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Robert Owen and the Soviet kolkhozy Rawson, Mary Elizabeth

Abstract

The writer has drawn a parallel between the co-operative agricultural communities proposed by Robert Owen in England during the nineteenth century and the "kolkhozy" or collective farms of Soviet Russia. Both the co-operative communities and the collective farms were offered as solutions to the problems of unemployment, food scarcity, and general dislocation following war and the beginning of industrialization. Both solutions were based on the development of large-scale, scientific, co-operative agriculture. An examination of the measures employed in these solutions - for example, the allotment of land, the organization and payment of labour, the roles of government and education - illustrate further the parallel between Owen's "Home Colonies" and the Soviet kolkhozy. This similarity may exist for a number of reasons, but it is the writer's opinion that Robert Owen's proposals for co-operative agricultural communities had an influence on the shaping of the Soviet collective farm system.

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