Socialism Evolves In The Kibbutz

<p>Individual ownership, privately operated services, and professional management are part of the new face of the kibbutz -- Israel's cooperative intentional communities founded on Marxist and socialist principles.</p>
August 28, 2007, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"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."

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Published on Monday, August 27, 2007 in International Herald Tribune
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