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the portion of the social product created by direct producers in material production, over and above the necessary product. The time during which the surplus product is produced is called surplus labor-time, and the labor expended during this time is called surplus labor.
The surplus product assumes a specific form in each of the socioeconomic formations. The conditions of its production and distribution are governed by the property relations in the means of production in a particular society. In primitive society, because of the extremely low labor productivity, the creation of a surplus product was accidental. A surplus product was first produced on a regular basis at a definite stage in the development of the productive forces, when it became possible to produce more material goods than were needed by the worker and his family. The appearance of the surplus product served as the material basis for the differentiation of producers, the distinction between mental and manual labor, and the exploitation of man by man. In all exploitative socioeconomic formations, the surplus product is appropriated without compensation by the ruling classes. It serves as the source of their wealth and the basis of their parasitic way of life. The creation and extraction of the surplus product in slaveholding and feudal societies were based on extraeconomic constraint.
Under capitalism, the surplus product is the material embodiment of surplus value, the production and appropriation of which is the goal and motive force of the capitalists. The surplus product reflects the antagonism between the class interests of the bourgeoisie and proletariat. When it is distributed, it is broken down into entrepreneurial income, interest on loans, commercial profits, and land rent. Thus, the capitalists and landowners receive their share of the surplus product, which makes possible both personal consumption and capital accumulation. As capitalism develops, the surplus product represents a greater share of the social product as a whole. This is evidence of the increased exploitation of wage labor.
Under socialism, with social ownership and the planned organization of production in the national economy, “the surplus product goes not to the propertied class but to all the working people and only to them” (V. I. Lenin, Leninskii sb., vol. XI, 1929, p. 382). The socioeconomic meaning of the surplus product changes qualitatively under socialism, and the antagonistic character of the distinction between the necessary product and the surplus product is eliminated. The surplus product takes the form of a product that satisfies the social needs of the associated producers. The source of socialist accumulation, the surplus product helps increase the country’s defense capabilities and maintain the state apparatus and the nonproduction sector. Social consumption funds are formed partly from the surplus product.
Because the production and use of the surplus product are subordinated to the goal of socialist production, all the working people have a material stake in creating the surplus product. When the surplus product is distributed, part of it remains in the hands of state enterprises and cooperative and kolkhoz enterprises, constituting their profit and net income, respectively. The other part of the surplus product is placed at the disposal of society and constitutes the centralized net social income.
A. A. KHANDRUEV