COMMUNAL MODE OF PRODUCTION (COMMUNALISM)
Primitive communalism is first mode of production in which basic means of life are owned and shared by all members of the community.
It preceded all other mode of the production and mark the rise of the society from sheer animalism to human society or
Social organization and Production
In the process of material production man entered into relations with other members in the society. Individuals in the society had organized themselves in various social groups for the production purpose.
Social organization was determined by relations in production through which people produced and shared the products of their labour, instruments of labor and objects of labour.
i. Social organization refers to a unique and unified system of relationship between people and groups concerning division of activities in a society. Or
ii. Social organization – refers to the way individuals within a group relate in order to exist harmoniously. It is the recognition of the role played by each member of the society.
iii. Production – Is a major in the series of economic processes that brings goods and services to people. It includes creation, distribution and consumption
iv. Modes of production – Is the relationship between production and productive forces.
v. Human labor – Is the consciousness and purposeful activity of people to produce material wealth. Involves personal factors such as skills, experiences, knowledge brain and energy.
vi. Means of labour – Are the things used in production such as hoes, machines, roads, buildings etc.
vii. Objective of labour – Are things upon which man’s labour is applied (mostly land).
viii. Productive forces – All things (forces) enable man to produce and satisfy his basic need or wants. It include human labour, object of labour and means of labour.
ix. Relation of production – Is the relation between one group and the other in the process of production. It includes Ownership, distribution of production and classes.
x. Class struggle- Are conflicts that developed between exploitative mode and non –exploitative modes example capitalism and socialism.
COMMUNAL MODE OF PRODUCTION
Primitive communalism is the first and earliest mode of production in man’s history/development in which passed by almost all societies and there was equality among all members of the society and it was un-exploitative mode of production.
It came into existence about two (2) million years ago when human society was at low level of development. It is called Primitive because of the low level of productive forces and Communalism because there was no exploitation of man by man.
This mode of production existed much longer period than any other mode of production. It covered the period of stone ages up to the iron ages.
In the beginning people were powerless before their environment; they collected whatever nature gave them for food such as fruits, roots and insects.
Examples of such societies that are still in communal mode of production include: Bushmen or San people of southern Africa, Tindiga and Hadzabe of Tanzania; Dorobo of Kenya and the Teso of Uganda.
CHARACTERISTICS OF COMMUNAL MODE OF PRODUCTION
1. Major means of production owned collectively/Communal ownership of the major means of production.
The member of the community jointly owned the major means of production including land, dwellings, tools and animals.
2. Low level of production. Due to little knowledge, skills and experience in production, tools used in production were crude and the only tool available were made of stones that helped man to get basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
3. Production was only for subsistence. Due to low level of science and technology, people produced enough food to satisfy their basic requirements, only small farms around homes were used
4. Absence of specialization. All people assisted in various duties such as food, working on the land, making clothes, constructing shelters and toolmaking. There were no crafts men and women.
5. Absence of classes. Classes refer to the division of people according to their status. In communal mode of production there were no classes as people were living together, sharing productions equally.
6. It was non-exploitative. Because there was no private ownership of the major means of production, hence in a long run caused equal distribution of products and also every able-bodied person worked as matter of routine.
7. Simple social organization. Because of low population involved political organization in this mode was very simple. It was mostly based on blood ties/kinship relations such as clan system organization. They lived in small groups tracing their origin from the same ancestors.
8. Decision making made by all people. All decision had to be made by all the adult members of the group regardless of their sex. They had no coercive power and exercised their power purely through respect and need.
9. Long existence. It existed much longer than any other mode of production, it ranged from the emergence of man, more than 1 million years ago and in some societies went on until the beginning of the 20th
10. There was respect of humanity and human rights. As there were no classes due to presence of equality. There was no so called humiliation and inhumanity; all human rights were followed/observed.
11. No surplus production. People were only able to produce according to the needs of the people due to the low level of science and technology, thus the use of poor production tools and less care in crops against diseases.
12. Equal division of productions – the products produced in the society were distributed equally to all members of the society; no one gained a line’s share under this mode of production.
WHY SOME SOCIETIES SUCCEEDED TO ADAPT OTHER MODES FROM RIMITIVE COMMUNALISM?
1. The Change in Productive Forces Influenced the Transition. Improvements in the productive forces influenced the transition from primitive communalism.
So, human being developed the productive forces in different area such as introduction of new techniques, new tools, new plants and new animals. The above changes influenced man’s development in production hence thetransition took place to the next modetook place.
2. Influence of Mastering of the Environment.
Walter Rodney in his book “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” portrayed that by the fifteenth century, Africans were aware of the total ecology of soils, climate, animals, and plants.
For example, agriculture as the main activity carried out in Africa, advanced methods had been used, including; crop rotation, mixed farming and regulated swamp arm1ng.
So, as man mastered his environment so production becamemore advanced hence the existing mode began to pave the way for the next stage of man’s life.
3. Influence of the Climate.
Generally, favourable climate favoured man in the production process because he began to master the environment. Climate as a factor include soil fertility, rainfall and temperature.
In some areas, the above factors favoured production hence man produced beyond consumption a thing which necessitated exchange with other communities and primitive communalism paved the way for the other mode.
The following are some African areas favoured with climate; Buganda, Bunyoro, among the Mandinka and Yorubain the forest and savannaregions.
4. Population Expansion.
The expansion of population caused land to be scarce hence few people took that advantage to own land privately. Due to this, social stratification emerged.
Emergence of social stratification caused the stronger members of the society to subdue the weak leading to the emergence of political organizations where the stronger created some laws to defend their status quo.
By having political organizations, feudalism took place leading to the total declineof the primitive communalism modeof production.
5. Emergence of specialization developed the society to another mode.
This forced people to work in different professions as farmers, rain makers, iron workers, hunters and fishers. Specialization intensified production and differences emerged among the people of the same community and different communities.
Specializationbrought classes because some people earned more than others; it also brought private ownership of properties where by rain makers owned their profession items as it was to farmers, iron smelters, hunters and fishermen. That conditionpaved the way for another modeof production.
6. Trade and Exchange Influenced the Transition.
Trade activities within Africa developed rapidly in the pre colonial era. Some African societies performed commercial activities in which stratification emerged among the people hence the newmode emerged.
Popular trade contacts involved the Trans Sahara Trade and the East African Long Distance Trade. Those trade contacts created internal and regional economicdifferences leading to the transition of amode of production.
Neolithic revolution refers to the phase between the Late Stone Age and thebeginning of the Iron Age. The Neolithic Revolution occurred during the Upper Paleolithic Era.
For the case of Africa, Neolithic Revolution started firstly in Egypt and later on diffusion occurred and domestication of animals and plants spread to theother parts of the continent.
IMPACTS OF NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION
Generally Neolithic Revolution created some impacts in the history of man asfollows;
1. It Influenced Population Expansion.
As man produced food for his survival, the population expanded. Formerly, before man started to domesticate animals and plants the population was low but availability of food intensified the population.
2. It Influenced Surplus Production.
The moment man started to domesticate animals and plants, he started to produce surplus. It is the time when man started to produce beyond consumptionand that surplus was used for other purposes such as exchange.
3. It Developed Specialization.
Domestication of animals and plants caused the people to start specializing inthe sense that some performed agriculture, others specialized in hunting and iron works. So the Neolithic Revolution was the way towards man’s ability towork in lines of specialization.
4. It led to the Emergence of Exchange.
Exchange between communities emerged as each community produced a certain item or product different from the others and emergence of surplusinfluencedtheemergence of exchange.
5. Regional Differences Emerged.
Production of crops and domestication of animals caused different regions to differ in the course of production. Some people produced more than others, such a situation influenced regional differences and emergenceof classes.
6. Emergence of Complex Societies.
Complex societies emerged in Africa due to population expansion and organization of people into political unitshence atransition emerged.
Note: The transition from primitive communalism paved the way for the rise of the other modes, in Africa few societies had some elements of slavery as discussed in, the next stage and most of the African societies moved tofeudalism.
Conclusion: This mode of production existed during the time of the early Stone Age and normally it changed gradually within time depending of discovery of iron tools which increased production leading to surplus which transformed to exploitative modes to exploitative modes.