What is the political role of the peasantry? Is it a source of revolution or reaction? For the Third World nations, where this is an issue of special importance, the answer is by no means clear. In the advanced capitalist countries, however, the political impact of peasants has become less ambiguous. Although Lipset once argued that radical consciousness in the United States had shown itself primarily through agrarian struggles, farmers have now evolved into perhaps the most conservative occupational group in America. Harrington Moore, considering the historical place of peasants in the modernization of France, England and Germany, details their revolutionary contribution. But, concerning more recent times, Huggett indicates that, in general, the peasants of Western Europe have expressed themselves politically through the parties of the Right. The contemporary evidence presented here demonstrates that these strong right-wing sentiments on the part of the peasantry persist.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_lewis_beck/144/