Refutation #6 -- Marxian Alienation and Capitalism

Marx coined the term ‘alienation’ to indicate the situation when specialization, so characteristic of capitalism, resulted in aloneness. He felt one becomes a mere cog in the division of labor society. Marx’s solution to this alienation was agricultural collectivism. The costs of this are enormous in terms of a nation’s material wealth. And without material wealth, spiritual and intellectual wealth are crippled.

Marx was quite right to decry specialization that dehumanizes, but his collectivist ‘solution’ is no remedy for dehumanization. The correct solution is the aspiration of individuals to higher non-materialistic ideals. Morality is a two-edged sword in the defense of capitalism. On the one hand, it requires that each treat all others with dignity. On the other hand, it requires that each develop himself in spiritual and intellectual as well as material matters. This is not alienation, but the fulfillment of all that is good about humanity.

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