Karl Marx’s Theory of the Productive Forces in the Present Fourth Industrial Revolution

Kien Thi Pham


The purpose of the article is to assert Marx’s correctness in maintaining the role of the productive forces in the production process. The paper clarifies the concept of productive forces, describes the factors that make up productive forces, and looks at productive forces in social development. Nowadays, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Marx’s arguments are still valid when explained from the perspective of the factors that make up the productive forces. The paper uses a method of justifying with clarifying the relationship of workers and the production process using a comprehensive and historical practice. In addition, the article also uses analytical and synthesis methods to re-systemize the concept of productive forces in this day and age. The study results show that the more science and technology develop, the higher the requirements for human qualifications, skills, capacity, and health. Labor still plays an essential role in the production process, whether it be performed by humans or artificial intelligence.


Productive forces; Karl Marx; historical materialism; socio-economic forms; material production activities

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