Talk:Mode of production

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Free software movement[edit]

The enhanced productivity of the productive force of the internet for software programming and white collar work is combined with the relation of production indicated in the property form of the GNU GPL or GNU FDL Whoever wrote this (and the paragraph in which it is contained) has no idea what he is talking about. "Copyright" is not a relation of production!! (Hint: Which entity enforces Copyright?) Also, I dont think the "Free Software Movement" controls the means of distribution (the internet) and I never heard of a cooperative of workers making computer chips. Somebody please review the paragraph or I'll kindly delete it. Thanks. --129.13.251.76 23:45, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Whether or not the author of that paragraph is right, your criticism isn't. Of course copyright is not a relation of production, which is why the author is careful to say the relation of production indicated in the property form of the GPL. Which is long-winded, but does answer your particular complaint. The free software movement does not control the means of distribution, but generally programmers do control their own means of production. Next, you may never have heard of them but there are a whole bunch of processor designs under the GPL in manufacture (mostly SPARC derivatives). But picking at your detailed criticisms doesn't answer the general point, which is whether it is possible for multiple modes of production to coexist. If you take slavery in the American South as an example - was that a coexistence of slave and capitalist modes of production? I think it's hard to deny it, in spite of the fact that the slaveowners did not live on cotton but on food not necessarily grown by slaves, in houses not built by slaves, etc; while at the same town capitalists invested in and profited from the slave trade, cotton production etc. Rather than simply deleting this paragraph, the article could do with an expansion of the section 'articulation of modes of production' which includes references to work done on this topic in the 70s (especially by the Althusserians, Godelier etc) and something about the concept of 'social formation' referring to societies involving multiple and interdependent modes of production. The software paragraph should then be reconsidered in that context, as an example of interdepence between different modes of production. Marinheiro 11:58, 22 June 2007 (UTC)


A very naive paragraph, I must say. Based on superfluous application of phraseology. Not to say that capitalism quickly figured out how to make money from "free" software. And forgetting to mention that major proponents of free software happen to make big bucks somewhere. I.e., free software is in no way a definitive force of economy (at least of their personal one). I'd rather compare the notion of free software with the notion of copyright/patent expiration: patents are result of hard labor eventually become free, making patent holders rich in the meantime (theoretically). Free software, while being free from the start, have a mysterious way to make their users rich. Mikkalai 07:01, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

But as the article points out, the making of money is not the determining factor of a mode of production.Fifelfoo 05:36, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
My chaotic rant is not about making money. It is about trying to mechanically apply the marxist terminology to some other situations. It demonstrates at least two things.
  • Reductio ad absurdum shows that marxism (or at least some of its interpretations) is not very scientific, since one may easily devise hundreds of "modes of production" perfectly fitting to the marxist definition, but leading to nowhere. (Recall that according to marx, "mode of production" defines the form of the society.) Mikkalai 05:59, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No distinction between 'socialism' and 'communism'[edit]

Points 6 and 7 in the section entitled "The modes of production in history" are not Marxist. There's no evidence that marx distinguished between socialism and communism at all and especially not in the way suggested in the article. Nor did he suggest there would be two phases following capitalism. See Critique of The Gotha Programme. Also, see the preface to the 1888 English edition of the Communist Manifesto for a brief discussion of why M&E chose 'communist' over 'socialist'.

Lenin, on the other hand, did make this distinction - years after Marx's death. Hydrostatic 16:33, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

somewhat inacurate[edit]

Marx actually never truly defined the real deffinition of Mode of Production, despite being a term used by him very losely in Das Kapital. One of the many explanations for what Mode of Production truly means was given my Marta Harnecker in her book "Capital: fundamental concepts": Mode of production is defined by: 1)a global structure, formed by three structures: economic structure, law and political structure and Ideology (ideas and customs). 2)in this global structure, one regional structure always dominates the others, usually is not the economical one as it is usually believed 3)In this global structure the economical structure will always determinant in last instance (difference between dominant and determinant structure) 4)what characterizes the mode of production is its dinamics, its continual reproduction of its conditions of existance.

" Despite the imminent potential of communism, some economic "

The link you get from clicking on "imminent" leads to one for a german band, not any kind of definition of the word.


193.113.57.163 10:05, 15 January 2007 (UTC)Mark

Discussion of changes to the March, 2009 baseline of this Article[edit]

A number of unexplained changes were made by, among others, ZD12 who is known to have been blocked for vandalizing socialism related articles. I have reverted back to my last edit and started this thread for normal wiki process. Lycurgus (talk) 02:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Slurring of modes[edit]

The usage "Socialism/Communism" is a degradation from the prior content in that it slurs together two quite distinct things. Moreover, while the definition of one of these two things is contentious (Socialism) the other is much less so, principally because it is an ideal. FTR, socialism (as a mode of production) is what we mostly have now in the form of the modern mixed economy and rapidly advancing globally socialized production, albeit under the control of the decrepit prior mode (as a social order) now in its last stages of putrefaction. Add a sub section for Socialism to cover the gap between Late Capitalism and Communism. Lycurgus (talk) 12:26, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Socialist Mode of Production[edit]

Capitalist production is production for exchange value, "making money". It is both a social order with a ruling class that controls money capital and an entire modality of human society. Communist production is production strictly for use value in a situation where classes, in particular ruling ones, have been eliminated or reduced to their natural minima. The modalities are so different, that it is hardly a surprise that the first attempt to make the change was a failure or that communist states fall back on the traditional mode. What currently holds in the modern nation state is not the more or less pure capitalism of the 19th century which produced the richest individuals in modern times¹ but a reduced form that is necessarily socialist to a substantial extent, because capitalism even in its senility attempts to promote as every social form must the well being of its members and indeed it is both more successful and under greater pressure to do so. In producing the large middle classes that now are the putative ruling classes in the advanced democracies the actual ruling elites have realized the canard that what Capitalism really produces are its gravediggers. It is this essential difference in the very basis of the entirety of socially useful production that is the reason why "socialism/communism" is a gross distortion.

For this reason, the case of the United States is especially significant and it represents a pattern repeated elsewhere. Vast sections of society have come to think of themselves as "middle class" whose basis in the attainment of a level of general education that could sustain such a status in socially useful labor is entirely lacking, due to the institutional failure of education and perhaps their cultural character as well as that of Capitalism vis a vis them as units of labor. Capitalism is utterly without a means of accommodating these self-misconceptions. These misconceptions were fostered by the relative success the working class had in the 20th century when there was another system. Now they confront the reality of triumphalist Capitalism and their own entirely untenable position within it.

So things such as this, the failure of a general level of development sufficient to make production for use the common modality in those places where capitalism was overthrown and the inability of avowedly or de-facto socialist societies to recognize the need to change the very basis of society distinguish the situation of the "socialist mode of production" from the end ideal to which progressive human development must ultimately evolve. Perhaps the intervening subsection could be "Social Democratic Mode of Production", "Production under the Neoliberal Consensus" or what have you. 72.228.177.92 (talk) 03:26, 16 June 2010 (UTC)



reference or remove[edit]

There's no reference for this (see below) and the reference to Marx ('s Grundrisse) and the claim that he regarded "productive ability and participation in social relations as two essential characteristics..." must be removed because it counts as ORIGINAL RESEARCH.

In the writings of Karl Marx and the Marxist theory of historical materialism, a mode of production (in German: Produktionsweise, meaning 'the way of producing') is a specific combination of:

productive forces: these include human labour power and means of production (e.g. tools, equipment, buildings and technologies & knowledge, materials, and improved land).

social and technical relations of production: these include the property, power, and control relations governing society's productive assets (often codified in law), cooperative work relations and forms of association, relations between people and the objects of their work, and the relations between social classes.

Marx regarded productive ability and participation in social relations as two essential characteristics of human beings and that the particular modality of these relations in capitalist production are inherently in conflict with the increasing development of human productive capacities.[1]

I think it was you who just added the extra text. The source you gave has nothing to do with the content you added (I read page 8 of the book cited it is about human rights). So, when I revert it, please do not add it back in unless you have a source that backs up the text.I am One of Many (talk) 06:36, 4 July 2014 (UTC)