ERIC Number: EJ932449
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
From Latifundia to Central Planning and Onward to Agribusiness: A Rejoinder to Joachim Singelmann's Presidential Address on "From Central Planning to Markets"
Rural Sociology, v76 n1 p21-23 Mar 2011
This article presents the author's rejoinder to Joachim Singelmann's presidential address on "From Central Planning to Markets." Joachim Singelmann in his presidential address challenged the received wisdom: socialism was doomed to fail; during the market transition all of its basic institutions had to be abolished and replaced by the institutions of market capitalism. He provocatively suggests that socialism was not merely a failed modernization project; in some respects it was ahead in modernization of the capitalist West: (1) women's entry into the labor force had a lasting positive effect on women's liberation; (2) socialist countries tended to be further along secularization than advanced countries of the West; and (3) collectivization of agriculture created large enough holdings to enable the efficient use of modern machinery. While few people of postcommunist Europe would like to return to the status quo ante, the author argues that for those who do want some aspects, it is not just "ostalgia": they miss some "good" socialist institutions, such as health care, integrated housing, day care, access to higher education without class barriers, and so on. Singelmann takes the most difficult case to prove his point: East Germany. He finds one interesting instance where this process did not happen: agriculture. While after unification the German government promoted family farms, the author contends that there is not much family farming in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). Here, the author puts Singelmann's analysis into a broader perspective.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Social Systems, Productivity, Agriculture, Labor Force, Agribusiness, Cost Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: East Germany