AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP UNDER POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN PEASANT SOCIETY


AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP UNDER POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN PEASANT SOCIETY
INTRODUCTION
A peasant is a member of a traditional class of farmers, either laborers or owners of small farms, especially in the Middle Ages under feudalism, or more generally, in any pre-industrial society. we can describe a peasant society to be one that revolves round an agrarian society.
The word authority (Derived from the Latin word auctoritas) can be used to mean power given by the state (in the form of government, judges, police officers, etc.) or by academic knowledge of an area (someone can be an authority on a subject).
When the word Authority is used in the name of an organization, this name usually refers to the governing body upon which such authority is vested; for example, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority or the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. thus on the other hand, Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.[1] For example, some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others, while others define leadership as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”.
AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP UNDER POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
A political organization is any entity that is involved in the political process.
Political organization including political institution, political parties, political groups- e.g. advocacy groups, Interest groups etc. . Political organizations are engaged in political activities aimed at achieving clearly defined political goals, which improve political system, benefit the interests of their members- e.g., members organizing, campaign, labor unions, etc.
Whilst parties are one type of political organization that enlisted with election authority & engage in some or all of those activities, they are distinct in that they typically focus on supporting candidates for public office, winning elections and forming government.
How organizational politics is related to leadership can be better understood from the fact that organizational leadership occurs in the context of groups,such as a peasant society where followers are influenced by the leaders so as to ensure their commitment and voluntary involvement towards predetermined outcomes.
In the peasant society the Political climate of the society as an organization is impacted by a leader through treatment and use of authority under different settings which is clearly visible during the acts of decision making, setting agenda and interaction with others to mobilize support, inspire teams and individuals and recognize people. This interplay between leaders and their authority & influence over the followers set the tone for political climate in an organization.
FUNCTIONS OF A PEASANT
What were their advantages and disadvantages?
Peasants had many advantage but they also turned out to be their disadvantage as well.
The peasants were given land by their Lord to farm and make a living for themselves. This was also their disadvantage as they had to give a heavy tax back to the Lord and the Church. This usually was very hard for them and they would only grow just enough for them to eat.They were also given protection which was a huge advantage but this all contributed to their tax. In Conclusion it was generally a disadvantage to be a peasant.
The peasants had a system of local politics often forming their own manorial courts. When they had claims against each other, these claims were settled by a village court usually consisting of twelve village representatives. The court was overseen by a steward who was a representative of the manor lord , however he was merely a member of the court, not its head. The feudal lord had the right to grant marriages, tax anything anytime he wanted and force peasants to use ovens or mills that he owned. Along with the power to establish punishments for various offenses, the lords also held the power to make everyone attend court when it was in session. Because the people were bound to their land, they were sold when the land was sold. This meant that they would come under new lordship.
The peasant class was the backbone of the feudal system. Because life at the bottom of the social ladder, was short, most peasants did not live long enough to realize their contributions to society. Although work was hard and lives were often short, peasants lived ordinary lives much like the common man of today.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUTHORITY LEADERSHIP PEASANT AND A NON PEASANT IN POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
6 down vote accepted Peasant and villager are not completely synonymous. While a villager is just someone who lives in or comes from a village, peasant is more likely to be used in a pejorative way:
1. (especially in the past, or in poorer countries) a farmer who owns or rents a small piece of land
2. (informal, disapproving) a person who is rude, behaves badly, or has little education
A peasant might be described as of low social status, or uncouth, similar to a peon, serf, churl, boor, lout. Closer to villager are synonyms like yokel, bumpkin; but these still imply judgment or disapproval.
Villager alone lacks such a strong negative connotation. It could be used to describe someone from a village without obvious reference to their profession and without implying that they’re ignorant or from the “back woods”, though there are often assumptions that life in villages matches stereotypes such as being simpler, more authentic, or less modern: The villagers adjusted well after moving to the big city.
Interestingly, the etymology of both words reflects that they describe people from a physical location. Peasant is from Latin pagus “country or rural district”; villager is from Latin villa “country house, farm”.

The nature of peasant life
Thus, the peasants are isolated from the national society, isolated physically in villages which have little consistent need for continuous communications both with each other and with the cities. At most, the peasant is likely to be aware of his district, within which members of his own family meet or secure marriage partners, and of the local district town, perhaps the source of the merchants who buy his crop, the market place, the site of the police station and so on. Second, the peasant is dependent almost entirely upon himself and his family for his way of life. He is not part of – or at least, is not aware of – a complex interdependent national division of labour. Since there is little division of labour outside the family, there is little specialisation, and as a result, production is primitive, the peasant is poor, the cultural and technical resources of the village are most backward.
The peasant’s important relationships are not to a wider economy of which he sees himself as a constituent part, but rather to nature, to the rhythms, to the arbitrariness of soil, weather and season. The production unit is the family, and personal relationships are thus also production relationships. Family relationships, rather than competence and technical specialisation, determine the primitive division of labour within the family (the relationship between man and wife, between man and his eldest son, his youngest son, his aged father, and so on), and the production relationships exaggerate and intensify the family relationships. The desperate family feuds within the village exhibit the intensity generated within what is simultaneously the basic personal, production and property unit. The rural family embodies all the exploitative relationships of the wider society, and it is the peasant household father who is of necessity the agent for the worst forms of exploitation of the members of his own family; the agent which sustains all that is worst in pre-capitalist society in terms of personal relationships. The violence locked up in the family is matched by the violence between families, the violence intrinsic in the gross subordination of the peasantry as a whole.
Thus, if achieving a socialist revolution were merely a function of the savagery of exploitation, then undoubtedly the peasantry would always have pre-eminently qualified for the role of agency of the revolution. But revolution requires also collective organisation, a mass division of labour, a concentration of advanced technical and political abilities. And it is these which the peasantry – by the nature of its way of life – cannot produce. It cannot, as a class, produce the abilities required to operate a society with a collective division of labour. It can only duplicate the ideal of its own members, the small peasant holding. The aim of peasant rebels thus becomes, not the advance of society as a whole, but no more than a just sharing of a common poverty. This is certainly egalitarianism, but it is the egalitarianism of communalists, of independent identical participants, not the egalitarianism of collectivists, of interdependent people organised in a social division of labour. The peasantry cannot, as a class, constitute itself the ruling class in order to realise the full economic potentialities of society. On the contrary, it can, on its own, only drag society backwards into the poverty of the past.

Peasant opposition
It is for these reasons that the revolt of the peasant is so often a purely localised occurrence, restricted to the district he knows. His enemy is the local landlord or landowner, the local money-lender, policeman or merchant, not a national ruling class of which he is inevitably only very dimly aware. But without destroying the national ruling class, the local peasant’s cause is lost. The destruction of only the local minions of the ruling class will invoke massive reprisals on a scale with which the local peasant cannot cope. Indeed, so muddled may be the peasant’s view of the world outside his district, he may completely exonerate the ruling class for responsibility for the crimes of its local officials. In Tsarist Russia, the peasants often certainly hated their local noblemen, but they worshipped the Tsar as the ‘Little Father’, explaining that the Tsar did not know the crimes committed in his name by his noblemen. For them, there was no ‘system’ within which Tsar and noblemen fitted as complementary elements within a common exploitative class. Thus when the Narodniks assassinated Tsar Alexander in 1881 with the expectation that this would precipitate a peasant revolt against the regime, the peasants were appalled, and blamed yet again the evil nobles for depriving them of their only defender. Lewin suggests that Stalin was similarly exonerated by the Russian peasantry for the Communist rape of the countryside during collectivisation. [3]
Thus, historically, the peasant is a figure of the utmost tragedy. He is grotesquely exploited, forced into self-subjection, forced into preserving all that is most backward and reactionary. And yet he makes his own strait jacket. He cannot, by his way of life, conceive of a real alternative. He cannot emancipate himself, and self-emancipation is one of the pre-conditions for socialism. His opposition to his own exploitation, when he is solely dependent upon his own resources, is thus either purely negative, or marginal to the system – that is, the opposition does not challenge the existence of the system so much as check certain practices within it. The most common form of this opposition – and the least effective in revolutionary terms – is social banditry. Small bands of armed men prey on the forces of authority, acting as Robin Hoods to take from the rich and give, at least in principle, to the poor. The small size of such groups, their great mobility, and the willingness of the dispersed peasant families to protect and supply the rebels as a sort of ‘counter police’ force, make them almost invulnerable to counter-attack by the authorities. Hobsbawm has described the features of such forces in parts of southern Europe [4], and perhaps these features are shared with the Indian dacoits and similar bands which operated in China. Hobsbawm also notes the similarities between social banditry and guerilla warfare, and how the second sometimes absorbs the first (thus, no one should be shocked to find that the guerilla forces of the Chinese Communist Party incorporated erstwhile bandits [5]). Banditry is the most primitive form of taking sanctions against the system, where self-interested criminality is scarcely distinguishable from socially conscious rebellion, and where the sanction is no more than a marginal irritant to the system.
The sporadic riot in densely populated agricultural areas has more possibilities. Here, rural Luddites directly attack the symbols of immediate oppression – the merchant hoarding grain, the big farmer cutting his labour force or the wages he pays, the State reducing the price it regulates for wine. If such riots are a response to a general condition on the land, the riot may spread. And if it coincides with movements in the towns, it may provide a contributory element in a movement for radical change. But it is only one tributary to the river. Alone it can do little. When Wat Tyler’s rebels took London, as when Zapata’s warriors reached Mexico City, they did not know what to do with it. Finally they could only retire back to the world they knew, to the village and the dispersed land holding. They left the real power of the ruling class, chastened perhaps, but not destroyed. Of course, if the status quo is already under threat from other sources, the possibility may exist for a temporary enclave of peasant power. Makhno and the Green armies in Russia relied on the Civil War raging around them to defend their islands of power. And in China, the decay of the Manchu dynasty under the corrosive forces of imperialism, permitted the Taiping rebels similarly to establish their own domain along the Yangtze. But once the wider issue is settled or moderated, the national ruling class can react with a force capable of destroying the enclave.
More effectively and more characteristically, the peasantry can in certain conditions control much more massive sanctions of a purely negative kind. They can refuse to obey the law, and if this spreads far enough, the ruling class has insufficient power to garrison the whole countryside. But the organisation capable of co-ordinating such a strike usually can only be found in the cities. The intellectual formulation of this tactic is clearest in the doctrine of passive disobedience as advanced by Tolstoy in Russia and Gandhi in India. [6] But what is to be done when the countryside is paralysed? It is at this point that again the strategy breaks down, for the peasants have no positive alternative to present. The same applies to a similar tactic: withholding the food on which the survival of the cities depends. This is unlikely to occur normally, since the peasants also depend on the cities for certain goods, and many need to sell their crop quickly to meet their debts. But in Russia between 1927 and 1929 when the cities could not supply the goods the peasants wanted, there was something of a strike which produced a major crisis in the society as a whole. The strike was not an organised act, one of collective solidarity and depending on political consciousness. It was a simultaneous reaction to a market situation. And the peasants had no defence when Stalin launched his counter-attack and set about destroying the Russian peasantry once and for all.

CONCLUSION
The sheer diversity and immensity of the rural population in the world’s backward countries makes general discussion of ‘the peasantry’ very difficult. However, certain important generalisations can be made, but it must be borne in mind that such generalisations may have different implications for groups as different as owner-occupier peasants, subsistence tenants, share croppers, landless labourers – for the serfs of Latin American haciendas, for the depressed small tenants of South Asia, or for the tribal farming groups of sub-Saharan Africa.
But, on the other hand, the sheer size of the peasantry in the world suggests something of its possible political importance. What that political importance is, however, is the subject of considerable disagreement. In particular, this article is concerned with the debate between those peasants who identify the industrial proletariat as the sole agency for the achievement of socialism (the Marxists), and those who identify other groups or classes – including the village peasantry – as capable of achieving socialism.
Finally, the labour of family members of the peasants does not engage in wages or labour. He does not employ people to work for him once he employs people, then he is no longer a peasant. This is the reason why he marries more than one wife and have many children. The peasant is involved in an economic system.

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