Karl Marx Alienation Analysis Essay

Karl Marx’s theory and concepts are wide-ranging and had a massive influence and impact society development. Through reading and deeply thinking Marxism theory, I am interested in assessing issues about concept on alienation. I would like to focus more on page 70 to 81 in The Marx-Engels Reader and read over and over again which are the content mostly related to alienation. The reason why I am absorbed in this topic because I notice that Marx had a specific understanding with significant experience of alienation which is found in modern bourgeois society.

Later on Marx developed this understanding through his critique of Hegel. Alienation is a sociological concept developed in various classes and divisions, it is a condition in social relationships and may be reflected between a low degree and a high degree integration or isolation between individuals or between an individual and a group. Karl Marx defines alienation is the estrangement of people live in different social class. The alienation can be the consequence of being a mechanistic part of a social class that would estranges a person from their humanity.

I read about alienation is an important concept by the young Marx in the 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts and then developed in his critique of political economy about capital. At first, on the basic political economy, the worker seemed to sink to the commodity level and becomes the most deplorable of commodities. The provenance of alienation is commodity, which believe that commodities have human power, have kind of values and to govern and guide human beings’ activity.

In this concept, it relies mostly on the economic and social alienation aspect and shows workers are disconnected from what they produce and why they produce. Marx states that alienation is a significant consequence of capitalism. He argues that alienation is industrial production under capitalist situation; working-class labor will necessarily lose control of their lives by losing control more than their work. Thus workers are failing to be autonomous in some compelling sense.

For instance, a dressmaker would own her own tailor shop, set her own business hours, determine her own style of technique and working conditions, design her own product. Her relationship with whom she worked had a more or less personality. The most basic modality of working-class alienation is the form of estrangement from the process of their work. Another example could be an artist, unlike an industrial worker, normally works under his or her own style and world, they are totally control their own direction and work condition because of their creative mind.

They are always working in long hours constantly and even under an adverse social conditions. They usually worked as a relatively independent person when they control their own shop or working on their own project. However, if in modern industry, working-class labor may not work under their own direction, they are more likely to work in large factories or companies/offices. The working condition may be under supervision of hierarchy, there is a leader or manager who are taking control and assigning tasks of them.

To go to the details of Marx’s theory of Alienation, as stated in The Marx-Engels Reader: “ The worker is related to the product of his labor as to an alien object. For this premise it is clear that the more the worker spends himself, the more powerful the alien objective world becomes which he creates over-against himself, the poorer he himself – his inner world – becomes, the less belong to him as his own. ” What I am understand is if when a man alienated from the objects of his labor and the process of production, they also alienated from himself, he cannot spend time on his own or fully develop his own personal character.

They might get to know that work is the external environment for them, it is not part of their daily life and his nature, as a result, and they cannot fulfill in their work condition and always denies themselves. They feel less dynamic of social presence and they can only feel themselves when they at home during their own leisure time, whereas they may feel homeless in working conditions and find they are not belong to themselves but to be other persons. If the worker put his life into the object, but now his life no longer belongs to himself anymore, they belong to the objects finally.

Therefore, works no longer feel he to be freely active in any but animal functions (eating, drinks…) For further details on this topic, there are four types of alienation concepts, which are clearly stated by Marx: (1) alienation is the estrangement of the worker from the product of his work. (2) Alienation is the estrangement of the worker from the activity of production. (3) Alienation is the worker’s alienation from “species-being,” or human identity. (4) Alienation is the “estrangement of man to man.

For the first alienation, Marx considers that products produced by workers are alienated by product themselves. Capitalists employ workers and they work through putting their efforts and then getting paid for supporting their families. How hard they work, how much degree they lost themselves, the more products they would produce. They always want to manufacture high quality products, as a result, the higher quality the products, the more they consuming themselves, finally, they are not the person they should being themselves anymore, and they are treated badly, and they would become coward and blunt.

Consequently, the workers are become slaves of capitalists. In the common condition, it is our instinct to think that the people who put effort to produce, who owns the product of labor; but under society of capitalism, the main force is private ownership, as a result, the workers’ efforts are nothing or meaningless to themselves. It only has significant impacts to the capitalists. Alienation may occur in the form that many industrials have highly specialized functions on the assembly line and none can do the full job.

Which reminds me a condition in 19th in china, during 19 to 20 century, since china becomes an important exporter so the country is growing fast and emerges a lot of manufacturing and technologic industries, which means a manufacturing industry may have over ten thousand workers. They work hard and the process of production is complex and enormous. There is a technologic company in Shenzhen named Foxconn has almost eight hundred thousand employees in China, and always occur suicide incidents because of the intense working speed and nervous working environment.

I think the workers in this company are overly devoting themselves to the company and finally lost themselves in their own life. The second alienation is more focus on workers is alienated from the efforts (working behavior) they put (act). Workers suppose to be happy and satisfied when they are in a working condition, they should feel free and be pleased when the product they produced out of here, meanwhile, they might be confident and proud for their outcome. The product they produced might be totally free used and dominated by them.

On the contrary, it is extremely different under condition of capitalism. Workers are always feeling unhappy and have a low sense of self-esteem. They are seemed like compulsory to work. Consequently, the situation becomes like they working because they have to live, and it is the only choice for them in their rest of life. It is hopeless and they just complete the missions. The third alienation is alienated from “species-being”. On the earth, every species has its own articular attribute and characteristic.

Human being is the most advanced and wisdom specie. They are distinct from animals since people can work according to their target and purpose. The animal is immediately identical with its life-activity without distinguishing itself from it. And man makes his life-activity itself the object of his consciousness. But in the situation of alienation, it is completely different. Because they cannot prove themselves anymore as they are not doing a free activity, they are seems like animals in a certain way.

The process of alienation exploits human beings’ right and make them are same with animals. The forth alienation is the “estrangement of man to man. ” According to Marx’s theory, under society of capitalism, every working condition can be defined as progress of alienation. It is more reflected in relationship among people to people. Since the product workers produced are not belonging to workers, they are belonging to capitalists. It seems make sense that capitalists acquire both labor force and products (outcomes).

Simply see is this type of alienation is reflected in workers are exploited and enslaved in capitalist society. Basically, alienation could be concluding the process for people feel sense of foreign to the world they are living. The concept of alienation is also related closely to religious and political economy. At the beginning, Marx specifically developed an understanding of the alienation in bourgeois society and insisted it was human labor, which created history and culture. Then he found that practice changes the material world and labor process became objectification.

Specifically, Marx written in 1844 and showed how alienation arises form private labor for aspects of commodity production: “Let us review the various factors as seen in our supposition: My work would be a free manifestation of life, hence an enjoyment of life… My work is not my life. ” Which gives me an understanding that the characteristic of form of labor in bourgeois society, wage labor. As wage labor sell their labor power to acquire a livelihood, and then the capitalist owns the labor process. Alienation occurred in Chinese society in the post-Mao era as well.

There were major debates on contradictions and alienation played in a socialist society. Deng Xiaoping personally against the Marxist Humanist trend because he thinks that alienation was based on private property solely and maybe had no place in temporal socialist China. In his speech in 1983, he states that:” as to alienation, after Marx discovered the law of surplus value, he used that term only to describe wage labor in capitalist society, meaning that such labor was alien to the workers themselves and was performed against their will. “ (Chinese Marxist philosophy, n. . )

There’s no doubt that development of socialism constantly gives a force of alienation, and finally of the activities of the main body of the society. Moreover, they try to find a solution to overcome this alienation. In conclusion, alienation is a very important stage for developing the social and political movement. Because alienation allows people with different ideas and opinions, and may engage people in collective practice with others. This stage can also bring significant social change and take a meaningful improving and benefit the society.