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A serf is bound to the land. He is not free to leave if he objects to his masters mistreatment.
Every socialist revolution has led to the reintroduction of serfdom, usually implemented by internal passports, as in Cuba or in the Soviet union. The reintroduction of serfdom has invariably required extensive and prolonged terror.
Ronald Fraser Blood of Spain, page 367, quotes Fernando Aragon, who describes the peasant collective where he was forced to remain.
Three or four of the peasants with larger holdings tried to leave the collective, but the committee controlled all the seed and fertilizer. [...]
The committee members went around with pistols in their belts looking, but not working, like revolutionaries. [...] But what was even worse was that the committee members were lining their pockets: all the best food ended up in their pockets.
One of the twins fell ill with a kidney complaint. [...] They told me to walk. [...] "What sort of equality is this? You ride around in cars when I need to take my child to the doctor". They still refused.
There was great discontent. The women talked about it. We went out to work in the fields - and it was right that we should. But why didn't the wives of the committee members have to go? [...] I wanted to leave but I could not. We had no money, no means, Moreover the committee had guards posted on the roads. It was terror, dictatorship.
We could not get rid of those committee members. They had the arms.
Ronald Fraser summarizes
For detractors of Aragon collectives, Fernando's experience was more or less typical: For supporters exceptional, but undeniable.
Fraser also concludes that peasants were generally not free to leave the collectives, though he implies that in a great many cases they were restrained by less blatant and drastic means than were used to restrain Fernando Aragon. They were not allowed to have any money, food reserves, or means of transport, making it impossible to travel without permission.
See also Bait and switch in Catalonia
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