There is a familiar tale told by some Marxists — capitalism will come to an end when it no longer permits the development of productive forces. As described by G.A. Cohen in his book, Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence, the thesis of ‘the primacy of productive forces’ proposes that the existence of a set of productive relations is explained by the level of development of the productive forces and that a new set of relations of production emerges when the old set ‘fetters’ the productive forces.2
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