Wadi'h Halabi, Richard Levins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


"After a socialist revolution, scientific development of agricultural productivity is one of the new state’s most important yet difficult tasks. Obstacles include poverty and the opposition between city and countryside inherited from capitalism. The land reform so essential for the revolution’s victory creates millions of small landholdings which are ultimately incompatible with environmentally and socially sustainable development. Scientific development of agriculture requires social planning based on ecological principles and primarily non-exploitative organizational forms and relations. Ecological principles require
that land use be a mosaic that includes forest, pasture as well as field crops. A poor peasant household cannot afford to devote half its holdings to forest or to grow less profitable crops for the benefit of neighbors. Ecological principles will also be violated if land can be bought, sold and diverted to non-agricultural uses without planning. Where individual holdings prevail, state-supported cooperatives can open the path to scientific development. Starting with cooperative purchasing, followed by cooperative credit and then selling, these sequential steps, each voluntary, can facilitate the transition from individual farming
to cooperative production. As in all spheres, the contending social, economic, and environmental forces shaping agriculture are all ultimately global. The fundamental interests of the two global classes are profoundly opposed. Workers’ parties and unions in capitalist countries have the same interests as the states
formed by socialist revolutions in scientific development."
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-314
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Review of Political Economy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • scientific development
  • agriculture
  • ecological principles
  • class interests
  • Marxism


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