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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Means of production

Means of production , also called means of labour are the materials, tools and other instruments used by workers to make products. This includes: machines, tools materials, plant and equipment, land, raw materials, money, power generation, and so on: anything necessary for labor to produce. The term originates with Marx, who explicitly differentiates means of production from capital. For Marx, means of production were the instruments and materials of labor independent of the mode of producing and appropriating surplus. On the other hand means of production become capital, only within a particular set of social relations: when those means of production participate in the process of exploiting labor for surplus value.
Means of production is sometimes confused with factors of production. The term factors of production is typically understood as an explanation for income as duly paid to owners of each means of production and also to the workers themselves within capitalism. By comparison, the term means of production applies to these means independent of their ownership and their compensation, and regardless of whether the mode of producing is capitalist, feudal, slave, communal or otherwise.

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