Peasant Society in the Colombian Andes: A Sociological Study of Saucio

Peasant Society in the Colombian Andes: A Sociological Study of Saucio

Peasant Society in the Colombian Andes: A Sociological Study of Saucio

Peasant Society in the Colombian Andes: A Sociological Study of Saucio

Excerpt

Think not that in the king's palace you will escape.... For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise...from another quarter.... Who knows whether you have not come for such a time as this?

-- MORDECAI TO ESTHER.

T HE RURAL PEOPLE OF COLOMBIA are being swept into the whirl of social revolution that promises to be the distinguishing feature of our century. Four hundred years of toil might have been expected to numb the peasants' sensitivity to progress -- to have turned them into apparently resigned, docile individuals. But the fact that they have been both exploited and neglected is slowly dawning on them.

As yet no clear-cut crisis has arisen in Colombian rural areas as a result of this historical transition, but there is unrest. This is not the same political unrest which attracted the attention of the world to Colombia during the last five years. It is, rather, an unprecedented feeling of dissatisfaction penetrating the masses of Colombia's farmers and laborers; it is an awakening due to an increasing class consciousness, or perhaps to a hard-to-contain social process called rationalism. This transition from resignation to dissatisfaction might easily create in Colombia one of two significant developments: either an intense struggle as a result of extremes, or . . .

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