In 1975, the communist revolutionary group Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, took over Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Soon they had control of the whole country and declared their new name as "Democratic Kampuchea". They wanted to create an idealized communist agrarian society and started radical changes. While their reign was brief – the group was expelled by the Vietnamese government in 1979 – they showed how much damage can be done in just four years. While we will never know the exact number, most estimates estimate the number of civilians who killed Pol Pot and his regime during their power-of-power, at about 2 million, or nearly 25%, of the population at that time. While little is said in the West about the Cambodian genocide, the survivors have definitely forgotten nothing.
0th Under Pol Pot, you had no right to private property – the government owned everything
One of the first things Pol Pot did was to decide that his government really, ideally socialist, meant absolutely no personal property. Under Pol Pot, all personal property was confiscated, and everything you needed to live on was still selected by the government and is considered the property of the government. The truth is that this was extreme even for a communist society, and many other communist nations watched anxiously.
Pol Pot wanted to take total control of people's lives and possess the people in almost every way, but part of Communism's point was to at least give the illusion that they are all alike and Care will be taken according to their needs as long as they have worked. Even most Communist societies tended to allow people a degree of personal property to want something, so Pol Pot was extremely radical in that regard.
9. Most funny things were banned … They could not play, own jewelry, or be religious
Of course, religion was pretty dangerous for a regime like Pol Pot to survive, so it was one of the first things left. The Khmer Rouge immediately prohibited the practice of worship and slaughtered a large number of Buddhist monks. Some people believe that the amount that was killed may have been tens of thousands, but how many figures regarding the genocide in Cambodia we'll probably never know for sure.
Besides religion, most of the fun was banned. Since you could not own property, you certainly could not wear eye-catching things like jewelry, and gambling was banned. Many traditional folk-entertainment practices were also banned because Pol Pot wanted to separate people from their ancient culture. People spent most of their time working for the government and barely had enough food to live.
8. Doctors, officials and other "dangerous" people were arrested or murdered
Pol Pot was a teacher himself and had a high education before becoming a revolutionary leader and brutal dictator. Therefore, he felt the most dangerous people as such intellectuals who could be subversive and judge people against him. Because of this, he decided that anyone who was decently educated or intelligent was too dangerous to live and the majority of the best and brightest countries in the country were rounded up and murdered. Doctors, officials, teachers, policemen and other important people were gunned down because of the danger they posed to his regime.
This particular communist movement was unique in that it was truly anti-intellectual. While communist regimes certainly oppress intellectuals who argue with them, many others throughout history tend to encourage intellectuals to use them for their own propaganda. Instead, Pol Pot seemed completely uninterested in propaganda and instead wanted to do everything with brute force and all at once.
7. Pol Pot had his own notorious prison (S-21), but he had a lot more than that.
When Pol Pot and his team finally took power, they declared it to be Zero in Cambodian history, recalling them French Revolution immediately raged mass arrest, torture, interrogation and execution. For some estimates, the total number of prisons has been reported at 150 and for some closer to 200 but it is difficult to determine the exact amount, as most of the country has become temporary detention centers. High schools and other public buildings have been converted into prisons rather than places of learning – after all, you do not need a secondary school after the murder of the teachers.
The most notorious of these is a building that used to be a high school named Tuol Svay Pray, but was renamed S-21 by Khmer Rouge . An estimated 14,000 people have been detained at this facility, of which only seven are said to have survived. We know these things because the Khmer Rouge authorities have got the torturers to keep incredibly detailed photographic records to prove that they have committed the atrocities they were ordered to commit. One photograph shows someone who is just a boy, without shirt, with a prison pendant literally attached directly to the chest with a bruise, the skin of which is covered in bruises.
6. People were forced to work in rural areas; Schools closed
Pol Pot grew up in relative privileges, was born by a wealthy farm owner and was allowed to study in France, which many young men in Cambodia could not afford. That's why, as mentioned above, he spent his time as a teacher before becoming the cruel murderer we all know today, and most of all he was a mild and friendly person before the genocide. Maybe it was his love of farms that made him come up with such a strange idea, but Pol Pot chose something that even most Communist countries considered extreme and would completely close down urban areas.
Everyone was expelled from the cities and sent to work in rural areas on farms or other agricultural cooperatives. All this was rigorously enforced by the Khmer Rouge soldiers, who made the whole country virtually overnight into an agrarian society. The purity and importance of agriculture and rural life were emphasized, and learning and intellectualism were a thing of the past. After all the teachers had been murdered and the schools turned into detention centers, the school was finished – the only thing the Khmer Rouge wanted to teach was agriculture and obedience.
5. Pol Pot created and enforced a new social hierarchy overnight
In order to create a completely new – and completely agrarian – society overnight, Pol Pot decided that he needed to completely change the social order. He made four new categories of people to classify his new population of labor slaves. Those who followed Western values or happened to live in the city were the new humans and had far fewer rights than most. However, if you were loyal to the Khmer Rouge, you might be able to rise to deported status.
Those who really, really behaved, may have been considered candidates for full citizenship, and if you were really a good little government official, you could end up becoming a citizen with full rights. Most people, however, remained at the status that the [Khmer Rouge] classified at their first rating. It was extremely rare for them to go upstairs. This is in part due to the fact that the entire new hierarchy should serve to glorify and enhance an existing category of individuals, and systems that serve to discriminate are generally not fair.
4. Forcibly and completely separated families to brainwash the population
One of the main hallmarks of Pol Pot's regime was a family-isolation policy that even many of history's worst dictators would have considered cruel. When people from the cities were forced to enter the country as workers' graves, the Khmer Rouge separated families by the thousands. Unlike many dictators who did such things to punish others for subversion, Pol Pot did so as a calculated step to make his regime a perfectly oiled machine.
There were some big reasons for Pol Pot's Cruel Policy : For beginners, it's much easier to brainwash the population if you remove the family unit – the government is now essentially to the family authority, which raises the children. However, Pol Pot also wanted to organize people as efficiently as possible according to their abilities, which means bringing children together with other children, women with women, and so on. It also meant moving people to areas where they felt they would make the most sense as workers. Therefore, regardless of the reasons for brainwashing, it was a natural side effect of his policy to separate families as much as possible. This sort of thing has caused many other communist regimes to wonder if something should be done. Even some of the worst were not cruel unless counterrevolutionary crimes had actually been committed against them.
3. Pol Pot literally pitted The "Pure" Country Folk Against the City "Intellectuals"
Pol Pot, like many dictators, was an intellectual. Maybe that's why he felt so much threatened by educated people. Or maybe he just had an ultra-romanticized idea of farm life. Nonetheless, the real hallmark of the strangeness of Pol Pot's cruel regime was his insistence on a fully agrarian society that started from scratch. Even if countries are taken over by revolutionaries, they tend not to throw out everything in terms of infrastructure, knowledge and urban construction, but the Khmer Rouge did just that.
In essence, he made the whole thing into a fight of the city's dangerous and subversive intellectuals against the Pure People (19659009), who worked on farms. The irony here is that while Pol Pot felt that agricultural life and an agricultural society would make things purer and healthier in his purported pursuit of moral purity (or, at least superficially, he said it was rude for The death was responsible for 2 million innocents.
2. Some, in spite of claims of perfect communism, were "more equal" than others
While Pol Pot and his regime claimed that they had created an ideal and fully equal communist society, most of us know that rarely does such good practice actually work , As mentioned before, there were four classes of people, and even a lot of hard work and sucking did not generally get you anywhere. Worse still, if you happened to live in the city when he took over the government, you were a "new person", while anyone who had lived on a farm was already a full citizen.
To make matters worse, even if you had already lived on a farm, this did not necessarily mean that you always had enough to eat during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, and not that things were even in this class were the same. There are reports that the soldiers who worked for the Khmer Rouge, and anyone who worked for them, certainly seemed to have more luxury than most people who were under the new regime of "democratic" Kampuchea live. As for Pol Pot himself, many people would like to point out that, despite his claim to the importance of hard agricultural work and the equality of all human beings, at first glance he looked happy and gentle, as if he had not done any physical labor for a very long time , if any.
1. Cambodia by Pol Pot was an attempt at rapid social engineering
There are now successful communist countries (though some claim that China is technically no longer a communist government) and successful capitalist countries (like the US) and other types such as good. There is not really a perfect form of government, and any kind of government can at least treat its people decently if it actually tries. That's why many other communist countries were alarmed right from the start when it came to the methods of Pol Pot. In many cases, communism came about more naturally because people were looking for something else to take care of the common man, and the communist countries had never taken such drastic steps (except perhaps Stalin). Many Communist intellectuals feared from the outset that Pol Pot's regime would never work in the long run, and was embarrassing for anyone because of its radical nature.
He wanted to turn his society into a level of communism that many consider extreme and essentially completely agrarian overnight. And unlike most countries, he has murdered his intellectuals, rather than trying to subjugate them to write in favor of the government. His quick style was so insane that many Communist countries urged Vietnam, their nearest neighbor, to put an end to his reign of terror. Thus, in 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia at the insistence of the international community. In 1979, they took over Phnom Penh and the remaining forces of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot itself retreated into the jungle. Pol Pot would never have to face justice – the night he found out that he would be handed over to an international tribunal, he committed suicide, but at least the invasion of the Vietnamese was a welcome relief for the cruel atrocities, among which the Cambodian people To suffer.
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