Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? (V)

Understanding the Decline of a Mode of Production

(Link, February 28, 2022)

The elaborate reply by C.Mcl. ‘In Defense of Historical Materialism – A reply to Link and Aníbal’, (1) has incited one of the protagonists addressed to a first response that we publish integrally here: Understanding the Decline of a Mode of Production’, by Link.

This first part focuses on “the theoretical issues and criticisms raised by C.Mcl., because these issues are key to an understanding of Marx’s historical materialism”, which he esteems is a rather unilateral one with the latter. According to Link, both the relations and the forces or production have an impact on the decline of a mode of production, not just the one that C.Mcl. believes” – i.e. the production relations. There is no question that economic decline as a product of internal contradictions can be and is a feature demonstrated in a period of decadence, but to argue that economic decline is the only factor that demonstrates a mode of production is decaying is a rather narrow, dogmatic approach.”

As a second point of objection to C.Mcl.’s reply the text treats the question of how to conceptualize factors or influences external to a mode of production, and to capitalism in specific, with reference to Marx, Luxemburg and Bukharin, expressing the diagnosis that “Capitalism as a very dynamic system of production is at a stage where it is confronting the limitations presented by the world. It is at the stage where it is starting to irreversibly damage the resources that are used for humanity’s survival”.

We recommend this response to our readers’ reflections.

The editor, March 16, 2022.

1  In Defense of Historical Materialism (Part I), (Preface by the author; Chapters 1 – 4, January 31, 2022); In Defense of Historical Materialism (Part II) (Chapter 5, February 25, 2022); (Chapters 6 & 7, April 9, 2022).