An introduction to marxs notion of man as a species being and alienation

Yet never before have we felt so helpless in the face of the forces we ourselves have created. Never before have the fruits of our labour threatened our very existence:

An introduction to marxs notion of man as a species being and alienation

In the "Comment on James Mill"Marx explained alienation thus: Let us suppose that we had carried out production as human beings.

What is Species-Being?—Towards a Full Rehabilitation of the Concept of Alienation

Each of us would have, in two ways, affirmed himself, and the other person. Aside from the workers having no control over the design-and-production protocol, alienation Entfremdung broadly describes the conversion of labour work as an activitywhich is performed to generate a use value the productinto a commodity, which—like products—can be assigned an exchange value.

That is, the capitalist gains control of the manual and intellectual workers and the benefits of their labour, with a system of industrial production that converts said labour into concrete products goods and services that benefit the consumer.

Furthermore, with such a reified system of industrial production, the profit exchange value generated by the sale of the goods and services products that could be paid to the workers is instead paid to the capitalist classes: In the capitalist mode of productionthe manual labour of the employed carpenter yields wages, but not profits or losses In the capitalist mode of production, the intellectual labour of the employed engineer yields a salary, but not profits or losses Strikers confronted by soldiers during the textile factory strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States called when owners reduced wages after a state law reduced the work week from 56 to 54 hours Alienation of the worker from the act of production[ edit ] In the capitalist mode of productionthe generation of products goods and services is accomplished with an endless sequence of discrete, repetitive motions that offer the worker little psychological satisfaction for "a job well done".

By means of commodificationthe labor power of the worker is reduced to wages an exchange value ; the psychological estrangement Entfremdung of the worker results from the unmediated relation between his productive labor and the wages paid to him for the labor.

The worker is alienated from the means of production via two forms; wage compulsion and the imposed production content. The worker is bound to unwanted labour as a means of survival, labour is not "voluntary but coerced" forced labor.

Marx's theory of alienation - Wikipedia

The worker is only able to reject wage compulsion at the expense of their life and that of their family. The distribution of private property in the hands of wealth owners, combined with government enforced taxes compel workers to labor.

In a capitalist world, our means of survival is based on monetary exchange, therefore we have no other choice than to sell our labour power and An introduction to marxs notion of man as a species being and alienation be bound to the demands of the capitalist. The worker "[d]oes not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind.

The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself"; "[l]abor is external to the worker" p. During work, the worker is miserable, unhappy and drained of their energy, work "mortifies his body and ruins his mind".

The production content, direction and form are imposed by the capitalist. The worker is being controlled and told what to do since they do not own the means of production they have no say in production, "labor is external to the worker, i. Alienation of the worker from their Gattungswesen species-essence [ edit ] The Gattungswesen species-essencehuman nature of individuals is not discrete separate and apart from their activity as a worker and as such species-essence also comprises all of innate human potential as a person.

Conceptually, in the term "species-essence" the word "species" describes the intrinsic human mental essence that is characterized by a "plurality of interests" and "psychological dynamism", whereby every individual has the desire and the tendency to engage in the many activities that promote mutual human survival and psychological well-being, by means of emotional connections with other people, with society.

The psychic value of a human consists in being able to conceive think of the ends of their actions as purposeful ideas, which are distinct from the actions required to realize a given idea. That is, humans are able to objectify their intentions by means of an idea of themselves as "the subject" and an idea of the thing that they produce, "the object".

Conversely, unlike a human being an animal does not objectify itself as "the subject" nor its products as ideas, "the object", because an animal engages in directly self-sustaining actions that have neither a future intention, nor a conscious intention. In the course of history, to ensure individual survival societies have organized themselves into groups who have different, basic relationships to the means of production.

One societal group class owned and controlled the means of production while another societal class worked the means of production and in the relations of production of that status quo the goal of the owner-class was to economically benefit as much as possible from the labour of the working class.

In the course of economic development when a new type of economy displaced an old type of economy—agrarian feudalism superseded by mercantilismin turn superseded by the Industrial Revolution —the rearranged economic order of the social classes favored the social class who controlled the technologies the means of production that made possible the change in the relations of production.

Likewise, there occurred a corresponding rearrangement of the human nature Gattungswesen and the system of values of the owner-class and of the working-class, which allowed each group of people to accept and to function in the rearranged status quo of production-relations.

Despite the ideological promise of industrialization—that the mechanization of industrial production would raise the mass of the workers from a brutish life of subsistence existence to honorable work—the division of labour inherent to the capitalist mode of production thwarted the human nature Gattungswesen of the worker and so rendered each individual into a mechanistic part of an industrialized system of production, from being a person capable of defining their value through direct, purposeful activity.

Moreover, the near-total mechanization and automation of the industrial production system would allow the newly dominant bourgeois capitalist social class to exploit the working class to the degree that the value obtained from their labour would diminish the ability of the worker to materially survive.

Hence, when the proletarian working-class become a sufficiently developed political force, they will effect a revolution and re-orient the relations of production to the means of production —from a capitalist mode of production to a communist mode of production.

What is Species-Being?—Towards a Full Rehabilitation of the Concept of Alienation

In the communist socio-economic organization, the relations of production would operate the mode of production and employ each worker according to their abilities and benefit each worker according to their needs.

Hence, each worker could direct their labour to productive work suitable to their own innate abilities, rather than be forced into a narrowly defined, minimal-wage "job" meant to extract maximal profit from individual labour as determined by and dictated under the capitalist mode of production.

In the classless, collectively-managed communist society, the exchange of value between the objectified productive labour of one worker and the consumption benefit derived from that production will not be determined by or directed to the narrow interests of a bourgeois capitalist class, but instead will be directed to meet the needs of each producer and consumer.

Under the collective ownership of the means of production, the relation of each worker to the mode of production will be identical and will assume the character that corresponds to the universal interests of the communist society.

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The direct distribution of the fruits of the labour of each worker to fulfill the interests of the working class—and thus to an individuals own interest and benefit—will constitute an un-alienated state of labour conditions, which restores to the worker the fullest exercise and determination of their human nature.

Alienation of the worker from other workers[ edit ] Capitalism reduces the labour of the worker to a commercial commodity that can be traded in the competitive labour-market, rather than as a constructive socio-economic activity that is part of the collective common effort performed for personal survival and the betterment of society.

In a capitalist economy, the businesses who own the means of production establish a competitive labour-market meant to extract from the worker as much labour value as possible in the form of capital. Furthermore, in the capitalist mode of production the philosophic collusion of religion in justifying the relations of production facilitates the realization and then worsens the alienation Entfremdung of the worker from their humanity; it is a socio-economic role independent of religion being " the opiate of the masses ".an introduction to marx's theory of alienation Judy Cox We live in a world where technological achievements unimaginable in previous societies are within our grasp: this is the age of space travel, of the internet, of genetic engineering.

Marx’s notion of man as a ‘Species being’ and his idea of Alienation. The notion of man as a ‘species-being’ for Marx meant the recognition of man’s human essence as a member of a species.

Man as a 'species being' means that man has physical, mental, emotional, and other ingrained elements that are necessary for his survival, health and well-being. Marx contrasts this with the idea of ' social being ', which refers to artificial and constructed aspects of human existence.

Karl Marx’s Concept of Alienation Introduction Alienated labor is one of the central concepts in the young Marx’s philosophy, providing an analysis of what is perceived to be an essential feature of the capitalist way of production and how it relates to us as human beings.

(3) Man’s species-being, both nature and his spiritual species-property, into a being alien to him, into a means of his individual existence. It estranges from man his own body, as well as external nature and his spiritual aspect, his human aspect.

Mendoza 1 Alberto Mendoza Marx’s notion of species-being, 1 alienation, and, the worldwide-proletariat-revolution Karl Marx’s philosophy is known to unite humans with nature; humans with work; humans with other humans; and, humans with themselves.

An introduction to marxs notion of man as a species being and alienation
Weekly Discussion Topic: Karl Marx's Theory of Alienation : socialism