Recently the book I Am Pol Pot was discussed on a forum called RevLeft.com. The site appears open to anyone who is a revolutionary leftist from Troskyists, to Stalinists, to Anarchists. That’s quite a range, so it’s not surprising to get a wide range of opinions on the book. Naturally I thought I would air and discuss some comments made there.
The Thread starts out with a comment about a person interested in the book.
A post by someone calling themselves scarletghoul said:
“This fresh and intriguing book seems pretty cool, and I'm hoping to get a copy when I can find it at a lower price.”
It is a little cheaper now that I have posted some books below the usual price. At Amazon, I Am Pol Pot is $16.95.
Later someone calling themselves MilitantAnarchist said:
“I guess it would be good to use for starting a bonfire, that is the only use i can see for it, i used Mein Kampf for the same thing.
P.S Fuck Pol Pot”
Burn books? It is anti-intellectual statements as this that help me understand why so many Marxist don’t like anarchists. I use Mein Kampf as a reference book and I try to read all I can. The book, I Am Pol Pot is intended to enlighten people of what really happened as opposed to the barrage of right-wing propaganda and misinformation. Pol Pot has been used as a poster boy for the right, trying to claim this is the ultimate communist objective. My book tries to dispel that myth. While it is a more balanced look at Democratic Kampuchea, it still portrays the revolution as a mistake and does not glorify it. So just burning it shows a mindless urge to be ignorant.
Another person calling him or herself Dimentio
“I have heard somewhere that Pol Pot had been a disciple of Sartre.”
Again MilitantAnarchist said:
“Nationalism isnt exactly the worst thing about Pol Pot really... Wanting a nation to be peasants with no intellectuals, and wipeing out the disabled, and the whole racism thing... oh yea and the 2million he killed....
Sounds familiar dont it?”
If these people read the book they would realize that the policies of Democratic Kampuchea were not influenced by Jean-Paul Sartre and they were not anti-intellectual.
Then Arizona Bay said:
“I would say they're nationalist primitivists because they wanted to return to a feudalistic stage in Cambodian history, and the persecutions other comrades have mentioned. And Pol Pot's patriotic obsession with the Angkor Wat.”
Again, this is both bourgeois and trostyist propaganda that is simply not correct. Pol Pot was anti-feudalist. Primitivism could mean anything. That is up to interpretation. They were nationalistic, but they were not feudalist.
My book refers to their own documents and things they actually said as opposed to just mouthing the same right-wing propaganda used by Rush Limbaugh and his ditto heads.