What Does Marx Mean by Alienation? Do You Find His Account Convincing?

1466 WordsJan 16, 20066 Pages
What does Marx mean by alienation? Do you find his account convincing? To begin with I am going to take the definition of alienation from Microsoft's Encarta (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary), to give a basic outline of alienation and then I will discuss Marx's alienation and then later on in the investigation I will see how similar Marx's application of "alienation" is. Encarta defines alienation as, 1. estrangement: the process of causing somebody to become unfriendly, unsympathetic, or hostile, or somebody's estrangement from or unfriendly attitude toward somebody else 2. withdrawn state: a feeling of being isolated or withdrawn, or of not belonging to or sharing in something. This led me on to ask, what does Marx…show more content…
In the shadow of the slave and the master is Marx's application to the worker and the capitalist this has been shown in Marx's "estranged labour" or alienation (The Marx – Engels Reader) (Page 96), where the products of the worker no longer belong to the worker, instead they belong to the capitalist. This is where a paradox occurs, the better the worker produces, the richer he makes the capitalist, and the richer he makes the capitalist the more the capitalist has power over him. Because Marx was writing at the beginning of the industrial revolution he saw the situation that continues to this day. As a result the of the revolution the relation of a worker to his product had changed. In the old system, the worker produced a finished product, and he could be proud of it and paid for it. But under the new system of capitalism, products are produced by machines, and the worker may never see the final finished product. And rather than being paid for the products he produces, the worker is paid an hourly wage. Since his wage labour is bought and sold the worker himself has become a commodity under capitalism. Marx believed that the capitalist system could not be reformed. In the end, capitalism could only create alienation and estrangement. Marx's solution to the capitalist system was a complete change of system to that of a socialist system. The crucial significance of the capitalist society and the cause of alienation

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