Kibbutz numbers are rising!

By not being kibbutz any more:

Most kibbutzim have implemented reforms to become commercially viable and stem decline. Liberalisation – including permitting differential incomes and home ownership – has increased their attractiveness to newcomers reluctant to commit to pure communal principles.

Only about 60 of Israel\’s 275 kibbutzim still operate a completely collective model, in which all members are paid the same regardless of their allotted job. Most of the rest have introduced wage differentials for people employed by the kibbutz – but, more importantly, many members now work outside the kibbutz and contribute a proportion of their salaries to the collective.

Other measures have included selling kibbutz businesses, charging for meals and services, and recruiting agricultural labourers from south-east Asia. The changes, necessary for survival, have been painful, particularly for a generation of kibbutz pioneers wedded to a socialist-Zionist dream.

A note to egalitarian socialists: even among those who volunteer for it it doesn\’t work all that well. Why on earth anyone thinks it would ever work if imposed I\’m not sure.

Being the liberal that I am of course I support any consensual method by which consenting adults wish to run their lives. It\’s the imposition bit I have a problem with. And as the kibbutz movement shows, there are indeed those who prefer to live in such an egalitarian socialism. Well then, if that\’s what you desire then off you go, have fun, send us a postcard occasionally.

It\’s just that you don\’t get to force us into how you want to live.

6 thoughts on “Kibbutz numbers are rising!”

  1. Contrary to received wisdom , people on kibbutzim don’t work that hard, either. Or at least they didn’t when I worked on one (two). Mind you, that was 1990-91, so I might be talking tripe.

  2. “It’s just that you don’t get to force us into how you want to live.”

    But that’s the whole point Tim.

  3. And when the ideal socialist society falls down because of human emotions, needs, desires don’t come running and say it’s the fault of all those nasty capitalists just because you couldn’t sell all your socialist goods on the free and open market.

  4. A note to egalitarian socialists: even among those who volunteer for it it doesn’t work all that well.

    No, and like Edward Lud, my sister went on one in about 1991 mainly to get hammered and do other stuff that young people away from home do with each other. I recall many an amusing story about the pranks they played at work, but not much about long days of honest toil.

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