Titel: Reply to Four Critics
Autor: Gerald A. Cohen
Abstract: This article is a response to criticisms of my book on Karl Marx's Theory of History which were made by four authors in last Decembers number of ANALYSE & KRITIK. After clarifying (section 2) an ambiguity in an argument for historical materialism which is presented in the book, I contend (3-5), against objections raised by Philippe Van Parijs, that historical materialism is consistent only if it explains production relations functionally, by reference to their propensity to develop the productive forces. Next (6-8) I address and rebut the views of Wal Suchting and Milton Fisk, who both think that the role of class struggle in historical materialism is larger than the one I assign to it. Finally (9-12) I try to vindicate the doctrine of base and superstructure proposed in my book against the skepticism of Steven Lukes.
Titel: 'Productive Forces' and 'Relations of Production' in Marx
Autor: Wal Suchting
"5. Dialectics of the concepts productive force (means of production) and relation of production, a dialectic whose limits are to be defined, and which does not do away with real differences." (K. Marx, Grundrisse, lO9/MEW l3, 64O)
Abstract: This paper criticises the view that, accordinq to Marx, "productive forces" determine "relations of production" and that the growth of the former basically determines the course of history. The particular version of this account discussed is that to be found in G. A. Cohen's "Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence". The main part of this criticism involves a presentation of what, it is suggested, was in fact Marx's conception of "productive forces", "relations of production" and their relations, and an identification of class-struqqle as the primary factor at least for the historically significant periods with which Marx was concerned.