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Author Topic: Dith Pran dies of pancreatic cancer. Leaves the world having exposed the true face of communism  (Read 1051 times)

rphilbeck

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Fields

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080330/ap_on_re_us/obit_pran

Quote:

In power, the Khmer Rouge carried out a radical program that included isolating the country from foreign influence, closing schools, hospitals and factories, abolishing banking, finance and currency, outlawing all religions, confiscating all private property and relocating people from urban areas to collective farms where forced labor was widespread. The purpose of this policy was to turn Cambodians into "Old People" through agricultural labor. These actions resulted in massive deaths through executions, work exhaustion, illness, and starvation.

In Phnom Penh and other cities, the Khmer Rouge told residents that they would be moved only about "two or three kilometers" outside the city and would return in "two or three days." Some witnesses say they were told that the evacuation was because of the "threat of American bombing" and that they did not have to lock their houses since the Khmer Rouge would "take care of everything" until they returned. These were not the first evacuations of civilian populations by the Khmer Rouge. Similar evacuations of populations without possessions had been occurring on a smaller scale since the early 1970s.

The Khmer Rouge attempted to turn Cambodia into a classless society by depopulating cities and forcing the urban population ("New People") into agricultural communes. The entire population was forced to become farmers in labor camps. During their four years in power, the Khmer Rouge overworked and starved the population, at the same time executing selected groups who had the potential to undermine the new state (including intellectuals or even those that had stereotypical signs of learning, such as glasses) and killing many others for even minor breaches of rules.
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Legrande Matinbois

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RPhilbeck wrote on Sun, 30 March 2008 16:46

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Fields

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080330/ap_on_re_us/obit_pran

Quote:

In power, the Khmer Rouge carried out a radical program that included isolating the country from foreign influence, closing schools, hospitals and factories, abolishing banking, finance and currency, outlawing all religions, confiscating all private property and relocating people from urban areas to collective farms where forced labor was widespread. The purpose of this policy was to turn Cambodians into "Old People" through agricultural labor. These actions resulted in massive deaths through executions, work exhaustion, illness, and starvation.

In Phnom Penh and other cities, the Khmer Rouge told residents that they would be moved only about "two or three kilometers" outside the city and would return in "two or three days." Some witnesses say they were told that the evacuation was because of the "threat of American bombing" and that they did not have to lock their houses since the Khmer Rouge would "take care of everything" until they returned. These were not the first evacuations of civilian populations by the Khmer Rouge. Similar evacuations of populations without possessions had been occurring on a smaller scale since the early 1970s.

The Khmer Rouge attempted to turn Cambodia into a classless society by depopulating cities and forcing the urban population ("New People") into agricultural communes. The entire population was forced to become farmers in labor camps. During their four years in power, the Khmer Rouge overworked and starved the population, at the same time executing selected groups who had the potential to undermine the new state (including intellectuals or even those that had stereotypical signs of learning, such as glasses) and killing many others for even minor breaches of rules.





So what's 1.7 million lives when you get to have "Blackout Day" every day?

Legrande
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No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
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Jay Kadis

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Cambodia was not the "true face of communism" but rather the true face of totalitarian insanity.  No one has yet implemented true communism.

Legrande Matinbois

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Jay Kadis wrote on Mon, 31 March 2008 15:23

...No one has yet implemented true communism.


Yeah.  Because first thing ya know, some free-thinking dissenter doesn't feel like subordinating himself to the incontestable authority, and then, dad-gummit, the exalted keeper of the Utopian vision must deploy the all-powerful enforcers of the vision to kill him...  For the "common good", of course.

Legrande
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No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
 -- R. Kipling

E Merrill

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Legrande Matinbois wrote on Tue, 01 April 2008 12:20

Jay Kadis wrote on Mon, 31 March 2008 15:23

...No one has yet implemented true communism.


Yeah.  Because first thing ya know, some free-thinking dissenter doesn't feel like subordinating himself to the incontestable authority, and then, dad-gummit, the exalted keeper of the Utopian vision must deploy the all-powerful enforcers of the vision to kill him...  For the "common good", of course.

Legrande



I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. You're right, Legrande, to point out that, while it's true that communism has never been implemented exactly as it was proposed,  it has had enough chances to be judged on the various ways it HAS been implemented. No political or economic system has ever been perfectly applied; there are too many damn humans involved.

Even admitting that, though, it's a stretch to describe the Khmer Rouge as "the true face of communism." That's akin to describing the Pullman Strike, the Bopal explosion, or the Iraq War as the "true face of capitalism." (I recognize that communism and capitalism are not analogous as one is political the other economic) It's also important to remember that it was the actions of the U.S. (and French) in SE Asia that created the environment that allowed Pol Pot to come to power.

Communism has clearly failed as a governing strategy. The Chinese system can be better described as totalitarian hyper-capitalism than anything Marx would recognize. Communism's real danger today is its enduring power as a rhetorical device. Virtually any government action can be dismissed by equating that action to socialism and then equating socialism to communism.

Neither capitalism nor communism are successful in pure forms and it is imperative that we recognize that there are lessons and policies to be taken from many systems. For instance, the worker-owner model has been tremendously successful inside a capitalist framework; UPS and The Lusty Lady are perfect examples. The Green Bay Packers have stretched the definition of worker but the spirit and result are similar.



This political question should not distract from the work of Dith Pran. Anyone who is not familiar with it should read or watch "The Killing Fields."  It's unbelievably upsetting and inspiring.




Eric
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Paul Cavins

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[quote title=Eric Merrill wrote on Tue, 01 April 2008 13:58]
Legrande Matinbois wrote on Tue, 01 April 2008 12:20


Communism has clearly failed as a governing strategy. The Chinese system can be better described as totalitarian hyper-capitalism than anything Marx would recognize. Communism's real danger today is its enduring power as a rhetorical device. Virtually any government action can be dismissed by equating that action to socialism and then equating socialism to communism.






Shut up you commie!



Surprised
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MDM,

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communism ends up being an easy way to disarm the common man of any power.

there is no middle class in communist countries.. sound familiar?
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I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy .. in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music.
John Adams (1735-1826) 2nd President, United States
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