Marx, Saint-Simon, and Owen both address the inherent issues of capitalism. In his writing of “Estranged Labour”, Marx suggests that the worker will never be satisfied because of labor’s “alienation.” As workers produce more, the owners and employers take in the product and become wealthier—the workers gain little. Individuals work for survival purposes; they do not partake in labor because of any passion or interest. Because the worker gains nothing except for the ability to survive, the worker becomes alien to not only himself, but society.… Read the rest here
Karl Marx’s “Estranged Labour” details the ruthless system that is ‘The Money System.’ This system strikes chords similar to those of Thomas Hobbes’ theory on the state of nature where every human is in competition with one another; Marx states that “the political economy promotes greed and competition amongst the greedy”1 which adds a layer of economy to Hobbes’ theory. However, Marx takes it yet another step forward by asserting the dehumanization of those who work in industry. … Read the rest here
Comte de Saint-Simon disparaged laissez-faire industry in “The Incoherence and Disorder of Industry”, saying that capitalists are not concerned with the well being of society and are solely individuals looking to profit. This leads to men emphasizing their cunning and shrewdness and leading them to be “lost to humanity”.1 Marx took an equally negative stance on capitalism in “Estranged Labor” although he chose to focus on the worker and not the capitalist. Marx argued that every step of the production process estranges the worker from the product they are creating, as the more the worker produces, the less he is able to possess.… Read the rest here
Karl Marx is a German author who is most famous for writing the Communist Manifesto with Fredrick Engels. He was a German who wrote on the final socialist revolution after the industrial revolution began to take off in the mid 19th century. Marx also wrote specifically on the plight of the worker from which he derived his Manifesto. Estranged Labor is essentially a treatise on how the worker is treated in the new industrial society.
Marx begins to talk about how the worker has power over his job as he is specialized into his field, however the better he does his job, the more power he is giving to his bosses.… Read the rest here
- The Legacy of Robert Owen to the Population of the World – Robert Owen (1834)
- Robert Owen (1771-1858)
- English cotton manufacturer
- “Utopian” socialist
- Advocated for universal education for children and workers’ rights
- Owen is addressing members of the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of Great Britain and Ireland
- Written during a time of rebellion
- Negative and outraged at the foundations of society.
- For people in rebellion of the unjust system put in place.
1.) “The Legacy of Robert Owen to the Population of the World”
Author: Robert Owen. Welsh cotton manufacturer. Utopian socialist and a founder of the cooperative movement. Founder of (failed) New Harmony colony in the U.S. Had a vision of an ideal society.
Context: Great Britain, 1844. Industrial Revolution. Many of the Factory Acts were in place, including many that regulated child labor.
Language: Persuasive, confident, hopeful
Audience: The Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of Great Britain and Ireland
Intent: To persuade listeners to begin a bloodless revolution driven by morality and wisdom.… Read the rest here
In the writings of the Compte de Sainte Simon, Robert Owens, and Karl Marx, an alternate perspective- other than laissez faire capitalism- regarding industry is approached. Adam Smith- a strong proponent of the productivity that the division of labor supplied the economy- stated that industrial perspectives were the ideal way to support the economy. However, these three writers offer contrasting perspectives that certainly align more with socialism. In “Estranged Labour,” written in 1844, Marx specifically discusses how these economic changes towards industry will actually cause a cultural collapse.… Read the rest here