A rural community was a unit of economic self-government of the peasants. Rural societies were governed by village assemblies, which elected village headmen. They were collective owners of secular allotment land, which they provided to individual peasants for temporary use. The rural societies had the right to periodically redistribute the allotment land among their members according to the size of their families and were also collectively responsible for the payment of taxes by their members.
The peasants were always an exploited class. However, there is a somewhat different relationship within the community, and production takes place outside the relationship of exploitation. The community becomes the object of exploitation and thus becomes part of one or another exploitative socio-economic structure. No peasant economy in itself, outside the composite mode of production, can exist for a long time. It will either be gradually differentiated internally up to the emergence of other ways of life or will be progressively included in other formations due to the external subjugation of peasant communities.