Vulnerability to centralized State control appears deeply woven into the structure of collectives and into the principles and practice of their operation. Since 1967, significant reforms have been made to extricate collectives from precisely this vulnerability, and their autonomy and independent self-management have been central aims of pos-1967 agricultural policies in Hungary. Yet even in 1978 the Central Committee of the MSZMP was dealing extensively with the problem of excessive interference in the collectives' affairs and the need to enforce cooperative democracy. The question is raised by Donáth (1980, 487-488) as to why it is that the Government is regularly compelled to stand up for the enforcement of principles laid down in the legal provisions, and why these cannot become effective. As Donáth rightly points out, this is one of the central problems that needs to be understood in relation to socialist systems, and one that is rooted as much in the social as in the economic context.