Humanities 221 Professor
Marx, "Estranged Labour"
what "premises of political economy" does Marx begin? (Think of the Enlightenment
economists we discussed for Dickens.)
does a worker "sink to the level of a commodity" (70)?
happens to the value of the laborer as the quantity of commodities
produced by his labor increases? (71)
do the "laws of political economy" conceal about the
relationship between what a worker produces and what a worker consumes?
does Marx mean when he says that labor is "external" to the
can factory work be considered "forced" labor? (74)
says a worker retains only his "animal functions"; what do
workers lose and to whom do they lose it? (74)
considers labor a "life activity" (75). What does this mean?
labor, Marx contends, reverses the natural order and productive life
becomes a "mere means to É existence" (76).
What does this mean?
suggests that workers become strangers to their own bodies (77). How does this happen?
religious cultures claim that "labor" and its products belong to
the gods. If labor, products,
and activities don't belong to the worker under capitalism, to whom do
they belong? (78) Why does
Marx draw in the religious analogy?
what we know about Marx and Engels' critique of private property (the
private ownership of the means of production), we might expect Marx to
blame private property for begetting "estranged labor." Yet he suggests the opposite:
"Private property is thus the
product, the result, the necessary consequence of alienated
labour, of the eternal relation of the
worker to nature and to himself" (79). Explain this paradox.
- Why is
labor "the servant of the wage"? (79)
doesn't Marx think higher wages are the answer to the problems of
to Marx, what is the basic difference between private property and labor?
(80, "problem 2")
Why is this important?
Four kinds of "estrangement" or
"alienation" that describe wage labor. Note examples from jobs you have had.
Alienation from the product
Alienation from the act of production
Alienation from species being & nature
Estrangement of man from man