belief system, alienation is a principal evil of capitalism, with the negative effects of capitalism causing alienation to exist and prosper as a phenomenon. Mainly, this is the control of the significance of bourgeoisie, and Marx examines and emphasises the way in which notions, which are perceived by the capitalist class are ‘made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical condition of existence.’ For Marx, similarly, the humanity of the worker is explained in terms of the bourgeoisie, such as Marx’s ‘alienation from the notion of humanity.’ From the launch of the capitalist period, humans have been depicted as a labour power at work. In quintessence, work became a crucial issue and appeared as a product of man in different formats: whether it is in the primitive age, work would have been hunting or building a house, whereas today work is consider to be a labour power, such as design and training – work has become more sophisticated. On the other hand, the relationship of human beings and nature has changed dramatically and transformed since Marx’s time.
Alienation is taken to be a correlation between people and nature, both animate and inanimate, then many of the traits noticeable in the working-class people can be found, only slightly altered, in other classes. The connection Marx believes in between people from those from less privileged backgrounds and those in the rest of mankind is expressed in his claim that the ‘whole of human servitude is involved in the relation of the worker to production, and every relation of servitude is but a modification and consequence of this relation.’ Surviving in the ‘realm of alienation’, the capitalist is compelled to be in the ‘state of alienation’. Because his workers cannot have human relations, thus he cannot have human relations with them. Therefore, the capitalist’s state of alienation is shows up most clearly, maybe, in his link to the activity of the worker as its owner, the one who decides the rules. Instead of contributing and it becoming a joint effort, he accepts and profits from the work of others. Regardless of his predatory purpose, the capitalist’s relation to labour is simply that of ‘passive exploiter’. The capitalist’s relation to the working class labour places him in a position of alienation. For him, the purpose of another man’s life is only something to sell and make a profit from. He is unconcerned about to what it is actually used for and who will eventually use it as he is to the process by which it came into being.
Being an unavoidable characteristic of capitalist production, the capitalist is not influenced in the same way as the worker; nevertheless, he is dominated by the social condition in which they are produced and exchanged through competition. The requirement of competition means that he is forced to do whatever the market demands of his products whether it is making it in greater quantities or less, making it different or selling it where the product demand is at its greatest, and for this or that price, etc. Consequently, he is involuntary as under the control of his product, in order to to make and sell it, as it is in other respects under his control. Being a consumer, the capitalist, like the worker, is confined in fulfilling his needs to what he can buy, with the only difference in that he could buy more. However, spurred on by the wish to amass profit, the capitalist does not take full benefit of his wealth. In short, his relations with the product as well as the activity of the workers is a long way away from the relations of race man will have with the activity and products of others in communism.
Marx’s claim that non workers have a ‘theoretical attitude’ in comparison to the worker’s ‘real and practical attitude’, alludes to contrasting roles each have in the productive process. The working-class proletariat attitude is alienated because the ‘real, practical’ activity it reflects is alienated and the capitalist’s attitude is alienated because it does not reflect any ‘real, practical’ activity as it reflects its absence. For Marx, a direct working relationship to production is essential for human fulfilment rather than catalyst indolence. For that reason, the capitalist’s one sided evolution – hence, Marx concludes that the capitalist as well as the other workers as a ‘spiritually and physically dehumanised being.’
Additionally, another aspect of the capitalist’s alienation is that he:
‘does everything against the worker which the worker does against him; but he does not do against himself what he does against the workers.’
The capitalist’s favoured position rescues himself from the humiliating of actively alienating himself at the factory – however, his treatment of workers as objects of exploitation manufactures deformity in not just them but himself.
The qualities which Marx observes capitalist to possess are greed, cruelty and hypocrisy. Marx believes greed to be the motive behind many capitalist actions, cruelty with its too willing servant, and hypocrisy as the mask capitalist wear to hide their motivating forces and means from others. Greed conveys the capitalist’s desire folded as they have been by his life situation. The relation which Marx advances between needs and powers insures that the condition of a person’s needs always reflects the state of his powers. Man’s varied powers have compacted in a capitalist society into what Marx names the single power of ‘having’, for which the appropriate purpose and object of need is money – what everything revolves around. Because capitalists are dehumanised, the only way in which capitalists can use these objects is by purchasing them. As a result of this, they are greedy for the money which enables them to continue to buy. If the only aim of buying things, is to have them and the retain the ability to have them, simply accumulating money, will serve the same purpose.
Marx’s theory of alienation revolves around the reason behind obtaining and holding private property. Private property is a system which ‘allocates particular objects like pieces of land to particular individual’s use and to manage as they please, to the exclusion of others and to the exclusion also of any detailed control by society.’ Marx believes private property to not just be the only reason for alienation, but also a condition of being special. Private property is a mode of means to. interact with other people and the bigger society. Whereas, Marx points out that this process made humans foolish since humans want to own and attain the objects. ‘The sense of having’ in an external world is realised in the sense of conversion of inner to external wealth, meaning that the inner world of man has become poorer as a result to the increase in human production in the material world. Marx portrays modern society as private property where man has come to recognise himself by what he owns and possesses. Marx’s theory of alienation is not entirely negative and there are also positive aspects to his beliefs of Man’s general abilities general abilities and potential have become more sophisticated through industrialisation and production. Furthermore, Marx champions socialism by emphasising the power of man and rejects any idea of God in this sense.
However, labour is alienated within the production process and by generating products which meet a need. In parallel to the surge in production, aka the growth of a capitalist economy, an amassing has happened in terms of capital and commodities. This amassment has been created by alienated labour and participating labour as a commodity component like any other material generates a value. This created values, which Marx defines as either of these two aspects: use and exchange. Use value is defined as a physical or practical utilisation of an item, with it being measured by the time spent in production. Therefore if commodities are believed to be an objectification of labor, exchange value takes place. Marx names this as social labour because of the socialisation of humans with the intermediation of commodities and items. Labour prior to equalising that system is called abstract universal labour which can be interpreted as a uniform totality of all the labour in existence and credits equal amounts from one labour to the next. The Labour of different people is identified and managed as universal labour only by bringing one use and connecting it wit the form of exchange value. Therefore, the exchange value is a relationship between persons.
Exchange value is economically parallel to the commodity used, thus exchange value is only feasible if it has use value. In other words, the products of man, obtains a value if it gratifies a want and need. If this want and need is value as a trade with a further product or money then the exchange value emerges.
‘So far therefore as labour is a creator of us value, is useful labor, it is a necessary condition, independent of all forms of society, for the existence of the human race; it is an eternal nature imposed necessity, without which there can be no material exchanges between man and Nature, and therefore no life. (Marx 1887, p.30)
Therefore, it can be deduced that men are obliged to work and produce in order to become aware of their own labour power as a necessity, with it then becoming a compulsory aim of their own life becoming ‘a nature imposed necessity.’. Moreover, the alienation theory of Marx can be believed to be a motive behind why Marx argued for a surplus value theory of capitalism, and thus began to argue for/proposed a new society module with the aim of distributing this new surplus more equally.
Marx defines alienation as a way in which labour is objectified, and this objectification of labour is compulsory and driven by instinct since man with a sensuous creature and recognises external objects with sense. Furthermore, labour is a picture of freedom and non-confinement through work and by producing goods, man understands his own power and creates as a result – and Marx believes this to be a good thing. However, when man then sells his labour as an quantifiable amount, an exchange value, he loses his freedom as a result, with the exchange value not having an equal base – and this is what Marx objects to in the capitalist system, because social relations between everyone are impacted by the terms of the capitalist system. Thus, men are alienated from characteristics of what free human beings attain. This theory of alienation lead him to develop his new societal system in which communism promised an emancipation of workers, with the aim of improving man’s humanity and the power of subject.
With the concept of alienation, Marx emphasises the movement of control as man passing control to another power and thus losing his freedom in the process, therefore it seems as though human labour has become an object which can be acquired, bought and sold like an exchange and swapping product. And therefore human beings have since begun to identify themselves with what they possess; although Marx’s theory alienation includes positives and negatives aspects. A positive would be the ability of man creating something using his own potential, which, as a result, leads him to become a social being because of the interaction experienced during work. As a result of this philosophy, Marx emphasis that this exchange is not based on the same ground as there is no exchange in which love is exchanged love or if it was true exchanged for trust.
Finally, Marx explains how capitalism will eventually fall and as a result communist will rise – the evils of capitalism will be put an end of when capitalism itself is abolished. Understanding the evils of capitalism and how alienation occurs as a result, the Marxist answer is that communism would not only abolish capitalism but also all the ground for societal evil as there would not class to enforce and diminish; and without political power there would be no means to establish class. Ultimately, communism does not promise a world without evil, instead is promises a world which tried to rid and resolve all of the evils of capitalist society, thus alienation as Marx believed alienation to be a principal evil of capitalism.