Tony ChenProfessor KemtrupPHIL 1012017/12/18 Marx’ theory of AlienationIn this paper, I will talk about Max’s theory of Alienation. Firstly, the theory will be explained by my own understanding, secondly, some examples will be listed to further explain the theory, finally, the criticism about the theory will be discussed. In this article, alienation mainly refers to the alienation of labor.Based on Marx, the alienation is not the alienation of the people themselves in nature, but the alienation of the real life. Alienation has produced at the time of social division of labor and private ownership, and the private ownership is the origin of alienation, and the stabilized of the social division of labor. The concept of alienation reflected that the producing activity of people and the production are opposite to the special nature and relationship of people. In the alienation activity, the dynamic role of people have lost and suffered from being enslaved by material strength or mental strength, which makes the personality be not fully developed or developed one-sided and even malformed.
In the capitalism, alienation reaches the most serious stage. Alienation is just a historical phenomenon in a short term and with the rigidity and extinction of private ownership and class and the final extinction of social division of labor, alienation will finally died out.In Marx’s view, alienation mainly refers to the labor alienation and under the condition of capitalism, the labor alienation mainly indicated in four aspects. Alienation means that when the individual develops to a certain stage, it will divide into its opposite part and become the power of the external dissident. In Marx’s own philosophical view, alienation is a kind of social phenomenon that people have been governed by their production and products they produced. Firstly, the labor product and the laborer are alienated each other, and the labor product are created by the labor which should belong to the laborer, but in the capitalism society, the labor product are not only not belong to the laborer but also become the opposite matter to the laborer. Secondly, the labor behavior and labor are alienated each other, labor is the nature of people, and should be considered as self-conscious activity and people should realize their own values in labor, but labor alienation is to deny themselves to the laborer and is not the willing activity, but the compulsory labor. Thirdly, the human nature and human are alienated, the labor alienation makes people take the life activity as the means to maintain their own survival.
Finally, the human being are alienated by themselves, and the laborer are considered themselves as opposition to the capitalist. Hence, Marx put forward his criticism to the capitalist society and production way. Marx views that the conscious activity divides the people and the animals, and the special nature of human being lies in the nature of life activity which is free and conscious. Hence , the free and conscious activity is considered as human nature. In sum, alienation refers to the self- deny in gradual change and development, in fact it refers to the sublation, hence it has two character, one refers to the certain result of the paradoxical movement, then it will certainly change into denial. Hence, the extinction of the alienation lies in the highly development of the society which is the desired society of communism.
In my own understanding, alienation is changed by material desire and is governed by material desire and then lost ration. So Marx put forward that the premise of the communism society is the plentiful material basis and that is to say, the people living in communism society are not alienated and governed by the material desire. But the desire is a bottomless pit and no matter how plentiful of the material, the desire pit can not be filled with.For example, in the old times, human being have not the concept of the nation, and the human being are living based on their own willing, and if they want to fish they can go fishing, and if they want to hunt they can go hunting, and this time is without the employment relationship. But with the development of the society and the rising of the human wisdom, the social labor has developed greatly and gradually the concept of leader has appeared which means that the previous hunters who hunt the most would guide the other hunters how to hunt more animals to meet their demands for survival.
Hence, the division of the society has appeared , and begin to be governed by the leader, And when the leader consolidated their functions, the society entered into the stage of nation and has been lasted for many years. In the nation, people work for the society and not for themselves and they can only get the salary from their working and the fruits of labor belong to the whole society to some extent, and not like the old times, they can get what they have done. Hence, in the old times, people are not alienated and they can get all the fruits of labor by themselves and in the current times, the division of social labor makes people get a part of fruits from their labor, therefore, they are alienated and become solidified in their labor.The employment relationship is the basis of alienation, and under the condition of the employment relationship, the individual can not express their own wishes, hopes and demands, and they can only enforce established rules and regulations, hence the best solution to make the alienation phenomenon died out is to destroy the employment relationship and when it comes to the realization of the destroy of the employment relationship, it will wait until the appearance of the robot to substitute for the simple and mechanized activity, then human being can be free from the intense industrialization and do what they want to do and realize themselves. But it should be attention that don not be enslaved by the intelligent robot, otherwise, this is also a kind of alienation phenomenon.
As far as I am concerned, alienation is a social phenomenon in capitalism society, and it is well known that the social division of labor and the labor exploit are common, and workers are enslaved by the stable operation and activity, and they have done these activities day by day, hence, these workers are lost themselves and can not find their own values in the society, to some extent, it can be said that they are numb and their creation abilities and individual abilities have been stabilized as they just have done the same works in every day. Hence, during their working, they can both realize their own values by repeated operations to earn money for their family and their life, and they have also lost themselves in alienation as they don not know what they want and what they can do if they don not work like this. In alienation, the labor of people is abstract and is to create value and in alienation labor, people produced the product and are limited by these products, and people lost their freedom in this stabilizedlabor, and just become the productive tool, which is the special form of labor. The alienation of Marx makes some factors reflect on the human behaviour, such as to the fighting with the labor and the capitalism.
In my view, Marx does not pay attention to the transmission of consciousness in the process. The behaviour of a people lies in greatly their cognition in consciousness, and if the external environment and objective factors satisfy the alienated condition, but the laborer are guided by the wrong consciousness and don not think these as alienation. Then what about the result. Setting China as an example, in feudalism society, there are some political concept which is that People live and work in peace, happiness and working when sunrise and resting when sunset, but the laborer still sent their production to the rent and these farmers don not alienate with the labor just like the description of Marx. They still work hard and feel very happy. Although their are occupied in the alienated labor, they don not think these as alienation in their consciousness, hence, they will not be alienated with their labor and themselves. Therefore, in my view, in alienation, people’s consciousness is also essential.
Therefore, alienation is harmful for the worker in the steam line as they can not realize themselves and just work in the same operation and techniques. Hence, in the capitalism society, the capitalist have exploited the labor and realized their own interests, to some extent, it is bad for the worker to live in a satisfied and high standard life as they can not live and work freely and their labor have constantly exploited by the capitalist. Hence, after the consideration and analysis of Marx, he points out that the best solution is to extinct the private ownership and set up communism, then the alienation of labor can be sublated. Hence, people can live what they want to live and realize their own values.