• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

IN KARL MARX's political theory, alienation is the process through which workers became estranged from their milieu and are rendered powerless through the capitalist division of labor, which cripples the laborer by opposing the functions of the body against the functions of the mind. In “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” Marx goes as far as claiming that this alienation deprives humankind of its very capacity for volition: “Men make their own history, but not of their own free will; not under circumstances they themselves have chosen but under the given and inherited circumstances with which they are directly confronted.”

Marx developed the theory of alienation particularly in his early writings, such as “Contribution to a Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right” and The Economic and ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles