This article provides information about the capitalist model of development of society based on the interpretation of Karl Marx:
Karl Marx presents an interpretation of the structure, functioning and progression of the capitalist society from, the previous stages. Marx however provides the idea of radical transformation of society by elucidating a comprehensive theory of human progress in terms of contradiction inherent in the material structure of society. To him the actual basis of society is its economic structure.
In the social production which man carry on, they enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will their relations of production correspond to a definite stage of development of the material powers of production. The sum total of the relations of production constitute the economic structure of society, the real foundation on which rise the legal and political superstructures and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social political and spiritual processes of life.
At a certain stage of their development, the material forces of production in society come in conflict with the existing relations of production. Then comes the period of social revolution. With the change in the economic foundation the entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed to reference.
Marx outlines the Asiatic, the ancient, the feudal and the capitalist as the major modes of production or epochs in the progress of human society. The Asiatic mode of production does not constitute a stage in the Western society. Primitive communities are characterised by community ownership and their subordination by the State. In the ancient mode of production, slavery and in the feudal mode of production, serfdom provides the foundation of the productive system. The capitalist mode of production is characterised by large-scale commodity production emergence of free labour markets and rapid growth technology. Marx forecasts that capitalism would be replaced by socialism through violent revolution.
Marx argues that new developments of productive forces of society come in conflict with existing relations of production. For Marx, it is the growth of new productive forces and the contradictions built into them outline the course of human history. Class struggles have been recognised as the driving force of social change and development. To him “the history of the hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles”. The dichotomous class-based societies would be replaced through a vehement class struggle to usher in an epoch of classless, stateless society where by each would contribute according to one’s capacity and would receive according to one’s need.