EASTERN EUROPE: 1% Socialism

When Wladyslaw Gomulka was swept into power in the 1956 Warsaw upheaval, one of his first concessions was to abolish forced collectivization of agriculture and let peasants go back to farming their own land in their old individual way. So swift was the rush to private ownership that within weeks collective farms had all but disappeared from the Polish countryside.

Ever since, Communist Gomulka has been trying vainly to lure the peasants back into what his government calls "cooperatives." Biggest lures: fat, long-term loans to any group that wants to socialize itself;...

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