Article omitted to mention victims of left wing revolutionary politics

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7022.57e (Published 06 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:57
  1. Derek Steinberg
  1. Consultant psychiatrist 14 Devonshire Place, London W1N 1PB

    EDITOR,—Derek Summerfield's account of the tragic way in which the victims of political mass murder are conveniently forgotten is an important document rendered fascinating by the fact that all the villains of the past 80 years whom he mentions were right wing and mostly Western or backed by the West.1 He lists 14. However, the millions of victims of those inspired by left wing revolutionary politics (for example, those killed in the former Soviet Union; by the Khmer Rouge; and, closer to home, by the Irish Republican Army) are not mentioned at all.

    This forgetfulness is so much in the current liberal intellectual tradition, and it is so incorrect to point it out, that I hesitated to put pen to paper; but, having reread Summerfield's stirring words (“This denial, and the impunity of those who maintain it, must be challenged if survivors are to make sense of their losses and the social fabric is to mend”), I decided that I should. I look forward to a further article about the data—or, rather, the people—omitted.


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