<the> further development of the forces of production

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
The bourgeoisie are aligned with the relations of production, he said, because these relations are what allow them to extract surplus from the workers. So they're quite happy with the situation as it stands. But the proletariat want change. They want the further development of the forces of production – of which their labor makes up a large part – and they want a complete change in the relations of production.
Karl Marx & Conflict Theory: Crash Course Sociology #6, YouTube video

I think that the definite article here is optional and could easily be omitted, do you agree with that?
Thanks.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No particular development was mentioned before in this section. "Development" here is to be understood more generally as I see it. Development of the forces of production takes place over the whole human history ("modes of production") -- "primitive communism", slavery, feudalism, capitalism, communism... So she's now talking about the capitalism stage.

    That's why I think the article is optional...
     
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    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I think that the definite article here is optional
    The article has a definite significance here. Marx' theory is that history advances inexorably and the shift of economic development from the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie has to be followed inevitably by the next stage: the shift of development from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat. This is the specific development the author has in mind.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The article has a definite significance here. Marx' theory is that history advances inexorably and the shift of economic development from the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie has to be followed inevitably by the next stage: the shift of development from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat. This is the specific development the author has in mind.
    It just occured to me, "further development" doesn't refer to the whole line of development: primitive communism -- slavery -- feudalism -- capitalism -- communism, it only refers to "capitalism -- communism". So it's just part of the whole development. Wouldn't then zero article work?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It would be grammatical, but part of the argument would be lost. The sentence is explaining the change which the proletariat supposedly wants. Presumably they want to be better off than they are, but what ground is there to think that they want a complete change in the relations of production? This only appears to be a fact if we accept Marx' scheme. That I believe is why the speaker used the definite article. He means the particular development which takes forward the process envisaged by Marx.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, the want change, but they don't think in terms of Marx's or anyone else's schemes. Nor they think of any relations of production...
     
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