Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

New study finds U.S. responsible for nearly 300 million deaths—and counting


In September, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation—established by a bipartisan act of Congress in 1993—opened the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington, D.C., which aims to spotlight the plight of the alleged 100 million victims of Communist ideology.

A picture containing text, indoor, red, floor Description automatically generated

Display from Victims of Communism Museum in Washington, D.C. [Source:]

The 100 million figure was derived from the 1997 book The Black Book of Communism, published by Harvard University Press, which was replete with falsehoods. The book blamed communist governments for famines that occurred on a more regular basis in capitalist countries and which had resulted from environmental causes, like the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s (holodomor).

If the political culture in the U.S. changes, someone might open a museum dedicated to the victims of capitalism or the U.S. empire, whose death toll would be much greater than 100 million.

A new book by David Michael Smith, Endless Holocausts: Mass Death in the History of the United States Empire (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2023), estimated that the U.S. empire is responsible, or shares responsibility, for close to 300 million deaths.

Smith writes that “the almost inconceivable loss of life in these endless holocausts arguably makes this country [the United States] exceptional, though in a strikingly different way than its apologists intend.”

Exceptional in its violence and killing prowess, which is truly shameful.


Smith estimates that 13 million Indigenous people were killed in the holocaust that resulted from the European colonization of North America.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Holocaust

Quoting from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, Smith notes that the Indigenous nations of the Western Hemisphere had “built great civilizations” prior to the arrival of the white man whose “governments, commerce, arts and sciences, agriculture, technologies, philosophies and institutions were intricately developed,” and in which “human relations were more egalitarian than in Europe.”


Leave a Reply