Dear comrades and friends,
DYFI CUC organised the twenty first study circle of this year yesterday. We completed reading Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism by J. Stalin.
In the second half of the essay, Stalin talks about what the chief determining forces of the development of society are. He considers and dismisses the idea that geography or population growth determine societal development. He then shows that the mode of production of material values – food, clothing, footwear, houses, fuel, instruments of production, etc. – which are indispensable for the life and development of society – is the chief determining force of societal development.
The mode of production includes the means of production as well as the relations of production: the technology and apparatus used for producing, as well as the relations of people to this technology and apparatus, and consequently to each other.
He then elaborates on two features of production: the constance of change, and the fact that change always begins with changes in the productive forces. From the essay:
The first feature of production is that it never stays at one point for a long time and is always in a state of change and development, and that, furthermore, changes in the mode of production inevitably call forth changes in the whole social system, social ideas, political views and political institutions – they call forth a reconstruction of the whole social and political order.
The second feature of production is that its changes and development always begin with changes and development of the productive forces, and in the first place, with changes and development of the instruments of production.
We talked about what this means for philosophical determinism; whether socialism is inevitable because of the development of productive forces, or whether barbarism is a possibility; and the relationship between changes in religion and changes in the mode of production in Rome, the USSR and in India.
Next week, we will likely continue reading on Marxist philosophy.
Central Unit Committee,
Democratic Youth Federation of India – Delhi