The different causes of alienation in society

Alienation is common among teenagers.

The different causes of alienation in society

Downloaded with thanks from the Mandel Archive at www. It was by studying Hegel that Marx first came across the concept of alienation. The social contract theory maintained that in organised society the individual must forfeit a certain number of individual rights to the state as the representative of the collective interest of the community.

Hegel especially had developed this idea which was so strongly enunciated by the theoreticians of the natural rights philosophy.

Some small incidents which happened in the Rhine province of western Germany around the increase in the number of people who stole wood and the intervention of the government against these people led Marx to conclude that the state, which purports to represent the collective interest, instead represented the interests of only one part of the society, that is to say, those who own private property.

Therefore the forfeiture of individual rights to that state represented a phenomenon of alienation: Starting from that political-philosophical platform, Marx, who in the meantime had been expelled from Germany and had gone into exile in France, got in contact with the first socialist and workers organisations there and began to study economics, especially the classical writers of British political economy, the Adam Smith-Ricardo school.

This initial youthful attempt at synthesis was carried out with very inadequate means. At that period Marx did not yet have a thorough knowledge of political economy; he had only started to acquaint himself with some of the basic notions of the classical school in political economy; and he had little direct or indirect experience with the modern industrial system.

He would obtain all that only during the next ten years. This unfinished early work was unknown for a very long time. It was first published innearly one hundred years after it was written. Accordingly, much of the discussion which had been going on in economic as well as philosophic circles, about what he thought in his youth and how he arrived at a certain number of his basic concepts, was very much distorted by an ignorance of this specific landmark in his intellectual development.

Its importance, which I will try to explain, is linked with the concept of alienation. Alienation is a very old idea which has religious origins and is almost as old as organised religion itself.

It was taken over by nearly all the classical philosophical trends in the West as in the East. This concept turns around what one could call the tragic fate man.

Hegel, who was one of the greatest German philosophers, took over the idea from his predecessors but gave it a new slant and a new basis which denoted momentous progress.

He did this by changing the foundation of that concept of the tragic fate of man from a vague anthropological and philosophical concept into a concept rooted in labour. Hegel, before Marx, said that man is alienated because human labour is alienated. He gave two explanations for this general alienation of human labour.

One is what he called the dialectics of need and labour.

Marx's theory of alienation - Wikipedia

Human needs, he said, are always one step ahead of the available economic resources; people will therefore always be condemned to work very hard to fulfil unsatisfied needs. However, the attempt to equalise the organisation of material resources with the necessity of satisfying all human needs is an impossible task, a goal which can never be attained.

That was one aspect of what Hegel called alienated labour.

The different causes of alienation in society

The other side of his philosophical analysis was a bit more complicated. Though the term is complicated and sounds foreign, its content is easier to understand.

Hegel meant by the philosophical concept of externalisation the fact that every man who works, who produces something, really reproduces in his work an idea which he initially had in his head.

Some of you might be astonished if I immediately add that Marx shared that opinion. You will find this same idea, that any work which man performs lives in his head before being realised in material reality, in the first chapter of Capital.

Hegel, as well as Marx, thereby drew a basic distinction between people and, let us say, ants or other creatures which seem to be busily at work but do things purely on instinct. Man, on the other hand, first develops an idea about what he aims to do, and then tries to realise that idea.

Hegel goes a step farther when he asks, what do we do in reality when we try to express in material, what first lives in us as an idea?

The different causes of alienation in society

We inevitably separate ourselves from the product of our labour. Anything which we project out of ourselves, anything which we fabricate, anything which we produce, we project out of our own body and it becomes separate from us.

It cannot remain as much part and parcel of our being as an idea which continues to live in our head. That was for Hegel the main, let us say, anthropological, definition of alienated labour.

He therefore arrived at the conclusion that every and any kind of labour is alienated labour because in any society and under any conditions men will always be condemned to become separated from the products of their labour.The reason is that another type of alienation, that engendered by the forces of society, continues unabated and, as I have argued, has even grown stronger.

Thus, a contrast develops between the possibility for self-fulfillment due to the advance of science and technology and the reality of self-frustration which causes man to feel that the.

Issue 79 of INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM, quarterly journal of the Socialist Workers Party (Britain) Published July Copyright © International Socialism. Glossary Index. This is a live online glossary, containing key definitions for social care practitioners. It's a free resource powered and kept up to date by tri.x.

The references used may be made clearer with a different or consistent style of Social alienation is "a condition in social relationships reflected by a low degree of integration or common values In the context of an individual's relationships within society, alienation can mean the unresponsiveness of society as a whole to the.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: The Hoax that Hurts Children. Barry Goldstein, NOMAS Task Group on Child Custody.

Cult Characteristics

Richard Gardner did not rely on any research to concoct his theory of Parental Alienation Syndrome. BOOK III. BEFORE speaking of the different forms of government, let us try to fix the exact sense of the word, which has not yet been very clearly explained..

1. GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL. I WARN the reader that this chapter requires careful reading, and that I am unable to make myself clear to those who refuse to be attentive. Every free action is produced by the concurrence of two causes; one.

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