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various forms of voluntary associations of people to carry out an economic activity in common. For instance, so-called service artels are short-term or seasonal associations of carpenters, lumberjacks, and so on. The term “artel” was most often applied to associations set up for the joint performance of work processes and operations (working, agricultural, fishing artels) or to associations that partly consolidated the owning of the means of production without socializing the work of its members (butter- and cheese-producing artels). The term was more rarely applied to associations of joint exchange operations (supply and marketing societies). Artels arise with the development of capitalism. In bourgeois countries there are associations of small commodity producers that aim to adopt the economic activity of its members to the conditions of the capitalist economy.
In the USSR and the other socialist countries the agricultural artel is one of several forms of the collective management of the economy on the basis of the socialization of the means of production. Trade producers’ artels and trade agricultural artels, where trade is the chief occupation and agriculture is subsidiary, existed in the USSR until 1960 and still exist in other socialist countries.