Friday, September 6, 2019
MarxÃ¢â¬â¢s Theory of Alienation Essay Example for Free
MarxÃ¢â¬â¢s Theory of Alienation Essay Marx used the Ã¢â¬Ëtheory of alienationÃ¢â¬ to expose what he claimed as a highly exploitative, unfair social relationship existing in a capitalist system which effectively divides society into two opposing groups. He argued that this unfair social relationship came into being because of the Ã¢â¬Å"concept of private propertyÃ¢â¬ which, according to him, refers to a situation where the means of production (such as factories and plants) are owned by private persons. This private ownership of the means of production gave birth to the two antagonistic social classes: Ã¢â¬Å"the property owners [or the capitalists] and the propertyless workers. Ã¢â¬ (Alienation, n.d.) Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã According to Marx, here lies the first alienation of the workers in a capitalist society. The capitalists own the means of production and the workers have only their labor to sell so that they could survive. Using the plants and factories at their disposal, the capitalists utilize the labor of the workers to enrich themselves by producing Ã¢â¬Å"surplus valueÃ¢â¬ or profit. What worsens the situation for the workers is the fact that capitalists, in order to increase their profit or maximize their surplus value, are disposed to keep wages to the minimum, often barely enough for workers to live a humanely comfortable life. Needless to say, the lower the wages paid to workers, the greater the profit for the capitalists. (Alienation, n.d.) This led Marx to assert that under the capitalist system, the only way to go is for the workers to become poorer and for the capitalists to grow richer. He cited the fact that in capitalist societies, there is an ever increasing number Ã¢â¬Å"in the Ã¢â¬Ëworking poorÃ¢â¬â¢ families who remain mired in poverty although every family member works, often more than one job Ã¢â¬ ¦ [because] the wealth of the few depends on the poverty of the many.Ã¢â¬ (Introduction, n.d.) In other words, capitalism, according to Marx, was tailored so that capitalists who control the means of production should get rich and the workers, whose labor produce the coveted surplus value are shamelessly exploited. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Then the workers are alienated Ã¢â¬Å"from the activity of workingÃ¢â¬ itself. Ã Marx claimed that workers in a capitalist society do not work because they want to, or enjoy what they do. Neither do they work to improve their lot nor to create a happier, more humane society. Rather, they work simply because they have to earn in order to live. In other words, Marx said that they are Ã¢â¬Å"forcedÃ¢â¬ to work Ã¢â¬â implying that workers in a capitalist society are far from being happy individuals who have no control even over the course or objective of their labor. The decision rests solely on the capitalists who have already acquired control over their labor after paying for it. Since the only goal of capitalists is more profits, their only objective, therefore, is to utilize labor to gainful undertaking regardless of whether their enterprise benefits society or endangers it. Marx declared that Ã¢â¬Å"If greater profits can be made with weapons than with hula hoops, then that is where they will invest their capital.Ã¢â¬ In this context, workers who are anti-war are compelled to produce war materials. (Alienation, n.d.) Marx also suggested that in a capitalist society, people are alienated from one another. He argued that workers are not only Ã¢â¬Å"forcedÃ¢â¬ to work under any conditions and for whatever purpose in order to survive they are also kept separate from one another, pitted against each other. This is because in their desire to live, they have to compete for work. In their craving for a comfortable life, they have to practically elbow each other out for better-paying jobs. It is not only workers who are being alienated from their fellow workers. Capitalists also turn against other capitalists in their quest for profit and power. Marx said that this never-ending competition for jobs and profits Ã¢â¬Å"favors the most ruthless, at other times the most opportunistic or well-connected.Ã¢â¬ In fact, Marx insinuated that this rat race which characterizes life in a capitalistic society is the start of the process of the dehumanization of man. Their failure to shape society according to their needs, their desires, and their concept of civilization, completes the process because this ability to create the kind of society that they want is what distinguishes man from the lower forms of animal. Ã (Introduction, n.d.) References Alienation. (n.d.). Order #32797436 attachment. Introduction. (n.d.). Order #32797436 attachment.