The Themes Of Alienation In Estranged Labor By Karl Marx

1297 Words6 Pages
Fermelita Borre AB1213
Rochelle Igot Philosophical Research Paper
What is Alienation?
In this paper, we will evaluate alienation and its premises as presented in “Estranged Labor” by Karl Marx. Although the entirety of the arguments he presented in his manuscript were substantial, there was a flaw in one of the arguments he presented in the types of of alienation, the estrangement of the worker from the activity of production.
Karl Marx defines “alienation” by which laborers are estranged from their self-being because of the capitalists. A result from the lack of identity with the products of their labor and a sense of being are controlled or exploited (en.oxforddictionaries.com). Marx asserts that capitalism is the root cause
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But there are few cases where people who are privileged enough to choose what kind of profession they want to pursue – one that doesn’t make them feel unhappy and dissatisfied. In literal sense, labor is the physical exertion of a worker but it doesn’t necessarily imply that just because it is external to the worker, it doesn’t belong to his or her essential being. There are workers who love their job such as the artists, directors, musicians and even the professionals. In countries with Communistic regimes, such as the state of West Bengal in India which has been under communism for many decades has experienced reduced industrial capacity, unrelenting demands from workers and decreased general industrial growth.
The third type of alienation is the worker’s estrangement from species-being or human identity. According to Karl Marx:
“Estranged labour not only (1) estranges nature from man and (2) estranges man from himself, from his own function, from his vital activity; because of this, it also estranges man from his species.” (Marx 1844)
Marx argues that work at our best, is what makes us humans. Therefore, the act of turning commodities into an entirely different product is not only the essence but the purpose of human being as well. To Marx, Human’s nature is not separate from activity or work, it includes the possibility
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When man confronts himself, he also confronts other men. What is true of man’s relationship to his labour, to the product of his labour, and to himself, is also true of his relationship to other men, and to the labour and the object of the labour of other men.” (Marx 1844)
We have evaluated the four types of alienation labor in relation to the worker: The estrangement of the worker from the product of his work, the estrangement of the worker from the activity of production, the worker’s estrangement from species-being or human identity and the estrangement of man to man or the estrangement from our fellow workers.
The premises presented by Karl Marx on his manuscript were genuinely with accord to the ordeal of the workers as they lose themselves in the hands of the capitalists. But, as we stated in the first part of this paper, we think there is a flaw in his second premise, the estrangement of the worker from the activity production. We believe that labor done by workers - explicitly those who take pleasure in doing their job- doesn’t necessarily imply that everything that they do is not out of their essential being primarily because they love what they do, and any work that is done out of passion and love comes from the essential being of a
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