By Barry Hindess, Paul Q. Hirst
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Extra info for Mode of Production and Social Formation: An Auto-Critique of Pre-Capitalist Modes of Production
General concepts function in the first instance as providing means and criteria of formation of particular concepts in-the discourses which constitute and analyse the specific concepts of particular modes of 32 MODE OF PRODUCTION AND SOCIAL FORMATION production. These general concepts specify, for example, the form of combination of the relations of production and the labour process, the necessity of a non-teleological conception of reproduction, and so on. In this sense they both provide the concepts with which to pose problems and indicate certain of the conditions their solutions should meet.
Our basic point was that, unless hydro-agriculture or some analogous form is supposed, the units of production in question (communes, 'peasant' farms) represent forms of combination of the labour process with relations of distribution of the product distinct from those of tax/rent. The tax/rent couple does not generate a labour process subordinate GENESIS AND THEORETICAL LIMITATIONS OF PCMP 43 to the effects of its distribution of the means of production. and, therefore, a mode of reproduction which reproduces the relations of production.
It is a concept which functions in theoretical discourse in the formation of other concepts and in the specification of determinate objects of discourse, for example, of determinate forms in which determinate relations of production and their conditions of existence are provided. The concept of a determinate social formation is not the appropriation in thought of an independently existing 'concrete' social formation, and the order of discursive formation of the concept cannot be conceived, as it is, for example, in the doctrines of structural causality and of determination in the last instance, as reflecting in thought the order of effectivity of the real.