[OPE-L:5848] [OPE-L][JURRIAAN] Re: Hello and Kliman's cat

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 16:42:03 -0500 (EST)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 21:08:50 +0100
From: jurriaan bendien <Jbendien@globalxs.nl>

Gerald Levy writes:

> Yet, I don't think that the definition of a mode of production can be
> reduced to how one individual or a individual family uses forks and feeds
> cats. In other words, I view a mode of production as a periodization of
> history rather than a micro phenomenon. This same difference is
> underscored when Jurriaan talks about an "individual domestic mode of
> production." Yet if modes of production are individual, there are
> potentially as many modes of production as there are individuals -- a
> result that I am not satisfied with.

I wrote in a slightly jocular vein. Of course I agree with Gerald about
the use of terminology. I am not seriously arguing for a separate concept
of a "domestic mode of production", although domestic production can be and
has been separately analysed by Marxists (see e.g. the collections of
articles "Hidden in the Household").

> Of course, I am perfectly willing to recognize that within a given mode
> production which in a particular social formation is dominant, there may
> nonetheless be remnants of prior modes of production (e.g. feudalism, the
> "Asiatic mode of production", etc.) and that these remnants can influence
> and help to define a particular social formation.

Agreed. The royal family in various European countries are a case in point.

I would say also that
> while patriarchy and the nuclear family have existed in a number of
> different modes of production, they are not of and by themselves modes of
> production. Rather, patriarchal relations are subsumed and incorporated
> within different modes of production (but, hopefully, not all).


As for
> "communist elements" (Paul C's term), I don't think that reforms won by
> the working class under capitalism and reluctantly granted by the
> capitalist state signify the existence of communist relations in embreyo.

Well, yes and no. If it is true as Marx suggested that the new society
develops "in the womb" of the old, or at any rate within the old society,
it should be possible to identify social forms (forms of association or
cultures) which anticipate the future society. And arguably, if we cannot
find any of them, and alternative mode of production is either a long way
off or not a real feasibility.


Jurriaan Bendien.