An Analysis of Pol Pot's Regime in Light of Machiavelli's the Prince

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It was the year of 1984 when the movie “The Killing Fields” shocked, bothered, and awed the world. The movie tells us of what happened in Cambodia during the time of the American-Vietnam war and the seizing of Cambodia’s government by the Khmer Rouge. It showed us the real scope of the disaster that fell upon the Cambodian government and society by using the experiences of three journalists namely: Dith Pran, Sydney Schanberg and Jon Swain. And though I would want to argue that there might have been certain events that were left untouched by this movie that could have lend us more valuable information about the Cambodian Genocide and the Khmer Rouge regime, I would leave that point be and focus on relating the movie to the Machiavellian…show more content…
Machiavelli is most famous for his statement that morals and ethics have absolutely no association to the process of gaining, expanding, and retaining power. In the Machiavellian concept, “Power is the end of politics, goodness thus coincides with efficiency; and inefficient means bad (Ebenstein, 2000: 286).” This film is filled to the brim with this kind of philosophy. Let’s take for example

the bombing of Cambodia in order to hunt down the Vietnamese guerillas. If we are to look at it in a moral perspective, the bombing is immoral and therefore condemnable; apply the Machiavellian philosophy and you’ll see the bombing in a different way. True, the number of casualties is regrettable, but then again the bombing is an efficient method to eradicate the guerillas without compromising the lives of American soldiers. Actually, even the act of “playing safe” of Prince Sihanouk by favoring both the Americans and the Vietnamese showcased the Machiavellian concept of political practicality for by doing so, Cambodia will remain neutral and answerable to neither of the two warring sides. The killings done by the Khmer Rouge was arguably extremely atrocious. These were rationalized by virtú because it was deemed necessary by the members of the organization. One scene that I remember vividly is when this particularly young member of the Khmer Rouge approached a farmer, examined his hands, took him away, and

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