The aims of postwar Eastern Europe governments included, first and foremost, the restructuring and controlling of economic and social domains. Since 1945, planning in rural Hungary has been focused on the collectivization of agriculture. However, activities at the village level not only deflected the intended outcomes of government policies, but also generated new, innovative results. Families managed to redirect their efforts into a variety of job sectors and to forge essential ties with the industrial, non-agricultural job sectors. Labor withheld from the collectives was invested in plot farming, a development that proved of paramount importance to both the national and household economies. Today, most rural families continue to participate in more than one sector of production, making it difficult for the central government to design selective policies aimed at the "peasant." The broadening of Hungary's interpretation and application of socialist principles was largely a result of the ways in which government plans were reinterpreted and reapplied at the local level. By examining agricultural changes in one Hungarian village, Dr. Vasary explores some of the possibilities and limitations inherent in collectivization.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Introduction -- Antecedents -- The Three Villages in the Valley -- The Land Reform of 1945 -- Agricultural Collectivization -- Agrarian Policies in the 1950s -- The First Phase of Collectivization -- The Second Phase of Collectivization -- The Three Collectives of Pécsely -- The First Merger -- Internal Organization in the New Rákoczi Collective -- The Jókai Collective -- The Collectives’ Dependence and Independence -- Relationship of Members to the Collective -- Beyond the Collective -- Plot Farming: The ‘Second Economy’ -- The Small Giant: Form and Function of Plot Farming -- The Integration of the Plots and the Collective -- Household Economy and Small Farming -- Plot Farming and Development of Income Differentials -- Networks of Reciprocity -- The ‘Elite’ of the Széphegy -- The Invisible Population -- Popular and Official Evaluation of Plot Farming -- Non-Agricultural Labour -- The Collective and the Community -- Under One Roof? -- Community, Society: Institutions -- Community, Society: Competing Paradigms -- The Traditional Paradigm -- The Socialist Paradigm -- The Western Urban Paradigm -- Social Differentiation -- Community, Society: Voluntary Associations -- Conclusion