Analysis Of Karl Marx's The Alienation Of Labor

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Throughout his life, Karl Marx has altered the way that he views labor and what labor means to society as well as the individual. We can see how in The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof Karl Marx is still concerned about the laborers but is more focused on scientific notions and ideology as well as the economic components compared to what how he focuses on social aspects in The Alienation of Labor. The Alienation of Labor was written first, in 1844. The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof was written in 1867. Over the course of these twenty three years Marx began to shift his focus from what labor means to the individual to a more abstract distanced look at the capitalist system. The Alienation of Labor by Karl…show more content…
Political economy is, “what we would call macroeconomics, that is the economics of large systems” (pg. 250). Marx argues that there is a connection between many aspects of economics. There is a connection between exchange and competition, value and the devaluation of property, monopoly and competition, and estrangement and the money system. He claims that the laborers get poorer the more wealth they produce. The more commodities created, the cheaper they become. Marx states that while the value of objects in this world increase, the value of human beings decrease. I have found there to be a lot of truth in this even in the world today. Usually the things that we can buy for super cheap come at the expense of exploiting some child laborer working an illegal amount of hours in some factory while being paid basically nothing. We tend to forget, or chose to forget, that this is the reality we live in. In addition, Marx argues that alienated labor in a political economy is a result of private property. Also, political economy itself begins with the idea that labor is the soul of production. However, it gives everything to private property and nothing to labor. The labor strips humans of their dignity and human meaning. Marx calls wages “... nothing more than a better salary for slaves…” (pg. 255). In The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof, Marx still acknowledges all of these facts but also…show more content…
He also criticizes the capitalists in European economics. These people collect factories and raw materials for production, pay their laborers wages to produce goods, and as a result produce a profit due to good calculations. Although he says this is the rational thing to do to make more money, it is exploiting lower class laborers. Labor becomes an object, a type of commodity, instead of something people do. Consequently, laborers become an object and lose their humanity. Labor “made real” “makes unreal” the laborer. The products become more valuable than the person that produce them. In The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof, on the other hand, Marx points out some scientific information that criticizes how the laborers go unseen. “The mystical character of the commodity does not therefore arise from its use-value. Just as little does it proceed from the nature determinants of value. For in the first place, however varied the useful kinds of labor, or productive activities, it is a physiological fact that they are functions of the human organisms, and that each such function, whatever may be its nature or its form, is essentially the expenditure of human brain, nerves, muscles, and sense organs” (pg.164). The products being produced by these laborers are just seen as the object on the self instead of the blood, sweat,

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