Dimensions of Alienation in Marx’s Critique of Capitalist Society

Topics: Capitalism, Karl Marx, Industrial Revolution Pages: 4 (1425 words) Published: October 21, 2013

‘Alienation’ was a central concern for the young Karl Marx. Discuss the dimensions of this alienation in Marx’s critique of capitalist society, and comment on the contemporary relevance of this concept.

The concept of alienation remains a significant feature of modern society. I will discuss Karl Marx’s central concern with alienation in conjunction with his critique of capitalist society and note the contemporary relevance. Karl Marx was born into a middle class home in Germany in the 19th century. He studied at University’s around Europe and was exiled from Cologne and Paris where he wrote for radical newspapers, eventually ending up in London where he and his family lived in poverty. Such things as the French and the times of the Industrial revolution were present leading from feudalism to capitalism times that have led to the way we live in current society. The basis of a capitalist system is the drive to increase profit for companies so that they stay open and running and this requires extracting surplus values. We rely on capitalism to gain what we need like homes, clothing, food, cars, and electricity. According to Marx, people in society cannot provide these things on there own so they rely on the market production, private property assumes that man produces to own something for himself and that this alienates man from his own humanity. Karl Marx suggested that alienation was built up of for levels. These composed mans alienation from the product that they manufacture, alienation from the work that they do, alienation from us as humans, and alienation from society.

Alienation of the product suggests that workers are alienated from the product they manufacture. In early industrial times factory owners generally paid minimal to the workers for the product they constructed, even if the product they were manufacturing was sold at a high price and profit. Industrial workers lived in poverty and could hardly afford to feed their families, so in no...

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