Marx on alienation

Topics: Marxism, Karl Marx, Working class Pages: 2 (660 words) Published: October 19, 2013
Marx on alienation

Marx believed that a revolution in capitalist society was inevitable. Mark discovered, during his exile to France, that the working class was ‘alienated’. To most people the idea of alienation means that they are being pushed away from a group, through their fault or not. In German philosophy alienation means something different; Alienation is the term for things that belong to each other to be kept apart. The meaning of alienation is discussed in The Paris Manuscripts which is written in 1844. These things that are meant to be together, Marx says, are the essence of human existence. Marx goes further with this idea of separation by saying that capitalism has essentially caused humans to be split from their essence and has not allowed us to live as we should. Marx then offers an ‘ideal’: Communism, which should allow us to live in an ideal society.

In The Paris Manuscripts, Marx states four example of alienation in our capitalist societies. The first way of alienation is the fact that the worker has been separated from his product. The working class becomes impoverished through their labour; this Marx says is - capitalism. The worker does no longer know how to make his own product, he makes separate parts of the device but it is return to him in alien form once put together. This lack of knowledge means that the workers become more impoverished as they need someone to tell them how to make their product and gives that person more power over them. The alienation between worker and product leads to no knowledge being passed on through generations within the lower class. This means that the lower class becomes more impoverished and allows the higher class become even wealthier. Marx believes that eventually this disproportion will cause a peak in the economy that will cause a revolt and eventually the downfall of capitalism.

Marx’s second example of alienation is the whole process through with the merchandise is made. This...
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