Production of the means of social existence involves

Production of the means of social existence involves - 2...

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Production of the means of social existence involves, for Marx, three basic things: 1. The Forces of Production: These "forces" involve such things as: Land, Raw materials, Tools / Machines, Knowledge (scientific / technical and the like), People (or, more correctly, their labour). In the above, all we are noting is that such things are necessary - at various times in the social development of any society - if commodities are to be produced. As I've suggested, different societies at different times in their historical development involve some or all of the above as part of the general production process. For example , in Britain in the Middle Ages , the forces of production would have involved: Land - since this was basically an agricultural society. Raw materials - basically anything that could be grown... Tools - but not machines, as such. Knowledge - but not particularly "scientific" as we might understand the term. People - the "labour power" of peasants, for example, working on the land.
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Unformatted text preview: 2. The Relations of Production: As I've noted, people cannot produce anything without entering into various social relationships and this idea simply encompasses the different kinds of social relationships into which people have to enter at various times in order to produce commodities. This involves both individual / personal relationships (for example, in the Middle Ages the main productive relationship was between a Noble / Lord who "owned" land and the peasant / serf who worked on the land. In our (Capitalist) society, the main productive relationship is between an employer and an employee) and, most importantly, group relationships. In Capitalist societies such as our own, it's possible to identify different broad social groupings - groups of people who share a basically-similar position in the production process. Marx called these groups "social classes" and we will look at their theoretical significance in more detail in a moment....
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