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

Date: Fri Aug 29 2008 - 08:03:30 EDT

> 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 mechanized agriculture. The latter however> would be compatible both with private capitalism or with state farms or with> collective farms.
OK, Paul C: I'll talk about mechanized agriculture. Yes, you can be able to have
mechanized agriculture in different modes of production. But, the *particular
form* those means of production take are shaped by the relations of 
production. In other words, the agricultural equipment is *designed* to be
used in a particular social context. When you use a tractor, what's the first thing
you have to do?  Perhaps put the *key* in the ignition and turn the engine
over?  Why is a key required to operate the tractor?  As it happens, I'm in the
Deep South now - in coastal South Carolina. If there was still slavery, do you 
think there would be air conditioning in the vehicles and factories where the 
slaves worked?  Would there be (as much of a) concern for ergonomic design?
The mechanized agricultural equipment and other related products like 
fertilizers are designed in such a way that they have environmental 
consequences. Would post-capitalist modes of production design agricultural
means of production with relative indifference to the environment? 
In solidarity, Jerry

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