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Discuss Marxs concepts of alienation and exploitation. - Essay Example
Author : qhegmann
Pages 2 (502 words)
As defined in wikipedia, alienation (Entfremdung in German), as expressed in the writings of young Karl Marx, refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to antagonism between things that are properly in harmony. In the concept's most important use, it refers to the alienation of people from aspects of their "human nature" (Gattungswesen, usually translated as 'species-essence' or 'species-being…
Some would say that Alienation itself is a completely subjective state of being, this is debatable at best. His theory relies on Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity (1841), which argues that the idea of God has alienated the characteristics of the human being. Stirner would take the analysis further in The Ego and Its Own (1844), declaring that even 'humanity' is an alienating ideal for the individual, to which Marx and Engels responded in The German Ideology (1845).
According to Karl Marx, there are many ways that people are alienated in capitalism. The workers apparently lose control of their lives and selves in not having any control of their work. Workers, thus, never become powerful, self-realized human beings in any significant sense. Marx attributes four types of alienation in labour under capitalism:
alienation of the worker from the product, since this is appropriated by the capitalist class, and so escapes the worker's control; alienation from the act of production itself, such that work comes to be a meaningless activity, offering little or no intrinsic satisfactions. ...