Iscuss Marxs concepts of alienation and exploitation.

B. Marxist: theory
a. Dialectical Materialism
1. Primacy of economic determinants in history: look at the power of money on structure of society.
2. History of class struggle:
A class rules only as long as it best represents the economically productive forces of society. When the ruling class becomes outmoded, it is destroyed and replaced. The capitalists (bourgeois) replaced the feudal nobility. The next step is the workers (proletariat) taking over from the capitalists. Eventually, a classless society should emerge (communism).
b. Alienation
Alienation is the experience of a worker who is not personally fulfilled by the labor he or she performs and does not receive the products of labor. The activity of the labor is not meaningful (as, say making a piece of art would be), and it is only performed so that the worker may satisfy the needs of existence.

c. Exploitation:
Exploitation is the injustice of a situation in which a human is treated as a means to an end. An individual who is exploited does not reap the benefits of the full value of his or her labor. Marx felt that capitalists used people only as tools to increase their capital, ignoring their value as fellow human beings. Marx felt that this was immoral. He believed that the alienation and exploitation inherent in a capitalist society did not facilitate the development of humans to their full potential, reducing them instead to a means to the capitalist s profit.

Example: In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible is forced to hide his identity and work for an insurance company. This is a job he is not fulfilled by; he only does it to feed his family. Marx felt that this kind of existence was unacceptable and is the basis for revolution. Mr. Incredible is a victim of exploitation because he works for  The Man (a larger company that merely uses him for his labor), and he is alienated from the products of his labor because it is not personally meaningful to him

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Marxist theory of Exploitation

See also: Rate of exploitation

In Marxism, the kinds of exploitation described by other theories (see further below) are usually called Super-exploitation exploitation that goes beyond the normal standards of exploitation prevalent in capitalist society. While other theories emphasize the exploitation of one individual by an organization (or vice versa), the Marxist theory is primarily concerned with the exploitation of an entire segment or class of society by another. This kind of exploitation is seen as being an inherent feature and key element of capitalism and free markets. In fact, in Das Kapital, Karl Marx typically assumed the existence of purely competitive markets. In general, it is argued that the greater the Freedomof the market, the greater the power of capital, and the greater the scale of exploitation. The perceived problem is with the structural context in which free markets operate (detailed below). The proposed solution is the abolition of capitalism and its replacement by a better, non-exploitative, system of production and distribution (first socialism, and then, after a certain period of time, communism).

In the Marxist view, Normalexploitation is based in three structural characteristics of capitalist society:

1. the ownership of the means of production by a small minority in society, the capitalists;
2. the inability of non-property-owners (the workers, proletarians) to survive without selling their labor-power to the capitalists (in other words, without being employed as wage laborers);
3. the state, which uses its strength to protect the unequal distribution of power and property in society.

Because of these human-made institutions, workers have little or no choice but to pay the capitalists surplus-value (profits, interest, and rent) in exchange for their survival. They enter the realm of production, where they produce commodities, which allow their employers to realize that surplus-value as profit. They are always threatened by the Reserve army of the unemployed”. In brief, the profit gained by the capitalist is the difference between the value of the product made by the worker and the actual wage that the worker receives; in other words, capitalism functions on the basis of paying workers less than the full value product of their labor. For more on this view, see the discussion of the labor theory of value.

Some Marxian theories of imperialism extend this kind of structural theory of exploitation further, positing exploitation of poor countries by rich capitalist ones (or by transnational corporations). Some Marxist-feminists use a Marxian-style theory to understand relations of exploitation under patriarchy, while others see a kind of exploitation analogous to the Marxian sort as existing under institutional racism