Practices of Creative Disobedience: A Key to Economic Success in Socialism? A Case Study of a Hungarian Agricultural Cooperative
Eötvös Loránd University
Hungarian Historical Review Volume 10 Issue 3 (2021):444-465 DOI 10.38145/2021.3.444
One of the central questions in my inquiry is how individual gardeners’ best practices were preserved and further developed within the structure of a socialist cooperative. I also consider how the Árpád Cooperative used the economic reforms of 1968 to expand its market-share.
In my analysis of the successful transfer of knowledge and processes of adaptation, I devote particular attention to the human factor, taking into consideration both the changing relationship between the leadership and the membership of the cooperative and the formation of a class of managers who had had experiences in the West and had a more open-minded mentality. These factors offer a possible explanation as to why this agricultural community chose the organizational form of a cooperative at the time of the change of the political regime and was transformed into a public limited liability company only a decade later.
Keywords: Hungary, socialist cooperatives, horticulture, adaptation, bottom-up initiatives, agrarian lobby, market reforms, innovation