Revealing Marx

Essay by t432wUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 1996

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Revealing Marx

In Karl Marx's early writing on 'estranged labour' there is a clear and prevailing focus on the plight of the

labourer. Marx's writing on estranged labour is and attempt to draw a stark distinction between property

owners and workers. In the writing Marx argues that the worker becomes estranged from his labour

because he is not the recipient of the product he creates. As a result labour is objectified, that is labour

becomes the object of mans existence. As labour is objectified man becomes disillusioned and enslaved.

Marx argues that man becomes to be viewed as a commodity worth only the labour he creates and man is

further reduced to a subsisting animal void of any capacity of freedom except the will to labour. For Marx

this all leads to the emergence of private property, the enemy of the proletariat. In fact Marx's writing on

estranged labour is a repudiation of private property- a warning of how private property enslaves the

worker. This writing on estranged labour is an obvious point of basis for Marx's Communist Manifesto.

The purpose of this paper is to view Marx's concept of alienation (estranged labour) and how it limits

freedom. For Marx man's freedom is relinquished or in fact wrested from his true nature once he

becomes a labourer. This process is thoroughly explained throughout Estranged Labour. This study will

reveal this process and argue it's validity. Appendant to this study on alienation there will be a micro-study

which will attempt to ascertain Marx's view of freedom (i.e. positive or negative). The study on alienation

in conjunction with the micro-study on Marx's view of freedom will help not only reveal why Marx feels

labour limits mans freedom, but it will also identify exactly what kind of freedom is being limited.

Estranged Labour...