By Gary Littlejohn (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Sociology of the Soviet Union
Even if only some of the determinants affect the class structure, the other determinants are still operative. Hence, even in a classless society, the social organisation of production involves various different demarcations between economic agents. Why then does class matter? 30 A Sociology of the Soviet Union Without denying the importance of other lines of demarcation between economic agents which are not usually considered as class boundaries (for example, gender or race), one can say that the class structure matters because an economic agent's location in relation to the means of production can be a significant condition of action of that agent.
It would, for instance, be possible to construct an argument that the economic activities of various religious bodies (maintaining priests and buildings, and so on) also affect the relations of distribution. If one treats all those who are not manual wage-labourers in the primary and secondary 'sectors' of the economy as unproductive, in an attempt to reconcile the diversity of economic agents with the theory of value, then one would find oneself arguing that the majority of the population were exploiters.
The reproduction schemas of volume 2 of Capital are concerned with how the different classes of economic agents (capitalists and wage-labourers) in the two Departments derive their revenues from their differential access to the means of production. Capitalist and wage-labourers in Department I buy their means of consumption from Department II, as do 22 A Sociology of the Soviet Union capitalists and wage-workers in Department II. However, only capitalists buy the means of production from Department I, and this is true whether they themselves are Department I or Department II capitalists.