Monday, 25 January 2016

Karl Marx on Alienation

Karl Marx believed that work, at its best, is what makes us  human.  It allows us  to live, be creative and flourish. But under capitalism he saw workers alienated  from each other and the product of their  labour.
Unfortunately  we are all products of capitalism. So by it's vey nature it will leave us feeling alienated.
The system  that capitalism props  up wants us to be deatomised and detached from each other, and this atomization will unfortunately  continue as long as society exists.
Overcoming alienation is a perpetual task for individuals.
In other words dealianation is a continuous and interminable process. Rational freedom is the best hope we can  have for humanity for overcoming  various forms of  alienation. I am reminded of the old maxim, the truth  shall set you free.
We are all  cogs in a big machine designed to harness us to the system that keeps the wealthy on top. We can resist this alienation by creating projects for ourselves which produce real interactions outside  of the rules and relationships that social reproduction demands. In doing this we can find new affinities  and new prospects for destroying the existing order.
I remain at the end of the day an optimist.
Oh happy St Dwynwens's day, by the way, the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers.

Narrated by Gillian Anderson  ; Scripted by Nigel Warbuton

From  the BBC Radio 4 series about life's big questions - A history of ideas.

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