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Alienation and social classes


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Alienation and social classes

  1. 1. Karl Marx on Work (I have no idea where I got this. Pretty good though. I have added a few things. es) Karl Marx (1818-1883) Communist Manifesto (1848) with F. Engels Capital (4 vols 1867-1910)
  2. 2. Karl Marx on Work What makes us distinctively human is our capacity for intelligent and creative work – ingenuity. Marx: “…labour, is the worker’s own life- activity, the manifestation of his own life”
  3. 3. Karl Marx on Work Work should use our creative powers and develop all sides of our potential. Each one of us has the potential to develop a wide variety of skills and capacities. We are most human: -- when we work because we want to, and because we like our work -- when work is self-rewarding -- our life finds meaning in our work
  4. 4. Karl Marx and Capitalism A relatively small elite owns and controls society’s means of production Most people sell their ability to work to these owners and in return, they receive a wage, not a “portion” of the resulting product. In return, they receive a wage, not a “portion” of the resulting product. Under competitive market pressure to reduce costs, owners take control of the process of work and transform it
  5. 5. Marx, Capitalism and Alienation ALIENATION: To cause (someone) to feel isolated or estranged: an urban environment that would alienate its inhabitants (as adj. alienated)
  6. 6. Marx, Capitalism and Alienation Marx Wrote: “the alienation of the worker is expressed thus: the more he produces, the less he can consume; the more value he creates, the less value he has… Labour produces fabulous things for the rich, but misery for the poor. Machines replace labour, and jobs diminish, while other workers turn into machines…”
  7. 7. Marx, Capitalism and Alienation To survive, workers must sell the one thing that makes them distinctively human: the capacity for inventive and creative work Workers as a social class therefore become alienated from their human nature, what makes them essentially human  Workers become alienated from their fellow human beings
  8. 8. The Psychological Effects of Alienation: Alienation is a sense of powerlessness. It is an objective feature in capitalism as we are no longer in touch with our species being.
  9. 9. Species being is the “natural” state of humans. It means a “being that is both conscious of itself and as a conscious member of society.”
  10. 10. Marx wrote in 1845 ”…communist society ... makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”
  11. 11. Alienation is estrangement. It is the “modern” world that estranges all of us. The capitalist is alienated from himself because he is obsessed with money; because all things are commodities he no longer values things per se, but only their capital worth.
  12. 12. States Simon (1995) Alienation is “dehumanization.” “This is because of the impersonality of bureaucratic structures the high valuation of material goods and status, and the decline of community.”
  13. 13. “Dehumanization is object-directed when people are regarded as less than human for purposes of profit, exploitation, and manipulation.” (Simon, 1995)
  14. 14. MODERN AND POST MODERN: Before Henry Ford created the first assembly line, it took several men to build a car one at a time. After the assembly line was created, the worker lost his personal connection with the product. He was “alienated” from his work now. (ES-2015)
  15. 15. MODERN AND POST MODERN: Conditions are worse now for many people in assembly jobs. Foxconn makes Apple products as well as for other electronic companies. The workers rarely see the finished product. They are “alienated” from their job. (ES-2015)
  16. 16. Foxconn Apple assembly The factory was, and employ stated, "a massive place of strangers." Margaret HeffernanMoneyWatchAugust 7, 2013
  17. 17. The alienation of ourselves: Alienation is not just disliking what you are doing. Who likes to change diapers or carry out the trash? Alienation is isolation, social disconnection, unrewarding efforts and conformity. (ES-2015)
  18. 18. Herbert Marcusa, in 1964 recognized the reduction of the loss of agency of “modern” man labeling the concept as one- dimensionality. (ES-2015)
  19. 19. (ES-2015)
  20. 20. (ES-2015)
  21. 21. (ES-2015)