According to The Black Book of Communism (1999), at least 94 million people were slaughtered by communist regimes during the twentieth century. This is a truly colossal figure, yet that’s the lowest estimate. Professor R. J. Rummel, in his landmark study, Death by Government (1996), puts the death toll from communism at over 105 million—and his detailed calculations do not include the human cost of communism in most of Eastern Europe or in Third World countries like Cuba and Mozambique. Even so, his figure is double the total number of casualties (military and civilian) killed on all sides during World War II.
The full horror of this totalitarian socialist holocaust cannot, of course, be adequately conveyed by these grim statistics. Behind them lies a desolate landscape of economic collapse, mass poverty, physical and mental torture, and broken lives and communities
What provoked this vast tide of human despair? What was it that made life intolerable for most of the inhabitants of these socialist countries? The greatest Russian writer of the last century has given us the answer. To quote Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “Socialism begins by making all men equal in material matters. . . . However the logical progression towards so-called ‘ideal’ equality inevitably implies the use of force. Furthermore it means that the basic element of personality—those elements which display too much variety in terms of education, ability, thought and feeling—must themselves be leveled out. . . . Let me remind you that ‘forced labour’ is part of the programme of all prophets of Socialism, including the Communist Manifesto . There is no need to think of the Gulag Archipelago as an Asiatic distortion of a noble ideal. It is an irrevocable law” (Warning to the Western World).