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Kibbutz Kibitz

February 20th, 2007 · No Comments

Almost 30 years ago, Robert Nozick wrote that Israel’s kibbutzes provided “the acid test for voluntary socialism,” and concluded that the results to date had not provided a ringing endorsement. Well, hate to say I told you so, but according to The Guardian, the oldest and best-known kibbutz in Israel has just decided to go private:

In the past the 320 members of the kibbutz saw their salaries paid into a communal account and then received free services and an allowance based on need, usually determined by the size of their families. In future they will be paid varied salaries based on ability not need and, most importantly, they will be allowed to keep them. In return they will have to pay for services such as electricity and water and they will have to pay a progressive income tax into the kibbutz which will be used to support the least well off.

Although some have objected to the changes, the vote was carried by 85% and represents a trend throughout Israel’s kibbutz movement. Around two-thirds of the country’s 230 or so kibbutzim have adopted similar privatisation plans in recent years, an attempt to hold on to their community lifestyle in the face of the influence of the outside world.

Via Cafe Hayek.

Tags: Libertarian Theory