Yeah, actually, depending on who you are, I don’t think that’s completely unreasonable. The idea was probably to sort of tighten the noose around us all notch by notch until something happened, but all of this may constitute something happening.
If so, the pattern to look at would probably be purges after les coups d’etat. We have quite a few to look at. Sadly, I find that I have mostly examined events before and not events after.
There seems to be some principle of perceived need, but there is either another factor or else it scales in a radically non-linear fashion, which might be the case: killing a few people must make one have to kill more, since it is apt to be unpopular.
Chile, '73 was one of the more violent of the CIA-backed things, which would be a relevant group. Over a few years, the government killed around 80,000 out of a population a bit less than that of California.
That’s impressive, but also not typical. Is anyone aware of a systematic study?