Karl Marx

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Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim Views on Labor
During the 1800s there was clear and concise turmoil in regards to labor. Some viewed labor as a means to an end. It was a part of life with no implied passion. It was the only way to put food on the table and provide any additional support that was needed for families. Society, as we all know, had, or has, a set of rules and guidelines that one was to live by to maintain a place in the world. A place that if you dare objected you would be frowned upon. Here we will look at Karl Marx’s and Emile Durkheim’s views on labor. In Karl Marx’s “Alienated Labor” he describes how the worker becomes so engrossed with the work that he loses himself. “The depreciation of the human world progresses in direct proportion to the increase in value of the world of things” (Marx 1977:4). The worker makes himself poorer while the rich get richer. He hustles and bustles to create a product that he cannot use himself. “The worker becomes a commodity that is all the cheaper the more commodities he creates” (Marx 1977:4). Marx states that a consequence of this is that the worker relates to the product he helping to create as an alien object. The more he externalizes himself the more powerful the object becomes, therefore the poorer he becomes. Marx relates this to religion stating that “the more man puts into God, the less he retains in himself. The worker puts his life into the object and this means that it no longer belongs to him but the object” (1977:4). “As in religion the human imagination’s own activity, the activity of man’s head and heart, reacts independently on the individual as an alien activity of gods or devils, so the
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