Understanding Marx on Alienation

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Karl Marx was influenced to establish his theory on alienation by his observations of the social, economic and political developments of the industrial revolution during the middle to late nineteenth century. His assertion was that newly founded industrial processes’, which were much different from imperial and feudal societies, isolated workers from their labor under the confines of the capitalism system. Because of the industrial revolution, many workers had to endure low wages, long hours and a substandard working environment under the exacting observation of profit driven owners. Alienation from Marx can be summarized into four different aspects: 1) the alienation of the worker from the product of his labor; 2) the alienation of the worker in the process of production; 3) the alienation of the worker from his creative self; and 4) the alienation of the worker from society (Hodsen & Sullivan, 2007). The worker no longer carries any connection to the product that they produce. Work is carried out in a monotonous and routine process where the worker is focused on a specialization of labor and they have little to no control over the disposition of the product. When a product is produced, he does not own it and only provides tangible goods for the capitalist to sell and make a profit. Products are not a conceived out of desire but rather as a means to an existence and consequently becomes a slave to the object. For Marx, the monotonous redundancy of this labor is highly detrimental because the worker loses himself in his efforts. The process of production separates both worker and capitalist from the act and it merely becomes a mere means to their existence. They have no control over how the product is finished and more importantly it is being driven by capitalist who force harder work and longer hours. Since the worker has no control over the process…...

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