Promoting Equality in the Rural Population
Agrarian reforms influence the basis of economic and political
power in rural areas- land and its distribution- with their
redistribution measures. The extent to which equality is reached
within the agrarian sector depends on how radical the agrarian
reform is. It is, therefore, greater in the case of agrarian
revolutions and socialistic reforms. If the reforms are mild,
the effects are limited. By intensifying cultivation, the
landlords can make up for eventual drops in income resulting
from land losses. in other respects, one should not place
too much hope in changes at the village level. The situation
of the landless and tenants is hardly altered if a large landowner
has to usually give up only a small part of his lands. The
psychological effects are sometimes of most significance.
The reform shows the lower class that it is possible to take
something away from even the large landowners, and these see
the reform as a warning to change their behaviour accordingly.
How compensation is regulated plays a great role in changes
in the landowners' economic situation resulting from an agrarian
reform. The higher the compensation, the less equality will
result from the reform. This is important for the question
as to what extent the landowners' power position will be changed
at a regional and national level. Compensation in the form
of industrial shares only changes the composition of the wealth,
but not its extent.
The political position of the rural population is also influenced
by land management reform measures. Making the necessary services
available frees the farmers from certain dependencies, particularly
in the credit sector, whereas reforms that do not regulate
these needs can hardly change the old relationships.
Failing to consider water rights enough has likewiese made
more than one "landlord" into a "waterlord".
Agrarian reforms generally shift the balance of power at
the national level from the large landowner class to the state
and, thus, increase its capacity to act and its scope of authority.
Weakening the landowners' position decreases their influence.
Furthermore, the state's influence on agriculture is increased
by organizing the extension service institutions. Semigovernmental
cooperatives are also a control instrument for supervising
and influencing agricultural production. The arrangement of
the compensation presents a chance to influence investments
in the agricultural sector.