Answers to Section 3: The Material Basis of Society

A 27 Because society usually changes faster than does the geographical environment.

A 28 Sometimes there can be sudden and dramatic changes in the natural environment. For example, when a tsunami causes a widespread and devastating impact on human societies.

A 29 There is no correlation between the size and density of population and the level of social development.

A 30 It probably is true unless we radically alter the ways in which we produce our food and other material needs. This is possible but not under capitalism which produces primarily for the profits of capitalists and not to satisfy the real needs of the many.

A 31 The mode of production of material values.

A 32 The instruments of production and human knowledge and skill.

A  33 New information technology, biotechnology, materials science.

A 34 The relations people enter into in the course of carrying out economic production.

A 35 Between capital and labour.

A 36 Productive forces and relations of production.

A 37 Its mode of production.

A 38 The laws of the economic development of society.

A  39 Usually the productive forces.

A 40 The development of an economic crisis leading to the possibility of proletarian revolution.

A 41 Private ownership of the means of production can prevent the development and application of new forces of production for the general benefit of the population.

For example, in the pharmaceutical industry patent law allows companies to charge excessive prices for new drugs thus preventing their more widespread use. The privatisation of the railways in Britain has given rise to many barriers to providing an efficient public transport system.

A 42 This process of the socialisation of the means of production was underway but not completed in the USSR at that time. If it had been completed then it is unlikely that the Soviet Union would have reverted to capitalism as eventually happened.

A 43 The means of production are the natural resources plus tools and machinery used in producing goods and services. Together with human labour power they constitute the forces of production.

A 44 Human knowledge and skill.

Link to: Section 4: The Stages of Social Development