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La Via Campesina, a weapon for political action

Teodor Shanin, creator of the first Russian-British university passed away in Moscow at the age of 89, last February the 4Th, 2020. He inspired generations of progressive academics and activists. Teodor Shanin understood very quickly the significance of La Via Campesina as an articulation by the peasants themselves. Shanin recognized the efforts of peasants to define themselves as a class, defending their existence and THEIR interests as peasants. This went against the opinions in certain spheres of academic orthodoxy who did accept peasants as a separate class.
Shanin recognized La Via Campesina as a “structure “ that was self-defining and self-determining. He acknowledged the effort of the peasantry, as a class to understand itself. Shanin was convinced of the importance for researchers to go back to the villages,to look there at what’s is really going on there. He gave a lot of importance to the “villages”, communities and local processes . La Via Campesina owes him a lot and we cannot loose his work. Watch here a video with Teodor Shanin attending a colloquium at Yale University in 2013.