RE: [OPE] Question to Marxologists: Mode of production

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Wed Aug 27 2008 - 03:53:02 EDT

That is a good point.

But one should not think that there is a one to one correpondance here. A given
configuration of the forces of production may be compatible with more than one
mode of production, though not with all possible modes of production.

Consider manual agriculture in the production of cotton in the USA, it
was compatible with both sharecropping and with slave relations of production.
On the other hand it is arguable that neither sharecropping nor slavery would
have been compatible with modern mechanised agriculture. The latter however
would be compatible both with private capitalism or with state farms or with
collective farms.

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of christopher arthur
Sent: Wed 8/27/2008 8:55 AM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] Question to Marxologists: Mode of production
I do not know of one. However I have always understood it as a  
specific combination of relations of production and forces of  
production. The definition you give here concentrates on the  
relations but doesn't mention the  forces.
Chris A
On 23 Aug 2008, at 13:33, Dave Zachariah wrote:

> I have a question to the Marxologists on the list: Do you have some
> quotes where Marx or Engels try to define "mode of production"?
> I use it as explicitly defined in the writings of Robert Brenner, Paul
> Cockshott and Allin Cottrell: the specific mode in which the social
> division of labor is organized, and the particular way in which a
> surplus product is extracted. There is a good quote by Marx in Capital
> vol. 3 in line with this.
> //Dave Z
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> ope mailing list

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