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Estranged Labour-Marx.docx

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Gregory Bird

Estranged Labour- Karl Marx Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 The Four Dimensions/Aspects of Alienation 1. Alienation from the product 2. Alienation from the process of production 3. Alienation from “species-being”  Means human ability to think/reflect; self-reflection helps us improve  Simply, reflection= personal development 4. Alienation from others (man to man)  Society falls into 2 categories- property owners and property-less workers  Worker’s alienation from his and her humanity occurs because worker can only express labour through a privately-owned system of production in which workers are instruments, not people Alienation from the product  Worker becomes all the poorer he more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range  **worker becomes a cheaper commodity than the commodity he produces  “with the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion the devaluation of the world of men”  labour produces worker as a commodity  labour’s product-confronts it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer  **product of labour is labour which has been set in an object, which has become material (objectification of labour) o objectification as loss of object and object-bondage; appropriation as estrangement, as alienation  **”so much does the assumption of the object appear as estrangement that the more objects the worker produces the fewer can he posses and the more he falls under the dominion of his product, capital”**  worker related to product of his labour as to an alien object o more the worker spends himself, more powerful the alien objective world becomes which he creates against himself o worker puts his life into the object; now his life belongs to the object, not to him  alienation of worker in his product means his labour becomes an object (an external existence) and also that it exists outside him (as something alien) and it becomes a power confronting him  worker cannot produce goods without nature (sensuous external world)- nature is the material his labour depends on  the more the worker by his labour appropriates the external world, sensuous nature, the more he deprives himself of means of life in double respect  worker becomes slave of his object in that he received an object of labour (i.e. he receives work) and he receives means of subsistence  political economy conceals estrangement innate in nature of labour by not considering direct relationship between worker (labour) and production  **labour produces for the rich wonderful things-but for the worker it produces privation** (pg. 73)  the capitalist class/those in power determine the design of the product and how it will be made, not the workers themselves or the consumers **no control over design and production** o those in power use the worker’s manual and intellectual labour  conversion of labour (work as an activity) that is performed to generate a product into a commodity so that they have an exchange value o those in power gain profits off the manual and intellectual labour of workers, the benefits of their labour  objectifying labour into the concept of work that can be paid for in wages at the lowest rate to maximize profit Alienation from Process of Production  “direct relationship of labour to its produce is the relationship of the worker to the o
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