《A History of Cambodia》的笔记-第148页
- 章节名：The Early Stages of the French Protectorate
- 页码：第148页 2018-04-04 16:43:13
Norodom, like millions of people of his generation, was born in a village and died in a semimodern city, graced at the time of his death with electricity and running water. The modernization of the edges and surfaces of his kingdom, however, spread very slowly, partly because communications inside Cambodia remained so poor, partly because monks, royalty, and officials – i.e., the people held in most respect – resisted institutional change, and partly because the ‘modernizing’ segment of the society was dominated by the French, aided by immigrants from China and Vietnam. The ‘modernizers,’ interestingly, thought in Indochinese terms, or perhaps in capitalist ones, while members of traditional elite saw no reason to widen their intellectual horizons or tinker with their beliefs.Norodom’s death, nonetheless, was a watershed in French involvement and in Cambodian kingship as an institution, as the next three kings of the country were handpicked by the French. Until 1953, except for a few months in the summer of 1945, Cambodian officials of high rank played a subordinate, ceremonial role, and those at lower levels of the administration were underpaid servants of a colonial power. At no point in the chain of command was initiative rewarded. While Norodom lived, the French encountered obstacles to their plans. After 1904, with some exceptions, Cambodia became a relatively efficient revenue-producing machine.The change over the long term, easy to see from our perspective, was not immediately perceptible in the sruk, where French officials found old habits of patronage, dependence, violence, fatalism, and corruption largely unchanged from year to year. Offices were still for sale, tax rolls were falsified, rice harvests were underestimated. Credulous people were still ready to follow sorcerers and mountebanks. As late as 1925, in Stung Treng, an ex-monk gathered a following by claiming to possess a ‘golden frog with a human voice’; banditry was widespread; and there were frequent famines and epidemics of malaria and cholera. The contrast between the capital and the sruk, therefore, sharpened in the early twentieth century, without apparently producing audible resentment in the sruk, even though peasants in the long run paid with their labor and their rice for all the improvements in Phnom Penh and for the high salaries enjoyed by French officials, fueling the resentment of anti-French guerrillas in the early 1950s and Communist cadres later on. AOM, 3 E-10 (2), second trimester report from Stung Treng, 1923.
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