Using Propaganda as a Tool to Overcome Alienation

Topics: Culture, History, Karl Marx Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: December 7, 2012
Using Propaganda As a Tool to Overcome Alienation

According to Karl Marx, the proletariat that worked in large factories did not feel any connection to the products they were making. Because each worker worked only on one component of the product the factory produced, and generally workers could not afford the products on which they were working, the workers got estranged from their own labour. Karl Marx called the process of becoming estranged of one’s own labour ‘alienation’, and several cultural and literal theorists have developed this idea for the purpose of literary criticism and cultural analysis.

The notion of ‘alienation’ is also applicable to the post-modernist era, which can be characterized with late-capitalism, Internet and globalization. According to the American literary critic Fredric Jameson, who works within the Marxist tradition, is the post-modernistic idea of history empty. People have become estranged from the historical past, because people reproduce the historical past without any connotation and turn it into something ‘depthless’. People cannot understand the past anymore except as a source that provides the styles and genres we reproduce nowadays.

People do not only appear to have become alienated from the historical past, but also from their cultural identity. The globalization of the world has increased rapidly and the boundaries between countries have become less important. People now can travel all over the world and it has become easy to get in contact with people from other countries and other cultures. The American culture has been spread to many countries through media, such as television and film. For instance, Santa Claus is one of the many aspects of American culture that has recently been integrated into Dutch culture. The blend of different cultures leads to alienation from a nation’s original culture. Estrangement of a nation’s own culture also makes people become estranged from their fellow citizens. Living in a...
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