Monday, January 11, 2010

An excellent piece on the dreadfulness of the Khmer Rouge

And what a great distillation of utopianism - its sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not.

An excellent piece on the dreadfulness of the Khmer Rouge.

Malcolm Caldwell, Noam Chomsky, the usual blind idiots. It’s all there.

Do read in full.

Near the end:
All of them claim ignorance of any wrong-doing. Perhaps the most galling example is a long letter of evasion and self-justification that Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot’s chief ideologue, wrote to Cambodian newspapers in 2001. “I do not see any importance in bringing up this tragic past. We would be better off to let everyone be at peace so that all of us can carry on our daily tasks… I tried my best for the sake of our nation’s survival, so that we might enjoy development and prosperity like other nations. I am so surprised that this turned out to be mass murder.”

In one form or another, this exculpation has been used over and again by the supporters of communist revolutions, from the Russian via the Chinese through to the Cambodian. Each new manifestation commanded the fervent advocacy of a new generation of radicals. Sooner or later the grim reality was revealed, which, paradoxically, only raised the hope that the next version would get it right. As the French philosopher Jean-Fran├žois Revel has remarked: “Utopia is not under the slightest obligation to produce results: its sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not.”

Somehow the link between Marxist-Leninist ideology and communist terror has never been firmly established in the way, for instance, that we understand Nazi ideology to have led inexorably to Auschwitz. As if to illustrate the point, earlier last year the ECCC announced that Helen Jarvis, its chief of public affairs, was to become head of the victims unit, responsible for dealing with the survivors, and relatives of the dead, of S-21.

Jarvis is an Australian academic with a longterm interest in the region, who was recently awarded Cambodian citizenship. She is also a member of the Leninist Party Faction in Australia. In 2006 she signed a party letter that included this passage: “We too are Marxists and believe that ‘the ends justify the means’. But for the means to be justifiable, the ends must also be held to account. In time of revolution and civil war, the most extreme measures will sometimes become necessary and justified. Against the bourgeoisie and their state agencies we don’t respect their laws and their fake moral principles.”
Jeepers.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

4 comments:

mumbles said...

Candidate for the Sydney Peace Prize, no doubt.

Garth Godsman said...

Oh no, don't say that. You know how close to the truth it is! ;)

Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

Anonymous said...

You have tested it and writing form your personal experience or you find some information online?