Chapter

Peasants and Revolution

Eric R. Wolf

in Pathways of Power

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520223332
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924871 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520223332.003.0017
Peasants and Revolution

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The two sectors of society and economy confront each other: the sector of advanced industrial plants or factories in the field, and the sector of peasant holdings and artisan activity. This contrast exists on a world scale: between industrial and agricultural countries in each hemisphere; between neighboring countries on each continent; and within countries themselves. The nature of the relation between the two sectors is the key political problem; the search for an adequate resolution of the dichotomy, the central problem of the social sciences. The process of revolution involves not merely organizational changes but also changes in the perception and understanding of the world one inhabits. Marxism possesses a model which renders understandable the asymmetrical relation between developed and backward sectors as an asymmetrical relation between exploiters and exploited, and it projects the hope that the exploited can shake off their exploiters.

Keywords: peasant holdings; artisan activity; Marxism; revolution; organizational changes

Chapter.  4548 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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