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Pol Pot & Cambodian Genocide

In ChandlerÆs (1999) Voices from S-21, a book recounting the firsthand experiences of prisoners of Pol PotÆs secret prison, the author illustrates the Khmer RougeÆs Party motto: ôOne hand is for production, the other is for beating the enemyö (41). Beliefs about human behavior determine how human beings act, both as individuals and as nations. In the world of human affairs, objective truth often matters far less than subjective perceptions. Behavior aimed at causing physical or psychological injury to an individual or group is known as aggression. Aggressive behavior refers primarily to human actions directed toward persons rather than physical objects. The question of intention in the aggressor is central, but intent is usually unknown to an external observer because it requires subjective knowledge of the aggressorÆs state of mind. In the case of the Khmer RougeÆs genocide of more than two million of their own Cambodian people, however, the aggressorÆs intentions were demonstrably political and social in nature.

According to William Pfaff (1998), the two million murders that ôPol Pot and his movement were responsible for in Cambodia were inspired by a desire to surpass in revolutionary zeal the Chinese cultural revolution, so as to cleanse Cambodia of a;; sorts of depraved cultures and social blemishesö (8). In other words Pol Pot created an idealized image of self while venting aggression toward a chosen ôotherö. Pol PotÆs Khmer Rouge aggressive behavior patterns were the product of a multidimensional set of interacting factors, involving family, peers, cultural institutions, and social affiliations.

Human aggression is not a cluster of behaviors that emerge fully-formed in the adult individual. Rather, aggressive behaviors are the result of complex developmental processes. In the case of the Cambodian genocide, aggression was drive-motivated with learning models reinforcing aggressive response. In Cam...

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Pol Pot & Cambodian Genocide. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:02, May 28, 2020, from