Aah, no, we're not. But I like both, personally. However, it's more easy to abuse that action/reaction when it's all straightforward.
Would be nice if a player who has a reputation as being cruel to peasants would make it known. That is, if I know that my neighbor is utterly ruthless to peasants, it'd be a sort of diplomatic weight that I'd keep in mind.
Would be even nicer if, instead of just fleeing, an extremely cruel overlord might end up with a revolution on his hands. Not to mention that, in such a case, peasants might contact other leaders, giving alternative methods to weakening enemy powers.
IE, if again my neighbor is being cruel to peasants, one day I hear that the peasants are planning to revolt through my spies or what have you. One of the peasant leaders contacts one of my people, we chat up, and I end up commiting resources to the peasants.
A new minor NPC faction would start up then, at war with their former nation and trying to overthrow it, perhaps with the help of other nations.
Already I can see this being interesting. Just because one leader frequently abused his peasants, a massive war could ultimately unfold between nations that, in the past, had little to no reason to fight.
And once the peasants have outlived their usefulness...well, it's up to you what happens.
Arise, like the glorious phoenix!