Marx: Alienation, Unity, and Human Nature
Differentiation, decomposition, alienation, estrangement: these words appear again and again in MarxÃÂÂs writings as descriptions of the failures of capitalism. For him, an emphasis on community and equality was the solution to the degrading atmosphere of competition that he observed around him. Much of his work could be interpreted as an attempt, often through critiques of the divisions he observed in capitalism, to imagine and describe a social order characterized by unity. Only in this future society could his implicit and elusive concept of human nature be finally realized.
In MarxÃÂÂs writings, it is clear how private property and the division of labor lead to the alienation of man from man and from the product of his labor. The capitalist mode of production creates a society in which men compete for personal gain and use each other for egotistical ends, even to the point of inventing artificial needs in others in order to profit from them. Private property unjustly cuts off a piece of the external world from the worker who produced it, creating unnatural divisions in nature. The labor that allows for this private wealth is "hostile and alien;" instead of producing a product that satisfies real human needs, it...
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