Soviet-Empire.com U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Active ]
[ Login ]
Log-in to remove these advertisements.

Cambodia

POST REPLY
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 21 Feb 2008, 05:13
Do people here recognize Cambodia as a Socialist state during the Khmer Rouge era? Understandably, I know that everybody here has a strong distaste for Pol Pot.

After all, the bourgeoisie government was overthrown by peasants led by a Communist party... and was supported through arms and trade by Maoist China.

What does everybody think?
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jan 2007, 01:25
Pioneer
Post 25 Feb 2008, 05:50
Coupla thoughts:

1) The constitution of "Democratic Kampuchea" does not mention the word "socialism" a single time throughout its entire length.
2) The theory and practice of the Khmer Rouge were so anti-Marxist as to be laughable. Basically, they were extreme-right feudal reactionaries with a crudely egalitarian twist, believing that they could turn back the clock in Cambodia to a time where there was no social development and everyone lived a simple country life.
3) They probably hated the Soviet Union and neighboring Vietnam more than they did the United States. Don't forget that the socialist Vietnamese were the ones who finally overthrew the Khmer Rouge, and that the KR later received full backing by the US as an insurgent group because Washington would rather see a regime of genocidal sociopaths in power than a government of (GASP) Soviet-aligned Communists.

So I would say "No."
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 25 Feb 2008, 06:15
Quote:
The theory and practice of the Khmer Rouge were so anti-Marxist as to be laughable. Basically, they were extreme-right feudal reactionaries with a crudely egalitarian twist, believing that they could turn back the clock in Cambodia to a time where there was no social development and everyone lived a simple country life.


From what I have read about Cambodia, their intention was not to keep Cambodia in an egalitarian state forever. They wanted to go back to "year zero", and somehow purge "bourgeoisie" culture from the people by exposing them to peasant life.
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jan 2007, 01:25
Pioneer
Post 25 Feb 2008, 06:38
The thing was, their definition of what was "bourgeois" was ridiculously broad and in the last analysis had next to nothing to do with economic status. It basically meant "anyone who lived in a city and/or was educated." Even if you accept the Maoist emphasis on the peasantry as a valid improvement over classical Marxism, the KR's thought was still just completely warped.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 25 Feb 2008, 06:48
Heh, I heard stories they imprisoned (or killed) people who wore glasses!

This is another one of the tragedies of the Sino-Soviet split... and how China and the USSR used Cambodia and Vietnam (respectively) against each other.
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 25 Feb 2008, 07:14
People with glasses were probably killed because they had the money to buy them I guess... Shame Pol Pot wasn't killed the Vietnamese Army.
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 25 Feb 2008, 08:21
The Khmer Rouge was never fully defeated. They still existed along some border of Cambodia and the Vietnamese never bothered to peruse them. Just off the top of my head, I think Pol Pot died fairly recently too (like 1996 or something).
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jan 2007, 01:25
Pioneer
Post 25 Feb 2008, 08:41
Yeah, Pol Pot died in '98. I remember hearing that the mourners at his funeral consisted of like half a dozen Khmer Rouge guerillas and nobody else. Damn shame that people like Pol Pot, Pinochet, and Suharto all got to die of natural causes instead of at the end of a rope as would be fitting.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2693
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2006, 08:59
Party Bureaucrat
Post 25 Feb 2008, 08:53
This is the constitution of Democratic Kampuchea.
Quote:
Preamble



On the basis of the sacred and fundamental desires of the people, workers, peasants, and other labourers as well as
those of the fighters and cadres of the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army; and



Whereas a significant role has been played by the people, especially the workers, poor peasants, the lower middle
peasantry, and other strata of labourers in the countryside and cities, who account for more than ninety-five percent
of the entire Kampuchean nation, who assumed the heaviest responsibility in waging the war for the liberation of the
nation and the people, made the greatest sacrifices in terms of life, property, and commitment, served the front line
relentlessly, and unhesitatingly sacrificed their children and husbands by the thousands for the fight on the
battlefield;



Whereas great sacrifices have been borne by the three categories of the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army who fought
valiantly, day and night, in the dry and rainy season, underwent all sorts of hardship and misery, shortages of food,
medicine, clothing, ammunition, and other commodities in the great war for the liberation of the nation and the people;



Whereas the entire Kampuchean people and the entire Kampuchean Revolutionary Army desire an independent, unified,
peaceful, neutral, non-aligned, sovereign Kampuchea enjoying territorial integrity, a national society informed by
genuine happiness, equality, justice, and democracy without rich or poor and without exploiters or exploited, a society
in which all live harmoniously in great national solidarity and join forces to do manual labour together and increase
production for the construction and defence of the country;



And whereas the resolution of the Special National Congress held on 25, 26 and 27 April 1975 solemnly proclaimed
recognition and respect for the above desires of the entire people and the entire Kampuchean Revolutionary Army;

The Constitution of Kampuchea states:



Chapter One

The State



Article 1 The State of Kampuchea is an independent, unified, peaceful, neutral, non-aligned, sovereign, and democratic
State enjoying territorial integrity.



The State of Kampuchea is a State of the people, workers, peasants, and all other Kampuchean labourers.



The official name of the State of Kampuchea is "Democratic Kampuchea".



Chapter Two

The Economy



Article 2 All important general means of production are the collective property of the people's State and the common
property of the people's collectives.



Property for everyday use remains in private hands.



Chapter Three

Culture



Article 3 The culture of Democratic Kampuchea has a national, popular, forward-looking, and healthful character such as
will serve the tasks of defending and building Kampuchea into an ever more prosperous country.



This new culture is absolutely opposed to the corrupt, reactionary culture of the various oppressive classes and that
of colonialism and imperialism in Kampuchea.



Chapter Four

The Principle of Leadership and Work



Article 4 Democratic Kampuchea applies the collective principle in leadership and work.



Chapter Five

Legislative Power



Article 5 Legislative power is invested in the representative assembly of the people, workers, peasants, and all other
Kampuchean labourers.



This Assembly shall be officially known as the "Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly".



The Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly shall be made up of 250 members, representing the people, the workers,
peasants, and all other Kampuchean labourers and the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army. Of these 250, there shall be:



Representing the peasants 150

Representing the labourers and other working people 50

Representing the revolutionary army 50



Article 6 The members of the Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly are to be elected by the people through direct
and prompt general elections by secret ballot to be held throughout the country every five years.



Article 7 The People's Representative Assembly is responsible for legislation and for defining the various domestic and
foreign policies of Democratic Kampuchea.



Chapter Six

The Executive Body



Article 8 The administration is a body responsible for executing the laws and political lines of the Kampuchean
People's Representative Assembly.



The administration is elected by the Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly and must be fully responsible to the
Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly for all its activities inside and outside the country.



Chapter Seven

Justice



Article 9 Justice is administered by people's courts, representing and defending the people's justice, defending the
democratic rights and liberties of the people, and condemning any activities directed against the people's State or
violating the laws of the people's State.



The judges at all levels will be chosen and appointed by the People's Representative Assembly.



Article 10 Actions violating the laws of the people's State are as follows:



Dangerous activities in opposition to the people's State must be condemned to the highest degree.



Other cases are subject to constructive re-education in the framework of the State's or people's organisations.



Chapter Eight

The State Presidium



Article 11 Democratic Kampuchea has a State Presidium chosen and appointed by the Kampuchean People's Representative
Assembly once every five years.



The State Presidium is responsible for representing the State of Democratic Kampuchea inside and outside the country in
keeping with the Constitution of Democratic Kampuchea and with the laws and political lines of the Kampuchean People's
Representative Assembly.



The State Presidium is composed as follows: a president, a first vice-president, and a second vice-president.



Chapter Nine

The Rights and Duties of the Individual



Article 12 Every citizen of Kampuchea enjoys full rights to a constantly improving material, spiritual, and cultural
life.



Every citizen of Democratic Kampuchea is guaranteed a living.

All workers are the masters of their factories.

All peasants are the masters of the rice paddies and fields.

All other labourers have the right to work.

There is absolutely no unemployment in Democratic Kampuchea.



Article 13 There must be complete equality among all Kampuchean people in an equal, just, democratic, harmonious, and
happy society within the great national solidarity for defending and building the country together.



Men and women are fully equal in every respect.

Polygamy is prohibited.



Article 14 It is the duty of all to defend and build the country together in accordance with individual ability and
potential.



Chapter Ten

The Capital



Article 15 The capital city of Democratic Kampuchea is Phnom Penh.



Chapter Eleven

The National Flag



Article 16 The design and significance of the Kampuchean national flag are as follows:



The background is red, with a yellow three-towered temple in the middle.

The red background symbolises the revolutionary movement, the resolute and valiant struggle of the Kampuchean people
for the liberation, defence, and construction of their country.



The yellow temple symbolises the national traditions of the Kampuchean people, who are defending and building the
country to make it ever more prosperous.



Chapter Twelve

The National Emblem



Article 17 The national emblem consists of a network of dikes and canals, which symbolise modern agriculture, and
factories, which symbolise industry. These are framed by an oval garland of rice ears, with the inscription "Democratic
Kampuchea" at the bottom.



Chapter Thirteen

The National Anthem



Article 18 The national anthem of Democratic Kampuchea is the "Dap Prampi Mesa Chokchey" ["Glorious Seventeenth of
April"].



Chapter Fourteen

The Kampuchean Revolutionary Army



Article 19 The three categories of the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army—regular, regional, and guerrilla—form an army of
the people made up of men and women fighters and cadres who are the children of the labourers, peasants, and other
Kampuchean working people. They defend the State power of the Kampuchean people and of independent, unified, peaceful,
neutral, non-aligned, sovereign, and democratic Kampuchea, which enjoys territorial integrity, and at the same time
they help to build a country growing more prosperous every day to improve and develop the people's standard of living.



Chapter Fifteen

Worship and Religion



Article 20 Every citizen of Kampuchea has the right to worship according to any religion and the right not to worship
according to any religion.



Reactionary religions which are detrimental to Democratic Kampuchea and Kampuchean people are absolutely forbidden.



Chapter Sixteen

Foreign Policy



Article 21 Democratic Kampuchea fervently and earnestly desires to maintain close and friendly relations with all
countries sharing a common border and with all those near and distant throughout the world in conformity with the
principles of mutual and absolute respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.



Democratic Kampuchea adheres to a policy of independence, peace, neutrality and non-alignment. It will permit
absolutely no foreign country to maintain military bases on its territory and is resolutely opposed to all forms of
outside interference in its internal affairs, and to all forms of subversion and aggression against Democratic
Kampuchea from outside, whether military, political, cultural, social, diplomatic, or humanitarian.



Democratic Kampuchea refuses all intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries, and scrupulously respects the
principle that every country is sovereign and entitled to manage and decide its own affairs without outside
interference.



Democratic Kampuchea remains absolutely within the great family of non-aligned nations.



Democratic Kampuchea strives to promote solidarity with the peoples of the Third World in Asia, Africa, and Latin
America, and with peace- and justice-loving people the world over, and to contribute most actively to mutual aid and
support in the struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, and in favour of independence, peace,
friendship, democracy, justice, and progress in the world.
Image

"To know a thing you must study it." --Dagoth Ur
Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jan 2007, 01:25
Pioneer
Post 25 Feb 2008, 09:22
Quote:
Consitution of Democratic Kampuchea


Let's see...socialism...socialism...nope. Not there. Nor is the name of Marx, or Lenin, or Mao. In addition, you have the KR's own words as to where they stood vis a vis communism:

"We are not communists ... we are revolutionaries who do not belong to the commonly accepted grouping of communist Indochina."(Ieng Sary, 1977, quoted by Vickery, Cambodia: 1978-1983, p. 288).
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 26 Feb 2008, 05:02
Maybe it's just me, but this constitution seems very vague and indecisive. Look at Chapter 5, which would be a seemingly important Chapter:

Quote:
Chapter Four

The Principle of Leadership and Work



Article 4 Democratic Kampuchea applies the collective principle in leadership and work.


I always thought Pol Pot and his movement as Communist by name, but that quote really contradicts that >_>
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 26 Feb 2008, 05:33
Ok so the short answer is no and the long answer is hell no. Why does this still matter? Do we discuss every third world dictator who murdered his people in mass numbers to make sure he's not communist?
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 26 Feb 2008, 21:19
No. I was asking if people considered Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge to be a form of Socialist state.
Other "dictators" murdered their people in mass, and people still call them Communists.
... which is why I was wondering.
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 9306
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Mar 2004, 15:19
Ideology: Other Leftist
Old Bolshevik
Post 26 Feb 2008, 21:26
What I would like at is,
Was Pol Pot connected to the communist party?

At which point did he (if he was connected to the communist party) stray from communist ideology?

And then, how do we define if a nation is socialist? do we? or does the nation? or is there a set of criteria that is generally accepted? (and I'm fairly certain that options 1 and 3 are almost the exact same in practice)

But the lack of the word socialist in the constitution is very telling.
Image

Fitzy wrote:
Yes, because I am poisoning them. They are my children.
Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jan 2007, 01:25
Pioneer
Post 26 Feb 2008, 22:52
I know Pol Pot was definitely connected to the French Communist Party, and he called his organization in Cambodia "The Communist Party of Kampuchea" or something for a while, although this was well before the KR actually took power. Your guess as to why and when he degenerated from Communism is as good as mine. If I were forced to speculate, I'd say it had something to do with the ideology perversely "adapting" itself to backward Cambodian peasant conditions as Pol Pot built his base of support. I also suspect that Pol Pot's committment to Marxism was never that deep or sincere to begin with, which may have been part of the reason why he was able to distort it so effectively, eventually beyond recognition.
Last edited by FSLN_guy on 26 Feb 2008, 23:00, edited 2 times in total.
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 26 Feb 2008, 22:57
Quote:
Your guess as to why and when he degenerated from of Communism is as good as mine.

Not meant to be funny but maybe he wanted to start his own form of Communism.
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jan 2007, 01:25
Pioneer
Post 26 Feb 2008, 23:13
Quote:
Not meant to be funny but maybe he wanted to start his own form of Communism.


I think insofar as the KR were big on communism, it was "communism" with a lowercase "c", non-Marxist or pre-Marxist "crude" communism. Marx had some trenchant words to say on this subject:

Quote:
Finally, communism is the positive expression of annulled private property – at first as universal private property.

By embracing this relation as a whole, communism is:

(1) In its first form only a generalisation and consummation of it [of this relation]. As such it appears in a two-fold form: on the one hand, the dominion of material property bulks so large that it wants to destroy everything which is not capable of being possessed by all as private property. It wants to disregard talent, etc., in an arbitrary manner. For it the sole purpose of life and existence is direct, physical possession. The category of the worker is not done away with, but extended to all men. The relationship of private property persists as the relationship of the community to the world of things.

[snip]

General envy constituting itself as a power is the disguise in which greed re-establishes itself and satisfies itself, only in another way. The thought of every piece of private property as such is at least turned against wealthier private property in the form of envy and the urge to reduce things to a common level, so that this envy and urge even constitute the essence of competition. Crude communism is only the culmination of this envy and of this levelling-down proceeding from the preconceived minimum. It has a definite, limited standard.

How little this annulment of private property is really an appropriation is in fact proved by the abstract negation of the entire world of culture and civilisation, the regression to the unnatural simplicity of the poor and crude man who has few needs and who has not only failed to go beyond private property, but has not yet even reached it.

The community is only a community of labour, and equality of wages paid out by communal capital – by the community as the universal capitalist. Both sides of the relationship are raised to an imagined universality – labour as the category in which every person is placed, and capital as the acknowledged universality and power of the community.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 27 Feb 2008, 00:49
Quote:
Was Pol Pot connected to the communist party?


Wikipedia says this on Pol Pot and the "Communist Movement":

Quote:
The PCF's anti-colonialism attracted many young Cambodians, including Pol Pot. In 1951, he joined a communist cell in a secret organization known as the Cercle Marxiste which had taken control of the Khmer Student's Association (AER) that same year. Within a few months, Pol Pot also joined the PCF.

Quote:
After his return to Phnom Penh, Pol Pot became the liaison between the above-ground parties of the left (Democrats and Pracheachon) and the underground communist movement

Quote:
After returning to Cambodia in 1966, Pol Pot organized a party meeting where a number of important decisions were made. The party was officially but secretly renamed the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK). Lower ranks of the party were not informed of the decision. It was also decided to establish command zones and prepare each region for an uprising against the government.


Theres a bunch others at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol_pot.

Quote:
I know Pol Pot was definitely connected to the French Communist Party, and he called his organization in Cambodia "The Communist Party of Kampuchea" or something for a while, although this was well before the KR actually took power.


I thought that the KR was the movement and the Communist Party was its "ideological leader". Wikipedia says that they are one in the same:
Quote:
It was used to refer to a succession of Communist parties in Cambodia which evolved into the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) and later the Party of Democratic Kampuchea.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Rouge).


I hate using wikipedia as a source though.
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jan 2007, 01:25
Pioneer
Post 27 Feb 2008, 01:36
I wonder if there are any decent published biographies of Pol Pot out there.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1175
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2006, 06:00
Party Member
Post 27 Feb 2008, 03:12
Ehh.. I can assume they would all be like Stalin or worse. You wouldn't find a neutral one. Wikipedia even starts off by saying he killed 1.something million people.

It would certainly be helpful.
Image

"What has 1 year of Capitalism achieved that 70 years of Communism could not? It has made Communism look good" - Russian joke, 1993.
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Soviet-Empire.com. Privacy.
cron