Means of labor

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Means of labor is a concept in Marxist political economy that refers to "all those things with the aid of which man acts upon the subject of his labor, and transforms it." (Institute of Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., 1957) Means of labor include tools and machinery (the "instruments of production"), as well as buildings and land used for production purposes and infrastructure like roads and communications networks and so forth. Labor, Itself defines "work, especially hard physical work."

Political economy Study of production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government

Political economy is the study of production and trade and their relations with law, custom and government; and with the distribution of national income and wealth. As a discipline, political economy originated in moral philosophy, in the 18th century, to explore the administration of states' wealth, with "political" signifying the Greek word polity and "economy" signifying the Greek word "okonomie". The earliest works of political economy are usually attributed to the British scholars Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo, although they were preceded by the work of the French physiocrats, such as François Quesnay (1694–1774) and Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–1781).

Russian Academy of Sciences academy of sciences

The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia; a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation; and additional scientific and social units such as libraries, publishing units, and hospitals.

Production is a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs in order to make something for consumption. It is the act of creating an output, a good or service which has value and contributes to the utility of individuals.

The means of labor are one of three basic factors of the production process (Marx, 1967, p 174), along with human labor, and the subject of labor (the material worked on).

Subject of labor

Subject of labor, or object of labor, is a concept in Marxist political economy that refers to "everything to which man's labor is applied." The subject of labor may be materials provided directly by nature like timber or coal, or materials that have been modified by labor. In the latter case, the subject of labor are called raw materials.

In some formulations, the means of labor and human labor (including the activity itself, as well as the skills and knowledge brought to the production process) comprise the productive forces of society (e.g., Sheptulin, 1978), other formulations define productive forces more narrowly as the union of instruments of production and the workers who wield them (e.g., Institute of Economics, 1957).

Skill is a measure of the amount of worker's expertise, specialization, wages, and supervisory capacity. Skilled workers are generally more trained, higher paid, and have more responsibilities than unskilled workers.

The knowledge economy is the use of knowledge to generate tangible and intangible values. Technology, and in particular, knowledge technology, helps to incorporate part of human knowledge into machines. This knowledge can be used by decision support systems in various fields to generate economic value. Knowledge economy is also possible without technology.

Productive forces

Productive forces, productive powers, or forces of production is a central idea in Marxism and historical materialism.

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In economics and sociology, the means of production are physical and non-financial inputs used in the production of economic value. These include raw materials, facilities, machinery and tools used in the production of goods and services. In the terminology of classical economics, the means of production are the "factors of production" minus financial and human capital.

Private property legal designation of the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities

Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity; and from collective property, which is owned by a group of non-governmental entities. Private property can be either personal property or capital goods. Private property is a legal concept defined and enforced by a country's political system.

Use value or value in use is a concept in classical political economy and Marxian economics. It refers to the tangible features of a commodity which can satisfy some human requirement, want or need, or which serves a useful purpose. In Karl Marx's critique of political economy, any product has a labor-value and a use-value, and if it is traded as a commodity in markets, it additionally has an exchange value, most often expressed as a money-price. Marx acknowledges that commodities being traded also have a general utility, implied by the fact that people want them, but he argues that this by itself tells us nothing about the specific character of the economy in which they are produced and sold.

Marxism economic and sociopolitical worldview based on the works of Karl Marx

Marxism is a theory and method of working class self-emancipation. As a theory, it relies on a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Commodity (Marxism)

In classical political economy and especially Karl Marx's critique of political economy, a commodity is any good or service produced by human labour and offered as a product for general sale on the market. Some other priced goods are also treated as commodities, e.g. human labor-power, works of art and natural resources, even though they may not be produced specifically for the market, or be non-reproducible goods.

Marxian class theory asserts that an individual’s position within a class hierarchy is determined by his or her role in the production process, and argues that political and ideological consciousness is determined by class position. A class is those who share common economic interests, are conscious of those interests, and engage in collective action which advances those interests. Within Marxian class theory, the structure of the production process forms the basis of class construction.

The labour process theory is a late Marxist theory of the organization of work under capitalism. According to Karl Marx, labour process refers to the process whereby labour is materialized or objectified in use values. Labour is here an interaction between the person who works and the natural world such that elements of the latter are consciously altered in a purposive manner. Hence, the elements of labour process are three-fold: first, the work itself, a purposive productive activity; second the object(s) on which that work is performed; and third, the instruments which facilitate the process of work.

Communist society type of society and economic system

In Marxist thought, communist society or the communist system is the type of society and economic system postulated to emerge from technological advances in the productive forces, representing the ultimate goal of the political ideology of communism. A communist society is characterized by common ownership of the means of production with free access to the articles of consumption and is classless and stateless, implying the end of the exploitation of labour.

Relations of production Concept in Marxism

Relations of production is a concept frequently used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their theory of historical materialism and in Das Kapital. It is first explicitly used in Marx's published book The Poverty of Philosophy, although Marx and Engels had already defined the term in The German Ideology.

In Karl Marx's critique of political economy and subsequent Marxian analyses, the capitalist mode of production refers to the systems of organizing production and distribution within capitalist societies. Private money-making in various forms preceded the development of the capitalist mode of production as such. The capitalist mode of production proper, based on wage-labour and private ownership of the means of production and on industrial technology, began to grow rapidly in Western Europe from the Industrial Revolution, later extending to most of the world.

Classical Marxism economic, philosophical, and sociological theories expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Classical Marxism refers to the economic, philosophical and sociological theories expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as contrasted with later developments in Marxism, especially Leninism and Marxism–Leninism.

<i>The German Ideology</i> literary work by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

The German Ideology is a set of manuscripts written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels around April or early May 1846. Marx and Engels did not find a publisher, but the work was later retrieved and published for the first time in 1932 by David Riazanov through the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow.

Socialist mode of production

In Marxist theory, socialism refers to a specific historical phase of economic development and its corresponding set of social relations that emerge from capitalism in the schema of historical materialism. The Marxist definition of socialism is an economic transition where the sole criterion for production is use-value and therefore the law of value no longer directs economic activity. Marxist production for use is coordinated through conscious economic planning, while distribution of products is based on the principle of to each according to his contribution. The social relations of socialism are characterized by the proletariat effectively controlling the means of production, either through cooperative enterprises or by public ownership or private artisanal tools and self-management, so that social surplus goes to the working class, and hence society as a whole. Karl Marx himself did not use the term "socialism" to refer to this development, but rather called it a communist society that has not yet reached its "higher-stage." The term "socialism" was popularized during the Russian Revolution by Vladimir Lenin.

<i>Das Kapital</i> Book by Karl Marx

Das Kapital, also called Capital, A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx is a foundational theoretical text in materialist philosophy, economics and politics. Marx aimed to reveal the economic patterns underpinning the capitalist mode of production, in contrast to classical political economists such as Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. Marx did not live to publish the planned second and third parts, but they were both completed from his notes and published after his death by his colleague Friedrich Engels. Das Kapital is the most cited book in the social sciences published before 1950.

Social ownership is any of various forms of ownership for the means of production in socialist economic systems, encompassing public ownership, employee ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership of equity, common ownership and collective ownership. Historically social ownership implied that capital and factor markets would cease to exist under the assumption that market exchanges within the production process would be made redundant if capital goods were owned by a single entity or network of entities representing society, but the articulation of models of market socialism where factor markets are utilized for allocating capital goods between socially owned enterprises broadened the definition to include autonomous entities within a market economy. Social ownership of the means of production is the common defining characteristic of all the various forms of socialism.

Marxian economics school of economic thought

Marxian economics, or the Marxian school of economics, refers to a heterodox school of economic thought. Its foundations can be traced back to the critique of classical political economy in the research by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxian economics refers to several different theories and includes multiple schools of thought, which are sometimes opposed to each other, and in many cases Marxian analysis is used to complement or supplement other economic approaches. Because one does not necessarily have to be politically Marxist to be economically Marxian, the two adjectives coexist in usage rather than being synonymous. They share a semantic field while also allowing connotative and denotative differences.

Marxist philosophy Philosophy influenced by Marxist political thought

Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly divided into Western Marxism, which drew out of various sources, and the official philosophy in the Soviet Union, which enforced a rigid reading of Marx called dialectical materialism, in particular during the 1930s. Marxist philosophy is not a strictly defined sub-field of philosophy, because the diverse influence of Marxist theory has extended into fields as varied as aesthetics, ethics, ontology, epistemology, theoretical psychology and philosophy of science, as well as its obvious influence on political philosophy and the philosophy of history. The key characteristics of Marxism in philosophy are its materialism and its commitment to political practice as the end goal of all thought.

Historical materialism Marxist historiography

Historical materialism is a methodology used by some communist and Marxist historiographers that focuses on human societies and their development through history, arguing that history is the result of material conditions rather than ideas. This was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818–1883) as the "materialist conception of history." It is principally a theory of history which asserts that the material conditions of a society's mode of production or in Marxist terms, the union of a society's productive forces and relations of production, fundamentally determine society's organization and development. Historical materialism is an example of Marx and Engel's scientific socialism, attempting to show that socialism and communism are scientific necessities rather than philosophical ideals.

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