130211 r23130 g2048-1200

The guys on the side barely know who the pope is.

This may be dumb and may rub against violence theory in an ungraceful way, but I think 500 years ago the average low-income individual was way less involved in politics or aware of it. This could potentially be the result of low literacy rates or some different nature of the state and its involvement in peasant lives.

I get this impression from uninformed and possibly caricatured portrayals of the poor at the time. Also, the scenes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where peasants stopped to have a long discussion about class theory were incredibly hilarious as they just seemed so obviously unrealistic. I take that as a good summary read on my experiences on the topic, so I think it unlikely anybody in the bottom third of society knew anything at all about politics.

I'm sure we could gather data on this topic, though. Somebody has definitely written about this.