First, we must look at the alienation capitalism most obviously caused, the estrangement of the worker from the product of his labour. To begin, Marx claims, “the worker puts his life into the object; but now his life no longer belongs to him but to the object” (72). The product that the worker makes becomes a part of the alien external market rather than something he owns. This sort of alienation comes from the worker inserting his mind and body into the object without obtaining something comparable in return. Such a condition leads to how “the more the worker produces, the less he has to consume; the more value he creates, the more valueless, the more unworthy he becomes” (73). A positive feedback loop occurs where the worker becomes increasingly alienated with each additional product draining him more. While the product grows in value, the worker regresses and loses more of himself due to capitalism’s refusal to fulfill his greater n...
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...c, such as the comparable Lady Gaga. Also, those higher up in the music industry have cooperated with Beyoncé giving her limitless creative freedom in exchange for the massive amounts of money she makes for them. The conditions Beyoncé currently enjoys allow her to not be alienated by others in the industry.
Marx’s theory of alienation offers many interesting ideas about how capitalism negatively affects the worker from his interactions with his work to his relationships with himself and others. However, I am certain that Marx did not have pop idols in his mind while writing the theory. Though there are new singers struggling with issues Marx describes, Beyoncé has been established and respected to where she transcends these problems of alienation. By looking at an exception in the form of a modern pop icon, we can find the limitations in Marx’s theory of alienation.
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