Marx then exposes the reality of work under capitalism in a way which has great resonance even today: "The exercise of labour power, labour, is the worker’s own life activity, the manifestation of his own life" (Marx-Engels pp 204). But they have to sell it to another person to obtain means of subsistence. Life activity is just a means to enable existence. They work in order to live. Labour is not even reckoned as part of normal life, it is rather a sacrifice of their life.
Karl Marx and Max Weber both agreed that capitalism generates alienation in modern societies, but the cause for it were both different. For Marx it is due to economic inequality in where the capitalist thinks that the workers worth nothing more than a source of labour, that can be employed and dismissed at will. This causes the workers to be dehumanised by their jobs (in the past, routine factory work and in the present-day, managing demands on a computer), which leads to the workers finding slight satisfaction and feeling incapable of improving their situation. It was noted by Marx four methods on how capitalism alienates workers. The first, is alienation from the function of working.
In the source, the man contains collectivist ideals, explaining that a laissez-faire economy causes problems within the working class. The profit that comes from the labour of the workers goes towards the capitalist and leaves the workers with little money and bad working conditions. This significant inequality will invoke all of the working members to gather together and cause a revolution. The restructuring will create a government with a socialist ideal, meaning that everyone is set out to do jobs according to their ability and they will be provided for according to their needs. These beliefs align with the philosopher Karl Marx, known as the father of communism who promoted an egalitarianism way of thinking.
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.
Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 presented through his writings this kind of alarming condition which he called the Estranged Labor. He further discussed what merely the cause of an alienated labor. In the text, Political economy is further explained through the level of usefulness of such worker and that shows to very poor quality of work but it is opposite in reality hence the workers shows their ability to produce high quality and meaningful products. Private property is the primary cause why alienated labor exists. Without private property, workers or laborers would not also exist.
"What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable" (Marx, 1848). Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels famous work ‘ The communist manifesto’ is on of the most influential doctrines on the theory of Marxism. Marxism, as concluded from Marx and Engels is a conflict theory, which means that it believes that society is based on inequality and unequal distribution of power and wealth. The Marxist methodology uses economic and sociopolitical inquiry and employs that to the critique and analyse the development of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change.
Karl Marx’s goal in developing this theory on alienation was to help people come to terms with inequality and losing themselves while working. He specifically focused on capitalism and how capitalism forces people to experience a loss of meaning in life. He wanted people to understand that “the worker becomes a slave of his object…” (p. 43). He believed in false consciousness, which is “the inability of the proletariat to see the situation they are in vis-à-vis the bourgeoisie” (Karl Marx PowerPoint). He wanted to educate people for their own sake on how to breakthrough the inequality and save themselves from capitalism.
In his writing, he was focused on the social classes struggles for power with the working class against its capitalistic leaders. Marx founded that the market binds the individual producer to the market from which he consumes, as he is dependent on capital for his survival. The worker thus creates a surplus value for the upper class he labors for, helping large-scale industries dominate the market, and creating a larger gap in income inequality, inevitably leading to conflict. With this, Marx took a materialist approach in his philosophy, where he viewed society to be ever changing, and systematically developed in favor of the most dominant productive
According to the Marxist philosophy, social relations between persons of different classes can signify a case of an oppressor and a person being oppressed. For Bartleby to avoid this oppression, even from the narrator who is a lawyer and hails from a different social class, he must remain firm and expose this inequality like that of a master and a slave. Such inequality is a major cause of power differences since the master always feel that they are superior to their slaves (Barnett, p.379). As such, Bartleby ought to source for his power since his personality is mostly influenced by the fact that he has little money, a good illustration that he must struggle to become powerful. Marxist theory argues that money is a supreme illustration of goodness and anyone who possesses it is better than a person who does
Marxism refers to the body of ideas first worked out by Karl Marx. These ideas shape a theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class to a higher form of human society (Sewell et al., 2008). Capitalism on the other hand, is the social structure that emerges on the basis of the social relationship between the consumers and the sellers of labour power (Ritzer, 2000). This essay will discuss the preconditions for capitalism, which include: commodities, surplus value and labour power. The contradictions of capitalism such as; alienation, exploitation and the decline in human development and will also be discussed, as well as contemporary examples of these found in South Africa.