This chapter presents a settling of accounts and an argument for a particular point of view. It examines the problems and prospects generated by the literature, especially as it was applied to Latin American peasantries. The chapter suggests a perspective that carries us beyond articulating modes of production, but also makes a discussion of modes of production a necessary historical and political task. Any discussion of Marx and modes of production must begin by noting that Marx was never as rigorous in conceptualizing modes of production as have been subsequent generations of Marxists. The distinction between a level of appearances and an underlying structural reality is important for an understanding of three of the key concepts of the Althusserian tradition: mode of production, articulation, and social formation. Again, the definitions vary, and the usages are in many cases contradictory.