Karl Marx

Karl Marx’s Theory of Alienation Essay

May 4, 2022 by Essay Writer

According to the theory of Karl Marx, alienation is aloss of the sense of existence in the process of working during the epoch of capitalism. The problem of alienation is based on the theoretical interest to one of the most essential topics of philosophical sociological thought (Ollman 131).

Nowadays, the problem of alienation is blended in the context of topical issues. Alienation goes as a separate theory existing on its own. We can observe the examples of this theory in the changing of the society and the transformation of life from the post communistic point of view. Alienation is the perception of reality in accordance with environmental factors.

Years back, the alienation of a man was understood as the prohibition of freedom, the absence of democracy and the low level of life. People were measured by strict rules and norms that’s why the right description of the society of those times was an absolute alienation but from the point of view of human’s rights.

John J. Macionis writes that in our modern society, the alienation can be observed in different forms of sociological problems and conflicts, various humanitarian disasters, interpersonal misunderstanding, terrorism, people’s apathy, criminal, problems of mentality and other form of the society’s destruction (Macionis 8).

Unfortunately, that is what people do not notice as we are used to it. Every day we are chanced to see more cases of domination of rich people over the poor ones, men over women, etc. It can all be taking into account when talking about the basis of alienation’s appearance and present existence.

The problem of the society’s development and the development of a person in particular is one of the actual issues to discuss at present times. It goes without saying that the general state of a man depends on one’s view of the world according to the determined norms of society and interpersonal relations with the world.

“Some modern theories of alienation appeared in European thought many centuries ago” (Mészáros 2). There are different forms of alienation according to the Karl Marx’s views: alienation of a man from a man, from the nature, from one’s entitles and from the society.

The society constantly changes and every day people have different priorities such as money, honor is changes for dishonor, truth for lies, etc. Pity to say, but people became the main way to achieve political and economic well-being. Nevertheless, there are more homeless people with each passing day. The amount of those who became poor having the most awful conditions in the living places hoping for the slightest lower of prices has greatly increased.

I think, the condition of alienation still exists in the contemporary world and there are a lot of examples for this. The alienation of a man from the society results in the individualism and selfishness (Ollman 132). The alienation of a man from a man is characterized by the crisis of interpersonal relationships and loneliness that becomes so common in the modern capitalistic world.

There is also the alienation of a man from the politics that causes indifference, political conformism or unthought compromise that makes a big step back in the development of humanity. I am used to notice examples of the alienation of a man from himself that leads from a human’s “I” and depersonalization of an individual. I think it is the most widespread type of alienation nowadays.

Generally, sociology is a very interesting topic to talk about. It is quite fascinating and educative to watch people’s behavior and to observe the constant changes in the attitude to the surrounding world. John J. Macionis, a college student, became fond of sociology after taking the corresponding course to study (9). Studying sociology makes one understand the world more clearly.

He created a book that shows students the brief description of people and life correlating with the sociology in particular. The book also serves as a guide to understand life situations and people’s behavior from the sociological point of view towards the society in the whole. It happens, when one is fond of some particular issue, he/she always correlates it to everyday life and the book by John J. Macionis teaches people how to do it and the ways of noticing the things that it has been impossible to notice before.

The concept of alienation is closely connected with word conditions, technology and excessive consumption pattern in our modern capitalistic society. Mészáros says there is also a possibility to observe it in the situations of the alienation of a man from the culture reflecting in the lack of spirituality and in the replacement of cultural for universal cultural and countercultural values (3).

Science converses from tool to target and works against itself that means the alienation of science from techniques. Environmental pollution may also be taken as an example of the alienation of a man from ecology being one of the most actual and crucial problems nowadays. I think the most crucial aspects of a man’s alienation is from moral and ideological points of view. High moral and true human values such as love, friendship and solidarity are subjected to evil, violence, selfishness and ruthlessness.

All types of alienation are displayed in the Karl Marx’s work of the theory of alienation as “the devastating effect of capitalist production on human beings, on the physical and mental states and on the social processes of which they are a part” Ollman 131). Ollman describes the ways of Marx’s seeing an individual’s acting, the contemporaries and conditions (131).

Generally speaking, the society’s state is in its active development. A person changes according to the conditions of the surrounding world and it may be observed in the relation of an individual with “activity and products, fellows, inanimate nature and the species” (Ollman 131).

The problem of a man is central in the outlook of Marx. The whole teaching is formed around a man as the main concept. According to Marx, a man is not just a part of the nature but the highest product of its development, the natural being of some kind. A man is a universal force of the nature and this opportunity lies in the physiological constitution of a man as an organism having such advantages as hands, brain, language, legs, etc.

“The concept of alienation belongs to a vast and complex problematic, with a long history of its own” (Mészáros 1). “Objective tends” of the development of the whole Europe and the transformation of the society from capitalistic to socialistic are described in different books starting “from the Bible to literary works“(Mészáros 1).

In order to understand a position of a man in the capitalistic society, the “constituent elements” should be definitely taking into account “(Ollman 131). John J. Macionis got deep into the issue of alienation and created graphs and tables, data and relevant Census, video clips and many other materials to portray the society of the past with the present and the future one.

The Marx’s theory of alienation may not be vividly discussed any longer at present times but its manifestation can be observed in every day life in different spheres and various situations. People are affected by the surrounding. The result of a man’s activities and attitude to the word, of general points of view and behavior in the aspect of interpersonal relationships totally depends on the sociological and philosophical development of the world in particular.

Works Cited

Macionis, John. Sociology, Census Update. Harlow: Pearson Education, Limited, 2011.

Mészáros, István. Marx’s Theory of Alienation. New York: Merlin Pr., 1986.

Ollman, Bertell. Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society. Cambridge University Press. England: Cambridge, 1971.

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