Zenpundit had a post yesterday that puts many things in perspective. No matter how bad we think we have it in the U.S., we cannot EVER forget what has happened in other types of governments and regimes. Here is Zen's entry in full:
"MOUNTAIN OF SKULLS, OCEAN OF BLOOD: MAO'S CHINA AS THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF DEATH
RJ Rummel, the noted scholar of genocide and murder by government, has retabulated the totals for democide for The People's Republic of China under " The Geat Helmsman" Mao ZeDong: 77, 000,000 Dead
This total is twice as large as all combat deaths for the Russian and Mexican Revolutions,WWII, Korean and Vietnam wars combined. It may exceed all combat deaths in the 20th century and puts the maniacally genocidal exertions of Hitler ( 20,946,000) and Stalin (61,911,000) in the shade. (All figures here are Professor Rummel's). Only Pol Pot, in the percentage of population category, approaches Mao in sheer savagery and bloodlust. As Professor Rummel commented:"Now, my overall totals for world democide 1900-1999 must also be changed. I have estimated it to be 174,000,000 murdered, of which communist regimes murdered about 148,000,000. Also, compare this to combat dead. Communists overall have murdered four times those killed in combat, while globally the democide toll was over six times that number. Let freedom ring. "
Somewhere, Mao's academic and journalistic apologists in the West are enjoying a comfortable retirement."
Indeed, let freedom ring, ultimately for every person on the planet.
When you consider that most other nations on earth are considerably less heterogeneous than the U.S. (most diverse nation in history, I would have to think), freedom is the key to peace and prosperity. The fact that we allow anyone of any faith, creed, nationality, and so on, to live life largely as they please means individuals are allowed to keep a sense of identity to one's culture and heritage. This allows us to live mostly in harmony. Yes, there are rivalries, bigotry and racism, but because we are allowed to have the opportunity to go off and be ourselves prevents large-scale violence as is seen in other countries, where there are much greater levels of homogeneity. If there are ethnic and religious rivalries, but with a brutal dictator and/or no individual freedoms, the 20th century shows us what happens instead. How fortunate we are...