:50, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
In the last U.S. election did you vote for Obama because he told you to and he is an academic and therefore a reliable source or were you able to distinguish between his scholarly writings and his pronouncements in the popular media? TFD (talk) 05:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Removed NPOV tag

I have removed the NPOV tag since there was no ongoing discussion. A50000 (talk) 19:38, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

First question. Did you familiarize yourself with the talk archives since the article's creation in 2009? (Igny (talk) 00:50, 9 December 2010 (UTC))
Why does that matter? Template:POV states:

The editor placing this template in an article should promptly begin a discussion on the article's talk page. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant, then this tag may be removed by any editor. A50000 (talk) 16:45, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

We are discussing it right now. (Igny (talk) 22:58, 9 December 2010 (UTC))
No, we are not. A50000 (talk) 15:45, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Your reply here indicates otherwise. (Igny (talk) 16:17, 11 December 2010 (UTC))
We are discussing whether we are discussing it. A50000 (talk) 22:28, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
LOL. --FormerIP (talk) 22:42, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Is that an admission that you are participating in an edit war without discussing your controversial edits to an article on a controversial topic on the talk page? Don't you think that it violates a WP policy or two? (Igny (talk) 23:35, 11 December 2010 (UTC))
How is it possible to remove an NPOV tag? A50000 (talk) 18:34, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Can you show that all POV issues raised since 2009 have been fixed? BTW, that us why I asked you whether you familiarized yourself with the talk page archives.(Igny (talk) 18:37, 12 December 2010 (UTC))
I don´t have to show that. If there is no ongoing discussion the NPOV tag may be removed at any time. A50000 (talk) 16:50, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

If anyone attempts to remove the NPOV tag, I'll put it back in until the issue of how an article can legitimately discuss "Theories, such as those of R. J. Rummel" but not "discuss academic acceptance of such theories" is dealt with. This is an overt admission of a breach of NPOV. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:47, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

You're right. Fair enough. --FormerIP (talk) 19:50, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Let's be done with all this arguing. Could editors please present examples of non-NPOV sentences for discussion? Obviously not all of us see them. I have responded to the two sentences raised in the section below. AmateurEditor (talk) 20:08, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
First sentence: "The killing of a large numbers of non-combatants has occurred in certain states, including some that have declared adherence to some form of Communist doctrine". TFD (talk) 05:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
(See the section below) AmateurEditor (talk) 01:23, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Apparent POV-pushing in article

"The killing of a large numbers of non-combatants has occurred in certain states, including some that have declared adherence to some form of Communist doctrine".

Can anyone explain why mass killings in states that have declared 'adherence to some form of Communist doctrine' should be the subject of an article, rather than 'Mass killings' in general, or 'Mass killings under Stalinist and Maoist regimes'? Why is 'communist' the necessary criteria for analysis? With 'some' appearing in the sentence twice, it appears that this is almost certainly a synthetic intersection, arrived at to push a particular POV.

I note also that "Theories, such as those of R. J. Rummel, that propose communism as a significant causative factor in mass killings have attracted scholarly dispute; this article does not discuss academic acceptance of such theories". How can not discussing academic acceptance be anything but an admission that a POV is indeed being pushed? AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:52, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

"Communist", rather than "Stalinist and Maoist", is used in the article because that is the term used in the sources. "Some" is used in your first quoted sentence to address a criticism of the article that there was an implication that all communist regimes engaged in mass killing, which is not supported by sources. Your second quoted sentence was also included to address a criticism of the article: that the level of academic acceptance was in dispute by various Wikipedia editors. Since no source could be found which specifically discussed the "level of acceptance" of communism-as-cause, the issue was side-stepped. Both of those sentences are examples of attempts to avoid POV. AmateurEditor (talk) 19:59, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Could you please provide evidence that "Communist" is the term used in the sources. TFD (talk) 05:01, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I've highlighted the term in bold in the copied passages from four academic sources here.AmateurEditor (talk) 00:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Mass killings under Communist regimes is the subject of the article because many people have noticed that Communist regimes have killed large numbers of people and made the connection between mass killing and Communist regimes, e.g. in the Black Book of Communism, Victims of Communism Memorial, Valentino, Benjamin A (2005). "Communist Mass Killings: The Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia". Final solutions: mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century in Cornell University Press, "From the Gulag to the Killing Fields: Personal Accounts of Political Violence and Repression in Communist States" Appelbaum; Fein, Helen (1993). "Soviet and Communist genocides and 'Democide'", "Crimes against humanity under communist regimes – Research review", etc., etc., etc. (Just look at the article and its sources). Given that many scholars and others have made this connection - this is a fair subject for Wikipedia. This has been upheld about 6 times in AfDs. Its time that folks who don't like this article in general for whatever reason accept that it is a proper subject for a Wikipedia article and try to avoid obstructing it - does that answer AndytheGrumps's question? Smallbones (talk) 05:20, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Then you should be able to explain (with reliable sources) what connection they have drawn and whether their viewpoint is consensus, majority, minority or fringe. Once you have done that we can re-write the lead and will have a neutral article. TFD (talk) 05:49, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
One thing that has always been missing from this discussion is a source (other than Wikipedia editors) who say that there is no connection between Communism and the mass killings under Communist regimes. Apparently some Wikipedia editors think that it is just a coincidence that there were mass killings and that there were Communist regimes at the same time. But these same editors don't provide any sources that say this. Certainly if there were scholars who think this, they would present evidence on it! So include these, if they exist. Otherwise, you are being obstructionist. Smallbones (talk) 14:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Show us the WP policy requiring that we have such. Collect (talk) 11:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The policy requiring that we have a neutral article ??? Am I misunderstanding something here? --FormerIP (talk) 13:16, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You are misunderstanding that editors have to imagine that there is some kind of opposing view and then explain it. See WP:Weight. If there is a view that opposes the connection between Communist regimes and the mass killings committed under them, please include it. But arguing that all POVs are not included without trying to include them is simply obstructionist.
WHAT SOURCE IS GIVING OPPOSING VIEWS? Please provide them. Smallbones (talk) 14:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Smallbones, I did not say there is no connection between communism and mass killings. It is not our role to decide that. I have asked that the article explain who makes the connection, what they say and what acceptance their beliefs have. This article should meet the same standards as any other article about history or social sciences. TFD (talk) 17:45, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
See my response to AndytheGrump above about who says there is a connection. Or just look at the references. The article gives a lot on what they say. As far as their acceptance - scholars from Princeton and Harvard, etc., published by Harvard University Press, etc. That is a very basic case for acceptance - if you have a case that these views are not accepted or that there are other views that are also accepted - you have to provide reliable sources that make that point. I can not read your mind about who you think is accepted. PROVIDE THE SOURCES! Smallbones (talk) 18:08, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You might explain what the connection is. TFD (talk) 18:53, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
See, e.g. "Anne Applebaum asserts that, "without exception, the Leninist belief in the one-party state was and is characteristic of every communist regime," and "the Bolshevik use of violence was repeated in every Communist revolution." Phrases said by Lenin and Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky were deployed all over the world. She notes that as late as 1976, Mengistu Haile Mariam unleashed a "Red Terror" in Ethiopia.[150]" That seems pretty clear to me, and there are lots of other explanations in the text.
BUT YOU ARE AVOIDING THE QUESTION, AGAIN - please identify what you think is missing and give a source for it - we'll put it in if the source is reliable. Smallbones (talk) 20:22, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
It has already been pointed out what is missing. As directed by WP:FRINGE#Notability_versus_acceptance, "Articles which cover controversial, disputed, or discounted ideas in detail should document (with reliable sources) the current level of their acceptance among the relevant academic community. If proper attribution cannot be found among reliable sources of an idea's standing, it should be assumed that the idea has not received consideration or acceptance..."
Yes, we have a smattering of people drawing a connection, but the academic acceptance of these ideas receives no treatment in the article, though WP:NPOV policy suggests that it should. BigK HeX (talk) 20:31, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Furnish cites which contradict the RS sources then. WP does not say "as long as one editor asserts that he konws something is a 'fringe' opinion, then it must be removed." Add as many cites as you wish with differing opinions first. Collect (talk) 21:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
BigK has highlighted the part he wants you to read, Collect. The question is whether or not the article uses any sourcing to show what level of recognition there is for the concept discussed within the academic community, not whether there are any sources that contradict any particular claim. --FormerIP (talk) 21:25, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
This article's topic appears to be universally recognized within the academic community, according to UCLA Sociologist Michael Mann, who said (bold added for emphasis), "All accounts of 20th-century mass murder include the Communist regimes. Some call their deeds genocide, though I shall not." Please note that he treats "the Communist regimes" as a unit. If you want to read the context of that sentence, see here. AmateurEditor (talk) 00:29, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
All accounts, really? Like in each and every one of them? Are you sure such an extreme claim is recognized anywhere? (Igny (talk) 00:42, 14 December 2010 (UTC))
You may be confusing two different issues here. The Mann quote speaks to the acceptance of the article topic itself (a tangent we seem to have gone on), not to the acceptance of the communism-as-cause idea, the dispute of which resulted in the sentence about the level of academic acceptance not being discussed in the Wikipedia article. AmateurEditor (talk) 01:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

The academic sources, e.g. Harvard University Press, are given in detail. That indicates a general level of acceptance by the academic community. The only thing that is missing is any source that contradicts the idea that there is a connection between the mass killings under the Communist regimes and the Communist regimes. NOBODY THINKS THAT THIS WAS PURE COINCIDENCE - not even the Four Deuces (aka TFD). Forgive me if I'm losing my patience but the idea that there isn't a connection is a fringe theory without any reliable sources. TAKE IT TO WP:FTN AND THEY WILL LAUGH YOU OFF THE PAGE. Now quit being obstructionist. Smallbones (talk) 21:47, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually the publication of a theory does not indicate its level of acceptance, that can only be determined by reading subsequent writing. Nonetheless could you please explain the connection that these sources make. Imagine that you had never heard of Communism and came to this article for the first time, and asked someone to explain the connection and your reply was "NOBODY THINKS THAT THIS WAS PURE COINCIDENCE...TAKE IT TO WP:FTN AND THEY WILL LAUGH YOU OFF THE PAGE". Incidentally the book republished by Harvard has different writers who may have different views so you need to be more specific. TFD (talk) 00:32, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I've removed the sentence

I've removed the following sentence from the lede Mass killings under Communist regimes occurred during the twentieth century with an estimated number of victims as large as 100 million. Even the Black Book of Communism does not imply that all people they count as "victims of Communism" were killed, not to say killed in course of "mass killings". This has been discussed many times, see the archive.--Dojarca (talk) 21:56, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I think you need to be careful on this - having been just placed on some sort of probation on this - please do not make this a battle ground. Yes the Black Book of Communism does count the dead as the victims, and not just any dead - the people whose unnatural deaths were caused by the Communist regimes. You seem to want to split some hairs here as to whether that is killing. In the normal everyday use of the word it is killing, and 100 million is mass killing. I'll revert the sentence back in. Smallbones (talk) 22:17, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Re:I'll revert the sentence back in. Don't. Apply your own judgment (please do not make this a battle ground) to yourself. (Igny (talk) 00:32, 14 December 2010 (UTC))
Ugh this is almost the exact same argument about the opening phrasing which has resulted in numerous editwars already, is the article going to need protection again? Everyone please stop reverting and start discussing it here; otherwise the article will simply be protected yet again. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 00:40, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
The claim, which has been widely discredited, including by Nicolas Werth who contributed to the Black Book, only appears in the introduction. It's main significance lies in its use in right-wing literature. But yes it does refer to deaths. TFD (talk) 00:47, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I already pointed it out in this talk page, that the Black Book of Communism includes as "victims of Communism" many people who were not killed by Communists. Examples include:
  • Demographic losses compared to the pre-Communist trends of population growth of the Russian Empire. This may include even non-born children
  • People who dead as a result of incompetent or ineffective government policy (famines, excess casualties during World War II etc).
  • People who were killed during military conflicts with other powers (i.e. casualties of Vietnam war, Afghanistan war).
These categories clearly do not fall under "mass killings" and the Black Book of Communism does not claim so.--Dojarca (talk) 01:05, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Mass killings under Communist regimes occurred during the twentieth century with an estimated number of victims as large as 100 million. (See page x, page 10, and page 14 of the Black Book of Communism) The sentence is perfectly factual - the estimates on those pages go up to 100 million. I think people should be free to add what the minimum estimates are, but why should anybody delete what the high estimate (identified as such) is? The essence of NPOV is deleting POVs you don't like. Dojarca's deletion is NPOV. Smallbones (talk) 01:16, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Again, this is estimate of "victims of Communism", not of killings. They even add to the number of "victims of Communism" those Russian POWs who was starved or killed in Nazi POW camps, blaming that on Stalin's refusal to sign the Hague convention. Although they blame these deaths on Communism, they are certainly happened not "under Communist regimes" (unless you consider Nazi Germany Communist).--Dojarca (talk) 02:05, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Read please - Black Book of Communism "The total approaches 100 million killed." Smallbones (talk) 02:32, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh in that case it is probably used allegorically. Note also that they count any person who died in the prison from whatever reason, even natural. --Dojarca (talk) 02:49, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
"Allegorically"??? No way, no how. Read it. Smallbones (talk) 03:20, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Such an extravagant "estimate" does not belong to a a lede of an article per WP:UNDUE (to the first sentence even more so). Case to the point, take a look at this table, where any impartial editor would observe a significant drop in the death toll estimates after 1990, that is after Soviet archives have been opened. (Igny (talk) 02:26, 14 December 2010 (UTC))

Feel free to put your estimate in the 1st sentence as well - as long as it has a reliable source behind it. If you can find something with a publisher as prestigious as Harvard University Press it would be best, but any reliable source is ok with me. Smallbones (talk) 02:32, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, NPOV does not work this way. You can not put extravagant claims into the lede of the article only to rebuke it. That alone gives that claim too much credit. (Igny (talk) 02:36, 14 December 2010 (UTC))
This is reference work. Just look at good WP:RS and use the information. "Black book" (page 5, quote): "the total approaches 100 million people killed". Same book, page 15. It tells: 100 million, " in contrast to 25 million victims by Nazi". The book explains how did they arrive to such numbers and so on. If there are alternative estimates of the total numbers of victims then find these sources to provide a range of numbers. This is very simple. It does not matter if we talk about the numbers of people or the number of proteins in a human cell. Biophys (talk) 03:09, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
As I already said, they count people who died of natural causes or killed by foreign powers (i.e. US in Vietnam) as killed by Communists. That's why it it evidently allegorical meaning of the word. Anyway, the number certainly includes people who did not die as a result of "mass murder", it includes war casualties, those died in prison of unknown cause, those who died as a result of government's mistakes and poor performance and so on. That is it includes mostly people who died not in a course of mass murder. Finally, it includes victims of illegal Communist parties in non-Communist states, that's why those who died not under Communist regimes.
Anyway, academic level of this book is indicated by the fact that they use Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago" as a source, while it is not a scholarly work, but a fictitious novel. Even Solzhenitsyn himself denounced some criticisms of his book by just putting out that it was just a fictitious narrative.--Dojarca (talk) 03:59, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

What you assert does not matter. Get a source. Smallbones (talk) 04:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

A source for what? That The Gulag Archepelago is a work of fiction? That people who died of natural causes weren't 'killed'? It is your responsibility to prove a source is valid, not other's responsibility to prove it isn't. If one of its authors suggests a claim is wrong, you aren't exactly off to a good start. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:50, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
A source with alternative estimate(s) for the number of people killed under all communist regimes. If there are no alternative estimates, let's use what we have.Biophys (talk) 04:57, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
The authors of Black Book of Communism include in the number of people who died of different causes, including cased by mismanagement by the government (the greatest number included in those 100 million victims was the alleged 65 million who died during Chinese famine due to mistakes of Mao Zedong), those who were killed by the US in Vietnam and those who were killed in non-Communist countries by Communist guerilla members. So nor all of them died in a result of mass murder, neither all of them died under Communist regimes. That's why the number does not belong here.--Dojarca (talk) 04:58, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

RE:"It is your responsibility to prove a source is valid" - it's in a reliable source, that's all I have to prove. It's been taken to WP:RSN several times and each time they said, yes, it is a reliable source. Take it there again if you'd like but the same result will come up. The simple assertions here of people who want to delete the material mean nothing. And the same folks refuse to come up with a source. Smallbones (talk) 05:07, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Whether or not it is reliable source is irrelevant because the number anyway does not belong to this article. Even if all those people were killed, it does not follow from the Black Book of Communism that all them were killed in the course of a mass killing. Even people who were executed during the Great Purge of the USSR weren't killed en masse mostly. There are some exceptions, such as alleged Katyn massacre where indeed was a mass killing and the victims were buried in mass graves, but regarding the majority of other executions (not to say, indirect causes of death) this was not the case.--Dojarca (talk) 05:56, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think this is valid point by Dojarca. One should create article Communist repressions instead. Biophys (talk) 05:26, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It is a valid point that the article is about mass killings and any totals must be of mass killings, not killings in general. TFD (talk) 14:27, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It is not a valid point. The sources decide the definition of mass killings. A50000 (talk) 17:45, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
See Valentino, the only source used in the article for the definition of mass killings, "Rather, for the purposes of this definition, a massive number is defined simply as at least fifty thousand intentional deaths over the course of five or fewer years".[21] TFD (talk) 17:58, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
So, are you arguing that the sources are inconsistent? A50000 (talk) 21:39, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I am not arguing anything. You said, "The sources decide the definition of mass killings. I replied that only one source used in the article for the definition. If you disagree with the definition then you must provide sources. TFD (talk) 22:08, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
The article doesn´t need to be consistent. If the sources have an inconsistent definition of mass killings then the article should also have an inconsistent definition. Furthermore, this is original research. If you compare the definition that one source uses with the definition that another source uses, that is original research. A50000 (talk) 17:35, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
""If you compare the definition that one source uses with the definition that another source uses, that is original research". What? That has got to be one of the most bizarre interpretations of what constitutes 'original research' I've ever seen. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:51, 16 December 2010 (UTC)\
It is not that different sources have an" inconsistent definition of mass killings", but that they do not have a definition at all. TFD (talk) 17:56, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
They don´t have to have a definition. A50000 (talk) 20:16, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
If they give a number without defining what it means, it cannot be a 'reliable source' then, can it? (And don't try to tell me that 'they have been recognised as reliable sources': nothing is RS in the abstract, it can only be described as reliable in relation to what it contains - or in this case, doesn't). AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:26, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it can. A50000 (talk) 17:39, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
367.492! AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:21, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm just appalled that folks write things like "Whether or not it is reliable source is irrelevant." Now you want to limit the use of "mass killing" to something like "simultaneous massacre"? Maybe you also want to limit it to killings where bullets were used as well? Why don't you look at what the sources say - it's extremely clear that most sources include such things as mass starvation. Smallbones (talk) 15:42, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Whether or not the Black Book is a reliable source, there are occassions when information appears in them that is shown by later reliable sources to be incorrect. For example a 2004 newspaper article said that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, a claim contradicted by most reliable sources. The community decided that the article about Obama should say that he was born in Hawaii and ignore the reliably sourced claim that he was born in Kenya. TFD (talk) 18:12, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

1. All reliable sources can have errors. WP uses the term to mean "a source which is reliable for WP purposes" not to mean "infallible." 2. Are you saying the Black Book made any claims at all about Obama? If not, then the aside is totally irrelevant to this discussion. 3. The Black Book has repeatedly been found to be RS in discussions on WP. If you wish to raise it once agaon at RSN, then do so. Collect (talk) 19:09, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Collect, are you suggesting that it is reasonable to include something from WP:RS, even when later WP:RS shows that it is wrong? This is going to make for some interesting edit warring if applied in other articles. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:12, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It would be nice if you noted what WP:RS and WP:V say. WP:Infallible source does not exist. Is this clear? We do not excise The Times as an RS because it erred in an article - the whole idea of WP is that we not seek to determine truth only that we make sure the claims are properly backed by the citation given. Or, to make it very clear: The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. That is, whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true. It is not up to us to assert truth, it is only up to us to list claims which are made in reliable sources, as defined by WP, not by any standard of infallibility. Thrice stated - should be sufficient. Collect (talk) 20:35, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It would be nice if you actually answered the question I asked... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:25, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Please note that to any rational person, for this "discussion" to have gone on so long is insane. If some anti-communist said that communists have drowned ten trillion kittens, that would not make it an appropriate comment to put in the lede. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:44, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Collect, again, editors using your reasoning raised this when they tried to include that the American president was born in Kenya, because it was reported in a reliable source in 2004. TFD (talk) 21:13, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
to deny the estimated dead from the famines and purges by communist is truly sad. you are letting your ideology blind you from documented facts. the sentence belongs in the lead, we all here believe the tragedy occurred, but some are blocking the truth to push a pov. Darkstar1st (talk) 22:35, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
If only it were the "truth". At best what you refer to is a speculation and sensationalist journalism. (Igny (talk) 00:43, 16 December 2010 (UTC))

People who believe absolutely in memes contrary to fact often accuse those who point out their errors of being the ones blinded by ideology. If you weren't blinded your astronomical ideology, you would realize that the moon is made of green cheese. A serious writer on the subject of deaths due to communism would not title his book, "The Black Book of Communism". A serious writer of an encyclopedia article on deaths due to communism would not title his article, "Mass killings under Communist regimes". If your goal is anti-communist propaganda then 1) Wikipedia is not the place for it, 2) Extreme claims undermine the willingness of reasonable people to accept reasonable claims. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:58, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Then what do you think the title should be? AmateurEditor (talk) 23:01, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
We should use the title normally used in the literature to describe the subject. TFD (talk) 23:31, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
We would if there were a single title for this topic. Different sources prefer different terms. We've been over this before, TFD. AmateurEditor (talk) 02:04, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
If you know any sources that write about this topic and have a name for it, then it would be helpful if you provided them. TFD (talk) 02:18, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Many of the terms used have already been provided in the "terminology" section of the article. As I recall, "mass killings" was agreed to be the most neutral term by every editor who took a position on the issue back when we achieved consensus on a name change for the article. AmateurEditor (talk) 02:49, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
No, it is the title "Mass killings under Communist regimes", which is not found anywhere except as a chapter title in Valentino's book. TFD (talk) 02:56, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't follow. What exactly are you saying "No" to? AmateurEditor (talk) 03:04, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
You are actually arguing for the deletion of the article. A50000 (talk) 19:06, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Could you please provide sources that explain the subject that this article is supposed to explain. TFD (talk) 22:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Here are four. Now please explain the relevance of your prior point that the descriptive title of this article not being used verbatim in the sources. AmateurEditor (talk) 22:59, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
The article isn´t supposed to explain anything. It´s about mass killings under communist regimes. A50000 (talk) 19:52, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Only one of them (Valentino) is about "mass killings". While yyou may be able to draw connections and express frustration that other people are not able to see things in the same way, Wikipedia requires that connections are explicitly stated in sources. If sources do not make the connections that you do, then yo must accept that. TFD (talk) 23:44, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
So when another source refers to "mass murder" under communist regimes, to you it's talking about a completely different, unrelated topic? AmateurEditor (talk) 23:54, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Please do not distort my words and represent that you do not understand them when they are clear. The "mass killings" written about by Valentino are a different concept from what other writers discuss. It does not include for example people who were never born. If you have a source that connects all these concepts then please present it. TFD (talk) 00:12, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
No, "mass murder" and "mass killing" and functionally equivalent terms in this context. It is true that Valentino proposes a precise definition for "mass killing" which differs from its conventionally understood definition (which he also uses), but this article cannot, is not, and never has been limited to Valentino's book or his definition of that term. So, again, do you believe that sources which refer to "mass murder" under communist regimes are talking about some other topic, or are you now satisfied that there are reliable sources for this article? AmateurEditor (talk) 00:32, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any sources that explain that or do you think that we should rely on your own original research? TFD (talk) 00:46, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I've directed you to the sources already, but I can't make you read them. If you looked at the sources, you would know the following: They discuss the same regimes during the same time periods and the same events. Both "mass killing" and "mass murder" define out war deaths, both terms require lethal intent, both terms are "killing" (check the dictionary) on a large scale (hence the use of the word "mass"; again, check the dictionary). Neither involves anything remotely similar to "people who were never born" (I have no idea where you got that from). For practical purposes, Valentino restricts his precise definition of "mass killing" to 50,000 killed within 5 years, but also states that "mass killings on a smaller scale also appear to have been carried out" by communist regimes, so clearly the term itself is not limited by those numerical boundaries. Now, what is your basis for thinking that they are different? AmateurEditor (talk) 02:54, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Here is a link to a paper, "New directions in comparative research on genocide" that reviews the sources you have provided. The writings were about genocide or mass killings (their terminology and definitions differed) and used the deaths under Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot as examples. They were not primarily concerned about Communism, and their explanations differ. More importantly, no one has written any comparison of their conclusions about these cases, but have compared their conclusions about genocide in general. While an article about comparative genocide studies could be written, using these articles as a hook to for this article will necessarily lead to POV problems. Even if you could argue that these writers could form the basis for this article, you will still be restricted by the topics they discussed. For example, Valentino does not include mass killings in Communist Afghanistan under Communist mass killings but under counter-insurgency. He sees no difference between Soviet actions there and those of right-wing governments in South America.

You will notice that the paper does not mention the Black Book, and while it mentions Rummel and Horowitz, it does not mention their theories about Communist mass killings. That speaks to the weight their views deserve.

Note also that the article states that comparative genocide studies are recent, Therefore we are not yet able to determine the acceptance of these theories in the academic community. We cannot for example treat the subject of mass killings under Communist regimes in the same way we would Communist revolutions.

TFD (talk) 17:49, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

This article is not about comparative genocide studies. It´s about mass killings under communist regimes. A50000 (talk) 00:00, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
What is your point? TFD (talk) 01:00, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
My point is that comparative genocide studies are irrelevant. A50000 (talk) 18:06, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
TFD, I agree that some of the sources used in this Wikipedia article (the ones discussed in the link you just provided) are not "primarily" concerned with Communism and that their explanations differ. I do not agree that this necessarily leads to POV problems with using them as sources here. The sources in question have substantial sections on the topic of killing by Communist regimes and are entirely appropriate for use. I agree that we must be careful in their use and attribute any theorizing to the opinion of the relevant author, rather than to the consensus of the academic community, but that is exactly what has been done. You are simply factually incorrect about Valentino not including mass killing in Afghanistan as communist mass killing (he puts it in both categories, although primarily "counter-insurgency") and him seeing no difference between that and right-wing killings in South America, as I specifically refuted during the AfD.
The paper you link to is about the wider topic of genocide studies, rather than the Communist Genocide, as this article was originally titled, so no mention of sources such as the Black Book is not surprising or noteworthy. Likewise any lack of mentions of theories specific to the crimes of communism rather than genocide studies per se reflects on the focus of the paper, not the weight or notability of those views. The "Crimes against humanity under communist regimes" paper is more relevant in that regard and even it is incomplete. I agree that we must treat the subject of "Mass killings under Communist regimes" on its own terms. AmateurEditor (talk) 02:21, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
"they count people who died of natural causes or killed by foreign powers (i.e. US in Vietnam) as killed by Communists" What? Cite the page number and quote this please.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 14:11, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
"the alleged 65 million who died during Chinese famine due to mistakes of Mao Zedong" "Mistakes"?????? I think that when the absolute rulers of a country know their people are starving and yet continue to extract exorbitant amounts of food from them for export, this makes it more than just simple "mistakes" on their part. Scholars such as Steven Rosefielde acknowledge this: "Mao's slaughter was caused in considerable part by terror-starvation; that is, voluntary manslaughter (and perhaps murder) rather than innocuous famine." (Red Holocaust. Routledge, 2009. pg. 114) Dikotter's research in Chinese archives also documents this, along with millions being beaten to death by cadres, which is why I removed The Great Leap Forward section from "Controversies."--C.J. Griffin (talk) 13:53, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
"Even people who were executed during the Great Purge of the USSR weren't killed en masse mostly." I'd like to see a source for this one, or are you just making stuff up again? Even if true, the fact remains that the vast majority of people killed in the purges were condemned to death en masse (proscription lists containing hundreds and sometimes thousands of names were summarily sentenced to execution by NKVD troikas or by the vozhd himself - he signed 357 death lists that condemned some 40,000 people to execution.(Ellman, 2007) Here's one example:
Left: Beria's January 1940 letter to Stalin, asking permission to execute 346 "enemies of the CPSU and of the Soviet authorities" who conducted "counter-revolutionary, right-Trotskyite plotting and spying activities"
Middle: Stalin's handwriting: "за" (support).
Right: The Politburo's decision is signed by Secretary Stalin
The plethora of mass graves discovered in subsequent years are a testament to the fact that hundreds of thousands of people were murdered in huge numbers during a short period of time (1937-38), and by Valentino's own criteria (50,000 people killed in 5 years) the purges absolutely qualify as "mass killing." This is just yet another example of ridiculous hair-splitting by those who want to see the article deleted for ideological reasons.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 14:11, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Mann writes in his book, The dark side of democracy, "Most deaths inflicted under Communist regimes were not intentional murders".[22] TFD (talk) 16:15, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Simply pulling a small quote out of context in no way refutes what I posted about Mao's culpability for deaths in the GLF (based on archival evidence provided not only by Dikotter but also Yang Jisheng and his authoritative account "Tombstone" (2008) - the latter is what prompted Rosefielde to classify GLF deaths as "terror-starvation" and at best voluntary manslaughter and perhaps even murder) OR that the shooting deaths of nearly 700,000 people in 1937-38 qualifies as mass killing. Furthermore, Michael Ellman (2007) considers some of the deaths in the 1932-33 famine to be mass murder. "The three physical elements of the alleged crime are well known and uncontroversial (as facts, though not their interpretation)": exporting 1.8 million tonnes of grain during the mass starvation (enough to feed more than five million people for one year), (ii) preventing migration from famine afflicted areas (which may have cost an estimated 150,000 lives) and (iii) making no effort to secure grain assistance from abroad (which caused an estimated 1.5 million excess deaths), and that the only way to defend Stalin from a charge of mass murder is "to argue he was ignorant of the consequences of his actions." Historian Norman Naimark (Stalin's Genocides. Princeton University Press, 2010. p. 133-135) asserts that Stalin's actions should be considered genocidal.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 16:51, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Note WP:NPOV. The approach you should take is to choose the best sources and read what they say about the general understanding of the subject. Expressing opinions that have not been subjected to academic scrutiny as facts and continually searching for the most extreme views of the topic is the wrong approach. You should know that "genocide" has a specific meaning, and relates to murder directed against ethnic groups. You should also be aware of the limitations of articles based on misrepresentation of sources. While the gullible and the converted will accept it, it alienates discerning readers who will easily see through it, especially if they look at the talk page. In the end readers will question why, if Communism was so bad, we cannot just stick with the facts and feel the need to exaggerate. The effect may be the opposite of what is intended - it may even create Communist converts who assume that if anti-Communists are lying, the Communists must be telling the truth. TFD (talk) 17:15, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of "academic scrutiny," the works of the reputable scholars I cited in my last posting (Rosefielde, Ellman and Naimark) have all been published by reliable academic institutions or publishers, such as Routledge and Princeton University Press.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 17:45, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Ellman's paper was initially a reply to the comments of Davies and Wheatcroft and the author clearly states that he is describing his POV: "This article contributes to the debate....It is suggested that starvation was a cheap substitute for the cancelled deportations. It is argued that in 1932 33 Stalin pursued a multi pronged policy of state terror against the population of the USSR." We cannot decide that the opinions expressed in this paper are the truth, and choose them over the opinions of other scholars. We cannot even assign any weight to Ellman's opinions based on this paper because we do not know what weight the scholarly community has given it. We need a reliable secondary source that explains what weight to give the various viewpoints. TFD (talk) 18:18, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I've already provided one, Norman Naimark's book, again published by Princeton University Press. I'll quote him at length: "There is enough evidence - if not overwhelming evidence - to indicate that Stalin and his lieutenants knew that the widespread famine in the USSR in 1932-33 hit Ukraine particularly hard, and that they were ready to see millions of Ukrainian peasants die as a result. They made no efforts to provide relief; they prevented the peasants from seeking food themselves in the cities or elsewhere in the USSR; and they refused to relax restrictions on grain deliveries until it was too late." (pp. 134-135) And Steven Rosefielde makes a similar argument in his book (again published by Routledge): "Grain supplies were sufficient enough to sustain everyone if properly distributed. People died mostly from terror-starvation (excess grain exports, seizure of edibles from the starving, state refusal to provide emergency relief, bans on outmigration, and forced deportation to food-deficit locales), not poor harvests and routine administrative bungling." (pg. 259) It's funny... When those in favor of this article's deletion quoted Ellman in an older article published in the same academic journal (At least one reliable source exists (Ellman) that claims the most excess death in the Stalin's USSR were not results of executions but of "war, famine and disease"), I don't recall you making the same argument, that we need "reliable secondary sources" to corroborate such a statement. But when I cite a more recent article in which he makes the argument that some of these famine deaths were intentional... well, that's different. Even though, again, I provided Naimark's view on the subject. The double standard is quite apparent here, and you are clearly not some objective voice in this debate either.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 21:38, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

(out) C. J. Griffin, this is an encyclopdia, not a debating forum for Slavic ethnic disputes. You should look at the articles about the Irish famine. We do not seem the same sort of argumentation there. TFD (talk) 00:07, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

"Tolling methodologies"

I'd like to ask folks not to use terms like "tolling methodologies." Frankly I don't know what you are talking about, and I think most native English speakers wouldn't either. Just to be sure I googled "tolling methodologies" and there were 153 results. This article was number 3 and most seem to be about congestion pricing for toll bridges and the like. As far as the low estimate on the numbers killed, I believe that comes from Valentino - so if your term is meant to show there is a range of estimates - well yes 21-70 million according to Valentino. Smallbones (talk) 23:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Although I am not a native English speaker, this wording sounds awkward for me also.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:09, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, it's nonsense. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 19:56, 18 December 2010 (UTC)


A current lede has some neutrality issues. To avoid edit wars, I propose to fix them here on the talk page first.

  1. "The killing of a large numbers of non-combatants has occurred in certain states, including some that have declared adherence to some form of Communist doctrine. The highest death tolls that have been documented in communist states occurred in the Soviet Union under Stalin, in the People's Republic of China under Mao, and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Estimates of the number of deaths vary widely..."
    The main problem with this piece of text is that an ordinary reader understands "mass killing" as "mass murder", so the text will be understood as if all these peoples (21-70 million) were murdered, although most of them weren't killed or executed, but died as a result of "war, famine and diseases" (Ellman). We need to either explicitly state that the article tells not about mass killings sensu stricto, but about the Valentino's concept (including his concept of "deprivation mass killing") or to rewrite the lede in another way, to specify that we discuss all mass mortality cases, including those associated with famines, deportations, population transfers, diseases, camp mortality, etc, which constituted overwhelming majority of all deaths.
  2. "Estimates of the number of deaths vary widely: Benjamin Valentino, Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, cites estimates in these three countries ranging from 21 million to 70 million.[nb 1]" Do we really need to put in the lede these details about Valentino? Do we really need to rely so heavily on the works of this scholar, who never did his own studies and just made a compilation of secondary sources dealing with mass mortality cases in various countries? Any mention of Valentino in the lede is redundant.
  3. "There have also been killings on a smaller scale in North Korea, Vietnam, and some Eastern European and African countries." In other words, "in some other Communist states" (exactly what the first sentence states). Redundant.
  4. "These killings, which took place during civil wars, mass elimination of political opponents, mass terror campaigns, or land reforms, may fit a definition of mass murder, democide, politicide, "classicide", "crimes against humanity", or loosely defined genocide." If we speak about "21-70 million", this sentence is simply false, because most deaths were a result of famines, diseases, and others events that from a commonsensual point of view are not considered as killing. Again, an ordinary reader will conclude that all those people were executed or murdered, that is not true. All of that should be fixed.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:09, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
This NPOV tag would only be justified if the article were pushing a POV. It´s not. A50000 (talk) 23:51, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh yes it is... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:26, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Where specifically? GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 01:32, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Starting with the title, and continuing downwards until it reaches the bottom of the page? AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:39, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
That's not helpful. Either explain why you feel there are neutrality problems, or concede that there are none. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 01:43, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Neutrality problems in the lede are briefly outlined by me in this section. Concretely, my comments on ##1,2,4 are directly relevant to the neutrality issues.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:47, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. In any case, if A50000 can make terse claims about the article not pushing a POV, I'm entitled to give equally terse replies. And I'm under no obligation to answer specific questions or 'concede' anything. That is frankly ridiculous... AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:07, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
See WP:LEAD: "It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points". The lead implies that there is a connection between Communist government and mass killings but does not explain who has made the connection, what connecion they have made or the degree of acceptance their theories have received. I think that the difficulty a number of editors have is that they assume there is a connection and see no reason why this should be explained. It actually reads like a Cold War propaganda piece. TFD (talk) 02:38, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Per Michael Mann, acceptance of the "connection" between the communist regimes and mass killings is universal ("All accounts of 20th century mass murder include the Communist regimes. Some call their deeds genocide, though I shall not."). It is only the estimates of numbers and causes which is controversial. TFD, we are trying to discuss and fix POV issues in the article, and you keep trying to argue instead against the article's existence. Whether you intend to or not, you are disrupting the process. AmateurEditor (talk) 03:05, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
...And flawed logic creeps in again. That mass murder occurred under 'communist regimes' may be indisputable, but that isn't the same thing as saying it occurred because they were 'communist'. Given that mass murder occurred under 'non-communist' regimes too, the connection is anything but self-evident. Also, you are conflating 'mass murder' with the more broadly (and vaguely) defined 'mass killings' that this article is supposed to be about. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:15, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
In Mann's book, The dark side of democracy: explaining ethnic cleansing, he wrote, "murderous ethnic cleansing has been a central problem of our civilization, our modernity, our conceptions of progress, and our attempts to introduce democracy". (p. ix) I do not read this to mean "acceptance of the "connection" between the communist regimes and mass killings is universal". TFD (talk) 04:17, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
To Andy and TFD, the "connection" (I don't know why you insist on that word) between communist regimes and mass killing which justifies this article is simply that many communist regimes engaged in them and that multiple reliable sources discuss the killing which occurred under this type of regime. That is all that is necessary to have this article. For example, the article Slavery in ancient Greece does not mean that only ancient Greece engaged in slavery, or even that ancient Greek slavery was extraordinary in any particular way. It does not mean that there was a special "connection" between ancient Greeks and slaveholding. The "connection" is that slavery occurred in ancient Greece and multiple reliable sources discuss it sufficiently to write a Wikipedia article. So it is with this article. This article does not say that mass killing was required by communism. A reliable source which promotes that theory may be included as a theory attributed to the source, but the article does not take it as fact. I am having less and less time for Wikipedia as the holiday approaches, so I am taking a hiatus from this discussion for a week or so. Please don't read anything into my lack of response during this time. AmateurEditor (talk) 02:14, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
You still do not understand that you are drawing a connection. I may for example write an article about crimes committed by English kings called Henry (there were eight of them). I could begin the article by saying, "Crimes have been committed by many English kings. This article is about crimes committed by kings called "Henry"." It would be implicit that I believed that there was a connection between the name of the king and crime. TFD (talk) 02:38, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
False analogy. Do you think that the only thing that the communist regimes had in common was that they were called Communist? A50000 (talk) 15:35, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
It does not matter what you are I think. You need sources that draw the connection. Please read about WP:SYN. TFD (talk) 16:07, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
That was a rhetorical question. I was showing how your analogy is false.Your analogy would only work if the only thing that the communist regimes had in common was what they were called. The article does not draw any connection. A50000 (talk) 16:22, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
"The article does not draw any connection". Utter nonsense. The connection is in the title. Can you at least tyy to come up with sensible arguments? AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:30, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
The burden of proof is on you. The only argument that TFD was able to come up with was a false analogy. A50000 (talk) 17:27, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Burden of proof over what? That the article title includes the words "mass killings" and "communist"? Either the article is suggesting a linkage, in which case it should provide the evidence for this, or it isn't, in which case it can only be either utter nonsense, or a synthesis. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:59, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
You have to prove that the article draws a connection. A50000 (talk) 18:24, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
The analogy is apt. A50000 believes that there is no connection between the names kings and their actions but believes there is a connection between Communism and mass killings. In both cases we need to show what connection has been made, who has made it and what degree of acceptance it has. People in fact have drawn all kinds of connections between events, e.g., sunspot activity and business cycles, and we may have articles about them so long as we follow rs, notability and NPOV. TFD (talk) 18:27, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
TFD, A50000 has stated that "The article does not draw any connection". What he believes is irrelevant. If he says the article doesn't make a connection, then he must accept that it is nonsensical, or accept that it does. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:36, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
How is it nonsensical? A50000 (talk) 18:47, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
If one tells A50000 that there must be a connection in order to have an article he replies that there is a connection. When you ask him to explain the connection he says that none exists. We can keep going in circles or just accept that A50000 is unwilling to discuss this. TFD (talk) 18:48, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
There doesn´t have to be a connection in order to have the article. A50000 (talk) 19:20, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Complete bollocks. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:31, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
You forgot to state your argument. A50000 (talk) 19:24, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

The arguments in favor of this article seem to take the following form: Axiom: All communists are mass murderers and all mass murderers are communists. Adolph Hitler was a mass murderer, therefore he must have been a communist. Martin Luther King was a communist, therefore he must have been a mass murderer. I say it's spinich and I say the hell with it. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:47, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Nope. And setting up straw arguments when the article just had an AfD is not helpful. Nor is Thurber helping here. What we have, as near as I can figure, is 1. fact that lots of peole died due to deliberate acts of regimes which are generally accepted to be "communist" (claims backed by reliable sources) and 2. that claims made in the article are backed by WP reliable sources. It is, in point of fact, not up to any editor to assert that they know that a connection does or does not exist otherwise. Collect (talk) 13:01, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Please, focus on the main point: I claim that, since the Valentino's "mass killing" is not the same as the commonsensual "mass killing", the lede should either specify what concretely do we mean under this term (so we need to tell about the Valentino's "deprivation mass killing" concept), or to separate the victims of "mass killings" (commonsensual) from other victims. In any event, it is necessary to clarify in the lede that the majority of those 21-70 million were not murdered or executed.--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:53, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Do you really think we need to say "Most people killed were not executed"? And do you have an RS source for such a claim - or do we simply use OR to make it? I trust readers to know the English language here, and the term "killing" is separate from "murder" and from "execution" so that most people are not confused. Collect (talk) 15:00, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
At least one reliable source exists (Ellman) that claims the most excess death in the Stalin's USSR were not results of executions but of "war, famine and disease". Another source, Valentino, distinguish between "mass killing" and "deprivation mass killing". However, my point is that we must write the lede in such a way that false impression is not created that all these people were "killed", "murdered" or "executed".
Let me also point out that this article was initially created as an article about Khmer Rouge genocide, and the article was generally quite correct, although the article title, "Communist genocide", was redundantly general. The Khmer Rouge genocide, the only mass killing committed by Communist authorities that was officially recognised as genocide and was a pure manifestation of genocide, had at least three independent roots: Stalinist and ultra-Maoist ideology (which was extremist even by Maoist standards), Khmer's extreme nationalism, and Khmer's tradition of revenge. Therefore, this genocide had very strong national specifics, so "Communist genocide" was redundantly generic, and "Kampuchean genocide" would be more correct. One way or the another, after adding various and numerous examples of mass mortality during Communist era to the article about genocide the article became a mixture of synthesis and WP:UNDUE, and the lede is the worst part of the article (for the reasons described above).
And the difficulties we faced with the lede is a result of these non-neutrality and synthesis: we have sources that clearly and unequivocally state that the mass deaths during Stalinist era were mostly a result of "war, famine and disease", but we cannot expand this statements onto all events described in this article, because that was not the case for KR genocide: KR's victims were, as a rule, murdered. That is a direct consequence of combining of different and tangentially related events in one article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:23, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

I suppose it has to be said again. Communism doesn't work. Communist governments have killed a lot of people. These deaths should be reported in the articles on the countries involved. The objection is to an article whose title screams "propaganda". No real encyclopedia has an article with any such title, and Wikipedia loses respect because it has such an article. The article hurts Wikipedia, and does nothing to further the anti-communist cause. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:40, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Cries of "propaganda" have no place here. Take it to AfD (for about the 7th time) if that is what you really believe, where they will likely accept that the article belongs here (for about the 7th time). If your goal is simply to undermine or disrupt the article, you shouldn't be editing it.
Siebert's objections on the surface seem more reasonable. He thinks that our readers may confuse the ideas of mass killings and mass murder or mass execution. I think that the large majority of readers know the differences between killing, murder, manslaughter, execution, etc. It's clear common sense to most people that you can murder somebody by, for example, starving them to death intentionally. On the other hand, if you only ignored without thinking about it, the obvious consequence of your actions that that people would die if they weren't fed, then that would probably be manslaughter - still a form of killing. Using Ellman to argue that these deaths aren't mass killings is clearly wrong - he argues that they were mass murder, rather than mass manslaughter - but clearly mass killings in any case. If you want to state that some scholars believe that these deaths weren't mass killings, you need to find one that actually states this, rather than misinterpret Ellman who clearly believes the opposite. Smallbones (talk) 18:50, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Propaganda, n.: "Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view. (OED).[ttp://] It is not up to us to compare and contrast different sources and develop a unique understanding of the subject. Instead, we should present the views of scholars, following proper weight. TFD (talk) 19:14, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
That's obvious - for the most part i think we do present the views of reliable sources. There is always this tendency that creeps in, however, that somebody deletes reliable sources and claim that it is propaganda, or simply misinterprets material so that a question of propaganda appears. If there are reliable sources who claim that "mass killings" are propaganda, they should be included. But to suggest that this is all propaganda is simply disruptive. So do not claim that this is propaganda, come up with a reliable source who says these ideas are propaganda. Smallbones (talk) 20:17, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Re: "Take it to AfD (for about the 7th time)" The fact that the article's subject is notable (and therefore it cannot be deleted) is not a carte blanche for adding non-neutral statements or original research to it. We discuss the ways how to fix these issues, not how to delete the article. I outlined major lede's issues. If you have any comments on that (or any ideas how to improve the lede), please propose them here. If not, do not distract others from their work. Re Ellman, you should read him more carefully. --Paul Siebert (talk) 20:45, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
You do not appear to be following the reasoning presented to you, so I will present it again. No one is questioning the accounts that have been given of mass killings in the USSR, China and DR. What we are questioning is the the theory that these events are connected. As editors, it is not our role to make our own connections, but we must rely on secondary sources that do this. We must explain who has made the connection, what connection they made, and the degree of acceptance their theories have received. If we push the theory that the events are connected, they we are engaging in propaganda. TFD (talk) 20:50, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Courtois, Goldhagen, Apelbaum, Valentino, Rummel and others cited in the article DO make the connection between Communist thought and the mass killings. As far as I can see no reliable source says that they are not connected. Seriously, are you suggesting that in totalitarian societies run by communists, it was just a coincidence that so many of them engaged in mass killing? If so you need to get a reliable source that says so. Smallbones (talk) 22:34, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Taking into account that Courtois has been extensivelly criticised by scholars, their views are hardly mainstream. Rummel was known primarily for his application of factor analysis to reveal the correlations between the onset of mass killings and the regime type. He found the correlation between totalitarianism and mass killing, not between Communism and mass killing. In addition, since correlation is a purely phenomenological approach, the question about any casual linkage is simply irrelevant here, that is why Rummel is much more modest in his conclusions drawn in the articles published in scholarly journals than in his books, that had not been vetted by scientific community (and on his web site); in other words, in actuality we have "two Rummels" (only one of them fully meets RS criteria, and this Rummel does not support your claims). Moreover, since his figures are grossly inflated, his conclusions (made primarily based on these figures) should be cardinally revised, which he refuses to do. Goldhagen seems to repeat what Rullem says. Anne Appelbaum is a journalist (not scholar), who specialises on the USSR/EE related topics only, so she is hardly a good source for general conclusions.
The last one in your list is Valentino. As I already wrote, I have nothing against writing this article based on his "Final solution", however, it require us to present the content in such a way that a reader would understand that we discuss not "mass killing" (understood commonsensually), but the Valentino's concept of "mass killings" (primarily as "deprivation mass killings").--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:07, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Interesting collection of writers. Valentino of course did not connect mass killings and Communist thinking. The other four writers are all right-wingers writing outside the mainstream academic press. You can read their WP articles: Stéphane Courtois, Daniel Goldhagen, Anne Applebaum, R. J. Rummel - sounds like the authors listing from a National Review book of the month club. Goldhagen has never published any major work in mainstream academia, and his views on Germans and Muslims are definitely fringe. Applebaum is a journalist, not an historian. Rummel and Courtois' views, including their estimates, have not gained acceptance. Why not add David Horowitz and Richard Pipes and round out the list. TFD (talk) 23:19, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

(out) So RS sources which you deem to be "right wing" are, ipso facto, not RS. Sorry -- the discussions at AfD, at RS/N etc. all disagreed with that interesting POV. Collect (talk) 00:35, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Collect, please do not misrepresent what I wrote. When we find a theory is only expressed by right-wing writers in polemical works outside the academic mainstream, and ignored by mainstream academics, then we may conclude they are not presenting a consensus view. I would form the same opinion of views that were peculiar to any political group. TFD (talk) 00:46, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
IOW, the fact that a writer is deemed by you to be "right wing" is relevant? Why? And RS sources are "polemical" if they are by "right wing" writers? Nope. That is not how WP:RS works. If a source is RS, it is usable without saying "this is right wing therefore it does not count, and must be fringe." You need specific RS sources for that sort of claim. Collect (talk) 01:06, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
For crying out aloud, Collect, do you really think that WP:RS implies automatic NPOV? If Both the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian are accepted as WP:RS (I assume they are), does that mean there is no POV difference between them? NPOV over a contentious issue requires taking a broad range of views over a controversial topic into consideration, not just finding a single RS source that suits your objective, and basing an article on that. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:18, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I am saying that if support for opinions can only be found among a narrow ideological segment, have not been published in the academic press and are eithered ignored by other writers or mentioned in articles describing right-wing ideology, then let us proceed with caution. Wikipedia articles are not supposed to push a POV, whether left-wing, right-wing, or liberal. TFD (talk) 01:25, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
What is the reliable source for your specific claim that these are all "right wing" ideologues? It is not up to WP editors to make such claims without precise and proper sourcing for them. BTW, RS != NPOV, nor is it expected that miraculously all sources for any topic will instantly be NPOV in and of themselves. NPOV refers to the WP process to make sure all POVs are included. Nothing else. Collect (talk) 02:00, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Taking into account that you didn't answer on my post, I assume you agree with what I say: the article should either focus on mass killings understood from the point of view of common sense, or it should rely primarily on the Valentino's book (and that should be clearly and openly written in the lede).--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:24, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I made no such statement. The article should contain all claims pertinent to the topic of each section reliably sourced per WP:RS. Collect (talk) 02:31, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

So it does appear that editors are saying that this is all propaganda. What's missing is any evidence - reliably sourced or otherwise. Attacks on reliable sources that I've mention are as always there, but no evidence whatsoever for the "propagandists" POV. So there is a simple calculation here - reliable sources say there is a connection between communist thought and mass killing, no reliable sources dispute this claim, therefore the claim may appear in the article and the counter-claim (if there is one) may not. Smallbones (talk) 03:14, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

See "Stephan Courtois Historical revisionism and the Black Book of Communism controversy" in French writers and the politics of complicity (JHU Press, 2006):[23] "Courtois does ultimately reveal himself to be complicitous not only with a fundamentally anti-Semitic reading of history but, through some of the "evidence " provided in his introduction, with the French (and European) extreme Right today" (p. 159). " is not surprising that The Black Book of Communism was welcomed by the extreme Right in France (and in the United States as well)" (p. 160). Applebaum's book is published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a group "known for having distinctly American Conservative views". It was founded by Frank Chodorov and William F. Buckley. The section R. J. Rummel#Political views is well-sourced. There are sources that Goldhagen's political views are popular with the far right in Europe and neoconservatives at home. TFD (talk) 03:24, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

To all participants of this dispute. When I started this discussion, I outlined four lede's issues that in my opinion should be fixed for the article to satisfy minimal quality criteria. All of that has no direct relation of the question is the article is a piece of propaganda or not. If you want to discuss this question, create a new thread, and do it there. Please, stop doing that here and focus on the section's topic. @Collect. We do not discuss here what the article should contain; @ TFD and Smallbones. We do not discuss here if the article is a piece of propaganda. We are supposed to discuss the lede. Please, do that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:01, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

It is original research. TFD (talk) 07:24, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

I have to agree with Paul that people should stay on-topic of the thread. In regard to Paul's first point:

  1. "The main problem with this piece of text is that an ordinary reader understands "mass killing" as "mass murder", so the text will be understood as if all these peoples (21-70 million) were murdered, although most of them weren't killed or executed, but died as a result of "war, famine and diseases" (Ellman)."I

I have to disagree. The problem with this argument is that it is based on the premise that ordinary reader understands "mass killing" as "mass murder". Unless Paul has some RS that describes what the "ordinary reader" understands, I don't see how anyone can claim that premise is valid. I as a native English speaker understand the difference between mass killing and mass murder perfectly well. Unless most native english speakers didn't receive a high school education, then most would understand the difference too. Some basic definitions are in order:

  • Die: to stop living or existing, either suddenly or slowly
  • Kill: to cause someone or something to die
  • Murder: to commit the crime of intentionally killing a person

The phrase most of them weren't killed or executed, but died as a result of "war, famine and diseases" is somewhat tortured too. If someone dies as a result of "war, famine and diseases" then the "war, famine and diseases" killed them. For example GI Joe was killed by enemy artillery fire, he died from shrapnel wounds. Both assertions are equally true. In any case, are we going around in circles here? This was all discussed before and can be found in the archives. --Martin (talk) 22:51, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

This page is a fraud

"The main problem with this piece of text is that an ordinary reader understands "mass killing" as "mass murder", so the text will be understood as if all these peoples (21-70 million) were murdered, although most of them weren't killed or executed, but died as a result of "war, famine and diseases" (Ellman)." There are a raft of problems with the various unsupported assertions of this page but this is a huge one. It is, at best, a huge equivocation to claim "mass killings" when actually the majority of what is being claimed here is an _estimated_ (i.e., imagined, fantasized) number of people who "died" of natural causes which are then arbitrarily attributed to the actions of "communist regimes" according to the arbitrary estimations of certain selected book writers. This is largely based on arbitrary demographic calculations which are notoriously incapable of distinguishing between mortality and migration. These techniques have no way to know which it is. Asserting that these ultimately baseless demographic estimates "deaths" are "killings" is, at best, a huge equivocation, and at worst a deliberate fraud. (talk) 17:02, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

The claims made in the article are based on reliable sources, and thus what you know to be the truth has very little weight. Collect (talk) 17:15, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
"If we speak about "21-70 million", this sentence is simply false, because most deaths were a result of famines, diseases, and others events that from a commonsensual point of view are not considered as killing." - Exactly, but this is even way too generous. It is not just that they are not "killings", as fraudulently declared by the title of this page. It is that many of these "deaths" have either no credible foundation of even having occurred at all. And the notion that these imagined deaths are even _indirectly_ linked to policies of "communist regimes" by anything other than the baseless fantasies and speculations of certain book writers, is backed by nothing but assertion. This stuff is just a complete religious fantasy. The Lede even speaks of this gibberish as "documented". "Documented"!!! What nonsense. Some brainwashed American crackpot who writes a book imagines something into existence and it is "documented"! At best only a tiny fraction of the fantasized gibberish on this page is actually "documented". The rest is pure superstition and mysticism. (talk) 17:26, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
The claims made in this article are not based on the sources given. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:28, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
So which fraudulent source says that those imagined deaths of people who "died as a result of 'war, famine and diseases' says they are the result of are "mass kilings"? (talk) 17:41, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
":The claims made in this article are not based on the sources given." I'd agree. They are mostly not based on any sources, cherry-picked or otherwise. They are based on selecting wholly baseless "estimates" from some US books published during the Cold War, and then fraudulently re-framing these wholly baseless estimates of non-violent deaths into "mass killings". (talk) 17:47, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

To the contrary, there are multiple reliable sources that are reasonably paraphrased in the text of the article. There are few if any sources given that support the claims of those who think the article is biased; and that's because those folks have never offered any sources. Rather they argue (see above) that "reliable sources are irrelevant." [24] If you have sources that support your POV, please include them - as I've said multiple times. If you see a claim that is not supported by the source given, please note this. Since the article is locked up, please just include your sources and the allegedly unsupported claims below. I'll ask that we not include personal attacks (such as the anon borders on, e.g. "deliberate fraud"), more arguments that reliable sources are irrelevant, or arguments that the basic premise of the article is false (that type of argument belongs at AFD - where it has failed about 6 times). The basic premise of the article, as I see it, is that multiple academics and others have stated that Communist regimes have engaged in mass killings. Of course counter evidence may be included, if there is any, but just saying this is all propaganda is a nonsense argument that doesn't belong anywhere, even on this talk page. Smallbones (talk) 17:58, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Note that the phrase presented in quotations by Smallbones "reliable sources are irrelevant", presented as his main argument appears nowhere but in his own posting here. The article is not only biased. It is a fraud. It presents some things that are RS by WP standards, but that does not justify presenting speculations of deaths that are fantasized by certain RS to be from disease or famine that these RS fantasize as being due to "communist regimes", and then presenting these imagined non-violent deaths as "mass killings". (talk) 18:05, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
It's supported in reliable, mainstream sources. Therefore it's verifiable. And calling it "fraud" is very close to making a legal threat... GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 19:53, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Rubbish. Calling it a fraud might possibly be a breach of WP:NPA (unless of course it was a fraud), but there is no way this can be a 'legal threat'. And incidentally, your 'therefore' is a logical fallacy. Even if the sources are reliable (which I don't necessarily accept), the way they are represented in the article may still be incorrect. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:59, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Fraud is a legal offence; calling the article fraudulent is therefore barely skirting a legal threat. And my logic is sound. If something is supported in reliable sources to which we have access, it is verifiable since it is stated in those sources, and we can verify that that is the case. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 00:05, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
That is not fully correct. A legal threat would be a statement like: "I claim that the editor X committed fraud and I am going to take some legal steps against him". By contrast, the claim that the lede contains fraud is no more than a perceived legal threat, however, taking into account that it is not addressed to anyone concretely, I don't think the anon can be blamed in anything but rudeness.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:36, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Which is why I said it's getting awfully close to a legal threat, but doesn't quite qualify. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 01:30, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
"They are based on selecting wholly baseless "estimates" from some US books published during the Cold War" This demonstrates that you really have no idea what you are talking about. The vast majority of citations are post-Cold War. And your constant attacks on "American crackpots" is also quite telling...--C.J. Griffin (talk) 13:28, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
"but died as a result of "war, famine and diseases" (Ellman)" Is this the same Ellman who claims in his 2007 article that the actions of Stalin and co. during 1930-1933 constitute crimes against humanity and that some of the famine deaths constitute mass murder (and even genocide by the loose definition)? I think so....--C.J. Griffin (talk) 14:29, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this is the same Ellman. By the way, you incorrectly quoted him.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:47, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
The problem is I didn't quote him. Here's a quote for you:
"In 1932 – 33 Stalin caused numerous deaths by acts of omission. He omitted to appeal for or accept international help (unlike in 1891 – 92, 1921 – 22, 1941 – 45 and 1946 – 47) although this was proposed by the Ukrainian president in February 1932. He also omitted to import grain. His crime of omission is accepted by Davies and Wheatcroft. In 1932 – 33 Stalin also caused numerous deaths by acts of commission. Numerous deportees and camp and prison inmates—victims of a major Stalinist policy—died. Grain which might have been used to feed the starving population was exported (though in much smaller quantities than originally planned). Peasants who tried to flee from famine-stricken Ukraine and North Caucasus were turned back. Many of them will have died as a result. From the standpoint of national criminal law, the debate is about whether Stalin was guilty ‘only’ of (mass) manslaughter or whether he was guilty of (mass) murder. From a criminal-law point of view, the only way of defending Stalin from the charge of (mass) murder is to argue that he was ignorant of the consequences of his actions. Stalin was undoubtedly ignorant about many things, but was he really that ignorant? From the standpoint of contemporary international criminal law, a crime (or series of crimes) for which Team-Stalin was clearly guilty in 1930 – 34, is that of crime(s) against humanity. Whether or not Team-Stalin was guilty of genocide in 1932 – 33 depends on how ‘genocide’ is defined. If a strict legal definition is adopted, based on the UN Genocide Convention, genocide against the Ukrainians in 1932 – 33 is a charge for which there is some evidence, but it seems to the present author that it does not meet the standard of specific intent required to prove genocide. Furthermore, recent judicial interpretations of ‘in part’ would reduce still further the chances of a successful prosecution. The only exception is the Kuban Ukrainians, who by deportation, starvation, Russification, settlement, and changed national self-ascription, were eliminated as the major group in that region in 1932 – 36. However, it seems likely that the de-Ukrainisation of the Kuban falls into the categories of cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing, which fall outside the UN Convention on genocide. The ‘national operations’ of 1937 – 38, notably the ‘Polish operation’, may qualify as genocide as defined by the UN Convention, although there is as yet no legal ruling on the matter. In addition, the 1937 – 38 terror against the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church (and of other religions) may also qualify as genocide as defined in the Convention.."--C.J. Griffin (talk) 17:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

(out) C. J. Griffin, this is not a blog. I take it you do not like Communism, which is fine, but this talk page is not the "Why I hate Communism" talk page. If you are interested in discussing your opinions with like-minded people, then there are plenty of websites that specialize in this. I would start with the Sun Myung Moon's World Anti-Communist League. He is actually the main supported of the Victims of Communism Museaum that supports the views you have adopted. TFD (talk) 23:56, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

The quote provided by you perfectly demonstrates Ellman's opinion on the crimes of Stalinism. However, since you have already had extensive interaction with me before, you should have realised that I am familiar with this work and this quote in particular. Yes, many actions of the Stalin's regime are considered as crimes against humanity or loosely defined genocide. However, you should understand that "mass killings" and "crimes against humanity" are not synonyms, and many crimes against humanity were not mass killings. Genocide is also not necessarily mass killing (it may include, for instance, cultural genocide, etc.). Therefore, the quote provided by you doesn't support your idea, and it doesn't contradict to the Ellman's statements that most excessive deaths in the Stalin's USSR were a result of "war, famine and diseases", not killings, murders and executions. In connection to that, please, try to remember that this article deals only with "mass killings", not with other crimes of Communist regimes. Therefore, we must decide if we use a term "mass killings" in the same sense as most people do, we need explicitly specify that for some reasons "war, famine and diseases" are included into the article. Alternatively, if we use Valentino's definition of "mass killings" a clear and unequivocal explanation must be added into the lede that the article is based mostly on this concept.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:28, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
And what of the other bolded part of the quote: "the only way of defending Stalin from the charge of (mass) murder is to argue that he was ignorant of the consequences of his actions..." and then his (clearly rhetorical) question: "Stalin was undoubtedly ignorant about many things, but was he really that ignorant"? Ellman is trying to remain as objective as possible, but clearly he is saying that some of these famine deaths were intentional. In his previous article, he flat out states there is evidence of this: "As far as intent is concerned, there is some evidence that in 1930 – 33 in addition to deportation, sending to prisons and the Gulag, and shooting, Stalin also used starvation in his war against the peasants. In other words, there is some evidence that an unknown fraction of the mortality in the 1931 – 34 Soviet famine resulted from a conscious policy of starvation." As I've pointed out before, other scholars, such as Naimark (2010, pp. 133-135) and Rosefielde (2009, p. 259) have made similar arguments. The latter outright says: "People died mostly from terror-starvation." (italics and bolding mine) --C.J. Griffin (talk) 15:32, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Note that the discussion paper is called "Stalin and the Soviet Famine of 1932 – 33 Revisited". It is of utility only in discussing that topic. It is relevant to this article only to the extent that it draws a connection between the famine and mass killings under Communist regimes. TFD (talk) 15:58, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

@ C.J. Griffin. Although what you are writing is generally correct, that cannot serve as a support for some most important article's claims. Yes, according to Ellman and some others scholars some actions of Stalin's authorities can be qualified as mass killings, mass murder, loosely defined genocide or crimes against humanity. However, is that sufficient to claim that all victims of Stalinist were the victims of mass killings? Obviously not. Nevertheless, the article claims that "the killing of a large numbers of non-combatants has occurred in certain states [...] that have declared adherence to some form of Communist doctrine. The highest death tolls that have been documented in communist states occurred in the Soviet Union under Stalin, in the People's Republic of China under Mao, and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Estimates of the number of deaths vary widely [...] ranging from 21 million to 70 million." Obviously, by writing that we imply that all these 21-70 million were killed, not died from "war, famine and diseases", as Ellman writes.
Re Rosenfielde, his inflammatory wording and tendency to provide higher figures than many other scholars do put him closer to the edge of the opinion spectrum.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:28, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

"war, famine and diseases" I don't have access to the article at this time, but I believe Ellman is referring exclusively to deaths in the USSR is he not? So you cannot use that in the lede to describe deaths under Communist regimes in general (especially when death tolls from China and Cambodia are included). Furthermore, you cannot simply quote this from Ellman without qualifying it by adding he also argues that some of these 1932-33 famine deaths constitute not only crimes against humanity but also mass murder, based on the evidence available. Regarding Famine in China, which makes up the bulk of deaths attributable to Communism, specialists in this area with archival access, such as Yang Jisheng and Frank Dikotter, are much more reliable. And the evidence they've utilized point to the CCP's culpability in these deaths, as they knew well in advance that people were starving yet increased grain procurements anyway. Dikotter explicitly states that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the very foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history," which I rightly added to the GLF section of the article. But considering the use of Valentino's estimate in the lede, perhaps his explanation should be included: "Although not all the deaths due to famine in these cases were intentional, communist leaders directed the worst effects of famine against their suspected enemies and used hunger as a weapon to force millions of people to conform to the directives of the state." Regarding Rosefielde, he is a reputable scholar and estimates in his most recent work are in line with what many other scholars are now saying. So any notion that his work should not be used in the article will be rejected by myself.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 18:45, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
If you stick to sources about mass killings under Communist regimes, then we can avoid original research about how sources about specific events relate to each other. (BTW the UK and US governments were aware of the famine in the Ukraine, but chose to conceal the information from the public and buy grain anyway.) A am providing a source-finder to assist.
(Find sources: Google (books · news · newspapers · scholar · free images · WP refs· FENS · JSTOR · NYT · TWL)
TFD (talk) 19:29, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
@ C.J. Griffin. Re: "I believe Ellman is referring exclusively to deaths in the USSR is he not?" You are absolutely right, however, as i already pointed out in the previous talk page section, that is an additional demonstration of the fact that the article is a combination of different and poorly connected events. In any event, although the Ellman's statement cannot be automatically expanded on China or Kampuchea, the opposite (i.e. the implicit claim that all victims of Stalinism were killed, murdered or executed by the regime) is also incorrect. Please, read my post there and we continue our dispute after that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:36, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
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