Cercle Marxiste

Cercle Marxiste

The Cercle Marxiste or Marxist Circle was clandestine Khmer marxist organization that existed among Cambodian students based in Paris. It was heavily influenced by the French Communist Party.

This group would form the nexus of their beliefs whilst far away from the real conditions of Cambodia before returning home, taking over the parry and leafing the Khmer Rouge to victory.

Cercle Marxiste in Cambodia

Having retuned to Cambodia the members of the circle gradually attained positions of power. Often through patronage of other members. Pol Pot became leader in 1962 above the rough at the edges Nuon Chea, who felt the well educated and spoken Pol Pot would be more successful as the front of the party following the death of Tou Sanmouth.

Some have suggested not only that members of the Cercle Marxiste might have been responsible for his his murder, but that initially at least Nuon Chea was the real leader of the party.

Standing Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea

By the time of the formation of the Communist Party of Kampuchea that leadership would remain almost unchanged throughout the formation of Democratic Kampuchea and even to the last Khmer state namely The Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia (PGNUNSC).

Influence of the Cercle Marxiste

Of the standing committee members of the CPK or Brothers over half had been members of the Cercle Marxist, with it being well documented that the nexus of their beliefs had been forged in Paris.

The group were also responsible in part for the renaming of the party to the Workers Party of Kampuchea, but even more so in the move towards not just Maoism, but in pushing through the armed rebellion of the Khmer Rouge. And while one might argue that it was the overthrow of Sihanouk that eventually granted them power, it cannot be denied that this group did become the leaders of the country.