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Behind the News with Doug Henwood - January 23, 2014 at 12:00pm

Behind the News with Doug Henwood, for January 23, 2014 - 12:00pm

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Doug: I picked up on one

I picked up on one feature of the Cambodian political scene as reported by your guest Ann Elizabeth Moore.
There is an opposition party called the Cambodian National Rescue Party, headed by Sam Rainsi (?).
Ms. Moore reports that all they really want is power.
Hun Sen, the current prime minister can just order a crackdown and suddenly five protesters are killed and the violence is unleashed at the people.
I guess most people are horrified at such easy access to vicious violence by the government.
Yet, if the opposition party is successful, that same power to kill and terrorize people will simply be handed over to the new prime minister. The only check on that power will be a prayerful hope that the personality of the new PM will be a bit better or more humane.
This is a picture that applies across the board in all political campaigns in all capitalist countries.
To my mind, I have described a popular form of insanity. Why in the world would anyone protest and
vote in a new set of jailers and hand them the dungeons and the weapons?
We know by experience that except for some very unusual revolutions, the use of violence against
protestors is built into the sense of power that governments take on. Yet most revolutionaries seem incapable of thinking more deeply or further ahead.
Tom Paxton sings about how serfs build the dungeons for the King and then their brothers, parents and children fill them.
Why can't protesters simply insure that new governments do NOT have the power to order violence.
There are better ways to structure control over police and military but protesters seem utterly incapable of planning anything constructive, beyond installing some new personality.
It is very depressing.

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