My take on Marx

MARX: Estrangement

“ We have now to explain the real connections between private property, greed, the division of labor, capital, and land, the connection between exchange and competition, between value and the devaluation of humans, between monopoly and competition, etc., and between this entire estrangement and the money system. . .” Karl Marx

Marx goes into explaining how as labor becomes more of commodity, instead of being labor of real human being, who is willing to sacrifice their time and undervalue their intelligence.  The idea of not owning a business but working for wages to make profit for the business objectifies a worker’s labor.  Marx establishes a point that labor in reality is a worker’s wages should be calculated according to what labor he or she produces. Ironic how we work 40 hour work weeks and spend a third of our lives at our offices, factories and stores and have no say in how the profit must be shared or even get a percentage of it. As Marx states” notion that labor is the soul of production, yet it gives nothing to labor and everything to private property”, in essence labor becomes estranged from the workers.I guess over years of enjoying capitalism, as the business owner no longer worked side by side to their own workers, like farmers, blacksmiths and merchants would do so, labor was forgotten.  So strikes and boycotts by workers for wanting higher wages dating back to the 1800s were not really so anti- capitalist. Being in a country where freedom and rights are so well protected, it was natural for labor workers to unionize and fight for their own rights as human in a workplace

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  1. #1 by ktetro on December 13, 2010 - 1:22 pm

    Exactly, I feel like you cannot have capitalism without labor unions. It is the labor’s form of checks and balances just like our government is set up. Marx is very extreme when it comes to the relationship of the worker and production. The notion that there is no distinction of the product and the person producing the product is not always appropraite to me. Job sectors differ in many ways and i can associate this theory to a factory like position but not so much to a service position, so I am a little stuck so to speak on Marxs’ theories.

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