The correct answer is to eliminate foreign influences and create a purely agrarian society.
The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, orchestrated one of the most devastating genocides of the 20th century, aiming to radically transform Cambodia into a classless, agrarian society.
This regime, in power from 1975 to 1979, was driven by an extreme version of Maoist and Marxist-Leninist ideologies, which advocated for a return to an agrarian way of life and the complete eradication of capitalism, Western culture, and city life.
The Khmer Rouge believed that the only way to achieve this utopian society was through a radical cleansing of the population, targeting anyone they perceived as an obstacle to their revolutionary goals.
The systematic killing under the Khmer Rouge was primarily fueled by the paranoia and utopian idealism of its leadership. They targeted not just the upper class but also intellectuals, professionals, and even those who exhibited signs of Western influence, such as speaking a foreign language or wearing glasses.
The regime’s definition of enemies was broad and indiscriminate, leading to the execution of people from all walks of life. The cities were emptied, and their inhabitants were forced into rural labor camps, where they were subjected to inhumane conditions, overwork, and executions.
The regime aimed to eliminate all traces of the “old society” – religion, property, and the traditional family structure were abolished, and education was halted.
The Khmer Rouge’s brutal tactics were not only aimed at individuals but also at dismantling social structures and institutions.
They sought to destroy traditional Cambodian society and replace it with a collectivist, agrarian community. The regime abolished money, free markets, and private property. They forced people into collective living arrangements and labor projects, often in harsh and inhospitable conditions.
The goal was to create a society where everyone worked as farmers or laborers, erasing centuries of cultural and social development.