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  • Karl Marx: Labor and Alienation

Karl Marx’s theory of Alienation: A Critique | sidvents

Marx's Theory of Alienation - Oakton Community College

The Concept of Alienation in Existentialism and Marxism: ..

Alienation was one of the “buzz words” of the twentieth century and a key idea in Marxist communism
However, alienation appears not merely in the result but also in the process of production, within productive activity itself. . . . If the product of labor is alienation, production itself must be active alienation. . . . The alienation of the object of labor merely summarizes the alienation in the work activity itself…This is the relationship of the worker to his own activity as something alien, not belonging to him, activity as suffering (passivity), strength as powerlessness, creation as emasculation, the personal physical and mental energy of the worker, his personal life. . . as an activity which is directed against himself, independent of him and not belonging to him (124-125).

Alienation: från Marx till modern sociologi ..

Karl Marx on Alienation - Films For Action
Workers in a capitalist society are alienated from their fellow workers. Marx's assumption was that people basically need and want to work cooperatively in order to appropriate from nature what they require to survive. But in capitalism this cooperation is disrupted, and people, often strangers, are forced to work side by side for the capitalist


Karl Marx, The Alienation of Labor - Graphic Witness

The second element of alienation Marx identified is a lack of control over the process of production. We have no say over the conditions in which we work and how our work is organised, and how it affects us physically and mentally. This lack of control over the work process transforms our capacity to work creatively into its opposite, so the worker experiences ‘activity as passivity, power as impotence, procreation as emasculation, the worker’s own physical and mental energy, his personal life – for what is life but activity? – as an activity directed against himself, which is independent of him and does not belong to him’.

Beginning with the presuppositions of the political economists, Marx examined first the alienated condition of the laborers as seen in (1) their relation to the product of their activity; (2) the process of labor itself; (3) the relation of the laborer to nature; (4) the relation of man to man; and (5) their relation to the human potential for freedom and creation. The basis of this condition Marx located in the private property relationship characterized by the reduction of human activity to wage labor as merely one commodity among others. That is, this represents the nearly total dehumanization of the laborer.

Karl Marx, Alienation of Labor Essay - 784 Words

Also, labor is alienating because it is performed in response to these needs; and alienation engenders private property because private property is a useful protection against the competitive hostility of others. The root cause, therefore, of alienation and private property, and much later of capitalism and exploitation, is the needy human body.

Istvan Meszaros and Marx's theory of alienation | MR …

For Marx, the history of mankind had a double aspect: It was a history of increasing control of man over nature at the same time as it was a history of the increasing alienation of man. Alienation may be described as a condition in which men are dominated by forces of their own creation, which confront them as alien powers. The notion is central to all of Marx's earlier philosophical writings and still informs his later work, although no longer as a philosophical issue but as a social phenomenon.

Alienation Revolution | Social Alienation | Marx's …

Man therefore is inevitably alienated by virtue of his humanity, his species-being, his free and conscious labor. Alienation, quite simply, is part of the human condition.

Marxist Theory of Alienation | Communication Theory

Alienation is defined as the social-psychological feeling of estrangement from work, from our fellow human beings, and from the self. Marx believes that this alienation is rooted in the capitalist mode of production itself. Work becomes an enforced activity, something done for the paycheck alone; a place where the individual must deny the self, separating physical activity from mental life—not living as a full human being. The worker becomes alienated from all aspects of labor beginning with the product that they are producing. Marx (1964b, 122) writes: “The object produced by labor, its product, now stands opposed to it as an alien being, as a power independent of the producer… The more the worker expends himself in work the more powerful becomes the world of objects which he creates in face of himself, the poorer he becomes in his inner life, and the less he belongs to himself.”Not only is the individual alienated from the product he produces, but from the production process itself. And this is extremely important, recall, as human beings are defined by their work. He does not own the tools, set the pace, or determine his actions on the job. Marx continues,