Capitalist mode of production

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"The capitalist mode of production cannot ... be considered as a simple effect of one term or element — it is a relation, or an ensemble of relations" [1]

There must be a meeting between:

  • "owners of money, means of production, means of subsistence"; and
  • "free workers," ie., without property but not property themselves.[2]

The owners of means of production have to havce the power to skim commodities (surplus value) from the workers' production stream — which they do because obviously they are the powerful ones (they have resources, the labourers have none). So it's not a question of labour hiring capital.


  1. Jason Read, The Micropolitics of Capital, 2003, p 23.
  2. Read, p 23.