Infrastructure – Marx

The infrastructure or base is a Marxist concept that refers to the economic structure of society that influences the superstructure .

To understand the definition, it is first of all necessary to explain what we understand as the economic structure of society and then explain the superstructure as well as its interrelation with the infrastructure.

The economic structure of society, a concept coined by Karl Marx in his work “Contribution to the criticism of political economy” published in 1859.

Components of the company’s economic infrastructure

Infrastructure, as the definition points out, is the economic structure of society and consists of two main components:

  • Production relations:It is the term used by Marx to explain how different types of relationships affect depending on how you work (techniques) or the people with whom you work (social).
    • Techniques: The technical relations of production explain the influence of workers on processes and types of work.
    • Social: On the other hand, social relations of production refer to the relationship between the owners of the means of production and the real producers.
  • Productive forces:It is the second concept with which Karl Marx completes the general components of economic infrastructure. There are also two.
    • Labor: Refers to the work that workers provide.
    • Production medium: It is the place of work or the factory in which they operate.

In short, production relationships are the relationships that are created between the producing agents. These producing agents can be workers or owners. When it occurs between workers, depending on the process or the type of work it is about technical relationships. For example, the fact that someone puts a sole to the shoe and another puts the laces. On the other hand, when the relationship is between workers and owners, we are talking about social relations of production and how the interaction between them affects social reality.

As for the productive forces, they are understood much simpler. On the one hand there is the workforce (workers) who work in one place (means of production). These means of production can be factories, lands, etc.

Connection between productive forces and production relations

For Marx, productive forces and production relations are interconnected. Now, not bidirectionally. In the words of Karl Marx, productive forces affect production relations. That is, the private profit motive for the presence of the owners as one of the agents in the productive forces, slows the advance of production relations.

In other words, according to Marx’s work, the owners allow the productive forces to grow, but they do not allow the relations created in the production to move forward.

Some of the criticisms that this Marxist postulate has received is the rejection of the image of the owner of the means of production. According to other authors, the entrepreneur does not have to be an exploiter. Any of us can be an entrepreneur and therefore we will not be exploiters or enslavers.


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