Wednesday, 15 May 2013

All is but a "Stage" in "Democratic Kampuchea" (Or how these videos tried much to show the contrary)

All is but a "Stage" in "Democratic Kampuchea"

(Or how these videos tried much to show the contrary)

Well, at first, this writeup tackles how a country then ruled by a group of petit-bourgeois "idealists", draped in red had turned a country into a vast work camp from 1975 to 1979.

Usually depicted as people working in farms if not making grandiose irrigation projects, Democratic Kampuchea and the Khmer Rouge had been known for orchestrating the Cambodian Genocide, which resulted from the enforcement of its social engineering policies such as "removing impurities" like those of the with good backgrounds.

However, despite its typical depiction presented in the media, it seemed that the ones in Cambodia (Kampuchea) had tried to present another portion of their way of life.

These movies, somehow would also inculcate a view different from what the western media showed about Cambodia then as contrary to the tragedies happened during that time such as the Killing Fields, the Famine, and other atrocities happened under the adventurist regime of Pol Pot, Ta Mok et al. the scenes made during  shows how Cambodia experimented its own, fusing primitive agrarianism and modern technology in the name of Year Zero and the Angkar; also to think that they even depict a Cambodian as an industrial laborer if not a student who engage in technical and vocational education in pursuit of "reconstructing" a homeland torn by civil war. Obviously, despite its efforts, it turned out to be failures as Pol Pot himself wanted to present to the world how a "Communist" society would be.

Yet instead of a developed society that had undergone construction and development that had shown in those scenes, it was rather a stage reminiscent of Fritz Lang's Metropolis shown years ago. Quite nice to see workers laboring, students studying a vocational course on repairing telephone or electric lines, or people making medicines from herbal plants and the like, but their efforts had failed without the role of the intellectuals, effective and people-minded managers as most had been murdered for being described as "capitalists."

Again, Pol Pot simply made it out of ambition as to create a society without any transition. Obviusly, they had failed to understand Marxism nor looking at the lessons made by Lenin, Mao, Kim Il-Sung or even Ho Chi Minh in regards to their respective countries regardless of their presentations made by the Ministry of Information; to think that, using the idea of "reconstruction", Cambodia at that time was as if making its own "from scratch", literally "from scratch" as they mobilized the entire population, pushing them to undergo "Peasantization", and build more reservoirs, irrigation systems, grow rice, build some monumental buildings, yet neglected the entire urban zone as the Khmer Rouge, with its adventurism wanted anything to be "into the soil", "into the roots" like those of the ancient Angkor.

Quite strange so to speak the videoes as different from what the west had shown in regards to "Democratic Kampuchea." Yes, that Cambodians tried to develop but to think about the genocide that happened those times and the uber-idealistic ambitions of Pol Pot et al. had simply ruined the effort to construct the society compared to China in 1949, Vietnam in 1945, and others that, although difficult, had to endure just to rebuild and construct, improve and modernise the society. But still, Pol Pot chose to skip, do a "Super Great Leap Forward" that was, a failed attempt.
Good to see people cooperating, but sheer anti-intellectualism on the pretext of "just simply capitalist", "bourgeois", "imperialist" or any other rant against the educated, had negated its very own idea of development in a way forced evacuation and disregarding towns and cities had done. Yes, "Democratic Kampuchea", from 1975 to 1979, no matter how they attempted, was all but a stage as what presented by Fritz Lang or Sergei Eisenstein; but come to think of this: Pol Pot, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan do belong to the bourgeoisie! Again, it's their idealism, their misinterpretation of Marx, Lenin, or Mao's works made a terrible result that brought not just genocide, but also famine and disease as well. Come to think of this: thinking about a "Super great leap forward" rather than reconstructing a war-torn country same as disregarding then-existing technology as they favor entirely manual labor on the pretext of "cooperation."

However, on the other hand, would say that their presentation tends to show Kampuchea was a vast construction site, a camp where everyone ceaselessly working especially those who had dig deep and build more reservoirs, irrigation systems, grow rice, build some monumental buildings, thinking that "They are the lords of water and land" as what their propaganda says so in making those kinds of projects happen even to see a part wherein these Cambodians had to enter the factories, man the machinery and do sorts of labor as a contribution.

Especially that one scene featuring children studying how to repair electric or telephone wires, everything vocational rather than the typical one that studies arts and sciences, as well as making medicines out of existing chemicals whilst the rest been made of herbs in a factory compound. Yet, as for the latter, compared from the factory that making rubber tires, they mainly utilize manual labor (such as female workers chopping herbs in a wooden chopping board or grinding using a mortar and pestle) despite having existing machinery to create sufficient medicines in a country also ravaged by illnesses such as malaria and plague, otherwise they even tested it on animals such as a water buffalo.
Most of them would say haven't finished college to engage in the sciences, obviously they were being trained though by then existing chemists whom being "survived" just to train people, mainly peasant bred to get involve in a different profession city-bred people used to involve. It even reminds of a poor tailor that, with good hands, sharp eye, and willingness to study even the basics of the medicine profession, being trained by a professional doctor to become a barefoot surgeon.

So was the scene wherein workers making ships despite being made out of wood and propellers all made throgh manual labor. In fact, this writer may found it quite strange that they had to make propellers, old "blacksmith" style despite having existing factories making steel; they even apply putty to the wooden hulls by hand. And as for creation of softdrinks, seems that the Khmer Rouge themselves are drinking Mirinda that seemingly forgotten that Mirinda was Pepsis, and Pepsi belongs to the imperialists!

Anyways, their efforts showed how Cambodia, "Democratic Kampuchea", being a vast construction site of their own "Socialism", presents its own to show their side that includes machinery and modern stuff, or rather say being semiprimitive as to stress the countryside further; but come to think of this: how come they stress much on how to create dams, dig trenches by manual labor, quite nice though to speak about cooperation but their extreme disgust of those who study turned things worse.

After all,
to them it was all "nothing," like Pol Pot, it is neither gain nor loss to their un-pragmatic dream.