Monday, August 16, 2010

Reading Marx is Making Me Depressed

I feel like I have been reading lots of Marxist inspired thought lately, and so I picked up 'A very short intro to Marx'. Thus started my descent into economic depression. To summarize the summary... history is moving toward the freedom of mankind. Freedom, for Marx, means, freedom from alienation. Human beings are alienated from themselves because their work is not an expression of their nature but a means to survive. Alienation - the key point here. Humans are alienated because of economic conditions. That is what separates us from one another, (according to Marx), is economic conditions. This is opposed to religion (Feuerbach) as the crux of alienation. Or our separation from our true selves (Hegel).

Anyway - I find Marx's critique of alienation spot on - even if his economic theories are a bit dodgy. Everything these days is commodified and monetized. Here, I am blogging for the pleasure of it. However, blogger & google are commodifying this blog by integrating it into their ad/knowledge network. This is even more profound than the realized alienation of the wage slave who must sell his time in order to support himself. In this case I am not even aware of my alienation. I view myself as human, while google views me as a commodity.

Also, as a former wage slave to a corporation, but now an independent wage slave to myself, I doubt there is any way to escape the transformation of time into money. In my thought though the greatest achievements of technology are medical and, in a round about way, social. By social, I mean, technology and technological accomplishment is the great leveler. It is not subject to discrimination. The ability and the actual achievement of technological accomplishment by people of all races, gender, sexual orientation, leads to the end of social discrimination.

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