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Pathways of PowerBuilding an Anthropology of the Modern World$
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Eric Wolf

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223332

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223332.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2021

Peasants and Revolution

Peasants and Revolution

(p.230) 16 Peasants and Revolution
Pathways of Power

Eric R. Wolf

University of California Press

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

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