Between 1975 and 1979, the Communist Party of Kampuchea sought to establish a non-monetary and non-market economy. In the process, however, upwards of 1.7 million men, women, and children perished. This paper provides a critical evaluation of the CPK’s decision to eliminate money in its attempt to transform Cambodia’s pre-revolutionary economy into a communist mode of production. First, I provide some general remarks on Marx, money, and markets; the purpose here is to establish a common foundation for readers, in order to properly assess Khmer Rouge monetary policies with those of orthodox reading of Marxism. Second, I position CPK macro-economic policies within the context of the Non-Aligned Movement and revolutionary socialism, as these movements greatly informed economic policies in Democratic Kampuchea. Third, I comment upon the decision of senior CPK personnel on the elimination of money. Lastly, I evaluate the contradictions of CPK macro-economic policies, specifically, the suspension of money and markets domestically but the need to participate in the global economy in order to accumulate rapidly much needed capital for investment purposes. These contradictions, I conclude, established the structural context of the subsequent Cambodian genocide and the resulting famine that resulted in a massive loss of life.
Tyner, James A.
""Currency is a Most Poisonous Tool": State Capitalism, Nonmarket Socialism, and the Elimination of Money during the Cambodian Genocide,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol14/iss1/11
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