Alienation from other people: Competition

English: The flag of US Capitalism, Red and Go...
English: The flag of US Capitalism, Red and Gold to honor our fallen comrades. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finally alienation also occurs under capitalism because capitalism separates people from one another…

A capitalist economic system enthusiastically encourages competition as people looking for work compete with each other to get a job, and once hired workers compete with each other for raises and promotions.

Workers in rival companies compete with each other for customers as ultimately even the owners compete against each other in their quest for money…

Such thoroughgoing competition, Marx thinks guarantees unhappiness as human beings are essentially social creatures who are meant to live in harmony with our neighbors.

Therefore Marx thinks that cooperation not competition is the more natural and satisfying condition yet rather than fostering common interests and solidarity among people, capitalism breeds self-interest, distrust and dishonesty…

Capitalism clearly fosters self-interest as our “job” is t look after ourselves and not everyone else…The spirit of capitalism is “everyone for himself” so under these conditions we can trust others to only a limited degree…

If we are all self-interested competitors (adversaries really) it makes more sense to distrust the people who we do business with than to trust them…

Therefore Marx’s point is that the nature of capitalism forces us to act in this way as these are the rules of the game but how satisfying is a world in which most people around us are adversaries? Here too Marx sees capitalism as going against the grain of our true nature…

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