Peasant Syncretic Vision in Times of Rebellion Reconsidered

  • P.N. Abinales


This attempt at a different interpretation of the peasants' syncretic vision was largely the result of the discomfiture with the thesis that peasant rebellion is, for most of the time, restorative. The latter, for all its merits, still assumes heavy constraints on peasant abilities to reconstruct a lost order (if it ever existed) or a destroyed past, or to perceive their thoughts and actions as constricted actions to save the rustic village. Human history, it appears, is replete with instances of exactly the opposite. At the core of this paper is the thesis that peasant consciousness and moral vision are sufficiently variegated and disparate such that to look at rebellion as based on "restorativist" aspirations will only explain a certain--but nevertheless important--aspect of the peasant worldview. The rural world is as complex as any other society and it becomes more intricate as village becomes more and more subsumed within a larger and urban- or town-dominated society.