Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Marxist-Leninist Party

The lesson of the Kampuchean tragedy: The peasant revolutionary movement needs the leadership of the proletariat

First Published:The Workers’ Advocate Vol. 15, No. 3, March 1, 1985.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Today the situation in Kampuchea is again in the news. There have been major events in the war there between, on the one side, Viet Nam and its client Kampuchean regime and, on the other side, the Kampuchean opposition backed by the U.S., China and southeast Asian capitalist reaction. As well, the movie The Killing Fields is being heavily promoted, which purports to tell the story of what happened in Kampuchea during the Pol Pot regime.

This article is the first of several articles that The Workers’ Advocate plans to carry on the subject of what has been happening in Kampuchea (Cambodia). In this issue, we begin by analyzing Kampuchea under the Pol Pot regime.

Our analysis will center on several facts.

The standard bourgeois picture that this period was simply an endless hell, a period of continuous and mindless executions, is a bourgeois fantasy. It has been deliberately cooked up to obscure the real events, and it is bolstered through being repeated time after time. The bourgeoisie has good reason to lie about this, because just as many or perhaps more Kampucheans died from imperialist intervention during Nixon’s war of the early as in the Pol Pot period, and what is more, the devastation wrought on the country by that war was one of the main factors responsible for the deaths by starvation and disease (numerically the largest number of deaths) in the Pol Pot period.

The tragedy of the Pol Pot period was real enough without having to be exaggerated many times over by bourgeois lies and malice. It was a political tragedy whereby the strategy and tactics of the Khmer Rouge, despite their heroic victory over U.S. imperialism and the local Lon Nol reactionaries, proved incapable of governing the country and providing revolutionary change. It was an economic tragedy whereby the new regime couldn’t deal with the devastation imperialism imposed on the country, and, lacking outside economic aid, massive suffering resulted. And the excesses of the regime also exacted a heavy toll.

The Pol Pot regime and the Khmer Rouge were not a communist movement, despite their claims, but a peasant revolutionary movement. This is clear from an examination of their strategy and tactics, from their disdain for cities, from their romanticized picture of the peasantry and lack of concern with the working class. Although they didn’t talk much about their ideology, from their actions it is possible to get an overall view of their outlook and guiding ideas.

The lesson of the Pol Pot period is that while peasant revolutionary movements can display a great deal of valor and revolutionary energy, nevertheless they cannot achieve their goal of liberation without being linked up with a more organized, more disciplined class, a class representing modern large-scale production, the proletariat and its communist movement. The tragedy of Pol Pot, while having its particular features, is in essence not something peculiar to Cambodia. It is the general tragedy of the peasant revolutionary movement.

Right from the start, Marx and Engels pointed out this aspect of peasant revolutionary movements. From Engels’ brilliant work The Peasant War in Germany to the teachings of Lenin, the communists have always 1) regarded the revolutionary energy of the peasantry with enthusiasm and paid close attention to the peasantry, and 2) taught that the peasantry required the leadership of the working class and its scientific socialist ideology in order to achieve its emancipation. Peasant revolutionary movements are still an important factor in the world. And the Kampuchean events prove the absolute importance of the Marxist-Leninist lesson on how to properly channel the energies of such movements so that the sacrifice and heroism of the poor and working peasants is not in vain but contributes to the emancipation of the toilers.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, the peoples of Viet Nam, Kampuchea and Laos fought titanic struggles against U.S. imperialism and the local reactionary regimes. These struggles defeated the war machine of U.S. imperialism, struck major blows at the local exploiters, and were an inspiration to the oppressed masses everywhere.

But unfortunately the bright future which the masses of Indochina and their supporters worldwide had hoped for did not materialize. The region has continued to be gripped by crisis, poverty and war. The people of Kampuchea have faced an especially difficult situation. First they went through the ravages of Pol Pot’s regime and today they are caught in the midst of an unpopular war.

Over the years a great deal of confusion has been created over the fate of Kampuchea. This is particularly true of the Pol Pot years. The events in that country have been used to provide grist to the mill of a vicious campaign to malign revolution and communism. This has had a depressing effect on the revolutionary movement in many places.

Right-wingers are fond of using Pol Pot’s reign to suggest that the U.S. imperialist cause in Indochina was just after all. They say, doesn’t it prove the correctness of the U.S. claim that the alternative to U.S. intervention was going to be a terrible bloodbath? Meanwhile, some capitalist liberals will admit that the destruction caused by U.S. policy was partially behind the Kampuchean tragedy, but they too echo the anti-communist propaganda campaign.

Moreover, there are the Vietnamese revisionists and their international supporters, such as those in the pro-Soviet revisionist and Trotskyist groups in the U.S., who echo the basic themes of the imperialist campaign about Kampuchea. They agree with the picture of Kampuchea painted by the imperialists and point the blame at what they call ultra-leftism, which they identify with the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist stand of opposition to Soviet revisionism. (There are also a few remnants of Maoism who find ways to apologize for the Pol Pot regime and support the current U.S.-China backed war against Vietnamese occupation; but that is a different story.)

This year the reactionary campaign is focused on the release of the film The Killing Fields that has been nominated for the Academy Awards. This film is being showered with praise, not just from the pages of The New York Times, but also from such journals as the pro-Soviet CPUSA paper Daily World, the opportunist Guardian, and Frontline, journal of the rabidly pro-Soviet sect headed up by Irwin Silber.

We do not plan to review the film here. Suffice it to note that it is a depiction of Kampuchea from the liberal imperialist viewpoint. While showing a bit of the destructive character of Nixon’s policy towards Kampuchea, the film mainly serves to bolster the campaign that denigrates revolution.

It is important to combat this dirty campaign which has allied imperialism and pro-Soviet revisionism. This requires that it be clarified what were the actual forces involved in Kampuchea, what happened and why. This is useful to cut through the enormous cloud of mystification and confusion created about Kampuchea.

What About the Standard Picture Painted of the Pol Pot Regime?

There is a standard picture painted by the capitalists and pro-Soviet revisionists about the Pol Pot years. This is typified by The Killing Fields. This standard picture claims that Kampuchea was under the rule of insanity where two to three million people died of starvation and terror. It claims that there was a policy of extermination of all intellectuals; that medicine, education, the family, etc. were destroyed. And it also claims that everything was based on irrationality, without basis in any sort of judgements about economic or political necessity.

Now it is quite true that Pol Pot brought disaster to Kampuchea; many brutal and strange things did happen during that time. But the problem with the standard picture is that it is not true. It is an absurdly exaggerated and simplified view. And there is a reason behind this distortion promoted by the imperialists, the remnants of the old Kampuchean exploiters, and the Vietnamese revisionists. It is to turn the Kampuchean question into something that should be judged through simply emotional blinders. In effect it means casting fidelity to truth aside in order to grind one ideological axe or another. In this case, it is used to malign “communism” or “ultra-leftism”.

In fact, what happened under Pol Pot is far more complex. From afar, although it is not possible to know the full story, it is still possible to get a closer approximation to the truth than that depicted in the standard picture. The truth of course hardly exonerates Pol Pot but it does help to draw lessons to defend and strengthen the revolutionary movement.

There are reams and reams of literature which purport to describe what happened in Kampuchea. A great deal of it comes from the imperialist reactionaries. Of course, progressive people naturally have little stomach to listen to the writers of Reader’s Digest pontificate about the brutalities of the Pol Pot, years when they whitewash the incredible savagery of U.S. intervention which dropped half a million tons of bombs on Kampuchea. So at first glimpse literature from liberal or revisionist circles appears to be more credible. But in fact the great bulk of this literature merely echoes the views of the reactionaries.

However, among the published literature there are exceptions. In particular, there is a recent book which comes as a refreshing contrast to the standard propaganda literature. This is of course not the definitive study of Kampuchea which explains everything; and when this author tries to expound on revolutionary theory, he shows that he doesn’t know what Marxism-Leninism really is. But despite its limitations, it contains a wealth of facts and exposures which would be of interest to those who are interested in recent Kampuchean history.

The book in question is Cambodia 1975-1982 by Michael Vickery (South End Press, 1984). Vickery appears to be a liberal historian who has many years of interest and association with Kampuchea. His present political sympathies regarding that country lie with the Vietnamese-backed Heng Samrin regime. We do not agree with this stand of Vickery’s nor do we share his liberal opinions which are found in many places in his study. However, in contrast to, the apologists for Vietnamese revisionism that are found in the left, Vickery appears to have an interest in looking into the facts of what has been happening in Kampuchea.

Vickery has examined the literature that has been written on contemporary Kampuchea; he has closely examined the accounts of the refugees which this literature is mainly based on; he has interviewed refugees in the Thai camps as well as paid a brief visit to post-Pol Pot Kampuchea. From this Vickery provides an assessment of the Pol Pot years that is probably the best researched one available so far and he also provides important clues to understand something of the character of the movement that was represented by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge.

The first task that Vickery undertakes is to examine what he calls the Standard Total View of Pol Pot’s Kampuchea. In passing, we may note that Vickery also cuts through the distortions promoted in the Standard Total View of Kampuchea today under the rule of the Vietnamese- backed regime. Through a detailed examination of the reports of refugees and the general literature, Vickery points to the holes and contradictions in these reports. Vickery also exposes evidence showing that a deliberate campaign has been mounted by the mainstream capitalist press to provide a distorted view of Kampuchean history.

Vickery helps to expose the class bias that pervades the literature which is based on accounts from the Kampuchean refugees. This is an important thing to keep in mind. These accounts are mainly from elements of the upper strata, or at best the urban petty-bourgeoisie, and they look at events in Kampuchea through the biased spectacles of these strata. Thus when many of these sources tell heart-wrenching tales of the forced labor and hardships they underwent, they show no appreciation, for example, of the terrible conditions that the Kampuchean peasantry had long faced, including during the barbaric U.S.-backed war. There is an interesting anecdote about a Kampuchean refugee who found upon his emigration that normal factory discipline in the West was more taxing than forced labor in the Kampuchean countryside.

In his critique, Vickery points to interesting observations. Among other things, he reveals that there was a difference in what happened in Kampuchea during different phases of the four years of Pol Pot rule. During 1975- 76, the Pol Pot regime did launch many of its peculiar policies, but there is little evidence to back up anything of the standard picture of Kampuchea as hell on earth. True, there were reprisals against elements of the old regime, but we can hardly shed tears for the criminals of the Lon Nol regime who committed barbaric atrocities against the masses. It is also true that the policy of retribution was applied unevenly and there were harsh mistakes which went beyond what was just; but while these were unfortunate, it is not hard to see how such things may happen in a country torn up by brutal war.

Meanwhile, the later period of Khmer Rouge rule, 1977-78, appears to have been worse, although it too does not back up all the gory details of the standard picture. In this period, the policies of the regime were leading towards disaster and it alienated even the peasant base of the movement. There were revolts, heavy repression, and major fights within the ranks of the Khmer Rouge itself; and it was in these that some of the worst terror took place. In this situation, there also appear to have been more unjust and harsh acts carried out.

Vickery also points out that it is not true that everything in Kampuchea, in all places, was the same. The situation appears to have varied across the country. There were “good” and “bad” places all over the country, reflecting different local economic and political conditions, local policies of a factionalized political movement, and so forth. Even these observations are an indictment of the stand which sees Kampuchea during those years as simply one uniform chamber of horrors.

It may be noted that one of the key elements of the standard picture of Pol Pot’s Kampuchea is the claim that two to three million people died in that period, including hundreds of thousands of executions. Vickery is one of several sources who have exposed the absurd wildness of this charge. The bourgeoisie makes its fantastic claims because it wants to obscure the facts that the U.S. intervention wreaked a terrible death toll and the devastation of the war was itself a major factor for the large number of deaths during the Pol Pot period that were due to starvation and disease. The Kampuchean tragedy was not that it was one huge execution chamber but it was a political and economic tragedy, which included the fiasco of the new regime’s policies.

As can be seen, Vickery does not dispute that many brutal things went on in Kampuchea, especially in the latter years. And he does not dispute that Pol Pot’s rule was a disaster. But he also offers a number of important observations which set the social context for the practices of the Pol Pot regime and which show the social and class basis of the Khmer Rouge movement.

He points out that despite verbal declarations of loyalty to Marxism-Leninism by the Pol Pot leadership, the Kampuchean revolutionary movement did not represent a Marxist or proletarian movement of any sort but a peasant-populist movement. In his view, the practices of the Khmer Rouge regime are those of such a movement which emerged victorious within the specific conditions of Kampuchean society and in the aftermath of a horribly destructive, war. Although Vickery’s conception of what Marxism-Leninism is is wrong (he lumps different varieties of revisionism in the Marxist-Leninist and socialist camp) – he is nevertheless right in pointing to many of the non-Marxist and anti-Marxist conceptions of the Pol Pot movement. Thus Vickery does provide important clues to understanding the Pol Pot phenomenon.

The Khmer Rouge – A Peasant-Populist Movement

The conclusion that the Khmer Rouge was in essence a peasant revolutionary movement is supported by a good deal of evidence beyond what Vickery presents in his book. In this section of this article, we present our analysis of the basic character of the Khmer Rouge movement. Facts supplied by Vickery’s work have been useful in confirming this analysis but it should be noted that this analysis is not simply based on Vickery’s conclusions.

The conclusion that the Khmer Rouge was essentially a peasant revolutionary movement is of course a most generalized description of a complex political movement. In fact, the Khmer Rouge has its foundations in two major social currents. The bulk of the central leadership of this movement – Pol Pot, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, etc – have their origins as a petty bourgeois nationalist current which sprang up among intellectuals, many of whom studied in France in the 1950’s. Although they took on Marxist-Leninist labels – the claim is that they founded a “Communist Party of Kampuchea” in 1960 although it was not declared publicly until 1977 – they were not Marxist-Leninists but a radical current that was attracted to Marxism. This current linked up with the ferment welling up in the Kampuchean peasantry, which during the 1970-75 war, provided the actual force of the movement and had a deep imprint on its ideology and politics.

This movement, commonly known as the Khmer Rouge, was the product of a particular society with its distinct social and historical traditions. Kampuchea was heavily an agrarian society with an urban sector centered in Phnom Penh that was particularly parasitic. There was a very small industrial working class. The peasantry was poor and debt- ridden. A wide gulf separated the countryside and the city. Kampuchea was also a heavily oppressed nation which had suffered oppression, in precolonial times from feudal kings of Vietnam and Thailand, over the last century from French colonialism, and in the 50’s and 60’s from U.S. imperialism.

The Khmer Rouge began to organize among the peasantry mainly in the 1960’s; they linked up with agrarian ferment and veterans from the nationalist movement against the French. But the scope of the agrarian movement remained limited. It was the liberation war against the U.S.-backed Lon Nol regime that gave them their broad base among the peasant masses. The war had enormous influence on the movement. It cannot be forgotten that the destruction caused by the war was tremendous; between half to one million perished in that war and vast regions of the land were devastated. The war not only successfully channeled the latent energy among the peasant masses into the liberation struggle but the vast wave of new forces from among the peasantry had deep imprints on the politics and ideology of the movement.

It was not that this peasant wave swamped the petty-bourgeois core of the Khmer Rouge; the Pol Pot leadership already had developed ideas glorifying peasant ideology. They operated on theories which saw the peasantry as vanguard of the revolution and promoted worship of the spontaneity of the peasant masses. While this had indigenous roots of their own, it is also clear that some of these ideas bore the influence of Maoism from China. It may be noted that Vickery underestimates the role of ideological influences from Chinese Maoism on the Khmer Rouge. His approach on this is quite simplistic since he tries to base it on direct comparisons between the policies of the Chinese party after liberation or during the Cultural Revolution. But it is not a secret in the revolutionary movement that in the 1960’s the Maoist leadership in China promoted peasant-populist ideas widely.

Furthermore, Pol Pot’s movement after it took power does seem to be stamped by policies that smack of extreme peasant-ism.

There is the famous evacuation of the entire urban population from the cities. Now the imperialist-sponsored stories about the brutality of this evacuation are not based on fact; Vickery’s study presents a convincing case against these stories. Neither does the evacuation result from insanity. Whether one agrees with them or not, the Khmer Rouge appears to have taken their decision based on what they felt to be acute necessities in the immediate post-war situation. They appear to have based their policy, at least in part, on the fear that the U.S. imperialists may bomb Phnom Penh in revenge (this cannot be said to have been a groundless fear given the massive B-52 bombings during the war), or the fear that given the acute food situation in the country they would not be able to feed the huge urban population, and on the fear that they could not defend the new regime from centers of subversion that had been created in the cities. None of these fears could have been said to be absurd at the time. At the same time, we must note that this was not a Marxist-Leninist policy considering, among other things, that it was strongly biased against the urban population, including the urban workers.

Connected to the evacuation was the policy to relocate the urban population in the countryside. The Khmer Rouge did not simply plan the evacuation from the cities as an emergency act. They actually believed in transforming the urban population into peasants or at least remoulding them in the image of the peasantry. At the same time, it is not clear that the central leadership meant the relocation to be permanent for everyone. These policies were also not class policies directed against the bourgeoisie but against the entire urban population. In practice, they treated urban workers no differently than the bourgeoisie.

The Khmer Rouge also had numerous voluntarist views on building up agriculture. They did have certain prejudices against industry although the stories of a complete destruction of all industry are exaggerated. The voluntarism was based on utopian-nationalist views which glorified the peasantry. They glorified the historical traditions from the Angkor empire of the feudal past. But in these policies, they ignored science or the limits of objective factors and their voluntarism ultimately collapsed in disaster, as they turned to squeezing the rural population heavily in order to prepare for war.

In this regard, it is important to note that the movement was extremely nationalist to the point of chauvinism. Despite their Marxist-Leninist phrases, the pronouncements of the Khmer Rouge were marked by the absence of even much lip service about internationalism. Internally they promoted an extreme Kampuchean nationalism. For example, in the rules for their new society, their “class analysis” placed both capitalists and national minorities in one category of “depositees.” Although their official pronouncements did not show it, there seems to be some evidence that they inculcated positions of seeking a “Greater Kampuchea,” with the dream of recovering Kampuchea Krom, the one-time Kampuchean territories which have been part of south Vietnam for some time now.

In the social sphere, there were social codes which sought to enforce an extreme puritanical regimen. This is hardly a sign of “communism” or “ultra-leftism”; rather it smacks of idealizing peasant conservatism.

Their political-organizational conceptions were also strange. As has been noted, the “Communist Party” was kept secret until 1977. Until then, everything was done in the name of a mysterious Angka – The Organization, whose character was not explained to the masses. This of course has nothing connected to the Marxist traditions of the proletarian movement. Marxism-Leninism promotes a party concept actively among the masses; far from hiding the existence of the party Marxist-Leninists lay a great deal of stress on training the proletariat to build up its own class political party.

The brief survey here shows that the policies of the Pol Pot movement were alien to Marxism-Leninism. They were policies with a peasant populist flavor. But the peculiarity of these policies do not provide evidence for the standard view promoted about Pol Pot’s Kampuchea. There was glorification of the peasantry and agriculture, but there do not appear to be general policies of elimination of all industry, medicine, intellectuals, etc. Perhaps this is because the movement was more complex than being merely a peasant movement. Of course the practices of the movement were not just a direct outcome of all their policies; undoubtedly their policies fed into the committing of harsh acts which went beyond even their own policies.

History has shown that the Pol Pot movement ended up in disaster. The disaster of Pol Pot’s rule is due, in the final analysis, of course not just to the excesses but also the basic policies of this movement.

It is a very difficult task for a peasant movement to organize to take power.

The Khmer Rouge appears to be an exception that succeeded. But a class such as the peasantry faces even greater impossibilities consolidating power. Either the state power must be based on alliance with a more advanced class such as the urban proletariat or else it must give way to a regime based upon exploiting classes or else it will collapse.

A utopian policy based on alienating the urban population as a whole cannot lead to a stable regime. The Pol Pot movement attempted at one stage to turn everyone into peasants. It failed to make a serious differentiation of the urban population in terms of which strata to isolate, neutralize and win over. Neither did it seek to forge an alliance with the urban working class, small as it was, nor did it initially seek to win the support or neutrality of some urban petty-bourgeois strata.

Meanwhile, its utopian voluntarist agricultural policies and its nationalist drive to build up economic: strength for war ended up squeezing the peasantry, its own base. Nationalist appeals to produce for the sake of fighting the foreign threat (Vietnam) could not overcome this. And these nationalist appeals combined with an attempt to seek alliances with the old urban upper classes came too late. In the latter period, although there were major instances of terror against revolting sections of the population including factions of the regime itself, the Pol Pot regime does appear to have moved in the direction of a relaxation of its policies against the urban “old” people. If it had survived, the Pol Pot regime would have probably evolved in the direction of a more ordinary bourgeois regime, but the system had generated too many contradictions. It could not stand up in the face of the 1979 Vietnamese invasion.

The revisionists are fond of claiming that the Pol Pot movement was an ultra-left trend. Of course it did have certain leftist features, based upon the fact that it was in essence a peasant revolutionary trend. But the movement was by no means a consistent trend. It was unstable-and vacillating, features which are inevitable given its peasant petty-bourgeois character. It may just be noted that in the 1960’s, the Pol Pot forces were not all that leftist. They worked in Sihanouk’s structures and flirted with him in the name of uniting with the progressive national bourgeoisie. And as we noted above, even in the years of their rule, they turned in 1977-78 to nationalist appeals across class lines and were heading in the direction of a bourgeois regime. And in the wake of their defeat, they have openly renounced even lip service to socialism or communism and thrown in their lot with the CIA, the Thai reaction, remnants of the old exploiting regimes of Kampuchea, etc.

This was an unfortunate culmination. The peasants of Kampuchea had fought hard and valiantly. But because of the ideological limitations of the Khmer Rouge movement, the fruits of this toil and struggle were wiped out.

Some General Lessons

Clearly then, the Khmer Rouge movement was not the result of the flowering of some dark insanity which had long been lurking within the Kampuchean countryside. Neither is it the product of “revolutionary French Marxism” or the “anti-revisionist French left,” as Readers’ Digest types or Irwin Silber claim. No, it has actual social foundations.

It may be noted that this is not a unique phenomenon. Other peasant revolutionary movements have appeared historically, in this century in Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Latin America, etc. And they will continue to appear. They will not all of course have the same features. And many of them have taken on and will continue to take on Marxist-Leninist labels because it has great prestige as a revolutionary ideology. These peasant movements have important revolutionary potential. But their ideological horizons are also limited. They are not consistent revolutionary trends. Even if they come to power, they cannot bring liberation to the toilers.

The forward moving class, the only consistently revolutionary class, is the proletariat. It is the working class that can provide the foundations of true Marxist-Leninist movements. The proletarian movement recognizes the revolutionary energies of peasant radical movements; it strives to link up with them and to win them over to its side. At the same time, this means not submerging into the peasant movements and losing its independent class character. It means not making ideological accommodation obscuring the differences between Marxist-Leninist and non-proletarian ideologies. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 gave a powerful practical example of the Marxist proletariat forging a successful alliance with the revolutionary peasantry for the socialist revolution.

The fact that the Khmer Rouge got attracted to Marxism was a two edged thing. On one hand it showed the powerful attraction that Marxist-Leninist socialism had for petty-bourgeois and peasant revolutionaries. It also meant the unfortunate fate that the disaster of the Khmer Rouge got linked up with the name of Marxism-Leninism and socialism. Unfortunately many people in Kampuchea have been alienated from communism as a result. To clear up this confusion, the Kampuchean experience has to be clarified and the true ideas of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism spread.

The international revisionists must take a big share of the blame for the Kampuchean tragedy. When they looked to Marxism-Leninism, Kampuchean revolutionaries looked to those who called themselves, Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet Union, China, and Vietnam But this experience was not a helpful one. The Russian revisionists scorned them and promoted reformism and liberalism in the Kampuchea of the 60’s. The Chinese leadership built up links with the Kampucheans but promoted harmful Maoist influences. The Vietnamese leadership did develop links with them too and provided support to their struggle but they also promoted reformist views, tended to denigrate the Kampuchean revolution, and were not sensitive enough to national sentiments in Kampuchea.

It is not clear when Kampuchean society will generate new revolutionary forces again. The present regime in power, which is a liberal bourgeois regime, is letting capitalism loose, giving rise to social antagonisms. Sooner or later, the toilers will begin to struggle and organize once again for social revolution.

To support the growth of revolutionary forces in Kampuchea, and for that matter, all of Indochina, the revolutionary movement needs to defend and spread the truly liberating ideas of Marxism-Leninism and the October Revolution. The growth and strengthening of proletarian socialist movements built on truly Marxist-Leninist foundations worldwide, and especially in Asia, would be of immense importance in serving as a powerful pole of attraction for revolutionary forces that will inevitably arise again in Kampuchean society.