On the other hand, Marx has an answer for the perceived undervaluation of the importance of the individual: capitalism. This paper looks at Marx’s ideas regarding objectification and his view of human needs, in the context of his discussion of alienation under capitalism. Marx’s opinion on the purpose of production is also an issue that is dealt with in this paper. These issues are examined in detail in an effort to indicate that Karl Marx’s work is often mistakenly criticized as constituting a framework that undervalues the importance of the individual.
The alienation theory, according to Marx, is the separation of human beings from various aspects that characterize their human nature. In order to understand the concept of alienation in line with Marx’s opinion of human needs and objectification, it is important to understand what he meant by human nature. He describes human nature as the means by which humans are capable of shaping their environment or nature. Marx, in emphasizing the importance of the individual, argues against an abstract concept of human nature. Instead, he insists that individuals express their lives as they are (15). This is to say that one’ individualism is pegged on material conditions of his production.
In his 1844 Manuscripts, Marx says that human nature is a “totality of needs and drives” which he says exerts some force on man. This is to say that human nature cannot be regarded in the absence of the need to satisfy certain needs. This is what he says about human needs and drives:
“Man is directly a natural being. As a natural being and as a living natural being he is on the one hand endowed with natural powers, vital powers – he is an active natural being. These forces exist in him as tendencies and abilities – as instincts. On the other hand, as a natural, corporeal, sensuous objective being he is a suffering, conditioned and