Chomsky and Pol Pot's genocidal regime in Cambodia

Pol Pot

Chomsky has repeatedly been criticised as an apologist for the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia in the 1970s. Understandably, a common reaction on the left is to dismiss such criticism as nothing more than a right-wing smear. But it is often forgotten that one of Chomsky's earliest critics on this issue was himself a leftist, the Marxist academic, Steven Lukes.

For anyone who wants to get a handle on this complex controversy, here's a pdf of the relevant chapter from Chomsky's 1979 book, 'After the Cataclysm', followed by the subsequent debate in the 'Times Higher Education Supplement':

Chapters 5-7 of 'After the Cataclysm' PDF26.82 MB
Chomsky / Lukes / Milliband / Shawcross Debate on CambodiaPDF1.31 MB

Posted By

Oct 22 2017 19:49


  • In writing as he does about the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, Chomsky betrays not only the responsibilities of intellectuals but himself.

    Steven Lukes