Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

The American Ideology


Jim Chen

First Page



America, so the world supposes, won the Cold War. Market capitalism and liberal democracy have triumphed over central planning and the dictatorship of the proletariat. American agriculture can measure the magnitude of its victory by the sheer number of academics invited East to advise former Soviet farmers on how to restore the agricultural productivity that once made Russia and Ukraine the coveted Heartland of European geopolitics.' America's finest land grant professors are now teaching the heirs of a fallen farmers' and workers' paradise how to rebuild an agricultural economy gutted by decades of collectivization, state ownership, and ecological mismanagement.

Many of these American scholars are offering advice on the structure and operation of agricultural cooperatives. To the Americans' surprise, their Russian and Ukrainian students recoil at the mere mention of the word "cooperative." Cooperative organization dominated the former Soviet system of agricultural planning. The Eastern managers want no further instruction in cooperative organization and expect none from their Western advisors. "Corporations," the former Soviets say. "Isn't Western capitalism based on corporations? Why aren't you teaching us about corporate organization?"