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The Miracle That Is Freedom


Chapter 1: Why is This Book [Web Site] Credible?

Chapters 2 to 7 have been extensively rewritten and included in Saving Lives, Enriching Life: Freedom as a Right And a Moral Good

Chapter 8: An Enlightened Foreign Policy

Chapter 9: But What About...?

Other References on This site

References On Democide To:

Lethal Politics: Soviet....

China's Bloody Century

Democide: Nazi Genocide....

Death By Government

Statistics of Democide

References On Theory/Conflict/War To:

Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix (entire)

Vol. 3: Conflict In Perspective

Vol. 4: War, Power, Peace (entire)

Vol. 5: The Just Peace (entire)

References On The Democractic Peace To:

Bibliography on Democracy and War

Power Kills


to R.J. Rummel,

Annotated Bibliography*

Martin Monograph Series No. 1
Moscow, Idaho: Martin Institute for
Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
University of Idaho, 1996

The claims I make about democracy and violence in The Miracle That Is Freedom are based on my own theoretical and empirical research and findings, several studies I did of all the relevant accumulated empirical and theoretical research that has been published on this, and several independent evaluations of this literature by others. I present all this in my book titled Power Kills. In it I give a systematic overview of the relevant literature on democracy and war, violence, and democide, and provide new results. It is an attempt to thoroughly update my five volume Understanding Conflict and War, 1975-1981) to which I concluded that, "To eliminate war, to restrain violence, to nurture universal peace and justice, is to foster freedom."

Very little comparative work has been done on democide, and aside from my work none trying to assess statistically or through case studies the relationship between this genocide and mass murder and democracy. In my Death by Government I presented case studies of all those regimes responsible for killing 1,000,000 people or more in cold blood, and in my Statistics of Democide I give the data and statistical results.

I am not alone in trying to assess the accumulated work on democracy and war or other foreign violence. Three other books do this and also present their own results, all coming to the same conclusion about the pacific nature of democracies. The first of these is Grasping the Democratic Peace (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993.) by Bruce Russett, Dean Acheson Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He reviewed the research on democracy and war and with several colleagues reported on new research on wars among preindustrial tribes, among classical Greek city states, and between nations from 1946 to 1986. Moreover, he considered the possible effect of economic development and geographic distance, among other factors, and also looked at possible exceptions to democracies not making war on each other. He concludes that in modern times democracies have not made war on each other and overall are more peaceful in their relations with other democracies.

A second book, Democracy and International Politics (Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1995), is by James Lee Ray, Professor of Political Science at Florida State University. He reviews the empirical findings on democracy and war and then does a systematic assessment of twenty alleged exceptions to this that he culls from the literature, such as the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States, the Boar War, or recent wars among the new, supposedly democratic states of former Yugoslavia. He concludes that previous studies do support that democracies are both more peaceful and don't make war on each other, and his study of the possible cases to the contrary shows that not one is in fact is an exception.

The third book, Never at War (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, forthcoming 1998), is by the Director of the Center for History of Physics, historian and physicist Spencer Weart. In this book Weart searches through history for all possible cases of war between democracies, including among the classical Greeks. He finds that there is no case in written history of a war between well established democracies. Of greatest interest, he finds that nondemocratic neighbors would frequently make wars on each other, and then when both become democratic war between them would cease for the duration they were democratic, and start again when one or both returned to being nondemocratic.

As to the claim that democratic freedom also promotes wealth and prosperity, there is an abundance of research and studies on this. For the theoretical basis of this claim, and why command economies cannot work, as in fact they have not, see Ludwig von Mises great work Human Action (Third Edition, Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1963). Von Mises was recognized as the leader of the "Austrian school" of economics, and was Professor of Economics at the University of Vienna (1934-1940). I consider this work of his one of the most relevant and theoretically best works in economics on the free market. For an excellent melding of political and economic knowledge and providing the philosophical and theoretical foundations for understanding the economic power of freedom, see economic Nobel prize winner F. A. Hayek's three volumes Law, Legislation and Liberty (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1973-1979). He also has edited Capitalism and the Historians (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954), which shows how greater economic freedom in the 18th and 19 centuries in England and then the continent stimulated the industrial revolution and brought about a revolution in improved living conditions for the poor.

For a practically oriented and nonabstract discussion of freedom, see Free to Choose (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980) by another economic Nobel prize winner, Professor Milton Friedman, and his Rose Friedman.

The most through and recent empirical research on the relationship of freedom to economic growth and development is Constitutional Environments and Economic Growth (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992) by Gerald W. Scully, Professor of Economics at the University of Texas, Dallas. He shows empirically that the greater the freedom of the nation, the larger its economic growth and the more equitable its distribution of income.

On democracy itself a classic work is Polyarchy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971) by Robert A. Dahl, Professor of Political Science at Yale University, which not only tries to define democracy, but also what conditions will encourage democratization. A more recent book, The Third Wave (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991) by political scientist Samuel Huntington, presents a widely acclaimed analysis of the state of democracy in the world and the conditions and factors that underlie democratization and stability.

Finally, human rights is just beginning to be a serious area of study and teaching. At the forefront of this are two books on human rights in the world, their nature, status, and promotion that are well worth reading. One, International Human Rights (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1993) is by Jack Donnelly, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver. The other is by David P. Forsythe, Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska, and is titled The Internationalization of Human Rights (Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1991).

For a comprehensive examination of different conceptions of freedom, see the two volume work, The Idea of Freedom (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1958) by the philosopher Mortimer J. Adler. The provides an excellent philosophical and historical context within which to understand freedom as a natural right and as liberal democracy. 


* From the pre-publisher edited manuscript of the annotated bibliography in R.J. Rummel, The Miracle That Is Freedom: The Solution to War, Violence, Genocide, and Poverty, 1997. For the full reference to the book and the list of its contents, click book.

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