Marx’s analyses are not as clearcut as they seem to his followers. To study world history according to modes of production doesn’t really work and the assumption that communism must follow at the end is simply a form of propaganda.
It distracts from the need for socialists to think through what they are doing and trying to achieve. In the final analysis, marxism fumbled the ball by negating liberalism, but then (bourgeois) democracy also, and trying to erect an economic apparatus as all-controlling.
It would be more useful to think of socialism as a related form to democracy and to construct an economy around that. The whole question is a void filled with Marxist hot air and the strange wary of making the working class the final dominant class. The working class might possibly be a spearhead toward socialist transformation but a socialist society needs to find some form of a universal class and in the process address all classes as they move into a universal socialist class. The format of Marxist class analysis results in universal paranoia and the fear of liquidation as the working class putatively it to take control of everything. It is a sloganeering idea turned into theory and it doesn’t work. In the few cases tried the same old elites ended up on top, this time representatives of that working class. Granted, the issue won’t go away, and shouldn’t, because the odds are in favor of some new elite taking charge in a betrayal of the working class. So what is the answer?
Source: Mode of production – Wikipedia