Marx Alienation Essay

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Marx's theory of alienation is a non-psychological concept and has to do with the relation of the worker to the means of production. The term alienation refers to “a separation from a larger whole” (mcLellan, 2000) It outlines four main aspects in which workers are alienated in today's society alienated from the products of their labour, alienated from the process of work, denied the ability to be creative, and physically alienated from other people. The concept of alienation plays a significant role in Marx's early political writing, especially in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1848. This implies that while Marx found alienation useful in investigating certain basic aspects of the development of capitalist society, it is less useful in putting forward the predictions of the collapse of capitalism. Marx first mentions alienation in the following statement, “The less you are, the more you have; the less you express your own life, the greater is your alienated life the greater is the store of you estranged being" (mcLellan, 2000) Here I think the most important part is the word "express", because in terms of life each person wishes to express themselves to their maximum limit. I think that no one wants to have a "store" of isolated being, because it would mean that one is holding something back. A man's life-activity is his work. In a capitalist society, the worker is alienated from his labour - 'he plays no part in deciding what to do or how to do it. The division of labour ensures that each worker only does one job, and the labour market decides which job any particular worker will do. During labour, the worker uses capital not under his own control. The capital available determines the nature of the work. On top of all this, the worker has no choice but to work, as wages are needed to provide the worker's means to life. Work is seen to be
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