East European Communities: The Struggle for Balance in Turbulent Times

By David A. Kideckel | Go to book overview

committee in 1993, he kept referring to the new cooperative as the "TKZS," the most commonly used term for collective farms in the socialist era. He made a special point to explain to me why he used the old term: "they are the same personnel, working the same way as before," in other words, an old song in an old voice.


Notes

This research was made possible by a faculty incentive grant to Hunter College, CUNY from the Joint Committee on Eastern Europe of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies. I am grateful to the villagers of Zamfirovo and to colleagues at the Institute of Sociology in Sofia for their assistance. Thanks also to Daniel Bates and Trenholme Junghans for comments on an earlier version of this article.

1.
Perhaps this was even more the case in Bulgaria, where the opposition was fairly united. Elsewhere in eastern Europe the opposition was fragmented early on and thus involved in processes of distinction that were more than simply degree of anti- communism.
2.
For more information on the Turkish minority and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, see Bates, this volume.
3.
The land law (Article 33) specified that land commissions should be established at district levels, but also provided for the establishment of village-level commissions at the request of district councils.
4.
The uncertainty of tenure and the continuing operation of the old cooperative make the current amount of land worked by the new cooperative an ifisufficient indication of actual land that the cooperative might eventually access through its current membership.
5.
The average land holding in Zamfirovo at the time of collectivization was 2.78 hectares, and there were only four villagers with more than 10 hectares.
6.
Collectivization began in the late 1940s and was completed in 1956. Space does not permit a detailed description of that process and subsequent agricultural reforms here. For those interested in this history see Creed ( 1992). For comparative material see Bell ( 1984); Kideckel ( 1982, 1993); Humphrey ( 1983); Salzmann and Scheufler ( 1986); Swain ( 1985); and Verdery ( 1983).
7.
If the Hungarian case provides any comparison this suspicion may have been grounded. Szelenyi and Szelenyi ( 1991:16) point out that the Smallholders Party used this argument in advocating the restoration of the 1947 landholding system. They suggested that labor intensive small-scale agriculture could employ the masses who lose jobs due to the rapid restructuring of other sectors of the economy.
8.
Shanin ( 1971) actually suggests that the Soviet precedent was the sole motivation for collectivization, but this is too extreme.
9.
Kideckel ( 1992:72) describes nearly identical suspicions in Romania.
10.
In a provocative analysis Ellen Comisso ( 1991) suggests that property rights under socialism were in fact communal even though defined as cooperative or state ownership.
11.
In this sense it is similar to what Verdery has characterized as the phantom limb syndrome (quoted in Kideckel 1993:227) or part of what Jowitt calls the Leninist legacy ( Jowitt 1992:284-305).

-43-

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