THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ALIENATION OF LABOUR IN KARL MARX. (It’s Implications to the Condition of the Nigerian Workers). A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON PHILOSOPHY
The 17th century philosophy, the enlightenment period, is significant for so many reasons. Not only did it witness the emergence of many vigorous thinkers, but it also shifted the attention of philosophy from the cosmos (ancient period) and God (medieval period) to the appreciation of man as both the terminus a quo and the terminus ad quem of all reality. In a splendid way, the philosophies of the German idealist, Hegel and the materialist, Feuerbach respectively contributed to the shaping of the philosophical views of another great thinker, the founder of Historical Materialism, Karl Marx.
Hegel formulated the main principle, law and categories of dialectics, showing that ideas develop progressively from lower to higher form and that in the course of such development, there is a transformation of quantity into quality and internal contradiction are the source of development. This view in a special way depicts Marx’s methodology in exclusion of idealism, in place of the cognition and revolutionary transformation of the existing world. In the same vein, Feuerbach’s materialism, which portrayed that philosophy, should study nature and man as a product of protracted development of nature purged out of its metaphysical and contemplative approach, in place of socio-political sphere of human life. Hence, Marx puts man as
First of all a natural being…. and a living natural being, who is endowed on one hand with natural powers… these powers exist in him as aptitudes and instincts, on the other hand as an object, natural, physical, dependent and limited being… that is the object of his instincts exists outside him, independent of him, but as for the object of his need, indispensable and essential for the realization and confirmation of his substantial powers.
It is this natural power and its instinctive manifestation in man that explain historical movement in Karl Marx. But a pertinent question arises at this juncture: who is Karl Marx?