Marxism Perspective in Production Essay

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer


Means, relations, and mode of production are concepts that are vital in the labor market. While means of production entail the non-human resources, relations of production imply the social unions that people develop so that they meet their needs as they undertake various processes of production. Consequently, mode of production comprises the methods and organization that owners of the means of production use to manufacture, design, and create products (Banaji 33). Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to define the concepts of production such as means, relations, and mode in relation to the perspectives of Karl Marx.

Overview of Marxism Perspective in Production

Karl Marx explains the concepts of production such as means, relations, and modes using the various economic systems. In the perspective of Marx, individuals engage in production because they have to fulfill a need. According to Marx, economic systems deal with the development of strategies and policies that govern the behavior and employment of the means of production. In the explanation of Marx, means of production are the initial components that determine production and facilitate efficient production processes (Evans 165).

The basis of the argument that Marx advances is that the means of production comprise instruments of labor, for instance, machines, computers, factories, and equipment used in adding value to products. In addition, he argues that subjects of production include raw and natural resources that people manufacture, process, or design. Marx believes that when individuals devise the initial step of production, which entails arrangement of the means of production in an organized manner, all other steps of relations and mode of production succeed.

To substantiate his argument, Marx explains that the production process can employ two economic systems that are prevalent in several countries of the world. The two systems are capitalism, which several countries in the West practice, and communism, which numerous countries in the East exercise. In his argument, Marx asserts that countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, use the capitalist economic system in executing their operations (Evans 178).

Capitalism, in Marx’s explanation, is an economic system that focuses on personal achievement and individual progress. In capitalism, entities that own the means and subjects of production dictate their subordinates and underpay them. Furthermore, in the capitalist economic system, the chief focus is on the resources and profits. As a result, employers encourage their workers to optimize their efforts.

As a consequent, employers overwork employees and underpay them, a factor that creates dissatisfaction. According to the belief of Marx, disappointment and anger ensue among workers leading to the development of forces that attempt to overthrow capitalists and initiate the communist economic system (Cohen 24). Unlike the capitalist economic system, the communist economic system focuses on collective success and encourages equal pay for an equivalent effort that individuals exert.

Marx explains that employers often alienate employees from their families and workplaces. The issue transpires because the employees feel that their management compromises their efforts. Essentially, the issue of alienation and inadequate commitment, according to Marx, is more evident in areas where the capitalist economy is in practice. Since the capitalist economic system focuses on profits and maximum productivity, employers often underpay workers and disregard their concerns.

As some of the implications of underpayment and disregard of welfare, workers reduce commitment to work and experience alienation from other colleagues in the workplace and the places of residence (Plat and Heynick 36). In the perspective of Marx, the issue is a catalyst that propels workers to fight for communism, which improves their welfare and creates a fair production system that offers better services and treatment.

Means of Production

Means of production is a concept that refers to a wide number of resources that facilitate production. The resources, also known as inputs, are non-human, and their use leads to value addition. Individuals usually employ the inputs to initiate and sustain a production process in an economic system. It is important to highlight that the means of production fall into two categories, namely, subjects and instruments of labor. Plat and Heynick state that the labor instruments entail machinery, tools, and equipment whereas subjects of production include the resources that generate products (109).

Raw materials and natural resources are the main subjects of the production process. Evidently, the combination of the instruments and subjects of production creates an effective means of production. When individuals plan to create a product, they must use the instruments of labor to design, manufacture, or process the raw materials into finished products, which are not only beneficial but also relevant to the desired needs.

Over time, the means of production have evolved and encompassed several aspects that relate to the advancements in factors such as technology and processes. In the modern societies, means of production refer to a set of subjects and tools applicable in the process of production. The tools usually encompass machinery, facilities, factories, and computers. While these tools are universal and multifaceted, they are integral in the production process, and their employment leads to the development products.

According to Fuchs, modern societies have witnessed the development of a wide range of tools and subjects of production that collectively facilitate effective production (90). Fundamentally, the concept is different from the one of the Agrarian times when the means of production encompassed outdated instruments such as shovel and soil, which played the roles of subjects. The difference that is apparent in the tools and subjects of production in modern, industrial, and agrarian societies demonstrates the evolution of the means of production over time.

Relations of Production

Relations of production comprise the associations that people develop in their quest to meet and satisfy their daily requirements. These relationships stem from the needs that life presents. Some of the needs that individuals require in their daily endeavors include food, clothing, and accommodation. Since the needs and wants require some level of financial and personal commitment, individuals have to create a social relationship with parties that can satisfy the needs (Lackner and Seddon 204).

Notably, the parties have different levels of autonomy basing on the level of influence that they have over the others. For instance, in relationships, employers usually have a higher level of influence than the workers do. The relationship does not use personal will, but it compels individuals to join in an attempt to satisfy their needs and wants.

Parties involved in the relationship of production usually include employers and employees. According to Marx, the employers hire workers and pay them for their personal commitment (Banaji 167). The implication that the influence has on the parties leads to different scales of autonomy that parties to the relationship exercise. The employees have limited autonomy and respond to the employers who give directives and orders. In contrast, employers enjoy a high degree of independence, and hence, give policies that govern the operations of production in respective economic systems.

In effect, employers who own an economic system are responsible for the organization of the subjects and instruments of labor in line with their preferences and externalities that dictate the subject environment. As such, it is clear that the relationships are necessary and free of independent will. The relationships also demonstrate a varying level of influence and independence from the parties involved, who are the employers and employees.

Mode of Production

Mode of production refers to the organization of the means and relationship of production to establish the manner in which an economic system undertakes its process of production. Individuals utilize means such as factories, tools, and equipment. Moreover, individuals utilize subjects such as raw materials in the relationships. While the employers organize, direct, supervise, and instruct employees to undertake certain tasks of production, employees utilize the instruments of labor and implement the directives.

According to Cohen, Marx perceives that the mode of production represents the method that economic systems use to employ the means and parties involved in production relationship (157). In the assertion of Marx, the parties involved in the production process, as well as the instrument of labor, should have the ability to perform.

By elucidating the ability to perform, Marx implies that the instruments of labor should be in good condition and match the prevailing requirements. Consequently, another implication of the assertion concerns the productivity of the human resources, who may be employers or employees, in implementing the production.

One major aspect that is evident in the mode of production is the constant evolution. Over the recent past, several advancements in technology, consumer trends, and political structures have transpired. The advancements have initiated pronounced changes in production that have affected the mode of production. Lackner and Seddon explain that transition from Agrarian to industrial modes of production led to changes in the various instruments and subjects of production (213).

Consequently, the shift from industrialization to modern forms of production has witnessed tremendous changes that rendered some instruments of labor redundant. The element of evolution is continuous and compels all the parties involved to engage in regular research and study so that the changes do not disqualify their expertise and productivity. Apparently, failure to stay in line with the continuous evolution makes individuals incapable of production. Inadequate capacity to perform takes place because the individuals, who are not in line with the advancements, cannot use the new instruments of labor, and hence, become redundant.


Karl Marx advances various concepts in elucidating the issue of production. Indeed, he advances the concepts of means, relations, and modes of production. As such, Marx is one of the principal individuals who play an integral role in discussing issues of production. Means, relations, and modes are all components that dictate the manufacture, design, and creation of products with the aim of increasing their value and use.

Effective employment of means, which comprise instruments and subjects of labor with relations, is instrumental in the production process. Therefore, an analysis of the perspective of Karl Marx and an in-depth definition of the concepts such as means, relations, and modes of production are integral in advancing the knowledge of individuals in production.

Works cited

Banaji, Jairus. Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation. Leiden: Brill, 2010. Print.

Cohen, Gerald. Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defense. London: Clarendon Press, 2000. Print.

Evans, Michael. Karl Marx. London: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print. Fuchs, Christian. Digital Labor and Karl Marx. London: Cengage Leaning, 2015.

Lackner, Helen, and David Seddon. Relations of Production. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.

Plat, Herman, and Frank Heynick. Economics of Property Management: The Building as a Means of Production. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.

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