Karl Marx Alienation

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Karl Marx used his conception of human nature as a normative touchstone for a superior qualitative life. As he observed the material consequences of the industrialization era, Marx contrasted the current social reality against his normative vision of human worth, which led to his denouncement of capitalism’s inherent structural flaws. It is his conceptualization of alienation that highlights the transgressions against humanity that occur under capitalism and fueled his moral indictment of the system. The consequence of an exploitive relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat class is alienation. In Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, he defines the alienation of the worker as, “not only [does] his labour becomes an object, […] but that it exists outside of him, independently, as something alien to him” (72); it is a sort of estrangement, a sense of disorientation and exclusion that the worker experiences. Objective alienation occurs between the worker and the self, work, and product. The division of labor, or the specialization of tasks in the workforce (i.e. resembling an assembly line), alienates the worker from the self, in the sense that he is no longer free to choose fulfilling work, but is rather forced into performing a task that blocks him from achieving or expressing his full creative potential. He becomes estranged from his work because the conditions of labor are under the control of the capitalists, where it serves as a commodity and

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