Virgil Madgearu
Virgil Traian N. Madgearu (virˈd͡ʒil maˈd͡ʒe̯aru; December 14, 1887 – November 27, 1940) was a Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n economist
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, sociologist
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, and left-wing politician, prominent member and main theorist of the Peasants' Party
Peasants' Party (Romania)
The Peasants' Party was a political party in post-World War I Romania that espoused a left-wing ideology partly connected with Agrarianism and Populism, and aimed to represent the interests of the Romanian peasantry. Through many of its leaders, the party was connected with Romanian populism , a...

 and of its successor, the National Peasants' Party
National Peasants' Party
The National Peasants' Party was a Romanian political party, formed in 1926 through the fusion of the Romanian National Party from Transylvania and the Peasants' Party . It was in power between 1928 and 1933, with brief interruptions...

 (PNŢ). He had an important activity as an essayist and journalist, being for long a member on the editorial board for the influential Viaţa Românească
Viata Româneasca
Viaţa Românească, originally Viaţa Romînească , is a monthly literary magazine published in Romania...


Madgearu was a prominent opponent of the National Liberal Party
National Liberal Party (Romania)
The National Liberal Party , abbreviated to PNL, is a centre-right liberal party in Romania. It is the third-largest party in the Romanian Parliament, with 53 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 in the Senate: behind the centre-right Democratic Liberal Party and the centre-left Social...

 for much of his life, developing an original theory that challenged both Liberal tenets and Marxian economics
Marxian economics
Marxian economics refers to economic theories on the functioning of capitalism based on the works of Karl Marx. Adherents of Marxian economics, particularly in academia, distinguish it from Marxism as a political ideology and sociological theory, arguing that Marx's approach to understanding the...

, proposing measures to enhance the political and economic roles of Romanian peasants. In his later years, he was involved in anti-fascist
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political...

 causes, and was one of several politicians to be assassinated by the Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...



Born in Galaţi
Galați is a city and municipality in Romania, the capital of Galați County. Located in the historical region of Moldavia, in the close vicinity of Brăila, Galați is the largest port and sea port on the Danube River and the second largest Romanian port....

 to an Armenian-Romanian
Armenians in Romania
Armenians have been present in what is now Romania and Moldova for over a millennium, and have been an important presence as traders since the 14th century...

 family, he studied economics at the University of Leipzig
University of Leipzig
The University of Leipzig , located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university in Germany...

 and spent time in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 training in banking. In 1911, he was awarded a doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 in Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...


After being employed by an insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 company, Madgearu was teacher at the Academy for High Commercial and Industrial Studies
Academy of Economic Studies
The Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies is the oldest university of economics and business studies in Romania. It was founded in April 6, 1913 in Bucharest, by the royal decree of Carol I of Romania, under the name Academy of High Commercial and Industrial Studies...

 in Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 after 1916, and held the position until his death. With Dimitrie Gusti
Dimitrie Gusti
Dimitrie Gusti was a Romanian sociologist, ethnologist, historian, and voluntarist philosopher; a professor at the University of Iaşi and the University of Bucharest, he served as Romania's Minister of Education in 1932-1933...

, he founded the Romanian Social Institute, which aided sociologists in first-hand investigation work.

As one of the leaders in the parliamentary
Parliament of Romania
The Parliament of Romania is made up of two chambers:*The Chamber of Deputies*The SenatePrior to the modifications of the Constitution in 2003, the two houses had identical attributes. A text of a law had to be approved by both houses...

 opposition to the Alexandru Averescu
Alexandru Averescu
Alexandru Averescu was a Romanian marshal and populist politician. A Romanian Armed Forces Commander during World War I, he served as Prime Minister of three separate cabinets . He first rose to prominence during the peasant's revolt of 1907, which he helped repress in violence...

 government, he was at the center of a scandal in July 1921: during a prolonged debate, he was addressed an insult by the People's Party politician Constantin Argetoianu
Constantin Argetoianu
Constantin Argetoianu was a Romanian politician, one of the best-known personalities of interwar Greater Romania, who served as the Prime Minister between September 28 and November 23, 1939. His memoirs, Memorii. Pentru cei de mâine. Amintiri din vremea celor de ieri Constantin Argetoianu...

; promptly, the National Liberal Party
National Liberal Party (Romania)
The National Liberal Party , abbreviated to PNL, is a centre-right liberal party in Romania. It is the third-largest party in the Romanian Parliament, with 53 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 in the Senate: behind the centre-right Democratic Liberal Party and the centre-left Social...

 (PNL) leader Ion G. Duca
Ion G. Duca
Ion Gheorghe Duca was prime minister of Romania from November 14 to December 30, 1933, when he was assassinated for his efforts to suppress the fascist Iron Guard movement.-Life and political career:...

 expressed his sympathy, and helped weaken political support for Averescu (the cabinet was to fall in autumn of that year). Nevertheless, Madgearu's rejection of PNL policies and the Ion I. C. Brătianu
Ion I. C. Bratianu
Ion I. C. Brătianu was a Romanian politician, leader of the National Liberal Party , the Prime Minister of Romania for five terms, and Foreign Minister on several occasions; he was the eldest son of statesman and PNL leader Ion Brătianu, the brother of Vintilă and Dinu Brătianu, and the father of...

 government led him to join, in 1923, Liga Drepturilor Omului (the League for Human Rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

), reuniting a diverse group of leftist activists such as Constantin Rădulescu-Motru
Constantin Radulescu-Motru
Constantin Rădulescu-Motru was a Romanian philosopher, psychologist, sociologist, logician, academic, dramatist, as well as centre-left nationalist politician with a noted anti-fascist discourse...

, Constantin Mille
Constantin Mille
Constantin Mille was a Romanian journalist, novelist, poet, lawyer, and socialist militant, as well as a prominent human rights activist...

, Nicolae L. Lupu
Nicolae L. Lupu
Dr. Nicolae Lupu was a Romanian politician and medical doctor, active in the National Peasants' Party....

, Constantin Costa-Foru
Constantin Costa-Foru
Constantin Gheorghe Costa-Foru was a Romanian journalist, lawyer and human rights activist.He was born in Bucharest, on 26 October, in a wealthy family of Jewish origin...

, Constantin Titel Petrescu
Constantin Titel Petrescu
Constantin Titel Petrescu was a Romanian politician and lawyer. He was the leader of the Romanian Social Democratic Party.He was born in Craiova, the son of an employee of the National Bank in Bucharest...

, Dem I. Dobrescu
Dem I. Dobrescu
Dem I. Dobrescu was a Romanian left-wing politician who served as Mayor of Bucharest between February 1929 and January 1934....

, Victor Eftimiu
Victor Eftimiu
Victor Eftimiu was an Albanian-Romanian poet, playwright, and a contributor to Sburătorul, a Romanian literary magazine. His works have been performed in the State Jewish Theater of Romania....

, Radu Rosetti, and Grigore Iunian
Grigore Iunian
Grigore Iunian was a Romanian left-wing politician and lawyer. A member of the National Liberal Party during the 1910s, he rallied with the Peasants' Party after World War I, and followed it into the National Peasants' Party , before leaving in 1933 to create the Radical Peasants' Party-Grigore...

; it was active until 1928.

He held several governmental positions in the Iuliu Maniu
Iuliu Maniu
Iuliu Maniu was an Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian politician. A leader of the National Party of Transylvania and Banat before and after World War I, he served as Prime Minister of Romania for three terms during 1928–1933, and, with Ion Mihalache, co-founded the National Peasants'...

, Gheorghe Mironescu
Gheorghe Mironescu
Gheorghe G. Mironescu, commonly known as G. G. Mironescu , was a Romanian politician, member of the National Peasants' Party , who served as a Prime Minister of Romania for two terms.-Biography:...

, and Alexandru Vaida-Voevod
Alexandru Vaida-Voevod
Alexandru Vaida-Voevod or Vaida-Voievod was a Romanian politician who was a supporter and promoter of the union of Transylvania with the Romanian Old Kingdom; he later served three terms as a Prime Minister of Greater Romania.-Transylvanian politics:He was born to a Greek-Catholic family in the...

 PNŢ cabinets: he was Minister for Industry and Trade (1928–1929; June–October 1930; August–October 1932), Finance Minister (1929–1930; 1932–1933), and Minister for Agriculture and Royal Domains in 1931. He also represented Romania at the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 conferences on economy (in the context of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

), and was secretary of the PNŢ in 1926, as well as its leader for Ilfov County
Ilfov County
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest...


Madgearu was initially supportive of King
King of Romania
King of the Romanians , rather than King of Romania , was the official title of the ruler of the Kingdom of Romania from 1881 until 1947, when Romania was proclaimed a republic....

 Carol II
Carol II of Romania
Carol II reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria...

, whom his party had helped bring to power, and remained sympathetic despite the confrontation between the monarch and the PNŢ leader Iuliu Maniu
Iuliu Maniu
Iuliu Maniu was an Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian politician. A leader of the National Party of Transylvania and Banat before and after World War I, he served as Prime Minister of Romania for three terms during 1928–1933, and, with Ion Mihalache, co-founded the National Peasants'...

. According to the ironic account given by Petre Pandrea, the connection was tested by intrigue, after the writers Sergiu Dan
Sergiu Dan
Sergiu Dan was a Romanian novelist, journalist, Holocaust survivor and political prisoner of the communist regime. Dan, the friend and collaborator of Romulus Dianu, was noted during the interwar period as a contributor to Romania's avant-garde and modernist scene, collaborating with poet Ion...

 and Ion Vinea allegedly stole a text by Madgearu (which was supposed to be published in Dreptatea
Dreptatea was a Romanian newspaper that appeared between 17 October 1927 and 17 July 1947, as a newspaper of the National Peasants' Party. It was re-founded on February 5, 1990 as a publication of the Christian-Democratic National Peasants' Party ....

), forged it by adding statements critical of Carol's policies, and sold it to Madgearu's main adversary inside the party, Mihail Manoilescu
Mihail Manoilescu
Mihail Manoilescu was a Romanian journalist, engineer, economist, politician and memoirist, who served as Foreign Minister of Romania during the summer of 1940...

 (Carol himself dismissed the letter as a fake, contributing to the ultimate PNŢ inner-conflict that caused Manoilescu to leave the group).

After Carol established his personal dictatorship, he continued to side with the PNŢ, which was active in semi-clandestinity. According to the PNŢ activist Ioan Hudiţă, Madgearu, with Ion Mihalache
Ion Mihalache
Ion Mihalache was a Romanian agrarian politician, the founder and leader of the Peasants' Party and a main figure of its successor, the National Peasants' Party .-Early life:...

 and Mihai Popovici, continued to support the king, and, after 1938, considered joining the National Renaissance Front
National Renaissance Front
The National Renaissance Front was a fascist Romanian political party created by King Carol II in 1938 as the single monopoly party of government following his decision to ban all other political parties and suspend the 1923 Constitution, and the passing of the 1938 Constitution of Romania...


An adversary of the fascist
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

, he staunchly opposed its rise and the National Legionary State
National Legionary State
The National Legionary State was the Romanian government from September 6, 1940 to January 23, 1941. It was a single-party regime dictatorship dominated by the overtly fascist Iron Guard in uneasy conjunction with the head of government and Conducător Ion Antonescu, the leader of the Romanian...

 established in September 1940. Later in that year, after the remains of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu was a Romanian politician of the far right, the founder and charismatic leader of the Iron Guard or The Legion of the Archangel Michael , an ultra-nationalist and violently antisemitic organization active throughout most of the interwar period...

 were discovered at Jilava
Jilava is a commune in Ilfov county, Romania, near Bucharest. It is composed of a single village, Jilava.The name derives from a Romanian word of Slavic origin meaning "humid place". Jilava was the location of a fort built by King Carol I of Romania, as part of the capital's defense system...

 (and the conclusion was drawn that he had been murdered on the orders of King Carol), Madgearu and Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga was a Romanian historian, politician, literary critic, memoirist, poet and playwright. Co-founder of the Democratic Nationalist Party , he served as a member of Parliament, President of the Deputies' Assembly and Senate, cabinet minister and briefly as Prime Minister...

 were among the victims of a wave of assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

s carried out in reprisal. Hours after the Jilava Massacre
Jilava Massacre
The Jilava Massacre took place during the night beginning on November 26, 1940, at Jilava penitentiary, near Bucharest, Romania. 64 political detainees were killed by the Iron Guard , with further high-profile assassinations in the immediate aftermath...

, Madgearu was attacked in his Bucharest house, kidnapped, and taken to the Snagov
Snagov is a commune, located 40 km north of Bucharest in Ilfov County, Romania. According to the 2002 census, 99.2% of the population is ethnic Romanian and 0.4% are Roma...

 forest, where he was shot several times.

During the following decades, his killing remained a debated topic. It became apparent that Horia Sima
Horia Sima
Horia Sima was a Romanian fascist politician. After 1938, he was the second and last leader of the fascist and antisemitic para-military movement known as the Iron Guard.-In Romania:...

 (Codreanu's successor) was not able to justify it using the predilect excuse, as a direct answer to previous repressive measures. Unlike Iorga, who had assisted in Codreanu's arrest, Madgearu had not been responsible for any violent actions, and was probably targeted only for having served under Carol. Sima later argued that the series of murders had no relevant impact on public opinion (and even that it had led to an increase in his party's appeal). However, condemnation of the actions was widespread, and the resulting negative image probably contributed in rallying political forces behind traditional authorities, and the eventual ousting of the Guard
Legionnaires' Rebellion and Bucharest Pogrom
The Legionnaires' rebellion and the Bucharest pogrom occurred in Bucharest, Romania, between 21 and 23 January 1941.As the privileges of the Iron Guard were being cut off by Conducător Ion Antonescu, members of the Iron Guard, also known as the Legionnaires, revolted...

 by the Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

-led Romanian Army (January 1941; see also Romania during World War II
Romania during World War II
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron...


Madgearu's leftist views were treasured in retrospect by Nicolae Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

's communist regime
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

, with its ethnocentric
Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with...

 focus on regaining "progressive
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

" precedents that were not actually communist
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 (alongside Madgearu, several other Liga Drepturilor Omului members, and Iorga, the list also included Nicolae Titulescu
Nicolae Titulescu
Nicolae Titulescu was a well-known Romanian diplomat, at various times government minister, finance and foreign minister, and for two terms President of the General Assembly of the League of Nations . He was a member of the Freemasonry.-Early years:...

, Traian Bratu, Grigore Filipescu, and Mitiţă Constantinescu
Mitita Constantinescu
Mitiţă Constantinescu was a Romanian economist and liberal politician. He was an advocate of industrialization and a degree of dirigisme.-Biography:...


Posthumously, in 1990, the Romanian Academy
Romanian Academy
The Romanian Academy is a cultural forum founded in Bucharest, Romania, in 1866. It covers the scientific, artistic and literary domains. The academy has 181 acting members who are elected for life....

 elected him a member.

Romanian specificity

Inspired by Constantin Stere
Constantin Stere
Constantin G. Stere or Constantin Sterea was a Romanian writer, jurist, politician, ideologue of the Poporanist trend, and, in March 1906, co-founder Constantin G. Stere or Constantin Sterea (Romanian; , Konstantin Yegorovich Stere or Константин Георгиевич Стере, Konstantin Georgiyevich Stere;...

 and Poporanism
The word “poporanism” is derived from “popor”, meaning “people” in the Romanian language. The ideology of Romanian Populism and poporanism are interchangeable. Founded by Constantin Stere in the early 1890s, populism is distinguished by its opposition to socialism, promotion of voting rights for...

, Madgearu developed a theory arguing for the preservation of a "peasant economy" and the creation of a "peasant state", prioritizing the preservation of specificity and small rural holdings over large-scale industrialization (the ideal was partly mirrored by the cultural models of Constantin Rădulescu-Motru
Constantin Radulescu-Motru
Constantin Rădulescu-Motru was a Romanian philosopher, psychologist, sociologist, logician, academic, dramatist, as well as centre-left nationalist politician with a noted anti-fascist discourse...

). Borrowing from the traditional criticism of modernization
In the social sciences, modernization or modernisation refers to a model of an evolutionary transition from a 'pre-modern' or 'traditional' to a 'modern' society. The teleology of modernization is described in social evolutionism theories, existing as a template that has been generally followed by...

 policies as applied in Romania (Junimea
Junimea was a Romanian literary society founded in Iaşi in 1863, through the initiative of several foreign-educated personalities led by Titu Maiorescu, Petre P. Carp, Vasile Pogor, Theodor Rosetti and Iacob Negruzzi...

s early rejection of "forms without substance" — as skepticism
Skepticism has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere...

 toward direct borrowings of Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 cultural, political, and economic models — as well as Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea
Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea
Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea was a Romanian Marxist theorist, politician, sociologist, literary critic, and journalist....

's socialist
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 perspective on the consequences the process had in the rural sphere — a capitalist
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

"). Building on the ideas of Alexander Chayanov
Alexander Chayanov
Alexander V. Chayanov was a Soviet agrarian economist, and scholar of rural sociology and advocate of agrarianism and cooperatives....

, he argued that Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 in its entirety had evaded Western developments, and was home to distinct economic and social patterns.

In 1919, upon the creation of the Peasants' Party, Madgearu wrote:
"If the methods of various socialist parties differ, if the majority of the socialist world does not believe in the means of Russian Marxism
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

, their common goal is the very same.

If, in a state where the majority of the population is industrial proletarians
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

, the tendency of socialism to conquer political power may be viewed as a natural and justified development, in a state where the proletariat is a minority such efforts cannot ever correspond with the natural evolution of things.

Nevertheless, the Russian example
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 shows that the possibility for a dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

, even in a country where [the proletariat] is manifestly numerically inferior, is not excluded if the largest segment of the population is amorphous and politically inert as was the case of the peasantry in the Muscovite Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...


Within its new borders [that is, those of Greater Romania
Greater Romania
The Greater Romania generally refers to the territory of Romania in the years between the First World War and the Second World War, the largest geographical extent of Romania up to that time and its largest peacetime extent ever ; more precisely, it refers to the territory of the Kingdom of...

], Romania endures as an agrarian
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

-industrial state, in which the rural inhabitants shall form more than three quarters of the population. Thus, what then ought to be more natural and necessary today, after the Russian lesson, than the political rallying of the peasantry, [than] its transformation from an amorphous and politically inert mass into a self-aware organism that is to demand its share of stately power in proportion to its numbers and significance?"

He believed that the development of the country was not to follow strict capitalist guidelines, and foreign capital
Capital (economics)
In economics, capital, capital goods, or real capital refers to already-produced durable goods used in production of goods or services. The capital goods are not significantly consumed, though they may depreciate in the production process...

 was needed without neglecting the domestic one. Given that the export
The term export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer"...

 capacity of the country was very limited, he insisted on developing the domestic market
Domestic market
A domestic market is a financial market. Its trades are aimed toward a single market. A domestic market is also referred to as domestic trading...

. As the a labor force with medium qualification was missing in Romania, Madgearu called for the development of a proper training system which was to provide skilled professionals for the industry.

In this context, he, as much as the Peasants' Party leader Ion Mihalache
Ion Mihalache
Ion Mihalache was a Romanian agrarian politician, the founder and leader of the Peasants' Party and a main figure of its successor, the National Peasants' Party .-Early life:...

, supported cooperative farming
Cooperative farming
An agricultural cooperative, also known as a farmers' co-op, is a cooperative where farmers pool their resources in certain areas of activity....

 (with it, he primordially aimed to preserve the small-scale rural holding, which he saw as a viable economic cell for a relative future). Nevertheless, during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, he revised some of his principles, and, like much of his party, advocated a focus on accelerated industrialization — as a means to preserve Romania's independence.

"Community of producers"

Madgearu defined his views on the industrial-agricultural relation in 1922, responding to mounting suspicions that his political faction was social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

-based (and thus potentially revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

"If the peasant doctrine admits that the basis of its policies is class-focused, its concept of human society is not class-based and its ideas are less class-based than those of any other party. The other parties label themselves "socially harmonious", taking pride in themselves as national, fusing in their concerns the interests of all citizens. The peasant doctrine knows that they are, in reality, class-based parties, and, if it opposes them, it is precisely because of a national necessity, in order to ensure the normal social development of the people.

[...] The future society can only be a community of producers of manual and intellectual services, in which the labour of the one satisfying a human need, from bread production to poetry, shall be the only warrant for existence.

The economic and political doctrine of "socially harmonious" parties is domination of capital over labour. On the contrary, the peasant doctrine sees labour as dominating capital. The peasant should achieve a self-sufficient economic existence, and the industrial labourer should become an active collaborator in production, in cooperation with the intellectual labourer and the representatives of organized consumers."

His view on the role of peasant doctrine remained present in the National Peasants' Party program, as illustrated in Iuliu Maniu
Iuliu Maniu
Iuliu Maniu was an Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian politician. A leader of the National Party of Transylvania and Banat before and after World War I, he served as Prime Minister of Romania for three terms during 1928–1933, and, with Ion Mihalache, co-founded the National Peasants'...

's 1926 speech on the group's ideology:
"If the National Peasants' Party on one hand relies on all the working and producing classes and aims to justly defend all these classes' economic and social interests, then, on the other, it cannot fail to note that the immense majority of the nation is formed by the peasant category."

Madgearu and Romanian Liberalism

Madgearu further contrasted his party's views with established politics, criticizing the policies of the National Liberals
National Liberal Party (Romania)
The National Liberal Party , abbreviated to PNL, is a centre-right liberal party in Romania. It is the third-largest party in the Romanian Parliament, with 53 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 in the Senate: behind the centre-right Democratic Liberal Party and the centre-left Social...

, who had ruled over Romania in previous decades:
"[...] in political rallying, peasant doctrine does not approve of the financial oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

's political domination, and strives to promote a truly democratic
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 government, based on the freely-expressed will of popular masses, whose political awareness it seeks to awaken."

He expanded on this particular ideal in a 1924 article for Aurora
Aurora (newspaper)
Aurora, until December 1927 known as Ystads-Bladet Aurora, was a daily Social Democratic newspaper published from Ystad in southern Sweden. As of 1957, the newspaper had a daily circulation of around 4,730....

"[If the Peasants' Party is to be victorious in elections] the shape of things would be changed. The National Bank would no longer be the economic fortress of the Liberal oligarchy. Trusts
A cartel is a formal agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry, where there is a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products...

 would no longer enslave and exploit the state. Their selfish and venal leaders would no longer be enthroned in overseeing positions over the country's destinies. Civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

 nowadays suffocated and stolen civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 would be fully restored, and the constitutional-parliamentary
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 regime would become a reality, benefiting the development of popular masses as well as civilization."

Madgearu notably defended the vision of Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea
Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea
Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea was a Romanian Marxist theorist, politician, sociologist, literary critic, and journalist....

 in front of criticism from the maverick Liberal Ştefan Zeletin, who had written a comprehensive study of the Romanian bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

, overtly sympathetic towards economic liberalism
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...


Industrial evolution and state intervention

Carrying out a polemic with Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 (while drawing inspiration from Rudolf Hilferding
Rudolf Hilferding
Rudolf Hilferding was an Austrian-born Marxist economist, leading socialist theorist, politician and chief theoretician for the Social Democratic Party of Germany during the Weimar Republic, almost universally recognized as the SPD's foremost theoretician of his century, and a...

's Austromarxist
Austromarxism was a Marxist theoretical current, led by Victor Adler, Otto Bauer, Karl Renner and Max Adler, members of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria during the late decades of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the First Austrian Republic...

 views on economic history), Madgearu expanded on his belief that the new doctrine was universally acceptable and organic in the development of countries such as Romania:
"It could be objected, however, that peasant doctrine is hostile toward industry. It has been indicated that there is no disagreement between the development of an autonomous class of peasants and major industries, and that, quite the contrary, a mutual fulfillment was discovered between the development of peasant agriculture and major industrial enterprises...

In this sense, there is no question of agricultural policies versus industrial policies, of permanent and determined disagreement. Not even the doctrine of Poporanism denied the necessity of industrialization, but rather only the possibility of establishing a capitalist industry in underdeveloped
Underdevelopment is a term often used to refer to economic underdevelopment, symptoms of which include lack of access to job opportunities, health care, drinkable water, food, education and housing...

 agrarian environments. It is probable that the process of transformation of past agrarian states into industrial ones, on the basis of private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

 and free competition
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two and only two strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For...

, will not be identically reproduced in present-day agrarian states. Even the social-democrat
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

Karl Kautsky
Karl Johann Kautsky was a Czech-German philosopher, journalist, and Marxist theoretician. Kautsky was recognized as among the most authoritative promulgators of Orthodox Marxism after the death of Friedrich Engels in 1895 until the coming of World War I in 1914 and was called by some the "Pope of...

 stated that, in social transformation, there is no way of conceiving that an agricultural country should cover the same length and direction of the path taken by present-day industrial states."

In order to advance his proposed economic goals, Madgearu did however support a degree of state planning
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

 over the mixture of interventionism
Economic interventionism
Economic interventionism is an action taken by a government in a market economy or market-oriented mixed economy, beyond the basic regulation of fraud and enforcement of contracts, in an effort to affect its own economy...

 and laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 advocated by the National Liberals:
"Without treasuring beyond measure the absolute value of planning in organizing the national economy, experience has shown the superiority of plan-based state intervention over that left to chance [...].

The multiple and varied interventions of the state in agriculture and industry, lacking any directive and continuity, are responsible for [the weakening of national economy].

[...] An economic plan does not at all imply the suppression or even a narrowing of private initiative
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

 in the economic life. An economic plan means containing and applying discipline to individual economic forces while maintaining the role of private initiative. An economic plan means coordinating the efforts of individual economic organizations and empowering them, through association and the systematic contribution of the state as the true representative of the national community."

Selected works

  • Zur industriellen Entwicklung Rumäniens ("On the economic evolution of Romania", 1911)
  • Ţărănismul (approx. "Peasant doctrine", 1921)
  • Doctrina ţărănistă (approx. "Peasant doctrine", 1923)
  • Dictatură economică sau democraţie economică? ("Economic dictatorship or economic democracy?", 1925)
  • Romania's new economic policy (in English in its original version, 1930)
  • Notre collaboration technique avec la Société des Nations ("Our technical collaboration with the League of Nations", 1933)
  • Agrarianism
    Agrarianism has two common meanings. The first meaning refers to a social philosophy or political philosophy which values rural society as superior to urban society, the independent farmer as superior to the paid worker, and sees farming as a way of life that can shape the ideal social values...

    , capitalism, imperialism
    Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

  • La politique extérieure de la Roumanie 1927-1938 ("Romania's external policies 1927-1938", 1939)
  • Evoluţia economiei româneşti după primul război mondial ("The development of Romanian economy after World War I
    World War I
    World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

    ", 1940)
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