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Marx's Alienation of Labour

There is deep substance and many common themes that arose throughout Marx's career as a philosopher and political thinker. A common expressed notion throughout his and Fredrick Engels work consists of contempt for the industrial capitalist society that was growing around him during the industrial revolution. Capitalism according to Marx is a "social system with inherent exploitation and injustice". (Pappenheim, p. 81) It is a social system, which intrinsically hinders all of its participants and specifically debilitates the working class. Though some within the capitalist system may benefit with greater monetary gain and general acquisition of wealth, the structure of the system is bound to alienate all its participants. This paper intends evaluate Karl Marx's theory of alienated labour. In doing so it will demonstrate how capitalism both a century and a half ago, and to this very day, produces and also perpetuates alienation within the work environment. Though Marx's theory of alienation is not without its flaws, the fundamental backbone to his theory is still relevant to this day. A critical element is to take Marx's basic premises of alienation into context and realize that the capitalist world has evolved tremendously since Marx's work during the early years of Industrial Revolution. Marx's concept of alienation can be defined as "the distortion of human nature that is caused by the domination of the worker by the ‘alien will' of the capitalist" estrangement (Ritzer, p. 55). A key element to his theory of alienation focuses on the individual's experience of feeling powerlessness when they fail to realize their own human potential, which in turn causes false consciousness. His theory is based upon his dialectics and on the totality of reciprocal relationships to nature and to other individuals within society, which are motivated and perpetuated by the need for material things. Marx' theoretical concept of alienation...
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