Marx's view of class originated from a series of personal interests relating to social alienation and human struggle, whereby the formation of class structure relates to acute historical consciousness. Political-economics also contributed to Marx's theories, centering on the concept of "origin of income" where society is divided into three sub-groups: Rentier, Capitalist, and Worker.
Marx is best known for his two unsparing critiques of capitalism. The means of production include nearly everything needed to produce commodities, including natural resources, factories, and machinery.
The key element not included as part of the means of production is labor. As a result, members of the capitalist economy find themselves divided into two distinct classes: Because humans are biological beings, and not merely free-floating immaterial minds, we, like all other biological beings, must interact with and transform the natural world in order to survive.
Like many other philosophers, Marx believes that excellently doing what makes us distinctively human is the true source of fulfillment. The general idea of alienation is simple: Something is alienating when what is or should be familiar and connected comes to seem foreign or disconnected.
Because our species-being is our essence as human beings, it should be something that is familiar. To the extent that we are unable to act in accordance with our species-being, we become disconnected from our own nature.
So if work in a capitalist society inhibits the realization of our species-being, then work is to that extent alienating. So how are workers alienated from their species-being under capitalism? Marx distinguishes three specific ways. In a capitalist economy, workers must compete with each other for jobs and raises.
But just as competition between businesses brings down the price of commodities, competition between workers brings down wages. And so it is not the proletariat who benefits from this competition, but capitalists. This is not only materially damaging to workers, it estranges them from each other.
Humans are free beings and are able to not only transform the world themselves, but to cooperate in order to transform the world in more sophisticated and helpful ways.
As such, they should see each other as allies, especially in the face of a capitalist class who seeks to undermine worker solidarity for its own benefit.
But under capitalism workers see each other as opposing competition. Workers are alienated from the products of their labor. Capitalists need not do any labor themselves — simply by owning the means of production, they control the profit of the firm they own, and are enriched by it.
But they can only make profit by selling commodities, which are entirely produced by workers. Workers do this as laborers, but also as consumers: Whenever laborers buy commodities from capitalists, that also strengthens the position of the capitalists.
Humans produce in response to our needs; but for the proletariat at least, strengthening the capitalist class is surely not one of those needs.
Workers are alienated from the act of labor. Because capitalists own the firms that employ workers, it is they, not the workers, who decide what commodities are made, how they are made, and in what working conditions they are made.
As a result, work is often dreary, repetitive, and even dangerous. Such work may be suitable for machines, or beings without the ability to consciously and freely decide how they want to work, but it is not suitable for human beings.
The worker therefore only feels himself outside of work, and in his work feels outside himself.
He is at home when he is not working, and when he is working he is not at home. Insofar as capitalism prevents us from realizing our own species-being, it is, quite literally, dehumanizing.
Conclusion One may find great inspiration in the idea that true fulfillment can come from creative and meaningful work. It is a matter of scholarly debate to what extent this progression in his thinking represented a substantive change in his position, or merely a shift in emphasis. Of course, Marx was writing long before the development of an extensive service sector characteristic of late capitalism.
Nevertheless, by tweaking some of the language, his general analysis can also be applied to service industries in capitalist economies. It is just because of this that he is a species being. But Marx believes that the bourgeoisie experiences its own form of alienation: A Critical Reconstruction, p.Within Marxian class theory, the structure of the production process forms the basis of class construction.
To Marx, a class is a group with intrinsic tendencies and interests that differ from those of other groups within society, the basis of a fundamental antagonism between such groups. Karl Marx's theory of alienation describes the estrangement (Entfremdung) and Philosophic Manuscripts of (), Marx identified four types of alienation that occur to the worker labouring under a capitalist system of industrial production.
Marx believes that alienation is a feature not just of capitalism, but of all earlier societies too, even before classes emerged. Even in the earliest pre-class societies, humans were dominated by external forces, and in all class societies, the direct producers are under the control of a parasitical ruling class.
7 Marx is usually interpreted as presenting four distinct ways in which workers are alienated under capitalism (see, e.g., Jonathan Wolff’s “Karl Marx,” section ), and there’s strong support for that within Marx’s own writing.
When looked at in that way, the fourth form . Marx: Capitalism and Alienation. Karl Marx () grew up in Germany under the same conservative and oppressive conditions under which Kant and other German philosophers had to live. Karl Marx's theory of alienation was central to his critique of industrial capitalism and the class-stratified social system that both resulted from it and supported it.
He wrote directly about it in Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts and The German Ideology, though it is .