What is the Asian Type of Production (Marxscience)?July 1, 2021
(Tr. Marxscience) The mode of production in which the exploitation of the land occurs even though there is no private property.
The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883), the founder of the historical materialism doctrine, introduced the concept of Asian type of production towards 1853 in his study named Formen die der Kapitalischen Produktion Vorhergehn. At that time, Marx, who was examining the property relations in the old society and the dependent mode of production, identified three types of property and production in ancient societies: Ancient, Germanic, Asian type. He said: “There is no property in the Asian type of production, only the individual has land, the real property owner is the commune” (İbid, Turkish translation of Pre-Capitalist Economy Forms, Ankara 1967, p. 86). In this particular form, Eastern statism, which Marx called Eastern despotism, played an important role. In the East, a large-scale organization had to carry out important tasks such as irrigation of large agricultural areas, draining of swamps, and opening of water channels. In the aforementioned work, Marx says:
“For example, as in most of the basic forms of Asia, the top association that embraces and rules such small communes appears to be the highest and sole proprietor, and the truth is compatible with the communes becoming owners of the land only by inheritance. The unity at the top is the true proprietor and the true proprietorship of the commons. Since it is a precondition for it, it is well possible for it to appear as something separate from and above a large number of separate communes, in which case the individual is propertyless or his own property, that is, his relation to the natural conditions of work and reproduction, and his appropriation and appropriation of the inorganic nature against which these conditions are confronted. , the objective quantity of its subjectivity appears to be an endowment of the all-embracing unity conveyed to the individual through the commune. The despot is here in the role of the father of many small communes, thereby achieving their common unity. The residual product (detected in the form e) belongs to this highest unity.
Thus, Eastern despotism seems to arrive at a conclusion such as the disappearance of property in terms of law. In reality, its basis is tribal or collective property, which is the combination of manufacturing and agriculture in the small commune. The commune thus becomes self-sufficient and contains within it all the conditions of reproduction and surplus-production” (Ibid, p. 76).
In this type of property relationship and mode of production, individuals are exploited even though they do not have private property. This was the event that caught Marx’s attention and wanted to draw attention to. This exploitation was carried out by despots, administrators and civil servants. Since the exploited surplus product was squandered by these rulers, there was never any accumulation and therefore the Asian type of production could not be transformed into another mode of production. In his Capital, Marx says:
“The simplicity of the organization of production in these self-sufficient communities that reproduce themselves in the same way and reappear in the same place and under the same name if they are destroyed by chance, is the immutability of Asian societies—that is, in the face of the perpetual destruction and reconstitution and endless dynastic changes of Asian states. It is an invariance that creates a great contradiction – it provides the key to solve its mystery. The structure of the economic elements of society is not affected by the storm clouds in the political sky” (Ibid, Mehmet Selek translation, Vol I, Book: III, pp. 80-85). See. Eastern Despotism, Ancient Mode of Production, Germanic Mode of Production, Property, Private Property.
According to Marx, the ownership of land in primitive society belonged to the whole community. The evolution of primitive society depended on the development of new forms of production such as agriculture, animal husbandry, and crafts. When these new modes of production developed and a production surplus (production surplus) occurred, the primitive mode of production of the primitive society had to transform into the Asian type of production. Because the surplus of production required a more complex division of labor and the relations of production between people necessitated a new mode of production as a necessary consequence of this requirement. In the Asian type of production, production was directed towards a market. It aimed to produce a surplus and to increase this surplus, to support itself. Families that were strongly bound by blood ties in primitive society became the rule of a family council gathered around a great chief. Social authority took democratic or despotic forms. “The existence of a surplus made possible further social segregation and the formation of a minority that appropriated some of this surplus and thereby exploited the other members of the community”.
This minority, holding a certain power, constituted the first form of state power. It was necessary to defend common interests and guard against antagonistic interests. This minority either through inherited duties,