Marx Essay, Research Paper
In Karl Marx?s sociological dissertation ?The German Ideology? he argues that humans by nature are multifaceted and creative beings. In addition to that notion he also believes that people are social beings, having an intrinsic or as he states it a ?human essence? to want to be able to work and live in an environment that will allow them to be collective and productive. Marx feels that when humans are denied any of the above-mentioned areas, which he calls ?human nature,? they are being alienated. His notions of alienation are what drove his work and beliefs. Despite what many think, Marx?s ?Manifesto of the Communist Party? and ?The German Ideology? are not as much political theories more than they are social theories. (Class 10/03/00) Marx utilizes the rhetorical strategy of explicit word usage to convey his message of the importance of being creative, multi-faceted and social.
Today we see the trend of the temporary or ?temp? workers that are hired by one company to work for another company for short periods of time or until a specific project or season is complete. These ?temps? have the freedom to add variety to what they do by leaving any particular job when they choose, while still having the liberty to move on to another trade; they have the capability of becoming the ?whole man.? (Class 9/26/00) The ?whole man? is what Marx judges as a person who is opportune enough to be able to live their life in terms of his assumptions of ?human nature.? ?The German Ideology,? and ?Manifesto of the Communist Party,? give us insight into why I believe Marx would give positive feedback to the temp worker; focusing on the temps ability to be multi-faceted, creative, and social in their lives.
Marx believes that it is important for humans to have the ability to be able to choose their daily work. In ?The German Ideology,? Marx uses the rhetorical strategy of explicit word usage to convey his messages. The following quote from ?The German Ideology,? is an example of how Marx feels humans should work and the problems with having one specific job:
For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood?(Page 160)
The word usage in the above quote is important in that it entails all of the emotions Marx believes one would have if they were unable to choose their own line of work. The word ?escape? is used in the context that humans would feel entrapped, like an animal, if they were to forced to work as a product of capitalism. Marx feels that a man who cannot choose his own line of work is alienated from being a creative being, therefore feeling the need to escape from his present state. The word ?livelihood? in the quote demonstrates how a human would feel estranged from their own life and self if they were not given the option to choose their own duties for the day. The word ?live? gives the audience the feeling that this notion of being estranged from being creative and multi-faceted could be fatal, a life or death situation for any human. Marx felt that if humans were denied any of aspect of ?human nature? they would feel alienated from themselves and from society.
The temporary worker has the ability to be creative, the capability to choose from many different occupations. They are able to bring all their skills into their current line of work while also learning other traits. Part of being a human Marx felt was the ability to be inventive and multi-faceted, with the exception of the temporary worker, capitalism denied man from becoming a ?whole man;? this is one of the primary reasons that Marx would view the temporary workers as a positive development for workers in a capitalistic society.
Marx deems it necessary that in order for a human to become a ?whole man? they must be social. In fact Marx felt that man is ?inherently social? and that it is ?unnatural for a man to be isolated from other men.? (Class 9/28/00) According to Marx capitalism?s work conditions do not enable humans to work with others and develop relationships; this can be seen as a distortion of human nature. In the following quote Marx again uses word usage to convey his message:
By social we understand the co-operation of several individuals, no matter under what conditions, in what manner and to what end. It follows from this that a certain mode of production, or industrial stage, is always combined with a certain mode of co-operation or social-stage, and this mode of co-operation is itself a ?productive force.? (Page 157)
By using phrases such as ?no matter under what conditions,? Marx is letting his audience know exactly how much he deem his theory as true. The word usage gives the reader a sense that Marx would prefer to work his hands to the bone, or any other dreadful condition if it meant being able to work in a social environment. ?Productive force? also is a term that turns out to be related to his social ideals, this becomes Marx?s way of letting his audience understand that through his ideas it is possible to be productive. When a person is allowed to become social in their work environment Marx believes that they not only will produce more efficiently, but they will also be ?less alienated with the product they are producing;? (Class 10/05/00) bringing them closer to becoming a ?whole man.?
When a temporary worker begins a new line of work they are able to establish relationships with new people. Given that factories and other places of business are not run as crudely as they once were, (when Marx was writing), generally people today are able to create relationships with those of whom they work with. For this very reason the temporary worker is extraordinary in that they are able to move from career to career, all the while meeting fresh people and having the opportunity to become tremendously social beings.
The temporary worker is allotted many opportunities that most are not fortunate to have today. They seem to be closer to achieving the characteristics of ?human nature? than anyone else in our capitalistic society. If Marx were alive today it can be favorably assumed that he would view the temporary worker as the only decent way of earning a living because of the fact that they are able to become as close to the ?whole man? as possible in today?s capitalistic society by way of creative, multi-faceted, and social beings.