My dear Kacvey,

Did you laugh or did you have pity when you read this Phnom Penh Post’s piece dated 1 November 2016: Press unit seeks guidance from Russian state media?

To laugh, because the story is so outlandish, borderline with ridicule, clumsy and uncouth. To have pity, because the article tells that the people involved in the story seem to be at the level of a 5th-grader with zero knowledge of world history or politics, or even a cursory acquaintance of what is “revolution”, “color revolution”, “news” or “information.” Francis Bacon, once said: “Knowledge is power”, and consequently, without knowledge how could they pretend to do things that they don’t even know what they are talking about!

So, in short, they are seeking advice from Russia because “Russia has many years of experience of successfully preventing color revolution.” So shallow!

Although this short sentence could give rise to a number of assertions and presuppositions, would those who seek guidance from Russia know that:
– Lenin succeeded in leading the Russian Revolution in October 1917, and the Communist Party was created in March 1918;
– The USSR was established in 1922;
– Gorbachev started his policy reform (glasnost) in 1980 and became the General Secretary of Politburo in 1985;
– The USSR was dissolved in 1991, followed by the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (14 countries of Ex-USSR), and
– Full blown revolutions and the abandonment of Communism took place in Eastern Europe between 1989 and 1991.

Russia was a country that created revolution, lived through revolution, made new revolution within revolution and outlived revolutions to become an authoritarian country. Both Russian revolutions (communist and glasnost) started with “philosophy and idea”, and not with “guns and tanks.” It ensued that neither the Tzarism of Nicolas II nor the Brezhnev-era authoritarianism could prevent the 1917 and 1985 revolutions to happen.

In a nutshell, where is the logic that Russia could give guidance on preventing revolution, itself being a revolution maker? Unless, “they” have a total confusion between “revolution” in historic term of 1917 and 1985 and the current state of repression in nowadays Russia.

The Russian example is not unique in the history of revolution. The Chinese revolution that started during the declining years of the Qing dynasty (清) were also based on “philosophy and idea”. In the anti-Qing rebellion/revolution (反清), history teaches about 5 dominant movements:
– The 1851-1864 Taiping Rebellion (太平天国运动) animated by Hong Xiuquan (洪秀全);
– The Furen Literary Society (辅仁文社) animated by Yeung Ku-wan (杨衢云) and Tse Tsan-tai (谢赞泰);
– The Revive China Society (兴中会) founded by Sun Yat-sen (孙中山) in 1894;
– The Tongmenghui (同盟会) founded in 1905 by Sun Yat-sen (孙中山) and Song Jiaoren (宋教仁),and
– The Xinhai Revolution (辛亥革命) of 1911 that finally led to the end of the 2000 years of imperial rule and the creation of the Republic of China.

So, what can historical revolutionary Russia and China tell the autocracy? It can tell that no matter how much it uses forces to prevent or to quash revolution, color or otherwise, it will never be able to quash the “philosophy, idea and sentiment” that oppressed and repressed people have brewed in their heart and mind. Physical revolution can be bloody – Pol Pot and his KRs had done it to the Khmer people, and the ex-KR still continues likewise – but intellectual revolution is limitless, both in term of horizon and strength; in other words, a “colorless” revolution, similar to the original revolutions both in Russia and China!

Victor Hugo summarized: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.”

And “that right” belongs to Khmer people.

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