What was the Super Great Leap Forward? If you are reading this then you have subscribed to YPT.life, which means you probably know ore than the average bear out our situation. As things currently stand a few of us have found ourselves living in Cambodia.
When you live in Cambodia it is impossible to to not realize that one of the most barbaric periods in history occurred in the country, namely the Killing Fields.
History 101 what was the Killing Fields?
I’d love to assume that anyone reading this will have at least idea on what the Killing Fields were, but in case you do not, a bunch of cats called the Khmer Rouge, led by a charismatic fellow known as Pol Pot took over Cambodia in 1975.
You can read about Mr Pot here.
The Khmer Rouge were technically of the communist persuasion, but in reality they were something very very different. Some have called them Agrarian Communists, but the reality was they were a mixture of extreme-nationalism coupled with a warped interpretation of extreme Maoism, which in itself says a lot, Maoism hardly being some walk in the park either.
When they took over the country it was renamed into Democratic Kampuchea, the cities were emptied and everyone was sent to the countryside to farm, mostly rice. The end result was 1/3 of the population either being executed, or dying of starvation and disease.
Crazier still people know very little about it when compared to say the Holocaust.
Were the Khmer Rouge Agrarian Socialists
This is where one of the biggest misconceptions about Pol Pot and the Communist Party of Kampuchea comes in. Yes they did see the peasants as the core of he revolution, much like Maoists, and yes they did hate anyone clever, which included killing people that wore glasses, but the truth is far more warped and stranger than the myth.
What was the Great Leap Forward
The Super Great Leap Forward takes its name from the Great Leap Forward of China. Basically if you add super to anything it makes it better, take the Super Bowl for instance, without it its just a bowl.
The Great Leap Forward was a Chinese plan to race to communism super fast by doing stupid stuff like killing sparrows and using furnaces to melt steel. Well the plan was a shit show, loads of people died and Mao almost lost power.
Now most sane people saw it as a failure, but not Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, they felt that they could add super to it and thus it would work better. Also Khmer people were the best people on earth, so any plan they had would succeed. Well fun fact, no, not at all.
So, the Super Great Leap Forward
And this is here the misconception comes into play. The Khmer Rouge emptied the cities and made everyone farmers, so history has assumed that was the long-term plan, basically turn back the clock to some Angkor Agrarian historical paradise land, but not that was not the plan.
The plan was the Super Great Leap Forward!
The Khmer Rouge and one of the most ridiculous heists in history
The basic premise to the Super Great Leap Forward involved some really bad planning and even worse math. The Khmer Rouge basically worked out roughly how much land the country had and decided that if they turned it all into rice paddy fields, whilst making their own irrigation systems everyone could farm for a couple of years and then they would basically sell the bumper crop for a huge profit, sell it and then buy a ton of top-notch machinery and achieve perfect communism in 4 years.
Sadly the Super Great Leap forward also meant doing everything else faster, such as killing perceived enemies of the state at places such as S-21.
You can read about S-21 here.
Did the Khmer Rouge achieve Communism in 4 years?
No they did not, they had their asses handed to them on a plate by a combined Vietnamese and Cambodian force. The Cambodians that helped overthrow the regime are still in power today, but that is a whole conversation for another time like when I live in a different country.
The Khmer Rouge failed to retain power for 4 years let alone attain communism. They did though end up as the western supported opposition throughout he 80’s, before retreating to their own little fiefdom in the 90’s in Anlong Veng.
You can read about Anlong Veng here.
To read about the last Khmer Rouge state click here.
The end of the Khmer Rouge
Pol Pot died in 1998 after show trial from his buddy Ta Mok, who himself was caught in 1999. A few elderly men eventually stood trial, but with so much blood on western governments hands it is no surprise that no one really likes to talk about the whole affair.
So, the Killing Fields were still bat-shit crazy, but to give the Khmer Rouge they did at least have a plan and that plan was the Super Great Leap Forward!