One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Politics. The doctrine that power should be vested in the peasant class. Also Russian History: the doctrine that the peasant class and the intelligentsia are the only true revolutionary forces; Narodnikism.
2The state or condition of being a peasant; conduct or attitudes characteristic of or attributed to peasants; identification or sympathy with peasant life.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From peasant + -ism.
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