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 For Your Reference: Productive Forces and Relations of Production

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For Your Reference

Productive Forces and Relations of Production

by Shih Ta

Source: Peking Review, No. 33, August 15, 1975
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


    THE productive forces consist of the following three elements: 1) labourers who possess certain production experience and labour skill; 2) means of labour, the first being instruments of production; 3) objects of labour. Of the three, labourers are the primary as well as the decisive factor. This is because only the labouring masses can create, improve and use the instruments tit production. As Lenin pointed out at the First All-Russia Congress on Adult Education: "The primary productive force of human society as a whole, is the workers, the working people."
  The relations of production refer to the relations established among people in the process of social production of material goods. They have three aspects: 1) The form of ownership of the means of production; 2) positions of different social groups in production and their mutual relations determined by the form of ownership of the means of production; 3) the form of distribution of products which depends entirely on the above two. Of the three, ownership of the means of production is decisive and is the base of the relations of production. Ownership of the means of production determines mutual relations between people and the form of distribution. For example: In capitalist society, the capitalists own the means of production while the workers have nothing but their labour power for sale. In production, the capitalists hold a dominating, exploiting and controlling position while the workers are in an enslaved, exploited and oppressed position. Because the capitalists have the means of production in their hands and the workers are in a powerless state, the products of labour inevitably go to the capitalists. The workers can only get wages to maintain a ban existence.
  Although ownership of the means of production plays a decisive role in the relations of production, mutual relations between people and the form of distribution also react upon the system of ownership and play the decisive role under certain conditions.
     The productive forces and the relations of production are the two aspects of one dialectical unity. The former cannot exist in the absence of the relations of production; at the same time it is the basis on which certain relations of production exist and develop. The productive forces generally play the principal and decisive role because they are the most revolutionary and active factor. In the wake of the development and changes of the productive forces, the relations of production are sure to develop and change sooner or later. But the relations of production do not merely correspond to the demands of the development of the productive forces in a passive way. They react upon the productive forces, promote or hinder their development and play the decisive role under certain conditions. When the relations of production obstruct and shackle the development of productive forces, this will give rise to changes in the relations of production and to violent revolution which will overthrow the old social system and establish new relations of production conforming to the further development of the productive forces. The emergence of new relations of production, on the other hand, promotes the development of productive forces.
  Till today, human society has seen five kinds of relations of production, namely, those of primitive communal system, slave system, feudal system, capitalist system and socialist system.
  In China, socialist relations of production have been established and are in harmony with the growth of the productive forces which progress at a much quicker pace than that in the old society. But these relations of production are still far from perfect, and this Imperfection is in contradiction to the growth of the productive forces. In our country, bourgeois right, which has not yet been entirely abolished in the system of ownership, is still prevalent to a serious extent in relations between people and holds a dominant position in distribution. All this influences the development of the productive forces. Therefore, we must pay attention to solving problems in the relations of production, limit bourgeois right, accelerate the growth of productive forces, make further efforts to consolidate and perfect socialist ownership, and create conditions in which it will be impossible for The bourgeoisie to exist, or for a now bourgeoisie to arise.
  
  
  

 
 
顶端 Posted: 2009-03-11 05:32 | [楼 主]
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