Marx 's Views On Labor Alienation And Its Effects On Humanity

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Karl Marx stands out among other famous philosophers of the 19th century. He founded proactive theories, which called for political action as well as social change, rather than mere theoretical study. One of such theories is his theory of alienation found in his work “The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts” (1844), also known as “The Paris Manuscripts”. This theory explains how a capitalist socio-economic regime alienates the worker in four various levels. Marx defines alienation as the absence of meaning or self- realization in one’s life (Geras 26). This paper examines Marx’s views on labor alienation and its effects on humanity, his criticism of religion and its influences on his rejection of capitalism, as well as his concept of the human nature.
Among the central concepts of Marx’s philosophy is alienated labor. In “Paris Manuscripts” (1844), Marx borrows the concept of alienation from Hegel, who argued that human beings could be out of sync with the world they inhabit (Marx et al. 283). Unlike Hegel, Marx narrows down the scope by limiting alienation along the confines of labor. In the latter’s view, alienation occurs from the way people validate their work. In Marx’s theory of alienation, he states that fundamental to the human identity and life is the process of production; transforming nature into things that satisfy an individual’s needs (Geras 30). Capitalism, which is the backdrop of this theory, undermines this personality construct, since the worker relates
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