Peasants And Revolution

Hamza Alavi


"In colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system, is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms. . . .". That view of the revolutionary potentiality of the peasantry was expressed by Frantz Fanon, ideologue of the Algerian revolution. From time to time, throughout the centuries, the peasant has indeed risen in rebellion against his oppressors. But history is also replete with examples of peasantry which has borne silently and for long periods extremes of exploitation and oppression. At the same time occasional outbreaks of peasant revolt do raise the question of the conditions in which the peasant becomes revolutionary.

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