Outline and discuss Marx's theory of Alienation

Topics: Marxism, Karl Marx, Capitalism Pages: 4 (1580 words) Published: October 12, 2013
Outline and Discuss Marx’s Theory of Alienation
Karl Marx’s Theory of Alienation is the assertion that through Capitalist industrial practices, the worker will experience a series of feelings of disconnection from integral parts of the labour process and ultimately, from humanity itself. I will argue that this theory will be relevant as long as the reign of Capitalism dominates modern society. Marx advocates that the only way alienation can be alleviated is through the destruction of the current economic base which he predicts is an inevitable gravitation towards a classless, stateless society known as socialism. In order to fully grasp Marx’s theory, we must first delve into two accounts of alienation from Hegel and Feurbach. According to the philosopher Georg Hegel, humans continuously aspire to create at a level that is beyond our capacity to do so. This creates a sense of frustration as there is a gap between that which we conceive and that which we can materialise. For example, an artist can hold a vision of a painting in his mind but finds it difficult to depict his exact idea. Therefore, there is a sense of alienation amongst humanity as we can never reach a state of divine creation that mirrors that of a higher spiritual realm (Allen, K. 2012). However, Ludwig Feurbach rejected this idealistic concept of alienation in favour of a materialistic approach to human consciousness. He argued against traditional Christian views of human conception as arising from a creation of God by inverting this concept and offering that it was in fact humans who created the idea of God as a projection of the most powerful components of the human condition. The idea of God as an all wise and all loving creator is an amplification of the human capacities to love, to be intelligent and to shape our environment through creativity. This idea of God humbles humanity and creates a sense of alienation as due to a lack of negative character traits being projected on to God, we...

Bibliography: Allen, K. (2011) Marx And The Alternative To Capitalism. London: Pluto Press.
Allen, K. (2012) Lecture Notes.
Morrison, K. (1995) Marx, Durkheim, Weber: Formations of Modern Social Thought. 9th Edition. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
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