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Animal Farm in Galilee

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Tags Philosophy and Methodology

02/28/2007

Perhaps the most benign and certainly one of the most intense, forms of collectivism in the past century, the Israeli kibbutz, seems to be breathing its last. I say benign because kibbutzniks have always been free to leave their kibbutz, a course that may not have been actionable until the 1948 war establishing Israel pushed back the sea of hostility that surrounded most kibbutzim up until that time.

An article in the Christian Science Monitor for March 1 reports, however, that the kibbutz movement has been suffering not only the loss of individual members, but lately also of entire kibbutzim as their members vote to "privatize." The article indicates that education and old-age pensions will remain collectivized in at least some cases, so that vestiges of the old institutions will remain, as they do even in places like the United States that lack collectivism (at least after the second year of the Plymouth Colony) in their histories.

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