Adonis Diaries

Of Peasants and Soldiers: Solitary life, myths, mystics, famine, wars…

Posted on: September 29, 2012

Of Peasants and Soldiers: Solitary life, myths, mystics, famine, wars…

I often stumble in literature on this regurgitated characterization of peasants and soldiers: such as “They are historically and psychologically similar groups, in deep affinity and congruence. I read that the trade of manipulating arms and the trade of cultivating the land are complementary, universal, and charged with representative values, myths, stories…”

So many romantic and general descriptions that refuse to account for the context, period, age range of the persons…

For example, you read on peasants:

1. They have a hard labor that leaves physical scars…

2. Their work schedule is not fixed…

3. They cannot enjoy vacation time…

4. They are mobilized at any moment notice…

5. They have strong corporate spirits…

6. They live under very constraining heritage…

7. Their job is psychologically solitary… and on

Do you think rice-paddy growers who work 360 days a year and have to wake up before sun up, can be classified as peasants compared to those who barely work a semester in total, just sawing and harvesting, and receiving lavish State subsidies?

You read on the soldiers:

1. They are poorly paid and ready to be sacrificed…

2. They come from the humblest of classes in remote rural regions…

3. They acquire a conscious of altruistic spirit…

4. They are mostly disinterested in society exotic pleasures…

Do you think a simple soldier who bear all the brunt of prosecuting a war is the same as an “Officer Soldier” who refuses to bear his responsibilities on errors he committed and keep putting the blame on subordinates, and never ceases to give orders, left and right…?

I find these descriptions originating from the logic of wild imaginations and too general to be of any value.

If these two trading groups were that similar, why history is charged with “warrior” Empires and urban setting civilizations? The poor people in warrior empires could hardly cultivate their arid and harsh lands, and they were easily hoarded into invading armies to loot the richer peasants and well-settled people…

These characterizations of similarity between the peasant life style and the soldier are wishful thinking: the modern States wanted the similarity to be true, for their vested capitalist interests… And there is nothing similar between the two trade historically.

For example, literature wants to demonstrate that an expanding nation or empire in antiquity reserved lands for their military officers after serving a number of years.  The Romans inherited the tradition of Carthage by lavishing lands at the limits of conquered lands to officers who served 20 years, so that a kind of colony is established to protect the borders…

Is an officer a peasant? Is the officer a simple soldier to take as example? Officers were recruited from the elite and noble classes to lead the City-States, and “manage the slaves” to death…Officers were never raised to high grades if the soldier was of a poor peasant family…

It is in this 19th century colonial expansion by the western European nations that peasants were recruited and sent to the colonies, after serving a few years in the military, in order to execute the utopia plans and programs of the thinking bureaucrats in foreign “barbaric” lands: Geometric parcels, designed as modern spaces, irrigation facilities…

Do you think an “agricultural person” owning vast fertile lands is a peasant? Shouldn’t he be labelled as “harvester operator” for his professional trade?  Shouldn’t he be classified as an upper Middle-Class person with all the subsidies he receives from Federal and State governments, in order for the State to keep its agricultural exporting monopoly in the developing nations and drive small peasants out of their lands and into the miseries of urban setting…?

Do you know of any soldier returning from the “war front” exhibiting a desire to return to rural regions, except if they are suffering from extreme trauma, and desiring to lick their wounds in isolation?  Most of them returning or “released” soldiers prefer to sit on side walks in urban cities, beg for a livelihood, and build a “camouflaged” shack from leftover construction materials found in the neighborhood, to suit their military camouflage vest and pants and the environment…

The motto of youth is: “Give me the wide horizon or give me death“, and not many will stay and engage in working the land if the slightest opportunity materializes as a possibility.  Many die before they ever had a glimpse of any horizon, and most of them delay the return to the farm after they fail in eking a living in urban centers…Why? I think it is their subconscious telling them: “Even your family will be disappointed if you gave up so easily and returned home so soon…It demonstrate a weak character…”

The modern States have harvested the sons of peasants in holocaust global wars, outside their frontiers, and relied profusely on the lower middle-class citizens to inflate the ranks for the body counts, fodder to preemptive imperialist war-machine, the “invisible” new citizens, too turbulent to control efficiently, and too many to be of any use to the capitalist structure…wars that never benefited the little people…

Note: Title of post and inspiration was inspired from a chapter n the French book “Les Sites Paysagers de la Memoire du Liban” by Raja Choueiri

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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