Peasants and Revolution; Defensive Struggles?


  • Hamza Alavi
  • James Boggs
  • Grace Lee Boggs



Imperialism, Movements


May I take up an issue that is crucial for revolutionary movements in Asia which has been raised by Aijaz Ahmad in his thoughtful and generous review of Imperialism and Revolution in South Asia(MR, March 1975)? This concerns the respective roles of the so-called "middle peasants" and "poor peasants" in different stages of revolutionary struggle and, in particular, certain conditions that must be realized for the mobilization of the revolutionary potential of the latter. On these questions Aijaz Ahmad misconceives the central propositions that are advanced in my article on "Peasants and Revolution" on the basis of an examination of the experience and the strategy of revolutionary struggle in Russia and China and the successes and failures of the peasant movement in India. That misconception obscures a basic problem that revolutionary movements must explicitly recognize and resolve, as indeed was done with eminent success by the Chinese and the Vietnamese.

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