Saving (Dixie’s) Small Farms

Saving Small Farms

Whenever I think of agriculture in the Soviet Union, the old refrain that “Khrushchev sowed the Virgin Lands and reaped the Canadian wheat” comes to mind. It is a pithy remark that, coupled with a few of President Reagan’s famous “Soviet Jokes,” accurately summarizes the 70 years of Soviet agricultural history. From the murder of thousands of smallholder kulaks and the collectivization of their farmland to the resulting famines and diminished yields of collectivized farms, the history of communism and agriculture is one of the most effective rebuttals to Mr. Marx’s manifesto. Many of the worst famines of the 20th century across Asia and Africa can be traced back to communist agricultural policies.

Given this history of chaos and death, I was surprised to read an article in the socialist magazine Jacobin attacking the growing enthusiasm for local agriculture. The authors dismissed the entire movement as a bourgeois affair and counter to the interests of the working class. They claimed further centralization and industrialization of agriculture would yield more benefits for the working class, heralding processed food as a godsend…

Read the rest of Saving Small Farms on The American Conservative.

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