Karl Marx was one of the greatest social thinkers during his time. His theories regarding society and its structure, as well as the various ins and outs of the society were revolutionary at the time of their conception. As a great social thinker, Marx was able to contribute invaluable insight on the present form of society and was even able to somehow predict the potential future outcomes. His theories became the stepping stones towards the future discovery of various other theories which we use today in order to further understand our society. Out of all the contributions of Marx to the social sciences, the concept which he is most well known today is for is the concept of alienation.
The concept of alienation by Marx is most well known for its then-revolutionary understanding of the capitalist system and its effects upon society and people. Most of Marx’s discussions on the subject of alienation can be found in his work The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. It is in this work that Marx first discussed alienation in detail. According to Marx, alienation is a relationship which is produced between two or more people or even parts of an individual in which one is cut off from. This process of cutting off then results to an estrangement or “alienation” from the other parts from which the part is cut off. Such alienation is in short a separation between parts which ought to belong to each other in the first place. In the Marxist theory of alienation, Marx focused on capitalism and linked the two concepts together. According to him, in a capitalist society, individuals actually become cut off from many things – their friends, families, products of their labor, and eve...
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...ibe to all of his statements fully. This is because the Marxist perspective on alienation is quite pessimistic, and his only solution to the problem of alienation is bloody revolution. To believe in those Marxist ideologies would be tantamount to truly believing that our society is quite hopeless and that happiness can never be achieved in any shape or form in today’s world. That is something that I personally do not and cannot believe in, no matter how seemingly rational Marx presents his theories on alienation.
Morrison, Ken. Marx, Durkheim, Weber: Formations of modern social thought. Sage, 2006.
Sargent, Lyman. Contemporary political ideologies: a comparative analysis. Cengage Learning, 2008.
BookCaps, BookCaps Study Guides Staff. Marxism in Plain and Simple English: The Theory of Marxism in a Way Anyone Can Understand. BookCaps Study Guides, 2011
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