Laboring is no less acceptable than agrarian work because the implications of partaking in either are uniform to both and alienation holds no relevancy. Marxs view of freedom would seem book a rather broad topic, and Im sure. For our purposes it is convenient to have just an idea of what type of freedom Marx favors. For the sake of ease the scope of this study will be limited to two (2) classifications of freedom: prescribed (positive) freedom and negative liberties. Prescribed freedom would be guided freedoms, or freedoms to do certain things. Negative liberties would be freedom to do all but what is forbidden. In Marxs writing On The jewish question he identifies (but does not necessarily advocates) liberty as the right to do everything which does not harm others. In further argument Marxs states that liberty as a right of man is not founded upon the relationship between man and man; but rather upon the separation of man from man.
Instead consider the implications of not working. If one did not work at all he or she would live a life of poverty and would be far less free than if he did work. Working, either as a laborer or a farmer, offers greater financial means and with greater financial means comes greater freedom. This point of the argument stands up of course only if you believe money can by freedom. I argue it can. Surely my freedom to buy something paperless is limited if I do not have the financial means. On the other hand if I have greater financial means I have more freedom to buy things. So although labor limits freedom to the extent that the worker becomes tied to his work, labor also offers a far greater freedom than that of indigence.
Labor becomes the object of mans existence and he therefore becomes enslaved. In considering the validity of Marxs argument I feel Marx is correct that mans freedom is limited by the fact that he is a laborer. But in opposition to marx I believe that mans freedom is no more limited as a laborer than as a farmer. Agrarian worker or laborer mans freedom is limited. Whether he is identified by the product he creates in a factory or in a wheat field in either case he is tied to his work and is not viewed beyond. In either instance the product is objectified because in either instance the worker works only to create more work. Just as the laborer must continue to work without end to subsist, so must the agrarian worker. The implication then is that alienation is not the culprit that limits mans freedom, it is work itself. Do not mistake this as an advocation for laziness.
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For Marx, man estranged from himself is stripped of his jet very nature. Not only because he is enslaved but because his life-activity has been displaced. For Marx mans character is free, conscious activity, and mans pursuit of his character is his life-activity. Mans life-activity is then the object of his life. So by nature, mans own life is the object of his existence. This is mans condition before labor.
After labor mans life-activity, that is, his free conscious, activity, or his very nature, is displaced. In a pre-labor condition mans life was the object of his condition; in a labor condition man exists to labor and his life-activity is reduced to a means of his existence so he can labor. In effect labor necessitates itself in man by supplanting mans true nature with an artificial one that re-prioritizes mans goals. Mans goal then is not to pursue his life but to labor. He becomes linked to his labor and is viewed in no other way. Man is reduced to chattel, a commodity, the private property of another individual. For Marx labor limits the freedom of man.
The result of the worker belonging to the object is that he is enslaved. The worker belongs to something else and his actions are dictated by that thing. For Marx, labor turns man into a means. Workers become nothing more than the capital necessary to produce a product. Labor for Marx reduces man to a means of production.
As a means of production man is diminished to a subsisting enslaved creature void of his true nature. In this condition he is reduced to the most detrimental state of man: one in which he is estranged from himself. To help expand on this theme it is useful to look at Marxs allegory of mans life-activity. Of the variety of reasons Marx argues man is estranged from his labor, probably the most significant is his belief that labor estranges man from himself. Marx argues that the labor the worker produces does not belong to the worker so in essence the worker does not belong to the worker. By virtue of this condition Marx argues the worker is enslaved. Enslavement for Marx is a condition alien to man and he becomes estranged from himself.
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As a result of this realization the objectification of labor occurs. For the worker the labor becomes an object, something shapeless and unidentifiable. Because labor is objectified, the laborer begins to identify the product of labor as labor. In other words all the worker can identify as a product of his labor, given the condition of what he produces as a shapeless, unidentifiable object, is labor. The worker is then left with only labor as the end product of his efforts. The emerging condition is that he works to create more work. For Marx the monotonous redundancy of this condition is highly detrimental because the worker loses himself in his efforts. He argues that this situation is analogous to a man and his religion. Marx writes, The more man puts into god the less he retains in e advantages worker puts his life into the object, but now his life no longer belongs to him but to the object.
Marx argues that the labor the worker produces does not belong to him, but to someone else. Given this condition the laborer belongs to someone else and is therefore enslaved. As a result of being enslaved the worker is reduced to a subsisting animal, a condition alien to him. As an end result man is estranged from himself and is entirely mortified. Marx points to these to situations as the reason man is essentially estranged from his labor. The incongruency between the world of things the worker creates and the world the worker lives in is the estrangement. Marx argues that the worker first realizes he is estranged from his labor when it is apparent he cannot attain what hitler he appropriates.
sows. Because he is never the recipient of his efforts the laborer lacks identity with what he creates. For Marx then labor is alien to the workeranddoes not belong to his essential being. Marx identifies two explanations of why mans lack of identity with labor leads him to be estranged from labor. (1) The laborer does not develop freely his physical and mental energy, but instead mortifies his mind. In other words labor fails to nurture mans physical and mental capacities and instead drains them. Because the worker is denied any nurturing in his work no intimacy between the worker and his work develops. Lacking an intimate relation with what he creates man is summarily estranged from his labor. (2) Labor estranges man from himself.
The purpose of this paper is to view Marxs concept of alienation (estranged labor) and how it limits freedom. For Marx mans freedom is relinquished or in fact wrested from his true nature once he becomes a laborer. This process is thoroughly explained throughout Estranged Labor. This study will reveal this process and argue its validity. Appendant to this study on alienation there will be a micro-study which will attempt to ascertain Marxs view of freedom (i.e. The study on alienation in conjunction with the micro-study on Marxs view of freedom will help not only reveal why marx feels labor limits mans freedom, but it will also identify exactly what kind of freedom is being limited. Karl Marx identifies estranged labor as labor alien to man.
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Marx Essay, research Paper, in Karl Marxs early writing on estranged labor there is a clear and prevailing focus on the plight of the laborer. Marxs writing on estranged labor is an attempt to draw a stark distinction between property owners and workers. In the writing Marx argues that the worker becomes estranged from his labor because he is not the recipient of the product he creates. As a result labor is objectified, that is labor becomes the object of mans existence. As labor is objectified man becomes disillusioned and enslaved. Marx argues that man becomes to be viewed as a commodity worth only the labor he creates and man is further reduced to a subsisting animal void of any capacity of freedom except the will to labor. For Marx this all leads to the emergence of private property, the enemy of the proletariat. In fact homework Marxs writing on estranged labor is a repudiation of private property- a warning of how private property enslaves the worker. This writing on estranged labor is an obvious point of basis for Marxs Communist Manifesto.