Karl Marx describes alienation as an objective reality and a sense of disconnect from aspects of the self. This disconnect is brought about by the conditions of labor present in a capitalist society. Humans are first alienated from what they produce, as they sell their labor to produce not for themselves but for the capitalist. They are locked in this process to ensure their survival. They are then further alienated as they relinquish control over the means of production, which they clearly do not own. The human being is estranged from his ability to create what he desires of his own volition and is thus kept from his human potential. This, in turn, leads the human being to be alienated from his human essence as, according to Marx, labor is not only power but the essence of our species:
In taking from man the object of his production, alienated labor takes from his species-life, his actual and objective existence as a species.
On a social level, alienation further extends to labor...
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