means of production

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Means of production are in the economics ones work and equipment necessary for production of goods is required.


The compound means of production is made up of the determinant production as the operational manufacturing process and the basic word means as an instrument, so that means of production represent the instruments for the manufacture of goods. Even the international specialist literature used the term means of production very inconsistently. Adam Smith emphasized the organizational means of production ( division of labor and cooperation ) in his book The Wealth of Nations , published in March 1776 . According to Smith, the worker originally enjoyed the whole product of his own labor until land appropriation and capital accumulation were introduced, and this condition came to an end long before the most considerable improvements in the productive forces of labor occurred. In 1807, Jean Baptiste Say saw capital as the "means of production produced" and opposed combining non-reproducible land with the means of production produced. In his main work in 1821, David Ricardo already spoke of the use of permanent means of production (hunting equipment) and the importance of their wear and tear . However, he did not mention the term means of production as “work done in advance”, but spoke of capital.


For Johann Heinrich von Thünen , for example, rye as a means of production was an “inland good” in 1826 , because rye is produced and sold by itself (rye seeds). In 1874 Wilhelm Roscher coined the term “means of production produced”. For him, all things that serve to satisfy needs , that is, absolutely all goods , were a means of production. This met with criticism from Eugen Böhm von Bawerk in 1921 because the scope of the term was clearly too large. Boehm von Bawerk took over "produced means of production" as a synonym for real capital as early as 1900 .
Some of the German-speaking authors often used the term means of production as a synonym for the production factors land , labor and capital . Rosa Luxemburg used the term in 1913 in her book “ The accumulation of capital. A contribution to the economic explanation of imperialism “very often, including land and capital. For Friedrich von Wieser , 1914 capital is a "produced means of production that is used as planned in the context of the entire production process". In 1922, the economist Georg Jahn classified only the production factor capital as a means of production. In 1927 Werner Sombart counted the capitalists as economic subjects among the owners of the means of production and understood the wage workers as economic objects. In 1932
Heinrich von Stackelberg understood indirect means of production as today's potential factors . In 1933, the economist Gottfried Haberler differentiated again with the “means of production produced”, which he understood to mean real capital such as tools , machines , buildings or raw materials . It was the means of production in the narrower sense.


Means of production in the narrower sense include traffic and usable areas , buildings , commercial real estate , technical systems , machines , tools and the associated production processes and operating and office equipment . These are exclusively potential factors that are required for the production of goods, are not directly incorporated into the respective end products in terms of material (but materially as wear and tear , in terms of accounting as depreciation ) and can be used repeatedly in corresponding production processes. Economists use the term physical capital for this . In 1928 Werner Sombart understood this to mean all material goods “in which capital is reflected”.

Peculiarity in Marxism

In England from Adam Smith of the workers in the publishing and manufacturing essence still the owner was his means of production; in the England of Karl Marx 's exile in London, ownership of the means of production was less concentrated in the hand. For Marx, the means of production represented a central concept of his theories. He raised them to the core of wealth. For him, capital was a technical means of production; for him, the means of production consist of tools and objects of work . According to Marx, the original accumulation is “nothing other than the historical process of separating the producer and the means of production”. He divides society into workers and capitalists, and the economy into two sections, one producing means of production and the other producing means of consumption.

In Marxist economic theory , the means of production are

  1. the work items that are found directly in nature (for example the fish, the soil, rock) or those loosened by nature through work ( raw materials ), such as the broken ore, or intermediate products already processed (for example iron bars, wooden boards, Textiles); they are further processed and processed in the production process;
  2. the means of work (tools, machines) with the help of which the objects of work are transformed in the work process, these are those objects that, according to Marx, “the worker pushes between himself and the object of work” like an elongated organ.

“In the work process , the activity of the person causes a change in the object of work that is intended from the outset. The process expires in the product. ”In addition, Marx differentiates social means of production from individual means of production.

The Socialism is an economic system where the means of production are wholly or mainly in "social" or "socialist" property. This requires the socialization of the means of production still in private assets .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jean Baptiste Say, Traité d'économie politique , 1807, p. 15
  2. David Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation , 1821, pp. 13 and 18
  3. ^ Johann Heinrich von Thünen, The isolated state , 1826, p. 341
  4. ^ Wilhelm Roscher, Basis der Nationalökonomie , 23rd edition, 1900, p. 43
  5. Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, Capital and Capital Interest: History and Critique of Capital Interest Theories , 1921, p. 45
  6. Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, capital , in: Handwortbuch der Staatswissenschaften, 1900, p. 19
  7. ^ Richard von Strigl, Introduction to the Fundamentals of National Economy , 1937, p. 21 f.
  8. ^ Rosa Luxemburg, The accumulation of capital , 1913, o. P.
  9. Friedrich von Wieser, Theory of the Social Economy , in: Grundriss der Sozialökonomik, Dept. I, 1914, p. 176 f.
  10. ^ Georg Jahn, Grundzüge der Volkswirtschaftslehre, 1922, p. 35
  11. Werner Sombart, Economic Life in the Age of High Capitalism , 1927, p. 230
  12. ^ Heinrich von Stackelberg, Fundamentals of a pure cost theory , 1932, p. 20
  13. Werner Sombart, Modern Capitalism: Economic Life in the Age of High Capitalism , 1928, p. 230
  14. ^ Karl Marx, Das Kapital , Volume 1, 1908, p. 143
  15. Karl Marx, MEW Volume 23, p. 742 ( Chapter Volume I )
  16. ^ Karl Marx, MEW Volume 23, p. 193 (Chapter Volume I)
  17. ^ Karl Marx, MEW Volume 23, p. 194 (Chapter Volume I)
  18. Karl Marx, MEW Volume 23, p. 195 (Chapter Volume I)