Barrington Moore Jr. Revisited: Landlord, Peasant and the Collapse
of Liberal Democracy in Central-Eastern Europe
Apparently, the influence of the Socialism and another, post-socialist capitalist transition, which changed the agrarian relations in a significant way, is more important than the heritage of the nineteenth century. Consequently, any answer to the question about the relevance of Moore’s hypotheses as a possible explanation of the recent collapse of liberal democracy requires two-step analysis. In the first step I will compare the agrarian development in selected European Communist and post-Communist countries, showing that there is a factual correlation between the two phenomena. In the second step I will try to analyze the configuration of the changing relations between the peasant, state apparatus and other institutions (especially and the catholic church), showing how they were transformed. This will enable to show the possible ways in which the post-feudal heritage of the nineteenth century influences the contemporary constellation of urban and rural interests, and the contemporary political development in Poland.