Wolf distinguishes between three modes of production: capitalist, kin-ordered, and tributary. Wolf does not view them as an evolutionary sequence. He begins with capitalism because he argues our understanding of kin-ordered and tributary modes is coloured by our understanding of capitalism. He argues they are not evolutionary precursors of capitalism, but the product of the encounter between the West and the Rest. In the tributary mode, direct producers possess their own means of production, but their surplus production is taken from them through extra economic means. This appropriation is usually by some form of strong or weak state.  In the kin-ordered mode of production, social labour is mobilized through kin relations (such as lineages), although his description makes its exact relations with tributary and capitalist modes unclear. The kin mode was further theorized by French structuralist Marxists in terms of 'articulated modes of production.' The kin-ordered mode is distinct again from Sahlins' formulation of the domestic mode of production. 
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