MARXIAN POLITICAL ECONOMY 47
specific social relationships into which members of the society enter in the course of their participation in social production. Marx calls the totality of the former 'productive forces9, and the latter ^relations of production^. To avoid possible misunderstanding, it needs to be emphasized that the concept of "productive forces" is not the same as, nor reducible to, the notion of 'technology.' As Marx puts it, ^an industrial stage is always combined with a certain mode of cooperation or social stage, and this mode of cooperation is itself a "productive force."8
As human beings engage in material production, learn and transform themselves through practice, society acquires new productive forces. At any given point, there is a particular state of development of productive forces in society. This in turn implies specific forms of social cooperation, division of labour, and social relationships among the members of society. To a given state of development of 'productive forces' there corresponds a set of relations of production, also called social relations. Thus in feudal Europe the predominant role of land and agriculture in material production corresponded to the dominant relation of production, also based on land, between the feudal lord and the serf. To capitalist modern industry corresponds the dominant production relation of capitalism, between wage labour and the capitalist. These are of course just examples, and are not meant to suggest any simple or mechanical one-to-one correspondence between the forces of production and the relations of production.
While at a given point, there may exist in society a correspondence between productive forces and relations of production, it is being constantly undermined and upset through the very process of development of the society. This is bound to happen because productive forces are developing constantly, as society produces and reproduces itself materially and socially. Thus there emerges a contradiction between the forces and relations of production. With further social development this contradiction becomes increasingly acute, as the existing relations of production—which can be 'summarized' (but only summarized) in the property relations of the society—become less and less compatible with the developing productive forces. The quantitative accumulation of the contradiction between productive forces and relations of production gives rise, at a certain stage, to a qualitative 'leap', to a new set of production relations, more appropriate to the new stage of development of the productive forces. A social revolution results^ giving rise to a new constellation of the forces and relations of production to a new mode of production7
This is of course a highly schematic and very general account of the historical materialist view of the dynamic of social change. Some qualifications are in order. First, it needs to be recognized that the concept of the mode of production is theoretical and thus an abstraction, though a valid one at that. It is not meant to connote any historical society in its immediate actuality. The actual society as such, the concrete entity, can