Means of production


The means of production are those equipment, systems and materials intended to intervene in production processes and the provision of services. They are, therefore, necessary resources to carry out all economic activity.

The means of production are an essential and indispensable part of all productive work, as well as when developing the provision of a certain service.

These resources make up the production systems, making them feasible and conditioning them. Also another common way of calling them is as physical capital.

Since the historical origin of all economic activity, the presence of different means of production has made it possible. Thanks to the constant scientific and technological development over centuries, new forms of media have appeared until a present day marked by the digital environment.

Mode of production

Classification of means of production

Multiple types of instruments or equipment are considered as means of production based on the following:

  • Industrial machinery and craft tools.
  • Specialized technological and electronic equipment.
  • Vehicles intended for the transport of goods or people with economic motivation.
  • Physical facilities (assembly lines, factories, communication and transport channels, warehouses or workshops).
  • All kinds of energy resources.
  • Resources of natural origin such as raw materials.
  • Economic means of financing such as money, colloquially referred to as capital (although it was previously pointed out that all these previous typologies would be capital globally).

All these types have the peculiarity that they must be exploited by man for their use. That is, its productive use must be directed with a productive factor such as the human factor in the form of work.

Ideological approach to the concept of means of production

The different existing political and socioeconomic perceptions study the relevance of the means of production.

In this sense, both capitalist and socialist, communist and Marxist positions have postulated this concept as a basic pillar for understanding economic reality.

On the other hand, the possession and control of capital will be decisive according to each theory when observing or studying an economic system. In that sense, I would highlight the opposition between the capitalist and Marxist concepts in this regard.

Capitalist vision of the means of production

From a capitalist point of view, the means of production are instruments inherent in every production process. Its possession and use is closely related to the concept of private property.

In other words, these are productive factors that can be owned by a holder, whether a natural or legal person, public or private.

In turn, they can be bought and sold to carry out economic activities. For this reason, the owners are known as entrepreneurs, who in exchange for a labor salary contract labor factor in the form of labor.

Marxist view of the means of production

Marxism considers the means of production as mechanical and technological instruments that intervene in every work process. They organize all industry, so they acquire the quality of engine of economies and societies.

In this way, the mere fact that they exist and are controlled is a basic element in Marxist theory: the means of production are dynamizers and therefore systems of social, political and economic control.

For Marx and his approaches, capitalism and the bourgeoisie take advantage of these resources to exploit workers or proletarian societies. In other words, the means of production are seen as tools of power and subjugation that must be recovered through the elimination of social classes and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Asian production mode

Tags:  latin america comparisons markets 

Interesting Articles