This issue features one of the most unusual roundtable discussions since we started them in 1985. “No Trumpets, No Drums” gathers 16 CEOs and presidents who served in the military during the war in
Yet war isn’t the primary cause of what has made the 20th Century so lethal. At least 170 million people and perhaps as many as 360 million have been murdered by their own governments-more than four times the 42 million deaths from civil and international wars this century, according to Gerald Scully, a public choice economist at the University of Texas at Dallas, who has studied the economic consequences of murder by nations either by demicide, which is mass killing without respect to race, religion, or ethnicity, or by genocide, which is. Scully, a senior fellow at the
Slow recognition of the economic cost of liquidating productive citizens, he suggests, may be the real reason state murders in the Soviet Union and China declined after the deaths of Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung (see table). In an odd footnote, the statistics of state murder compiled by another academic, R.J. Rummel, show most 20th Century killings have been done by Communist regimes. In fact, if one takes the European figures, minus
Considering on average that each 1 percent increase in output reduces killing by 1.4 percent, according to Scully, the richer a country becomes, the greater the incentive for even a Communist regime not to kill its people. By promoting international commerce through their present enterprises, it appears our CEO-Vietnam vets are indirectly furthering the cause of international peace once again.