Monday, March 3, 2008
FROM MARX'S ECONOMIC AND PHILOSOPHICAL MANUSCRIPTS
"Alienation is apparent not only in the fact that my means of life belong to someone else, that my desires are the unattainable possession of someone else, but that everything is something different from itself, that my activity is something else, and finally (and this is also the case for the capitalist) that an inhuman power rules over everything. There is a kind of wealth which is inactive, prodigal and devoted to pleasure, the beneficiary of which behaves as an ephemeral, aimlessly active individual who regards the slave labor of others, human blood and sweat, as the prey of his cupidity and sees mankind, and himself, as a sacrificial and superfluous being. Thus he acquires a contempt for mankind, expressed in the form of arrogance and the squandering of resources which would support a hundred human lives, and also in the form of the infamous illusion that his unbridled extravagance and endless unproductive consumption is a condition for the labor and subsistence of others. He regards the realization of the essential powers of man only as the realization of his own disorderly life, his whims and his capricious, bizarre ideas."