Leader Hou Youn on the commercial system

We cam compare the establishment of commercial organization in the colonial period to a large spider's web covering all of Kampuchea. If we consider the peasants and the consumers as flies or mosquitoes which get trapped in the web, we can see that the peasats and the consumers are prey to the merchants, and the spider which spins the web. The commercial system, the selling and exchanging of agricultural production in our country, suppresses production and squeezes the rural areas dry and tasteless, permanently maintaining them in their poverty. What we habitually call "cities" or "market towns" are pumps which drain away the vitality of the rural areas. Any type of goods that the cities and the market towns provide for the rural areas are just bait. The large rural areas feed the cities and the market towns. The cities--the market towns with their fresh and up-to-date appearance--live at the expense of the rural areas--they ride on their shoulders.

Those who work the land, ploughing, harvesting, enduring the entire burden of nature, under the sun and in the rain, getting gnarled fingers and cracked skin on their hands and feet, receive only 26 percent as their share . . . whereas the others, who work in the shade, using nothing but their money, receive a share of up to 74 per cent . . . The rural areas are poor, skinny and miserable because of the commercial system which oppresses them. The tree grows in the rural areas, but the fruit goes to the towns.

Hou Youn, "La Paysannerie du Cambodge" ("The Cambodian Peasantry"). Paris: The Sorbonne, 1955.