La Jacquerie polonaise

« Béni soit (...) le paysan qui naît, mange et meurt sans que personne ne se mêle de ses affaires ». Voici ce qu'écrivait ce journaliste italien d'un moment qu'on connaît mieux pour ses compositions musicales, Guiseppe Verdi. Ce à quoi Verdi croyait n'était possible qu'au dix-neuvième siècle et au cours des millénaires qui précédèrent, mais ce n'est plus vrai aujourd'hui. En fait, le contraire est bien plus probable. En Pologne, par exemple, non seulement les paysans veulent crier sur tous les toits comment vont leurs affaires, mais ils veulent aussi façonner la Pologne à leur propre image.

Dans son « Âge des extrêmes. Histoire du XXè siècle », Eric Hobsbawm soutenait que le plus important changement intervenu à l'Ouest au vingtième siècle fut la grande réduction du nombre de paysans. Où qu'on porte le regard, les paysans ont presque disparu.

Pas ici, en Europe de l'Est. Les économies basées sur le modèle soviétique ont peut-être pu passer pour des avatars de la modernisation industrielle, mais dans la plupart des anciens pays satellites de l'URSS, l'économie marxiste-léniniste a permis le maintien d'une importante population dans les campagnes. Aujourd'hui, cette armée paysanne de réserve est à l'origine du conflit politique le plus sérieux que la Pologne ait connu depuis la chute du communisme au moment même où le pays demande à entrer dans l'Union Européenne.

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