Careers: Business/bussiness administration
Que 1. What is the basis of such a right, and why should we accept it?
Que 2. What constitutes the alienation of laboring?
Que 3. What sorts of business activities should government prohibit ?
Que 4. Why do perfectly competitive market achieve these three suppressing moral outcomes?
Que. 5. What kinds of resources will future technology require for supplying their wants?
Que. 6. Does the advertisement have a tendency to mislead those to whom it is directed?
Que.7. What are the ethics of using a computer to gain entry into a company's data bank?
Que.8. Explain your judgement on the basis of the moral principles that you think are involved what is the value of seniority relative to equality of opportunity?
Que.9 what would this imply for the duties that other manufacters would then have? Do you think that such an outcome would be desirable? Explain
Que.10 what kind of public policy do you think the United States should have with respect to bussiness comer spect to bussiness competition?
MY APOLOGY FOR THE DELAY ---DUE TO MY HEALTH PROBLEM.
Que 2. What constitutes the alienation of laboring?
Capitalism and Human Degradation
The theory of alienation as presented in the Manuscripts deals with the experiences of workers under capitalism and not with the experiences of human beings in general. Marx indicates that the concept of alienation is theoretically powerful enough to describe the experiences of capitalists (as he begins to do just as the manuscript on estranged labor breaks off) and perhaps the experiences of members of various classes under other economic systems such as feudalism. However, these groups are alienated in different ways, and one description could not possibly accommodate their diverse experiences. Also, although Marx indicates that the concept of alienation is useful in describing the production of the state, the family, morality, religion, and culture, the theory of alienation as systematically presented in the Manuscripts relates mainly to industrial production.
The word alienation refers to a separation--a taking away of human beings from themselves and from their potentialities. Therefore, the coherent use of the concept of alienation depends upon a prior conception of human possibilities. The concept of alienation is theoretically powerful, because it facilitates the description of the degradation of human life without allowing the assumption that this degradation is natural or inevitable. In other words, the language of the theory of alienation introduces a critical perspective into the description of the worker's experience; thus, critical perspective need not be artificially introduced from without.
In describing the experience of workers under capitalism, Marx isolates six different aspects of alienation in their productive activity. These six aspects are closely related and can be said to imply one another. The most conceptually simple aspect of alienation and in some sense the conceptual starting point of the theory of alienation is the worker's alienation from his or her product. Under capitalism a worker's product does not belong to the worker; it belongs to the capitalist who employs the worker. This product, the objectification of the worker's creative activity (the worker's activity transformed into an object) and thus part of his or her being, is taken from his or her control or alienated. And beyond this, the alienated product actually serves to further dominate the worker in that the more the capitalist accumulates, the more powerful and able to dominate the worker the capitalist becomes. Marx writes:
The alienation of the worker in his product means not only that his labor becomes an object, an external existence, but that it exists outside him, independently, as something alien to him, and that it becomes a power on its own confronting him. (Marx 108)
Why does this constitute an injury? This constitutes an injury, because, as emphasized before, the product is part of the worker. This makes sense when we think of an artist's painting. It seems reasonable to claim that a painting an artist has worked on for years is an extension of himself or herself and that to destroy or steal this painting is to injure the artist. This may seem less clear in the case of an assembly line worker helping to construct a car. But the very degradation of the labor process which will be described next accounts in part for our failure to be able to view the product of the assembly line worker as an extension of himself or herself. Of course, when Marx condemns the product being taken away from the worker, he is not suggesting that the desirable situation would involve the worker retaining his or her product. Rather, Marx is concerned with the question of control. Just as the artist will not want to store his or her paintings in the basement but will want their disposal to be part of how he or she relates to other people, Marx is concerned that workers in general control the disposal of their products. The worker's alienation from his or her productive activity is related to the worker's alienation from his or her product. Since the object created by the worker's activity is taken from him or her, the worker's productive activity is active alienation. Marx expresses it thusly:
This relation is the relation of the worker to his own activity as an alien activity not belonging to him; it is activity as suffering, strength as weakness, begetting as emasculating, the worker's own physical and mental energy, his personal life--indeed, what is life but activity--~s an activity which is turned against him, independent of him and not belonging to him. (Marx 111)
Also, because the product is not for the worker, the activity which creates this product is under the supervision of and done to the specifications of the capitalist, and the control of his or her activity is thus alienated from the worker. The worker's alienation from his or her productive activity is perhaps most graphically demonstrated in the application of Taylorism to the labor process where even minute motions of the worker are controlled. The full significance of this aspect of alienation is apparent when the emphasis that Marx places on human beings creating themselves through their work is remembered.
The third aspect of alienation is the worker's alienation from nature. Marx writes:
Thus the more tile worker by his labor alienates the external world, hence sensuous nature, the more he deprives himself of means of life in a double manner: first, in that the sensuous external world more and more ceases to be an object belonging to his labor---to be his labor's means of life; and secondly, in that it more and more ceases to be means of life in the immediate sense, means for the physical subsistence of the worker. (Marx 108)
Here Marx is claiming that nature in the form of raw materials is not directly available to the worker. He is also claiming that nature in the form of humanized nature (the means of production which are not only nature but also the worker's product) is not directly available to the worker. Raw materials and the means of production are owned by someone else. In order to survive, the worker seeks employment. Ironically enough, the more the worker produces, the more he or she uses up raw materials and the more he or she strengthens the means of production which confront him or her as an alien force. Also, the worker uses up the resources that are necessary for his or her physical survival--the production of air pollution being an obvious example.
The fourth aspect of alienation is the worker's alienation from other human beings. The origin of this alienation is found in the fact that it is, of course, another human being, the capitalist, who takes away the worker's product and supervises his or her productive activity by virtue of having taken control of most of nature and of the means of production. Marx elaborated on this by emphasizing that
If the product of labor does not belong to the worker, if it confronts him as an alien power, then this can only be because it belongs to some other man than the worker. If the worker's activity is a torment to him, to another it might be delight and life's joy. Not the gods, not nature, but only man himself can be this alien power over man. (Marx 115)
In other words, the relationship between the worker and the capitalist is such that they cannot confront each other as human beings, and the worker is thus alienated from fellow human beings insofar as he or she is alienated from tile capitalist. The basic relationship leads to further types of alienation from other human beings. For example, since workers must compete with one another for jobs, they cannot always confront one another as human beings, and workers are thus alienated from one another and so from fellow human beings. More generally, it can be said that the capitalist system defines much of the content of human relationships; thus, the human beings involved in the relationships do not freely define their content. The nature of this forced and supervised productive activity and of the deformed human relationships it necessarily involves dictates that the worker is alienated from his or her species being. He or she is not freely productive in accordance with a standard of beauty in a human context. The worker's minimal animal needs must be fulfilled if he or she is to continue to work for the capitalist, but his or her species needs do not have to be. The worker's experience is such that his or her species needs and powers not only are not developed, they are manipulated and positively degraded.. Marx describes the degradation of needs with reference to the situation in Ireland.
It is not only that man has no human needs--even his animal needs cease to exist. The Irishman no longer knows any need now but the need to eat, and indeed only the need to eat potatoes--and scabby potatoes at that, the worst kind of potatoes. (Marx 149)
Marx also describes the manipulation of needs in a way that calls to mind contemporary American advertising:
Every person speculates on creating a new need in another, so as to drive him to a fresh sacrifice, to place him in a new dependence and to seduce him into a new mode of gratification and hence economic ruin... The increase in the quantity of objects is accompanied by an extension of the realm of the alien powers to which man is subjected, and every new product represents a new possibility of mutual swindling and mutual plundering. (Marx 147)
This degradation of species needs and the corresponding degradation of species powers as a consequence of the reduction of the worker's activity to the "most abstract mechanical movement" controlled by another, is an advantage for the capitalist because such degradation can make for docile workers.
Taken together these five aspects of alienation add up to the final aspect of alienation--the alienation of the worker from himself or herself. As was pointed out earlier this only makes sense in the context of a framework in which the worker's immediate condition (immediately degraded needs and powers) is not identified with the self. In other words, workers are alienated from themselves insofar as they cannot freely realize their possibilities. It should now be clear that Marx's understanding of alienation is quite different from conversational uses of the term which generally involve some allusion to a feeling of detachment. Marx's notion does not involve a reference to the feelings or subjective reports of workers. Indeed, a worker's claim that he or she feels alienated is probably a sign that he or she has not been completely destroyed since this indicates there are needs which are unfulfilled. On Marx's understanding, alienation ends with the almost total degradation of species needs and powers, with the reduction of the worker to the animal state, and thus with the destruction of the worker as a human being. In describing what constitutes the alienation of labor, Marx sums up his view in this way:
First, the fact that labor is external to the worker, i.e., it does not belong to his essential being; that in his work, therefore he does not confirm himself but denies himself, does not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself. He is at home when he is not working, and when he is working he is not at home. His labor is therefore not voluntary, but coerced, it is forced labor. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need, it is merely a means to satisfy needs external to it. Its alien character emerges clearly in the fact that as soon as no physical or other compulsion exists, labor is shunned like the plague. External labor, labor in which the worker alienates himself is a labor of self-sacrifice, of mortification. Lastly, the external character of labor for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his own, but someone else's, that in it he belongs not to himself but to another. Just as in religion the spontaneous activity of the human imagination, of the human brain and the human heart operates independently of the individual--that is, operates on him as an alien, divine or diabolical activity---so is the worker's activity not his spontaneous activity. It belongs to another; it is the loss of his self. (Marx 110)
Given that alienation is produced as the worker engages in activity, it is not surprising that Marx regards alienation as a process---a process of increasing destruction. One dynamic which Marx begins to describe in the Manuscripts is how workers under capitalism have developed and continue to develop the means of production in ways that increasingly create the potential of freedom. But the social relations of capitalism mean that even as workers create this possibility of freedom, they also create actual enslavement for themselves.
It is true that labor produces for the rich wonderful things--but for the worker it produces privation. It produces palaces--but for the worker, hovels. It produces beauty-- but for the worker, deformity. It replaces labor by machines, but it throws a section of the workers back to a barbarous style of labor, and it turns the other workers into machines. It produces intelligence---but for the workers stupidity. (Marx 110)
Indeed, workers are so far from benefiting humanly from their labor that this labor makes their situation progressively worse.
...the more the worker spends himself, the more powerful becomes the alien world of objects which he creates over and against himself, the poorer he himself---his inner world--becomes, the less belongs to him as his own. (Marx 108)
We would thus expect that in the case of the individual workers and the working class as a whole (except insofar as other factors such as workers' struggles play a role) with the passing of time, the development of capitalism increases alienation. Marx condemns capitalism because capitalism destroys human beings. It destroys human beings in a particularly horrible way---by turning their own labor against them. It is through labor that human beings create themselves and find specifically human fulfillment, but in labor under capitalism human beings make themselves into slaves and destroy their capacities for human fulfillment. Another way of expressing this is to say that under capitalism human beings are reduced to commodities. Marx writes:
Production does not simply produce man as a commodity - the human commodity, man in the role of commodity; it produces him in keeping with this role as a mentally and physically dehumanized being... Its product is the self-conscious and self-acting commodity. (Marx 121)
Man's relation to his productive activity
In his only organized treatment of the subject, Marx presents alienation as a partaking of four broad relations which are so distributed as to cover the whole of human existence. These are man's relations to his productive activity, his product, other men and the species.1 Productive activity in capitalism is spoken of as 'active alienation, the alienation of activity, the activity of alienation'.2 Asking "What, then, constitutes the alienation of labor?', Marx offers the following reply:
First, the fact that labor is external to the worker, i.e., it does not belong to his essential being; that in his work, therefore, he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself. He is at home when he is not working, and when he is working he is not at home. His labor is therefore not voluntary, but coerced; it's forced labor. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need; it is merely a means to satisfy needs external to it.3
In claiming that labor does not belong to man's essential being, that in it he denies rather than affirms himself and that it is not a satisfaction of a need but merely satisfies needs external to it, Marx's point of reference is species man. In asserting that labor in capitalism mortifies man's body and ruins his mind and that in it he is uncomfortable an unhappy, Marx is alluding to the actual appearance of the proletariat. Alienated labor marks the convergence of these two strands of thought.
Before trying to explain Marx's comments on labor from the standpoint of species man, a brief review of what was said about activity in the previous Part is in order. Marx attributes to man certain powers, which he divides into natural and species, and maintains that each of these powers is reflected in one's consciousness by a corresponding need: the individual feels needs for whatever is necessary to realize his powers. The objects of nature, including other men, provide the matter through which these powers are realized and, consequently, for which needs are felt. Realization occurs through the appropriation of objects which accord in kind and level of development with these powers themselves. 'Appropriation' is Marx's most general expression for the fact that man incorporates the nature he comes into contact with into himself. Activity enters this account as the chief means by which man appropriates objects and becomes, therefore, the effective medium between the individual and the outer world. Marx sees such activity in three special relationships to man's powers: first, it is the foremost example of their combined operation; second, it establishes new possibilities for their fulfillment by transforming nature and, hence, all nature imposed limitations; and third, it is the main means by which their own potential, as powers, is developed.
In asserting that labor in capitalism does not belong to man's essential being, that he denies himself in this labor and that he only satisfies needs external to it, Marx is describing a state where the relations between activity and man's powers exist at a very low level of achievement. As we saw earlier, the terms 'essence' and 'essential' are used by Marx to refer to the whole thread of real and potential ties that link man and nature. Capitalist labor does not belong to man's essential being in the sense that it leaves most of the relations that constitute a human being for Marx unaffected. With the development of the division of labor and the highly repetitive character of each productive task, productive activity no longer affords a good example of the operation of all man's powers, or does so only in so far as these powers have become fewer and narrower in their application. As regards the second relationship, by producing slums, wastelands, dirty factories, etc., such labor does as much or more to decrease the possibilities in nature for the fulfillment of man's powers than it does to increase them.
However, it is the third relationship between activity and powers that capitalism almost completely reverses. Instead of developing the potential inherent in man's powers, capitalist labor consumes these powers without replenishing them, burns them up as if they were a fuel, and leaves the individual worker that much poorer. The qualities that mark him as a human being become progressively diminished. I referred to this process on another occasion as the 'retrogression' of man's powers. It is in this sense that Marx refers to labor as 'man lost to himself'.4 Communist society supplies the proper contrast. Here, man's productive activity engages all his powers and creates widening opportunities for their fulfillment. In this manner, work in communism is an affirmation of human nature, while capitalist labor is its denial, withholding from man what in Marx's view belongs to him as a human being.
Marx also conceives of alienated labor, in part, as the actual appearance of people who engage in such activity. What has capitalist labor done to workers on a level where everyone can observe the results? Marx's answer is that it 'mortifies his body and ruins his mind'. Capital I is, in at least one very important respect, an attempt to document this thesis. Among the physical distortions described in this work are stunted size, bent backs, overdeveloped and underdeveloped muscles, gnarled fingers, enlarged lungs and death pale complexions. Some of these distortions—Marx singles out the overdevelopment of certain muscles and bone curvatures—may even add to the worker's efficiency in performing his limited and one-sided task, and become in this way an advantage to his employer.5 Such physical traits are matched by as many industrial diseases. In Marx's words, the worker is a 'mere fragment of his own body', 'a living appendage of the machine', and he looks the part.6
The worker's mind, too, has been ruined by the nature of his task and the conditions in which he does it. His delusions, decaying will power, mental inflexibility and particularly his ignorance are all of monumental proportions. Capitalist industry produces in its laborers, according to Marx, 'idiocy' and 'cretinism'.7 The total contrast between this condition of man and his condition under communism is too obvious to require comment, and, as before, it is the connection Marx presumes between them which allows him to register the one as alienation.
The worker's subjective feelings of being 'at home when he is not working' and 'not at home' when he is working is still another indication of the alienated character of his labor. Marx's concern about workers being discontented and uncomfortable is incomprehensible if we adopt the view that people will always dislike their work, that work is by its very nature an activity that people cannot wait to finish with. Given what he foresaw in communism, Marx did not and could not share this view.
With capitalist labor variously described as 'torment', a 'sacrifice of life' and 'activity as suffering', it is not to be wondered at that no one in capitalism works unless he is forced.8 Only circumstances which require that one labor in order to eat drives workers to make such an extraordinary sacrifice. Whenever compulsion disappears, 'labor is shunned like the plague'.9
Two other aspects of alienated labor dealt with by Marx are that this labor is the private property of non-workers and that it results in a reversal of man's human and animal functions. As regards the former, Marx says, 'the external character of labor for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his own, but someone else's, that it does not belong to him, that in it he belongs, not to himself, but to another'.10 If labor is forced, even if its effectiveness lies in the worker's impoverished circumstances, someone must be doing the forcing. According to Marx, 'If his own activity is to him an unfree activity, then he is treating it as activity performed in the service, under the domination, the coercion and the yoke of another man'.11 This overlord, of course, is the capitalist. And so complete is his control that he determines the form of labor, its intensity, duration, the kind and number of its products, surrounding conditions and—most important of all—whether or not it will even take place. The worker engages in his productive activity only on the sufferance of the capitalist, and when the latter decides he has had enough, that is, that further production will not yield a profit, this activity comes to a halt.
What we call a 'reversal of man's human and animal functions' refers to a state in which the activities man shares with animals appear more human than those activities which mark him out as a man. Marx claims that as a result of his productive activity,
man (the worker) no longer feels himself to be freely active in any but his animal functions—eating, drinking, procreating, or at most in his dwelling and in dressing-up, etc.; and in his human functions he no longer feels himself to be anything but an animal. What is animal becomes human and what is human becomes animal. Certainly eating, drinking, procreating, etc., are also genuine human functions. But in the abstraction which separates them from the sphere of all other human activity and turns them into sole and ultimate ends, they are animal.12
An abstraction, as we saw, is a break in connections, a link in the chain which has set itself off as an independent piece. Eating, drinking and procreating are occasions when all man's powers may be fulfilled together; yet, in capitalism, they only serve their direct and most obvious functions as do their equivalents in the animal kingdom. Despite their depraved state, however, the individual exercises more choice in these activities than he does in those others, work in particular, which distinguish him as a human being. As unsatisfactory as eating and drinking are from a human point of view, the worker feels at least he is doing something he wants to do. The same cannot be said of his productive activity.
All the components of alienated labor are best understood as particular relations which converge to form the Relation, alienated labor. Stated as accurately as possible, the relations of capitalist productive activity to man's species self, to his body and mind, to his subjective feelings when doing labor, to his will to engage in labor, to the capitalist, to his own human and animal functions and to what productive activity will be like under communism equal unalienated labor.13
It should be apparent that these particular relations are constantly finding their way into one another, but Marx never meant them to be distinct. His practise of seeing the whole in the part links all particular relations together as aspects in the full unfolding of any one of them. Overlapping explanations, therefore, cannot be avoided. This coin has another side: just because a full explanation of each of these relations results in the conception of alienated labor, it does not follow that the latter contains only these parts. In reconstructing alienated labor I have limited myself to the largest and most obvious building blocks given in the few pages devoted to this subject in the 1844 Manuscripts. Many other relations enter into its structure, and we are about to learn that at least one of them, which has been bypassed to facilitate exposition, is of crucial importance.