As Marx said, every child knows that a social formation which did not reproduce the conditions of production at the same time as it produced would not last a year.
I must now expose more fully something which was briefly glimpsed in my analysis when I spoke of the necessity to renew the means of production if production is to be possible. The ultimate condition of production is therefore the reproduction of the conditions of production.Diversely: according to the requirements of the socio-technical division of labour, its different ‘jobs’ and ‘posts’.How is this reproduction of the (diversified) skills of labour power provided for in a capitalist regime?Access to society journal content varies across our titles.If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box.We have therefore ignored the reproduction of what distinguishes the productive forces from the means of production, i.e. From the observation of what takes place in the firm, in particular from the examination of the financial accounting practice which predicts amortization and investment, we have been able to obtain an approximate idea of the existence of the material process of reproduction, but we are now entering a domain in which the observation of what happens in the firm is, if not totally blind, at least almost entirely so, and for good reason: the reproduction of labour power takes place essentially outside the firm. It is ensured by giving labour power the material means with which to reproduce itself: by wages.Wages feature in the accounting of each enterprise, but as ‘wage capital’, not at all as a condition of the material reproduction of labour power.We shall not go into the analysis of this question.It is enough to have mentioned the existence of the necessity of the reproduction of the material conditions of production.To put this more scientifically, I shall say that the reproduction of labour power requires not only a reproduction of its skills, but also, at the same time, a reproduction of its submission to the rules of the established order, i.e.a reproduction of submission to the ruling ideology for the workers, and a reproduction of the ability to manipulate the ruling ideology correctly for the agents of exploitation and repression, so that they, too, will provide for the domination of the ruling class ‘in words’.