An Analysis of Pol Pot's Regime in Light of Machiavelli's the Prince
Submitted By kailamilos
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 view of politics, power, and society.
Back when Cambodia was still in Prince Sihanouk’s control, the country did little to intervene with the matters of the Vietnam civil war by giving favors on both sides. When Lon Nol took over, however, Cambodia suddenly became a part of the Vietnam battlegrounds. He allowed the American troops to bomb away suspected hideouts of South Vietnamese guerillas located in southern Cambodia, resulting bombings that took almost 750,000 lives (http://www.ppu.org.uk/genocide/g_cambodia.html). While these things were happening, the number of Khmer Rouge’s members was rapidly increasing.
Khmer Rouge’s leader, Pol Pot, was a great admirer of the Maoist communism and launched an extreme campaign of reconstructing Cambodia and eradicating the pollution that “Western Society” inflicted on them. In the Machiavellian point of view, he is a very laudable prince for he was able to gain and expand his power to hold the entire state of Cambodia in his hands. He gave us a glimpse on how to effectively activate the virtú of a leader in order to make both his subjects and soldiers obey his every command. All Pol...