Man as a ‘Species Being’ According to Marx

2359 WordsJun 25, 200810 Pages
The notion of man as a ‘species-being’ for Marx meant the recognition of man’s human essence as a member of a species. A species which takes part in a process of conscious production whereby we produce as human beings for one another; Marx perceived this to be the process of mans ‘active species life’ (Bottomore; 1963 ). Marx specifically used the term ‘species being’ as a method to distinguish human life from animal life; where production is more a consequence of ‘blind instinct’ rather than conscious productive labour. The recognition of man as a ‘species’ becomes eminent to the theory of Alienation, which is central to Marx’s work and vital in reiterating the human essence of man. ‘Alienation’ for Marx was a consequence of the…show more content…
Man no longer exercises his essence as a species-being in productive labour for the good of others, but on the contrary, he becomes detached from his essence and the product of his labour is abstracted as a means to produce for the sake of capital. In this sense man becomes reduced to nothing but a machine; the more capital the product of his labour acquires, the more the worker will be encouraged to produce through the influence of wages. The appeal of this profit for the worker sustains his alienated state by further sacrificing his ‘body and spirit’ for the sake of his wages; “..the more they want to earn the more they must sacrifice their time and perform slave labour in which their freedom is totally alienated in the service of avarice...” (Bottomre; 1963, pg 71) So essentially the increase in production and specifically the power of mans product of his labour suppresses him further into an alienated state at the cost of his humanity. His fulfillment at work is minimal; on the contrary he is miserable and survives only as a means to produce capital. The worker remains detached from the product of his labour and produces only wages in an attempt to prosper in the same way as the capitalist seeks to prosper – only the prosperity of the capitalist ascends at a higher level through the exploitation of the worker . (ibid). From here competition becomes almost predictable as another condition

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