RE: [OPE] "Social formations" - note for Jerry

Date: Sat Sep 13 2008 - 13:34:12 EDT

> In his book Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, P. Anderson devotes a chapter to "typology of social formations" and he discusses the manifestations of
> feudalism in what became France, Germany, England and Italy. The point is that these geographic regions contained many heterogeneous communities with
> various modes of production, which were not integrated into national societies, hence the use of "social formation" in preference to "society" - you couldn't
> very well talk about e.g. "German society" because it didn't exist.
Hi Jurriaan:
True, but even after the formation of nation-states, there
continued to exist "many heterogeneous communities with
various modes of production" ... in many social formations.
But, you have to look at individual nations and societies
since there are nations with a high degree of cultural and ethnic
Often "society" is intended to be a synonym for something
else which is more historically specific. E.g. when Marx referred
in the "Preface to the First Edition" of Volume One of
_Capital_ to "modern society" this was intended to mean "societies
where the capitalist mode of production prevails" (included in first
sentence of Volume One). But, obviously, others would use
the expression "modern society" to convey something else.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Sat Sep 13 13:36:01 2008

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