301 CHRONICLESnand he was always an ardent defender of it, never attemptingnto disguise his admiration of its most hideous aspects,nlike the slave labor camps, in his numerous books, pamphlets,nand newsletter. When he moved to Vermont in then1930’s, he became an early Country Fake, publishing booksnon that, too. Throughout his career, as people who knewnhim and as his books amply testify, he was an insufferable,nsanctimonious prig and charlatan whom even leftiesncouldn’t stand. He was regarded, if he was noticed at all, as anquack and crank. Suddenly, however, with the advent of then60’s, his star began to rise; disciples made pilgrimages to seenhim, he was treated with obsequious respect everywhere, hisnevery lie gullibly reported, his fatuous wisdom regarded withnawe in magazines and newspapers across the land. When hendied, at the age of 100 in 1983, the story was carried,nreverentially, on the front page of the New York Times.nTHE FIRST GREEN INTERNATIONALnby Allan C. CarlsonnPeasant agrarianism, some say, was Central Europe’sn”missed opportunity” for independent political developmentnin this century. Such arguments have been heardnparticularly since 1947, as the refugees from MarxistnEurope organized their International Peasant Union andnmet every other year tu talk about what might have been.nThe case is compelling, to a degree. For while Europe’snagrarian movement has been criticized for being both toondiffuse as an ideology and too general as a political programnto be effective, neither criticism really holds.nWithout doubt, political agrarianism held a unique appealnfor the rural masses of Central Europe. In part, thenpeasants were simply flattered by the unusual praise whichnthe politician-philosophers showered on them. RudolfnHerceg of the Croatian Republican Peasant Party sawnEuropean farmers as the chosen people, the one naturalnsocial-economic entity that would bring an end to centuriesnof class conflict and the usurpation of power by minorities.nOnly the peasants, he said, could produce a society of truensocial justice, since they alone were a class without anninterest in exploiting the labor of others. He even arguednthat the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the creation of thenworkers’ state, was merely prelude to the final rebellion bynthe peasantry and the creation of a rural Utopia.nThere was, of course, a strong mystical aspect to thenmovement. The peasant’s virtues, writers said, derived fromnhis bond to the soil, the fertile mother of human behaviornand community.nThe theme-setting 1923 essay in Mezinarodin AgrarninBureau, Bulletin, the new journal of the internationalnpeasant movement, emphasized agrarianism’s “desire tonrenew and preserve humanity on the basis of the natural lawnwhich reigns between man and the soil.” The farmer andnhis family were seen as the creative elements in the state,nasking only for peace and the exercise of rights necessary tonthe task of righteous living. In exchange, the Bulletin stated,nthe farmer “gives society bread,” “continuously createsnvalues,” and fills his life “with all the attainments of humannprogress, of science, of art, and … of civilization.” Thenarticle concluded with an emphasis on world peace: “Wenare convinced that the victory of agrarianism will be thenvictory of humanitarianism, of justice, of peace. Humanity,nAllan Carlson is president of The Rockford Institute.nnndesiring peace, should place its future in the hands of thosenfor whom peace is the first condition of life, that is to say, innthe hands of the farmer.”nTrue, this peasant ideology also had its dark side, expressednmost completely in the theorizing of AlexandernStamboliiski, chief of the Bulgarian Agrarian Union. Usingnnear apocalyptic terminology, foreshadowing both MaonTse-tung and Pol Pot, Stamboliiski saw the city as dominatednby a predatory spirit: Run by parasites such as bankersnand lawyers, the city lived by sucking the blood of honestncountry folk and an almost enslaved urban proletariat. Thentrue struggle in the modern world, Stamboliiski claimed,nwas between rural and urban cultures, which were incapablenof coexistence. Only the peasant political movement, motivatednby the communal spirit, could, in his view, restorensociety to a decent wholeness; through violence and coercion,nif necessary. The least attractive side of agrariannpopulism links it with the development of fascism, particularlynin its emphasis on a “mystical bond” between man andnsoil, its perception of the Jew as the middleman, and itsnattempt to mobilize the peasants into a violent, anti-Marxistnmovement.nIn its calmer mood, the peasant movement offered anfairly consistent policy program. Its central feature was anstrong endorsement of private property, tied to land reformnthat would redistribute to bona fide peasants the hectaresnstill held in great estates. The movement also wantedngovernments to lower tariffs, support cooperatives thatnwould eliminate the notorious middlemen, provide socialninsurance, subsidize agricultural research, and establishnagronomy stations in the countryside that would disseminatennew technical knowledge. In practical terms, thenparties looked to Switzerland and Denmark as examples ofnmodern societies with significant, viable communities ofnsmall farmers.nIf we confine our attention to the Bulgarian experience,nthe agrarian movement made some gains. In 1919, followingnthe debacle and antipeasant terror of Bela Kun’snHungary, Stamboliiski’s Agrarian Union used both thenCommunist issue and rhetoric about “urban parasites” tonwin the largest proportion of seats in the Subranie. Over thennext four years, the Party’s paramilitary Orange Guard wasnloosed on political opponents, with beatings and the disruptionnof antipeasant meetings common. Through a riggedn