Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World

Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World

by Barrington Moore Jr.

"A landmark in comparative history and a challenge to scholars of all lands who are trying to learn how we arrived at where we are now." -The New York Times Book Review

  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 3.97
  • Pages: 592
  • Publish Date: September 1st 1993 by Beacon Press
  • Isbn10: 0807050733
  • Isbn13: 9780807050736

What People Think about "Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World"

Against Marxist accounts that emphasize the bourgeoisie or the industrial proletariat, Moore argues (to use the subtitle) for the importance of "lord" and "peasant" in determining the effect of modernization on political development. If the aristocracy turns to commercial agriculture, as in Britain and France, and peasant society disappears, you will have a revolution that leads to the emergence of democracy. If the aristocracy turns to commercial agriculture but fails to destroy peasant society, such as in Eastern Europe, Germany, and Japan, you get fascism. But in France and Germany, the two dominant agricultural products--wine and grain--were both labor-intensive to grow requiring the aristocrats to keep peasants on the land. As for the urban elite, or the bourgeoisie, what matters for Moore is whether this class is an antagonist toward peasants/urban workers. In the French case, no alliance between the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy emerged that was sufficiently strong to repress the peasantry before the Revolution, and the French Revolution successfully destroyed enough of the ancien regime to prevent a bourgeois-aristocratic coalition from emerging. To summarize, Moore argues for two necessary conditions for democracy's emergence: a balance between a landed aristocracy and a monarch, and the absence of an aristocratic-bourgeois alliance against the peasants and workers. Concerning the other condition, an aristocratic-bourgeois alliance against peasants and workers prevents a revolution from below and the expansion of political participation.

Bilimsel bilgiden çok, souk savata verilen ideolojik mücadeleye hizmet eden bir ayrm: ABD, ngiltere demokrasi, Sovyetler ve Çin diktatörlük. Bu ayrm da çok partili rejimin demokrasiyle bir tutulmasna dayanyor. Özetle okurken bunun Souk Sava döneminde ideolojik mücadelenin kalelerinden biri olan Harvard Üniversitesi'nde yazlm bir kitap olduunu, okuru bilgilendirdii kadar onu anti-komünist yörüngede tutmay da önemsediini unutmamak lazm.

Those who reduce the book's thesis to merely, if a bourgeois class does not exist, than a democratic-capitalist country will not exist fail to see the complexities of Moore's thesis.

For example India is grouped with other Asian countries but its relevance to Moore's theory comes forth when discussing the emergence of modern democracy (England, America, France).

If your bourgeoise worked against the state and the peasants were either killed or transferred to an entirely different class, you would become a liberal capitalist country. If you had virtually no bourgeoise and almost entirely peasants, the process of modernization would lead you to become a communist country. You will be lost and not understand what each case is trying to get at if you read the book in chronological order.

(12 May 1913 16 October 2005) was an American political sociologist, and the son of forester Barrington Moore. His many other works include ''Reflections on the Causes of Human Misery'' (1972) and an analysis of rebellion, ''Injustice: the Social Basis of Obedience and Revolt'' (1978). His students at Harvard included comparative social scientists Theda Skocpol, and Charles Tilly.