The Killing Fields

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In “The Killing Fields”, totalitarian rule is demonstrated countless times throughout the course of the movie. Totalitarian rule is a type of dictatorship where usually one person rules the state and strives to control every aspect of his or her citizen’s private and public life. The type of government that uses totalitarian rule is a dictatorship because totalitarian rulers take power by force and there is a single lone person in charge. Totalitarian leaders maintain their power by strong propaganda, censored media, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, use of secret police, no elections, and purging of government officials. It is easier to achieve and maintain totalitarian rule then a democratic rule because it’s faster to take over a state by force then having to deal with tedious and long elections of a democracy. In addition, in a democracy the president has to consult with the people and other government officials before making important decisions unlike in a totalitarian government where one main leader makes all the decisions himself without caring or compromising with anybody else’s opinions. Though some prime examples of historical totalitarian rulers were Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, this relentless form of government still exists today.

When the Khemer Rouge took over Cambodia, Pol Pot’s vision for the future was simple, cleanse and bring the country back to “year zero”. Pol Pot named his new country The Nation of Kampucha and began to get rid of any western influence, high education, art, journalism, and industry, which he strongly believed were poisoning the country. He chose to modify the country so that it was able to be self-dependent on agriculture, forcing Cambodians into the countryside to work on collective farms where the government would seize and distribute any food grown by them. There were various methods of totalitarianism revealed in the movie “The Killing Fields”. When the...
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