August 27, 2007

ZIONISM WAS A FAILURE..:

The Kibbutz Sheds Socialism and Gains Popularity (ISABEL KERSHNER, 8/27/07, NY Times)

For much of Israel’s existence, the kibbutz embodied its highest ideals: collective labor, love of the land and a no-frills egalitarianism.

But starting in the 1980s, when socialism was on a global downward spiral and the country was mired in hyperinflation, Israel’s 250 or so kibbutzim seemed doomed. Their debt mounted and their group dining halls grew empty as the young moved away.

Now, in a surprising third act, the kibbutzim are again thriving. Only in 2007 they are less about pure socialism than a kind of suburbanized version of it.

On most kibbutzim, food and laundry services are now privatized; on many, houses may be transferred to individual members, and newcomers can buy in. While the major assets of the kibbutzim are still collectively owned, the communities are now largely run by professional managers rather than by popular vote. And, most important, not everyone is paid the same.

Once again, people are lining up to get in.


...to precisely the extent that it was French. It may yet succeed by becoming Anglo-American.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 27, 2007 7:43 AM
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