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Marx and His Theory of Alienation Essay

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Marx and His Theory of Alienation


Marx wrote "On The Jewish Question" in 1844. It was a written response to Bauer's works. In his works, Bauer said that Jews should give up their religion and fight for their civil rights. Bauer believed the Jews should become emancipated from the Germans and Christians. Marx contradicted this entire belief through the idea that civil emancipation does truly emancipate.
In "On the Jewish Question," Marx went on to criticize the liberal notion of universal human rights. These rights were directly related to the emancipation problem. Since Bauer believed in universal human rights, he believed that everybody should be emancipated and that those rights justified the emancipation. Marx disagreed.
Marx believed in a different justification for emancipation. He believed in emancipation from alienation. This could be achieved through an idea called Communism. Marx talked about this emancipation in his theory of alienation.
Marx's theory of alienation can be broken down into for main aspects. Mans separation from his work, his products, other men, and lastly, his potential (Ollman 483). The theory of alienation deals mainly with the pitfalls of Capitalism. By pointing out the problems of capitalism, Marx is able to offer his solution which is Communism. So not only is Marx's theory an attack on Capitalism, but it is more importantly a praise of Communism. Capitalism alienates society, whereas Communism unifies society
There are many products of alienation but the main ones are property and industry, which Marx calls "alienated life elements" (Ollman 483). As we know industry and property are probably the two most important aspects of a Capitalist society. Industry is the m...


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... in for the sole purpose of serving the Capitalists. They work because of the incentives provided by a Capitalist society. The main incentive, is the opportunity to climb the social ladder. This opportunity cannot be found in Communism. In a Communist society, you are born into a role and you are forced to play that role your entire life. This is not true under capitalism, where a person can be born into a dirt poor family, but still become a successful businessperson. The political emancipation found in Capitalism, is true emancipation. People are free to do whatever they want. Most importantly the can choose to work. The fallacy of the theory of alienation is that it assumes people are forced to work. In a Capitalist society, you don't have to work if you don't want to. The aura of the social ladder is what drives people to work in a Capitalist society.


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