Karl Marx’s Concept of Alienation

This paper discusses the concept of alienation as developed by Karl Marx.

Within the immense temporo-historical dimensions encompassed by his writing, Marx’s development of the concept of alienation proceeds along two organically inseparable paths; and down each path it is people, in their relation to both themselves and their society, that constitutes the central subject of Marx’s analysis. Along the first path, Marx elucidates the complex mechanisms by which people – or, more precisely, people in capitalist society -become alienated from their labor, which is the root cause of their estrangement with the whole condition of their lives. This is reflected not only man’s alienation from the work process, but also from his fellow man and from his natural surroundings as well. In these respects alienation is predominately a socio-economic and, ultimately, a philosophical phenomenon.

Along the second path, which develops as a logical corollary …