[Marxism] dominant and other modes of production

george snedeker snedekerg at verizon.net
Thu Dec 28 17:36:30 MST 2006

Sociologists often talk about capitalist society, but Marx used the concept of the capitalist mode of production not society. We often talk about the world as being under the capitalist mode of production especially with the hegemony of the concept of globalization. I wonder how much of the world is actually under the dominance of the CMP. This is certainly the case in the core of the world system but less and less so in the semi-periphery and periphery of the system. I have been wondering what to call the other modes of production which currently exist in the world today. We might call them , feudal, slave and communal as has been done in the Marxist tradition. For example Cuba and China in very different ways have both a capitalist and socialist mode of production. what about the rest of Latin America and Asia as well as Africa? In terms of numbers of people, millions are still living under something other than the capitalist mode of production. Even the slave mode of production persists. The CMP is dominant and is the most dynamic force on the planet but is only part of the story. Some Marxists seem to believe that socialism can only come about after the entire world is under the capitalist mode of production while others no longer even talk about socialism or claim that it exists in individual countries like Cuba. My point here is about how to conceptualize the world system of capitalism in terms of modes of production. There are, of course, political consequences to be drawn from any conceptual analysis. 

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