The Red and the Green

The Red and the Green: The Rise and Fall of Collectivized Agriculture in Marxist Regimes

Frederic L. Pryor
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 564
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvr62
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  • Book Info
    The Red and the Green
    Book Description:

    Reorganizing the agricultural sector into large-scale state and collective farms was the most radical transformation of economic institutions implemented by Marxist governments. Frederic Pryor provides perspective on this unique experiment by comparing in a systematic and original fashion the changes in the organization of agriculture in all of the world's Marxist nations. This approach allows not only a clearer understanding of the major lines of agricultural policy and organization in these nations but also a keener insight into the reasons underlying the variations among them. What have been the doctrinal elements that have led to collectivization? Why has the process of collectivization been so different in various nations? How have the farms been organized, both internally and within the larger economy? How has the performance of agriculture differed between the various Marxist nations and comparable capitalist nations? And what are the difficulties in reversing collectivization and moving back toward private agriculture? In answering these questions, The Red and the Green draws on a vast number of primary and secondary sources from many nations, as well as from extensive interviews with farmers, agricultural officials, and specialists in more than a dozen Marxist nations. Among books dealing with problems of communist economy, this study is unrivaled in its broad scope, combined with careful institutional and statistical analysis.

    Originally published in 1992.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6279-5
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Maps, Tables, and Diagrams
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. PART I: Introduction
    • Chapter 1 AN OVERVIEW OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS AND THEMES
      (pp. 3-32)

      The reorganization of agricultural production units into large-scale state and collective farms has been the most radical change of economic institutions implemented by Marxist governments. In contrast to the nationalization of industry and the replacement of the market by central planning and administration, this institutional change has transformed not only ownership and the way in which production units have functioned, but also the way in which laborers have gone about their work and have related to each other. The forced collectivization of agriculture has also been a searing historical experience in Marxist regimes, during which tens of millions died from...

    • Chapter 2 THE MARXIST THEORY OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND COLLECTIVIZATION
      (pp. 33-62)

      Agricultural collectivization is a difficult task, even in the eyes of its most fervent supporters. Stalin once confided to Winston Churchill that the political stresses during collectivization were greater than those of World War II (Churchill 1950, p. 498). Why then should any Marxist regime attempt to collectivize agriculture, especially when its organizational resources might be used for other purposes with a more immediate economic payoff?

      Most of this chapter deals with Marxist theories about agriculture and the arguments derived from Marx’s ideas and attitudes that have led to collectivization, rather than to the motives of those making the actual...

  7. PART II: Land Reforms and Collectivization
    • Chapter 3 AGRARIAN REFORMS
      (pp. 65-96)

      Several different paths have led to socialist agriculture. The Soviet government carried out no agrarian reform; indeed, the peasant land takeovers after the revolution even pushed back the Stolypin land reforms implemented by the Tsarist government. Some nations such as Guyana, Kampuchea, Laos, or Sao Tome followed the Soviet pattern and began collectivizing without attempting an agrarian reform. Others such as Cuba and South Yemen combined the two processes. But most countries carried out an agrarian reform as a preliminary step to collectivization; in some cases many years intervened between the two processes, while in other cases only a few...

    • Chapter 4 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF STATE AND COLLECTIVE FARMS
      (pp. 97-132)

      A Marxist regime considering the collectivization of agriculture faces some important policy dilemmas. Should it first institute land reform and collectivize only later when farms are more modern and larger and the farm population is smaller? Or, should it collectivize without land reform in order to avoid any attachments to the land by beneficiaries of the land reform? Instead, should it simply carry out a thorough land reform and then stop without collectivization? If it decides to collectivize should it create state or collective farms? How should it administer the collectivization drive and with what degree of violence or coercion?...

  8. PART III: Structural Elements
    • Chapter 5 HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL INTEGRATION OF AGRICULTURE
      (pp. 135-162)

      State and collective farms can be organized in many ways, depending upon the economic environment and a set of critical policy decisions by the government and the farm managers. This chapter focuses on two major macrostructural elements: the size of these farms, measured in terms of their land and labor (horizontal integration), and the degree to which individual farms produce their own inputs or process raw foodstuffs (vertical integration).¹ These macrostructural elements have important implications, not just on the functioning of the farm sector, but also on the ease of decollectivizing and moving to a market system. In chapter 6,...

    • Chapter 6 THE INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FARMS
      (pp. 163-192)

      Agricultural performance is not only a function of the macrostructural elements of the farm sector, as discussed in the previous chapter, but also of the internal organization (or microstructural elements) of the farms. In this chapter I examine those internal aspects of the collective and state farms that seem to have the most important economic impacts, in particular, their economic autonomy, the combination of political and economic authority of their managers, the anatomy of their sub-units, the personal plots of their workers, and the various compensation systems used to provide proper work incentives for their labor force.

      The available literature...

  9. PART IV: Policies and Performance
    • Chapter 7 SELECTED AGRICULTURAL POLICIES
      (pp. 195-231)

      Are problems in the performance of agriculture in Marxist regimes due primarily to the organizational structure of the sector or to the more general governmental policies toward agriculture? In previous chapters I argue that many of the difficulties have arisen from organizational aspects of the system, especially as a result of problems resulting from the excess size of the farms, the vertical links with processing and supplying industries, the administration of the farms, the procedures of labor compensation, the incentive structure for the managers, and the supply of auxiliary services.

      It seems reasonable that many governmental policies are tied to...

    • Chapter 8 AGRICULTURAL PERFORMANCE
      (pp. 232-262)

      To what extent has the performance of agriculture in Marxist regimes been different from non-Marxist regimes? And, if there are differences, to what can they be attributed?

      In chapters 5 and 6 I argue that a number of structural features of agriculture in Marxist regimes can have an adverse impact on their performance. These include the large size of the farms, their imperfect vertical linkages with other parts of the agro-industrial complex, and the peculiar incentive structures established not only by higher administrative authorities for the managers of state and collective farms, but also by the managers of these farms...

  10. PART V: Reforms and the Future
    • Chapter 9 WHEN IS COLLECTIVIZATION REVERSIBLE?
      (pp. 265-295)

      By the reversibility of collectivization or by decollectivization I mean the conversion of state and collective farms into either private (corporate or individual) farms, or tenant farms with long-term leases, or genuine producer cooperatives.¹ The breaking up of these large farms is, of course, a more difficult process than conversion of these farms into corporations, in which the workers or others hold stock but the essential farming operations remain roughly the same. But in many countries farmers feel secure only if they have a land title or long-term leases in hand, rather than shares of some abstract legal entity. This...

    • Chapter 10 REFORMS OF AGRICULTURE: SECTORAL ISSUES
      (pp. 296-334)

      This chapter focuses on three policy issues: a restructuring of property relations in agriculture, a marketization of foodstuffs, and the sequencing of these changes. Other types of agricultural policy changes, which are endemic in most Marxist regimes, receive attention only insofar as they are directly related to the reforms.

      I examine the agricultural reforms from the top down, review the range of options facing would-be reformers, and draw upon the experience of a number of nations in order to provide perspective on the benefits and costs of particular choices. Because the discussion deals with problems on an issue-by-issue basis, the...

    • Chapter 11 SOME BROAD ISSUES OF AGRICULTURAL REFORM
      (pp. 335-358)

      In the preceding two chapters I analyze two types of economic connections between agriculture and the rest of the economy. The first linkage is the impact of inflation on the flow of resources into the agricultural sector. In Marxist regimes, inflation usually led to an attenuation of flows of government investment, credit, imported inputs, and consumer goods to the agricultural sector. Furthermore, real prices to producers of foodstuffs fell when the government-mandated prices lagged the general increases in prices of goods and services from other sectors. The second linkage is the role of agricultural inputs on the agricultural reforms. In...

  11. Appendixes
    • RESEARCH NOTES
      • Research Note A CLASSIFICATION OF MARXIST REGIMES
        (pp. 361-366)
      • Research Note B TESTS OF THE MARXIST THEORY OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
        (pp. 367-391)
      • Research Note C THE VERTICAL STRUCTURE OF AGRICULTURE IN MARKET ECONOMIES
        (pp. 392-395)
      • Research Note D MANAGERIAL DECISION-MAKING ON STATE AND COLLECTIVE FARMS
        (pp. 396-413)
      • Research Note E THE TERMS OF TRADE BETWEEN AGRICULTURE AND OTHER SECTORS
        (pp. 414-416)
      • Research Note F FOUR SHORT CASE STUDIES OF AGRICULTURAL REFORM
        (pp. 417-439)
      • Research Note G LABOR SUPPLY AND COMPENSATION ON COLLECTIVE FARMS: A MODEL
        (pp. 440-446)
    • STATISTICAL NOTES
      • Statistical Note A DATA SOURCES FOR TABLES IN CHAPTER 1
        (pp. 447-452)
      • Statistical Note B DATA SOURCES FOR TABLES IN CHAPTER 3
        (pp. 453-467)
      • Statistical Note C DATA SOURCES FOR TABLES IN CHAPTER 4
        (pp. 468-473)
      • Statistical Note D DATA SOURCES FOR TABLES IN CHAPTER 5
        (pp. 474-480)
      • Statistical Note E DATA SOURCES FOR TABLES IN CHAPTER 7
        (pp. 481-481)
      • Statistical Note F DATA SOURCES FOR TABLES IN CHAPTER 8
        (pp. 482-485)
      • Statistical Note G DATA SOURCES FOR TABLES IN RESEARCH NOTE B
        (pp. 486-488)
  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 489-530)
  13. NAME INDEX
    (pp. 531-538)
  14. COUNTRY AND SUBJECT INDEX
    (pp. 539-550)