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    Hi everyone, I am currently writing an essay based on Karl Marx's concept of alienation within a capitalist system. I understand his work perfectly fine, but the second half of the essay question is "how convincing is his argument that alienation is intrinsic to capitalism?"

    I am slightly confusing with the wording, particularly the use of 'intrinsic'. Does anyone have an idea of how to approach that second part?
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    I imagine that in the first part of the essay, you will have clearly established what Marx meant by "alienation"? As you know, this has several dimensions. I would assume (without seeing the whole question) that the second part is asking whether you can imagine any form of capitalist relations in which some or all of these dimensions do not appear or exist. In other words, does capitalism always and necessarily entail "alienation"? Or perhaps its appearance is coincidental and/or contingent? Or maybe Marx is completely wrong and his concept fundamentally mistaken?
    Does that make sense?
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    As above, really.

    The second part simply means 'is it the case that alienation [of the workers etc] is a necessary conclusion of capitalism', i.e. is it always the case that a capitalist society results in alienated workers?
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    Thanks guys, that explains it a lot better. What are your opinions? I'm not sure capitalism always leads to alienation, I think it depends on a number of factors. Also, it could be said that wage labour isnt the only job which leads people to feel alienated. Roles such as teachers and even nurses can do this too, they work long hours on poor pay.
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    (Original post by PoppieCrean)
    Thanks guys, that explains it a lot better. What are your opinions? I'm not sure capitalism always leads to alienation, I think it depends on a number of factors. Also, it could be said that wage labour isnt the only job which leads people to feel alienated. Roles such as teachers and even nurses can do this too, they work long hours on poor pay.
    Just a couple of thoughts here relating to your suggestion that "wage labour isn't the only job...etc":

    - no doubt feudal relations of production (for instance) also led to some feelings of alienation, but as you say, there are a number of aspects to Marx's "alienation". The typical peasant, for example, is - at least in Marx's view - able to perform some labour which is not alienated. But isn't the point of the original question not whether capitalism is the only mode of production to produce some form of alienation, but rather that under capitalism, alienation is inescapable?

    - when you refer to jobs such as teachers and nurses, are you thinking about those roles in capitalist society? If so, then Marx might well argue that of course they feel alienated - they are wage labourers as much as the factory worker or miner
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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    Just a couple of thoughts here relating to your suggestion that "wage labour isn't the only job...etc":

    - no doubt feudal relations of production (for instance) also led to some feelings of alienation, but as you say, there are a number of aspects to Marx's "alienation". The typical peasant, for example, is - at least in Marx's view - able to perform some labour which is not alienated. But isn't the point of the original question not whether capitalism is the only mode of production to produce some form of alienation, but rather that under capitalism, alienation is inescapable?

    - when you refer to jobs such as teachers and nurses, are you thinking about those roles in capitalist society? If so, then Marx might well argue that of course they feel alienated - they are wage labourers as much as the factory worker or miner
    yes- this was the question; What is alienation, according to Marx, and how convincing is his argument that it is intrinsic to capitalism?
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    (Original post by PoppieCrean)
    yes- this was the question; What is alienation, according to Marx, and how convincing is his argument that it is intrinsic to capitalism?
    I know! My comment in post #5 is in response to your suggestions in post #4
 
 
 
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