Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Israeli Kibbutz....(are) agricultural communes, loosely based upon utopian socialism and Marxist communism. As Zionists settled Palestine in the late 19th century, the Kibbutz was a response the self perceived idea that Jews were soft bellied and stooped over money changers. Instead of running Inns and Pawn shops in eastern Europe, the new Jew would regain his strength and dignity by becoming a tiller of the soil. Secondarily, the Kibbutz functioned as a territorial defense force against bandits, and later, Palestinian terrorists.
(Since Jews were dispersed (the Diaspora), they did not own land- they were merchants and bankers . This became a major argument against the Jewish race- Germans and Russians believed that working the land, or working in factories, etc., i.e., with ones hands... bestowed upon the worker a certain dignity and insight into the mystery of life; and thus, because Jews did not generally labor, or have land, they were automatically corrupt, devising philosophic abstractions to promote urbanization and the decay of the family and national traditions- this idea led, in part, to Pograms and the Holocaust).

Kibbutz 's were instrumental in forming Israel-although only about 4% of Israeli's ever lived on these small farms, Kibbutzim comprise many of the key figures in Israeli government, academia, and the military (Moshe Dayan was born in the first Kibbutz, which was formed in 1909).

Kibbutz were initially very communistic, yet most of them possessed a strong religious component. Homes and profits were shared equally, and children were communally raised apart from their natural parents. (After Kruschev's "secret speech" denouncing Stalin in 1957 (?)...the Kibuutzim started to move away from Marxism).

The Kibbutz ideal has declined- individual initiative suffered under the weight of a moralizing collectivism... some privatization has recently been introduced.

A more credible alternative to the Kibbutz is the Moshav- a Moshav is a communal agricultural community where key tasks and costs are collectivized, yet private property and profit is allowed.

Both the Kibbutz and the Moshav have elected committee leadership, as well as a general tax on all occupants, to be used for collectively owned heavy farm equiptment, etc.


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