Essay on The Pol Pot Rule of Cambodia

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The Pol Pot Rule of Cambodia

"The worst blow fell in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge (red Khmer) guerrillas under the leadership of Pol Pot overthrew the Khmer Republic and established Democratic Kampuchea."
The Khmer Rouge were, at least partially, a reaction to the loss of political power and the social disorder brought on by the regional wars of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as an extreme and localized response to the growing question of Khmer identity in a region dominated and fought over by world powers.
Shortly after its independence in 1954, Cambodia felt the pull of the superpowers. The U.S., China, and Vietnam already had significant interests in the country, but Sihanouk, Cambodia's king, maintained control and declared
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Khmer culture tends toward respect and fear of authority. Khmers view the country as one large family, with the monarchy as chief elders. During their rule, KR officers in the villages simply replaced traditional authorities, and received the traditional public obedience designed for survival.
Historically, Cambodia's Khmer Empire was seen as a glorious past and a model for the future, emphasizing the ability of ordinary people to accomplish huge tasks through sheer will. Nationalism and racism have also long marked Cambodian politics.
As the religion of over 90% of the population, Buddhism is extremely important in Khmer society. Khmer Buddhism is marked by anti-individualism and egalitarianism, as well as stress on internal self-purification, self-denial and anti-materialism. The wide spread belief in reincarnation may also have brought such a devaluation of life, which may explain the historically high levels of rural violence in Cambodia.
Finally, one more internal situation to consider is the effect of a rapidly spreading world economy on a developing country. An urban-rural split in the 1960s Cambodia, was a consequence of joining the global market. As the urban economy developed, an urban aristocracy emerged which was tied to the cities and disconnected from the peasants.
Little is known about Pol Pot. He is one of the most mysterious and secretive leaders in world history. His real name was Saloth Sar. He was born sometime between 1925 and