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Short note on 'Mode of Production' | Mode of production Definition | IGNOU BPSC 105 Assignment soloution

The term mode of production derives from the work of Karl Marx (1818–1883), and the concept  has played a significant role in subsequent Marxist theory. Mode of production refers to the varied ways that human beings collectively produce the means of subsistence in order to survive and  enhance social being. Marx believed that human history could be characterized by the dominant modes of production. In this sense the term refers to a specific economic system. Marx was interested  in doing two things: providing an analytical framework for defining specific modes of production  and locating those modes in terms of a theory of historical development. That being said, he never developed these two points in a consistent or systematic manner, and thus there are both ambiguities  and contradictions contained in his writings (not unlike his treatment of social class). Nonetheless, the  basic contours of what he was getting at are clear.

Any particular mode of production is the result of the distinctive articulation of a system that  involves specific relations of production and forces of production. The relations of production define  specific social relations predicated on the mode of appropriation of surplus labor and a specific  institutionalized practice concerned with the distribution of the means of production. Social relations  are primarily defined in terms of social classes, which form the basis of the structural system that  regulates human relationships. These relations become codified in law and in more general terms  legitimated by the hegemonic ideology. Forces of production define the labor process itself where in  raw materials are transformed into determinate products. Factors that affect the forces of production  include raw materials, the personal activity of people (labor), and the instruments used to transform. raw materials into products. Of particular note in assessing the level of development of the forces of  production is the nature of the technologies, machines, and scientific advances being deployed in the  productive process.


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