Unfortunately for Mao, the collective farms alienated those who were benefiting under Cooperatives. Prior to the government mandated Collective farms in 1955, peasants on Cooperative farms were able to make decisions with regard to selling, pricing and product. Many began to make money. Ironically enough, the reason why Mao replaced the Cooperatives with Collectives was essentially because people were benefiting too much. As a Marxist, Mao feared this new class of wealthy peasant and its inevitable desire for political power.

He also needed even higher production from the cooperatives than they were willing to undertake voluntarily - - to support the industrial 5 year plans in the towns and cities.

The subsequent disaster of misreporting which was brought about after the implementation of collectives and the subsequent famine also serve to underline how agriculture is the bane of Communism. Since people get rewarded for what they report, not actually what they produce, the entire market is destroyed. If the government begins to permit reward for what is produced, they have to fear a new class of competition.