Revolution gives ordinary people the false belief that they can remake not just themselves, their country, and the whole wide world but human nature itself. That such grand designs always fail, that human nature is immutable, that everyone’s idea of perfection is different—these truths are all for a time forgotten. Those in the grip of righteousness saw an opportunity—no, the need—to weed the impure from their new and glorious garden.
The photo above comes from Roland Neveu’s series about the 1975 fall of Phnom Penh. How you wish the smiling soldiers in those images could have heeded Bowden’s words.