Karl Marx Alienation of Labor

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Max Rodrigues
Response Paper on Karl Marx
10/23/10

According to Karl Marx, wages are a representation of one’s potential value of labor, however company owners necessarily get more money from one’s labor than an individual is paid in wages, for wages are based upon what is considered the minimal amount of money needed to sustain a worker’s life. This makes it a structural necessity in capitalism to feel as though we are paid less than the amount of work we put in. Given the author’s arguments, going through a retraining program in order to find a fulfilling career goes with Marx’s claim that we sell our labor for a wage in order to live, but he does not take into consideration the satisfaction received in a fulfilling career such as Alan Moniz did when he retrained to become an occupational therapy assistant.

Alienation of labor is a fundamental idea of Karl Mar, but it is evident that a fulfilling profession gives a different kind of value to workers’ lives. However, no matter the career, by auctioning off our labor, we sell one of the very things that make us human. Former factory worker Alan Moniz went through a retraining program after he was laid off and found a job as an occupational therapy assistant, which pays the same as his previous job which he worked at for thirty years. Part of the training program meant Moniz had to go back to school in order to obtain the degree necessary to find a job related to health care, which is the field he wanted to get into in order to help make the lives of other individuals better. Moniz’s job can be seen as virtuous since he is working to help others and it is fulfilling because he enjoys bringing help to others. Moniz used retraining as a means to guide his life to finding a self-satisfying career which integrates his want to help others with his labor, which is what Marx believes all individuals should strive towards.

Karl Marx believes that capitalism alienates workers from their own labor and that...
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