Abstract

Abstract:

Food access and food production played a number of roles in the Cambodian genocide and revolution. I argue that these roles were driven by two "logics" of destruction. The first, genocidal logic, saw food access used as a weapon to destroy so-called counterrevolutionary "enemies" defined right from the start as permanently outside of and hostile to the revolution. The second, revolutionary logic, was grounded in two key ideological principles: the insistence that observing the "correct line" and proper "revolutionary consciousness" and "action" could overcome all obstacles to collectivization and communist modernization; and the critical, yet impossible, requirement that all members of the new revolutionary community only act from all and for all while eschewing any form of what the Khmer Rouge decried as "individualism." These rigidly enforced principles gave rise to a negative feedback loop between the Khmer Rouge's unworkable collectivist agricultural policy, policy failure, and an ever-increasing search for enemies supposedly threatening the survival of the Party and the revolution itself.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2291-1847
Print ISSN
2291-1855
Pages
pp. 68-86
Launched on MUSE
2017-12-23
Open Access
No
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